In the wake of the Ravens announcement regarding the cancellation of training camp at McDaniel College, I have been carrying out an impassioned plea for the business community in the Westminster surroundings.
I have no direct stake in the race; no business interests or immediate family residing in the Carroll County area.
But, I do have a heart and sense of fellowship …..
At the core of this frustrating situation, from my perspective, is the reality of witnessing the very first casuaties of the National Football League’s battle among its division of owners and players.
I suppose that’s a given of “war” huh? The innocent always seem to get caught up in the crossfire – or they pay for simply being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
I could probably spew a couple dozen analogies and clever quotes aimed at sensationalizing the plight of the Westminster business community as we’re now a couple days removed from the training camp cancellation.
But, I’ll just be blunt …..
The NFL owes Westminster.
Will Roger Goodell, along with 32 ownership groups and thousands of players see it at that way? Of course, NOT. After all, the self-serving audacity and nearsightedness of both factions have caused such a resulting problem.
Amid reports of renewed optimism and the possible immediacy of a resolution to the lockout, it appears owners and players might be championing a “deal struck” within the next week or so …..
They’ll be certain to iron out differences regarding shared revenue, free agency, length of seasons and wage caps for rookies. But, will either side pull their head from the sand (or somewhere darker) to notice the carnage and financial loss suffered by a specific community supporting the NFL product?
Once again, no.
They’re too busy looking out for themselves.
As I said on Wednesday, this is not specifically the fault of the Baltimore Ravens organization. From the outside peripheree, we have monitored Steve Bisciotti living up to his word on how his organization would handle the crisis.
There has been no mudslinging, nor hardline public stances by ANYONE in Owings Mills. And, most Ravens players have been rather muzzled on issues, as well.
The Ravens have delivered championship-caliber football to Baltimore and its loyal surrounding of purple lovin’ communities. And, more importantly, the Ravens organization has been top notch stewards of good public relations.
The problems and associated fallout from Carroll County’s economic loss is at the hands of a bigger behemoth than the Ravens. That’s just the direct truth.
Make no mistake about it, the NFL owes Westminster’s business community some gesture or commitment of amending the upcoming loss of business.
The very businesses on and around that Route 140 corridor are symbolic and very authentic victims of the NFL’s stubborn manipulations.
As they come to an agreement, will either side step up and say, “before we nail this down, what are we going to do in helping the communities directly affected by this lockout?”
Yeah, right …. you’ll have a better chance seeing Joe Flacco, Lamar Woodley and Dhani Jones vacationing together at Disney World.
I don’t have the answers on how to help Westminster. But, I do know the NFL has an obligation to do it. Then again, they’ve probably missed living up to a number of such obligations over the last few months.
Once again, its not the direct fault, nor the direct responsibility of the Ravens to aid Caroll County’s businesses. But, saying “we’ll see ya in 2012” is not a remedy, either.
I know fans haven’t reacted much, at all. That’s typical fandom, though. Wait ’til the end of July rolls around and thousands settle for a day or two of reassembled training camp observations at M&T Bank Stadium.
Kids will get over it. Adults will get over it. But, will all the businesses that depend on a stream of revenue flowing into the Westminster business community survive it? Maybe …. maybe not.
My hearty congratulations to every member of the National Football League, in anticipation of your upcoming labor deal. It’s certainly about time. Meanwhile, it’s a shame you had to sacrifice some “small guys” in the process.
But, that’s business in America, huh?