Apparently, it's tough to find a place to work out if you're an NFL player trying to stay in shape in the midst of a lockout. Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen got in a little bit of trouble with a high school near his house in Lincolnshire, Ill. As he told the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN Chicago 1000, he was denied the use of the football field at nearby Stevenson High.
The other day I got kicked off a high school field trying to go out and do some field work, so it's not easy. You have to find your spots and find someone that will let you use their field.
[Players] already have done some research on some different places, and maybe as it gets a little closer [to training camp] if it looks like that's what we're going to have to do not being able to go over to Halas, then we'll have to continue to look at different opportunities.
I live right down the street from Stevenson. The other day I went out there, [had] done it a bunch of times, and all of a sudden they kicked me off. I tried calling everyone over there to see if I could [go back on], and no one would call me back.
According to Stevenson public information coordinator Jim Conrey, Olsen was treated like anyone who would show up to mess around on the school's field without authorization (and quite frankly, if he showed up looking anything like he did in the photo above, you could understand people thinking that a vagrant had wandered on). "I believe he showed up unannounced during the school day and tried to go out on the field while we were trying to have phys ed classes," Conrey said. "One of the phys ed teachers asked him not to go out on the field.
"If he wants to give us a call and work something out, we'll see if we can accommodate him. We understand he's in a tough situation with the lockout. We can't have the general public showing up and disrupting classes. Mr. Olsen said he was a resident of our district, and I'll have him on his word."
Olsen may be comforted by the fact that U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, the man in charge of the mediation sessions between the owners and players that began Thursday, is a Bears fan, but it would appear that there aren't enough Bears fans right in Mr. Olsen's neighborhood.
"If the lockout seems like it's going to go much longer, we'll organize something up here and get everybody back together," Olsen concluded. "We're going to let these next couple weeks play out and get a feel for how long things are going to go. If it doesn't look like there's a light at the end of the tunnel then we'll just take it upon ourselves to do it."
If the lockout does go through the summer, expect players to get together en masse to simulate minicamps at various training facilities … something that we'll be there to cover if it happens.
In the meantime, Mr. Olsen, Principal Skinner asks that you get back to the blackboard and finish writing "I will not work out on Stevenson's football field" 1,000 times.