How the Lockout Affects the Fans

This is going to be short and sweet.  With the ongoing deliberation in the courts and nothing for us fans to talk about except for off field issues or hypothetical scenarios, how do we as the fans feel about all of this and what happens after the matter is resolved?  More on that and some other notes after the jump....

As it stands now, there are no OTAs or mandatory workouts.  Players can't be signed or traded.  Teams can't talk to their players.  Sadly this doesn't help the fanbase generate too much conversation other than what is going on in the players personal lives.  I would imagine most of us would want to talk about the QB competition or whether or not a key player is traded (i.e Steve Smith).  Instead, we are getting a lesson in Pro Football Courtroom Arguments 101.  I feel we need to be talking about the hypothetical scenarios if we sign a certain FA or trade someone.  Blast the front office for a bad move or applaud them for a job well done.  So far, all we have are the evaluations of the draft (which I felt was a solid B+ and could be higher if the talent develops over the next few years), lockout issues and off field conduct of the players. 

So, with that being said, how do you think the league or as with the Panther fan base should respond after its all said and done with?  Granted this is not a strike but it is a work stoppage nonetheless.  Should ticket prices be lowered?  Do you think attendance will take a hit when the season begins?  I seriously doubt the latter will happen only because the popularity of the sport is very high and there hasn't been too many people who would stop watching if the lockout continued to drag on.  A recent poll I had seen had about 19% who were willing to not watch any of the games.  So not a big number. 

In other news.....

Chad Ochocinco rides a bull for 1.5 seconds.  Is he really that bored or is he just trying to fill a void with the absence of football and no training camps? 

Twitter and the players.  Since when did freedom of speech become a crime in this country?  Look, people are entitled to their opinions and what makes this country so great is the fact we can debate and argue differences.  Rashaard Mendenhall came under fire for his tweets about Bin Laden's death awhile back and it got me wondering about the legal ramifications if he were to be fined or suspended.  I understand the league is a business and owners don't want to look bad as a result of one of their players' comments.  However, given the social media available and the many ways to stay connected, perhaps the league should ban the use of twitter or facebook during the season.  I know their are rules in place prior to a game but that rule change would save alot of headaches for owners and coaches alike.  Mendenhall made a comment that went against the national concensus but he shouldn't be disciplined for it not only because it goes against his first amendment rights but also he is locked out.  What do you think football fans?

Players holding their own mini camps.  I love this idea.  I just wish that more players were participating.  Some of the players who have been no shows and are enjoying the time off have taken alot of heat but if they aren't getting paid or have no access to properly train, can you really blame them?  I honestly don't care if a player doesn't show up at a mini camp as long as they are in football shape come Week 1.  Speaking of which...does anyone know if the Panthers have been doing something similar like the Saints or Jets?

So that is it for me.  What are your opinions or thoughts? 

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