Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton has taken to You Tube to address owners, players and fans about the NFL lockout and a dispute between the owners and players that he feels has gone on "far too long."
The former Vikings star, speaking from his Atlanta office during the 6-minute video, talks about his background and his passion for the NFL. "I've really lived the American dream," Tarkenton said, "and I could not have done that without the NFL."
Tarkenton at times in recent years has seemed angry in his comments on various issues, more than a few involving Brett Favre's decision to play for the Vikings after being a long-time member of the Packers, but this time he appears upbeat as he reflects on NFL greats such as Sid Luckman, Otto Graham, John Unitas and Bronko Nagurski and franchises such as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Players were so grateful to have the opportunity to play in this league," Tarkenton said. "We need owners, owners need players and we both need the fans. All of us have watched this adversarial thing go on and we've seen where [there is] litigation and decertifying the union and locking out the players and threatening lawsuits. And now we read every day about lawyers are involved. My appeal to all of you people out there. To you fans. Make your voices heard.
"To you owners and to you players, think of what we've got here. We've got the most successful sports franchise in the history of the world -- $9.3 billion of revenue. Players have never made so much money, conditions have never been better. Owners have never created the revenue that they've created today. We have the best owners we've ever had, we've got the best players we've ever had. We've got people that care about the game. You're not adversarial to each other. You're not each other's enemies. You're each other's partners. We need one another.
"I'm going to just ask you, owners and players, get rid of the anger, get rid of the ego, get rid of the lawyers. Take the lawyers out of the room. Jerry Jones call Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis. Drew Brees, Tom Brady. Get in a room. You're a good man Jerry Jones, these guys are good players and good people. Let's get in a room and get the lawyers out of the way. This is a big pie to split up.
"Let's figure out what would be best for the players and for the owners and for the fans. Get a deal done before it's too late. Let's don't jeopardize this season. We all want to watch football. It's a favorite thing we do. We don't want to give it up. We want to see you great players play and you owners build a league that's better than ever. ... Get together owners, players. Make it happen. You can do it."