Like many boys his age across the country, 8 year-old Timmy Davis is sports-crazy. Yet Davis, along with a growing number of young, sports fans, does not dream of one day scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or hitting a game-winning shot in the NBA Finals. Instead, he hopes to grow up to be a labor attorney.
"I like the games," said Davis, after being called in by his mother from playing Collective Bargaining with a group of neighborhood kids. "But the real action is off the field in the boardrooms."
Timmy's father, Michael Davis, says his son has become a big fan of attorneys and collective bargaining ever since the NFL lockout started in the spring. And that love has only grown since the NBA lockout began.
"He's 8 years-old," said Michael Davis. "To him, the NFL season was a lifetime ago. All he knows is lockouts and legal briefs and lawyers fighting. I find it all incredibly boring, but I can't blame his generation's interest in it."
Since school let out in early June, Timmy has spent his days wearing suits and having negotiating sessions at the neighborhood playground. Some days he's Roger Goodell, others Jeff Pash, and still others DeMaurice Smith. Recently he's been David Stern and Billy Hunter.
"YOUR OFFER DEPRECIATES IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF VESTING WITH A CAP ON ALL APPAREL REVENUES," Timmy was overheard yelling at a friend. "COME BACK TO ME WHEN YOU'RE SERIOUS ABOUT NEGOTIATING!"
"He doesn't understand all the terms quite yet, but it's like a kid his age struggling to dribble or catch a football," said his father. "The more he practices, the better he'll get."
Yet Timmy's mother, Claire Davis, is less supportive of her son's dream of being a sports labor attorney.
"I'm seriously starting to wonder if he's mentally or socially disabled," she said. "Like, late onset Asperger's or something. I have an appointment for him next week."