Give Us Fans a Bit More Credit, Ray Lewis

In an interview with one of ESPN’s finest, Sal Paolantonio, Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis discussed some of the negative impacts of the lockout, particularly if next season is shortened or completely wiped out as a result. Ray apparently feels that fans of the NFL would not take the loss of the season in the most law-abiding way. Read on to see why, and to see how I feel about that there. Y’all.

States Ray:

“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game… there’s nothing else to do.”

Now, maybe I’m just a weird type of NFL fan, if judging a man based on the fact that he’s watching He-Man in Spanish at 11:20 PM would be considered “weird” (and I hardly know any Spanish for what it’s worth), but I’m gonna go out on a limb and give the average fan more credit than that. Sure, there are hooligans, thieves, gangbangers and vandals that are NFL fans. But even if every one of those individuals was off the street, watching the games on TV or in their local stadium, what are they gonna do the other 5 days of the week (assuming MNF counts too)? They’re probably gonna hoolig, thieve, gangbang and vandal. The NFL may dissuade that activity for a short period of time, but chances are the loss of the season won’t increase crime by any reasonable amount.

In fact, if nothing else, 86ing the upcoming season would give NFL superstars MORE time to spend in their community, working with youths, participating in or starting programs, and helping to keep folks out of trouble as much as they can. I’m not saying that players have any sort of obligation to do so, because I don’t feel that they do at all. But having more of a chance to get out there and lend a hand could be a great silver lining to this whole lockout cloud. And doing so certainly couldn’t logically increase the amount of crime in the given NFL markets, or the country as a whole.

Seems to me like Ray is indirectly trying to paint a negative picture of the owners here, like if they don’t change, then the community could go downhill. I’m personally not a fan of the owners or their approach, but the straw man attack is played out. Keep it about the game; dollars, player rights, player safety, profit sharing, etc. Don’t try to bring the community or fans into this, because frankly we don’t matter. We all want a speedy resolution, but we’re not a component of this argument, and treating us as such makes me feel like a pawn, not a customer. I don’t want to be used as leverage, dammit. I just wanna watch some NFL games. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some mailboxes to knock over with a baseball bat… because there’s nothing else to do.

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