WASHINGTON -- With a potential NFL lockout looming, owners and players are taking a well-worn playbook page from environmental advocates, firearms enthusiasts and rich people who enjoy U.S.S. Nimitz-sized tax loopholes.
In other words, they're turning to the federal government to plead their respective cases.
"The NFL, though a political action committee they've set up, has spent over $1 million dollars in campaign contributions," said Brian Frederick, executive director of the Sports Fans Coalition, a Washington-based fan advocacy group. "That's serious money. The NFLPA [National Football League Players Association] reportedly sent some of their players to [Capitol] Hill to talk to [Congressional] members.
"Both sides are anticipating that their dispute will not be resolved in the near future and that the situation will drag on to the point where Congress has to get involved."
Frederick's organization hopes to involve a third party: sports fans. Founded in 2009, the Sports Fans Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group attempting to give fans an inside-the-Beltway voice on issues ranging from affordable ticket prices to television sports blackouts to the possible lockout.
As such, the Sports Fans Coalition is launching a "Save Next Season" campaign, centered around a grass-roots petition demanding that NFL owners and players guarantee a full season this fall.
Page 2 caught up with Frederick to learn more:
What is the purpose of the "Save Next Season" campaign?
It's the primary way sports fans can press owners and players to quit fighting their labor dispute in public and resolve their differences immediately. The owners have money. The players have star power. The fans have numbers. If we can organize all the fans into one voice, we should have a loud voice.