Vick talking to reporters in Marlton, NJ
At one point during this drug-out, ridiculous NFL lockout do we as fans eventually give up and start looking for other outlets to get our sports fix. We LOVE football, I think every man alive loves football. What’s not to love?!? You have giant, beastly men smashing into each other at 100 miles per hour to get this pigskin of a ball across a line. May the last men standing win! Football gets the blood pumping, the adrenaline racing, it gets you up off your feet and screaming at the TV. It turns ordinary men into fanatical, crazy creatures. From the untrained eye it may look as if we’ve gone crazy, but hey it’s all for the love of the game.
That love on my end seems to be steadily fading. My interest has become let’s say nonexistent. As the NFL Lockout enters its 74th day we seem to be getting closer and closer to no football come the fall. To be completely honest who is even paying attention to this thing anymore. I am completely fed up.
With Phillies baseball in full swing there really seems no reason to even bother seeing what is going on in the world of professional football. These days I’d rather turn to the rest of the world’s football and watch the Philadelphia Union lighting it up on the pitch. The U currently have the most points in the Eastern Conference and are 4-0-2 at home at PPL Park.
It can be easy to forget about football in the summertime anyway with vacations, cookouts, work, baseball, kids at home, etc but this summer it has become even easier. Colts owner Jim Irsay, who hosted an owners meeting in Indianapolis last week, warned that if the NFL does not resolve its labor issues by July 4th it will greatly jeopardize the likelihood of having a normal football season.
With no opportunity to have organized team workouts, mini-camps, or meetings the players have had to take it amongst themselves to work out as a “team.” Last week some Eagle players joined Michael Vick in Marlton, New Jersey for some informal workouts. As the labor disputes rage on and OTA’s continue be missed players have had to do something to stay on top of their come and remain somewhat consistent as a unit. It is especially important for an offense that thrives off of cohesiveness.
QB Kevin Kolb getting in on some of the informal work outs.
A lot of Eagle players have been working out with the same training staff in Cherry Hill, New Jersey as well. It is opportunities like these that allow the players to come together build some camaraderie for whatever is to come in 2011. The Birds that made it out to Marlton, NJ last week were Brent Celek, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Kafka, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Jon Dorenbos, and Juqua Parker. Even some non-Eagles were invited to get in on the work out.
Vick has been the leader and organizer of these workouts along with Brent Celek. It is a great attribute to see how Vick has taken ownership despite all the chaos.
"The one thing that we do know is that we're professional athletes and we can't sit around and not do anything, Vick said.”The speed of this game, the toughness that you have to have and bring in to each and every week has to start from somewhere."
With no finish line in sight for the lockout the players continue to take things upon themselves. It may not be as organized, or as regimented as what takes place as the Nova Care Complex but at least the players are doing something.
The fans might not be as patient. The NFL’s timing could not have been worse when the sport is at an all-time high. Hockey and baseball have seen the effects of what lockouts can do and how hard it can be to build that fan base back. It is not an easy task. As the owners and players battle it out for more money don’t forget who ultimately signs the paychecks.