The NFLPA released a video on YouTube this morning thanking fans for sticking with the NFL and its players during the 132 day lockout. It was a classy gesture, and goes a long way to healing some hard feelings many fans rightly have against the greed and pettiness that was on display during that period of time.
This gesture is very much in-line with what Patriots owner Robert Kraft did yesterday during the now famous press conference ending the lockout.
After dealing with the death of his wife and months of tiring negotiations, Kraft publicly apologized to fans. It was a touching gesture by someone who, quite frankly, didn't need to do it. If I were Roger Goodell, I'd have made Jerry Richardson step up to the mic and beg the public for forgiveness.
Despite the idiocy dribbling off the virtual tongues of Peter King, Paul Kuharsky, and the self-important Nate Dunlevy, owners and players very much owe the fans an apology. And despite whatever semantic 'hair-splitting' Kuharsky wants to fumble with over whether or not the NFLPA video is an apology or not, the reality is the video IS in fact a very big 'I'm sorry.'
While the lockout only cost us the Hall of Fame preseason game (which is definitely going to hurt several local businesses in Canton during this terrible economy), the spectacle of negotiations was truly disgusting to watch. At times, it looked as is small children were running this league we love, and it is very important that those in charge re-establish trust with the fans. Mike Ditka made it clear on ESPN's NFL Live last night that both the players and the owners have to make a concerted effort to make things up with the fans. Without passionate fans, this sport is dead.
Videos like this are a good first step to making things up.