College football season is in full swing. The NFL season has just hit the halfway point. One of the craziest, most discussed, and best World Series games of all time (game 6 last week) just occurred. The NHL season is just underway, College basketball is starting to have exhibition matches and just finished up with a number of “midnight mayhem” types of scrimmages for the fans to help kick off the season.

Then there is the current NBA lockout.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it……

The National Basketball Association has fallen from grace. Long gone are the days of Bird, Magic, the Doctor, and then the saving grace of Michael Jordan.

Oh yes, there has been some blips on the radar. There is the always interesting Mark Cuban of the Mavericks. There is Kobe gate where the star player in the league is having inappropriate relations with women on the road, only to find himself at a press conference with his wife talking about mistakes and family, while she is sporting a diamond on her hand bigger than the ring pop sucker you kids just scooped up last night while trick-or-treating.

Shaq has retired. The league will definitely feel the impact of this. He has been a breath of fresh air and enjoyment for many years.

LeBron has become the love or hate guy in the NBA. People love or hate the villain.

It is owners versus players on this one. But the opinion of many I talk to is…..”Who Cares”

The popularity of the NBA has been waning for the casual fan over the last decade. The league has been run with by the J Edgar Hoover of league commissioners, David Stern. The owners are proposing a 50-50 split of profits. The players are hanging their hat on getting the balance in their favor 52-48.. Neither side is budging. What will happen next?

Football has taken over as the star of all sports. College is and always will be popular and the pro game has been fueled primarily by the rise and success of Fantasy Football leagues around the nation. This brings in more casual fans than ever who will watch games to see how their players do. It is 17 weeks, it is easy it is basically one game a week.

This does not work as well in other sports such as baseball and basketball. Season is way too long. The Playoffs drag on forever. We are in a generation of millennials, I generations members and (gulp) gen – xers. They want immediate satisfaction.

Football provides this immediate sports fix. It is on television everywhere, it is easier to follow. There are even numerous shows produced by Fox, The Big Ten Network, and the omnipresent monopoly known as ESPN that cover the games, the highlights, the polls, the experts discussing upcoming games, the fantasy football side of games and more. These are all on the MAJOR networks and not for just the ultra-diehard fans to have to subscribe to.

The NBA has no such following on this scale. It has been playing 2nd and now at least 3rd fiddle to the up and coming National Hockey League.

The lockout is a bad thing for fans, the workers who have their livelihood depend on these teams, and the communities that these teams represent. If the players, owners and commissioner do not get together soon to save some part of this season, this could be a blow that will take decades to recover from.

TIMMMMMMMBERRRRRRRR!

Pretty sure no one heard it.

Until next time, Stay Classy Elberton Georgia.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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