Despite three days of negotiations featuring an unknown amount of progress (or possibly no progress), some still are concerned that a lockout is looming. And some in the business fear that a lockout will do serious damage to the game.
Count Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo among those who are concerned about the impact of a work stoppage.
“We’ve got a great game and I’m sorry when things get to this point — for the game,” Angelo told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “Not for me. Not for the players. Not for the owners. For the game.
“This game is special. It brings people together. It galvanizes cities. And during the tough times in this economy . . . I’m not saying sports is the elixir, but it kind of helps people just have some fun in tough times.”
Angelo, who is only a few months shy of being on the job for a decade, has a hard time envisioning a work stoppage that could wipe out one or more regular-season games.
“This game has been everything to me, personally,” Angelo said. “I love this game. I’ve done everything I’ve could to respect the game, to make it better, like you want to do with anything you’re a part of in your life.
“That’s the part that’s bothersome. It’s not about people losing jobs. It’s not about anything other than we’re in an entertainment world. It’s a business. I know it’s a big pie. How that pie is distributed, people will determine that. But I’m more concerned with our game and that it doesn’t get tainted.”
Suddenly, we really like Jerry Angelo. Hopefully, Angelo and others in the league who share his feelings will make those feelings known to the owners, many of whom haven’t devoted decades of their lives to the game and view their teams as just another asset.