Dear NFL and NFLPA...

Empty seats, a rarity for the NFL and the Players (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

I know both of you are busy trying to convince the world that you are right, but I need to get something off my chest.

I'm here to tell you, that we as fans don't care who's right. Save the apologies, save the rhetoric. The only thing myself, and I assume the legions of fellow football fans care about, is football. That is why I hope that someone out there will read this. 

First of all, I'm going to be honest. This entire ordeal pisses me off. The fact that grown ass men can't come to a civil agreement, with MONTHS of time to do so, is laughable. These so-called leaders, didn't even get negotiating until the clock was damn near at midnight.

How long have we known this was coming? At least a year? Yet, here we are, wondering if they need another extension. Must be nice to have that kind of leeway in your job. You know what my boss would do if I sat on my ass for a year and did nothing, yet then scrambled for an extension? He would can my sorry ass. Maybe that is what this situation needs.

You know the real sickening part of this all? The NFL and the NFLPA is showing us once and for all that they don't care us the fans.

You take us for granted.

Every single thing you give us, we lap it up and ask for more. The NFL Combine drew 6.6 million viewers this year. Just to watch prospective players run around in their skimps. You televise it, we were there.

If it is -5 degrees out with a foot of snow, we mush through it to watch a football team that has sucked for 10 out of the past 11 years. We were there, paying full price for our tickets and 8 bucks for a full beer (Bud Light right? After all, they give you 1 billion dollars, so I want to make sure we get a plug in for you!)

The Browns have gone through Quarterbacks like Charlie Sheen through 7 gram rocks, yet I am damn sure I'm not the only one who has a Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson and now Colt McCoy jersey/shirts. Why? Because it's the NFL and we have to have them.

Time and time again, we fans support you, the NFL and its players. Does it matter that the economy sucks? Nope. Costs me just under 70.00 to fill my gas tank, but I'll be damned if that money is coming out of my Sunday Ticket fund. Nope, I will just have to eat Ramen noodles for a week. You would shit you pants if you saw the things I could do with Ramen noodles after all these years.

I'm guessing that you guys expect the fans to understand. After all, why is Drew Brees sending out apology tweets already? And why not, the fans have always been there. You take us for granted. We are the fat girl at the end of the night. Good old reliable fans. 

I am your target audience. The 18-35 Male. I am the one who you aim your Bud Light ads at. The one you want to shell out $85 dollars for a seat to a horseshit preaseason game in which the main goal of both teams is to avoid injuries. That's me. Guess what, you're really pissing me off.

I'm not the only one either. Go ahead and laugh, call my bluff. In the past 5 years I have cut Major League Baseball from my life. Probably went from spending in the neighborhood of $1,500 a season on tickets, hats, jerseys, etc. to less than $50. Haven't lost an ounce of sleep. In fact, I have found other hobbies to fill my time. I have my summers back.

I promise you this, if the NFL misses time, I won't buy anything NFL related for one full year. I urge other fans to do the same. Speak up with the voice that is the loudest, your wallet. Whatever you want, it will be there in a year. Heck, you may even discover that the Tim Couch jersey was a poor investment. Hit the NFL and the Players where it hurts. 

Don't think it can happen to you, the mighty NFL? Well it can, and the quickest way to do it is to piss off your fans. Maybe you owners and players need to be reminded that there is a customer standing at the counter while you two cat fight over my money in the back. 

This is your chance to show us, the customer, your loyal fans, that we matter. That for once, we have a voice in this. Get a deal done. You're not going to get everything you want, no one ever does. It's called life. 45 years ago, you were showing the Super Bowl on tape delay, now it is a national holiday. It's not because of you, it's because of us. Remember that.

Thank you for your time,

Matt Wood

Lifelong Browns fan

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