To fans, a strike and a lockout result in basically the same thing -- no football. But when you're looking at the details of the work stoppage, a strike and a lockout are two very different things. A strike is caused by the players refusing to work and a lockout is the owners not allowing the players to work.
It's a big difference and a distinction that I don't think is too hard to understand. But Kansas City Chiefs S Jon McGraw said after last week's player-only practice that some fans still come to him and ask:
'How much longer is the strike going to last?'
For guys like McGraw who spend a lot of time trying to educate their teammates and fans on the labor issues in the NFL, that has to be a frustrating comment. McGraw also had an interesting take when it came to the perception fans are given by the media.
"They have a huge office in New York," McGraw says of the league. "Their whole job is to spin out their side of the story and every team has their marketing guys that are getting the story out. We have, I think one guy, [NFLPA spokesman] George [Atallah], who is trying to compete against that. Just from a sheer numbers [standpoint], we can't compete with that."
This is something I've sort of harped on before. The public relations aspect of all of this seems to have derailed momentum on a possible deal at several points over the last few months. I've advocated blaming both sides equally for this and I think that's the right way to do it. Don't let either side off the hook.
McGraw did say though that the most oft asked question is simply when this thing will be over with and that not all fans are choosing sides.
That said, if they can come to an agreement in the next couple of weeks and save what's left of the offseason, I'd be willing to forgive either side and get back to a normal football offseason.