NFL labor is a topic no one wants to hear about. On one hand, it’s understood that the subject is historically important to the future of the game. On the other, it’s clear everyone just wants to be woken up when there is labor peace, when we’re ready to get back to football. Get on with free agency…Get on with training camp…Get on with football.
It’s been a long spring and summer. The alarm clock finally went off for the first time Thursday evening, but the snooze button was pushed almost immediately. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite time to wake up.
So here we are, waiting again on what was supposed to be the final weekend of 2011 without Chiefs football. At least that’s what we had hoped. Who knows, maybe it still will be?
Following labor reports in real-time is frustrating and, at times, misleading. Thursday night’s deal was pushed to Friday, Friday’s to the weekend and the weekend’s to Monday… or was it? So many different people are reporting conflicting information it’s difficult to follow.
At the end of the day, nothing is official until its official (Missouri is the show-me state after all).
What we do know, or at least we’ve been led to believe, is that the two sides are close. That’s enough for now to feel the build of the 2011 season.
The important thing is that the Chiefs be ready to dive into the new league year whenever that time comes.
Whose front office is most prepared? Who is able to respond to the new lay of land the fastest? Winners and losers will be made in the first 48 hours. There’s no procrastinating.
While we debate whether or not (insert free agent name here) is a good fit in Kansas City, that decision has already been made inside the Chiefs front office. Months of preparation has gone into player evaluation, roster enhancement and cap structure.
Truth be told, each team has had more time than they need to prepare for the transactions that will shape the coming season.
Veterans will be released within hours of the light turning green. Undrafted players will ink contracts by the dozens. 90-men training camp rosters will fill faster than anyone ever imagined.
All of the grunt work has been done. It’s been done for months. Strategies are formulated in each front office – who to target, how much to offer and order of priority.
Teams will differentiate themselves not in their ability to prepare, but in their ability to acclimate.
With the order of business changing daily, the real question becomes one of adaptation. Every team is prepared, but who can adapt? Which front office can function most efficiently in unfamiliar territory?
For fans, the 2011 season has come down to one thing - FAITH.
Not just faith that players and owners will soon strike a deal, but faith that your team is more than just prepared.
Faith that your players were doing the right things while on hiatus…Faith that they’ll report to training camp in top condition…Faith that locker room leadership will aid coaches in making up for lost time quicker than the competition…Faith that, once this lockout lifts, your front office is able to keep a steady hand when the surroundings are chaotic.
I’m not going to pretend to know the answers to labor peace. But I know I’m comfortable about the Chiefs 2011 season. The things I’ve seen at Arrowhead over the last year have built that faith.