Walk Out or Lockout, Grown-Ups Act Like Children

Walk Out or Lockout, Grown-Ups Act Like Children

It's been a few weeks of whining and foot stamping, name calling and finger pointing. Arguments have descended to a level of two 5-year-olds crying over who's a poopy head and who's doo-doo face.

Whether it's the Wisconsin Senate, the Indiana House, or the NFL owners and players, we've got three groups of adults fighting and whining and complaining worse than my three kids ever did on their worst day.

Three weeks ago in Wisconsin, 14 of that state's Senate Democrats left the state for Illinois to prevent a quorum in the Senate, and block a vote that saw the state Republicans trying to strip collective bargaining rights from unions for state employees and teachers. The Wisconsin 14 fled to northern Illinois and the two sides lobbed insults over state lines every day, accusing each other of thwarting democracy and hating Wisconsin's families.

Bluster abounds in the dairy state, and the only thing this has really produced is more B.S. than Wisconsin's dairy farmers see in a year.

A few days later, our own state's House Democrats pulled the same thing, racing across state lines to Illinois, after Indiana's Senate passed a bill that reduces public school teachers' collective bargaining rights. Governor Mitch Daniels has insulted the Democrats, and the Democrats have fired back just as childishly. The Senate has begun fining the missing Democrats $250 per day (Wisconsin is only fining theirs $100 per day). Indiana's farms also have more than their faire share of B.S. to spread on the fields, thanks to both sides.

And in Washington DC, it's the billionaires versus the millionaires, as the owners threaten to lock out the NFL players if the players don't agree to an 18-game season with a less-than-equitable increase in pay. While the players are still willing to go to work, they're concerned about the increased risks of season- or even career-ending injuries, and would like to be paid a fair amount for the extra workload. The owners don't want to pay what the players are asking, and so they're threatening to close down the season.

So now, the players are complaining about the Grinchiness of the owners, and the owners are portraying the players as a bunch of money-grubbing babies. Again, B.S. is flying back and forth in the media, as the two sides are sniping at each other about how wrong the other side is, before going into closed-door meetings for another round of "I know you are, but what am I?"

Although the NFL is trying to work it out, Indiana and Wisconsin's politicians are not willing to bend or compromise. And why would they? Why would either side want to be in the same room with people who spent three weeks publicly questioning their ethics, morality, and dedication to their state?

While I have chosen my sides to support in all three arguments, that doesn't mean I condone any of the actions by any of them. The Democrats ran away, rather than face a challenge, but the Republicans aren't even willing to discuss the color of orange juice.

In the NFL, owners are threatening the livelihoods, not only of their 1,500 players, but their front office staff, and even economies of their cities, while the players are complaining their salaries are not enough and they're asking for a lot more money to entertain us in a time that many people are facing unemployment, foreclosures, and other financial hardships.

It's like a fat guy sitting at a buffet, complaining that the steak is a little underdone, while homeless people are sitting outside watching him eat.

It's hard to feel sympathy for players who are demanding an amount equal to the annual income of a family of four just for a day of practice. And it's even harder to feel sympathy for owners who will make billions on this new deal, yet want us to believe that it's the players who are the greedy ones.

I'm not alone in saying I'm sick of the childish sniveling from both sides in all three arguments. You're supposed to be mature adults. You're supposed to be people everyone looks to for guidance. Instead, everyone is acting like a bunch of babies. You insult each other publicly, hatch secret schemes to trick each other, and refuse to have any kind of normal, rational discussion with each other.

Put your pettiness and your egos aside. Quit your puerile bellyaching. Just shut up and get back to work. You claim to be doing this for the good of your state or sport, but all you're doing is wrecking it. You're supposed to be more mature than a 3-year-old, now act like it.

My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on Amazon.com, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.

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