Monday, June 27, 2011

NFL lockout and the long boring Sunday

     As we get deeper into summer, I get more concerned with the NFL lockout situation. I haven't paid a great deal of attention to it because I figured the owners and players would come to their senses. Maybe its me but to argue of single.percentage points and who gets what portion of billions of dollars is absurd.

     If you missed the whole crux of the lockout, allow me to give you the highlights. One is rookie salaries and contracts. The owners want some type of cap. First round pick Sam Crawford has a contract that guarantees him $50 million weather he plays or not. I wouldn't mind that at my job. I should look into hiring his agent when I go for my annual raise. Is the owners to blame for these contracts? Before you answer I would like to refer back to the J. Russell contract for the Oakland Raiders. Or should I say former player for the Raiders. Both sides are guilty. Greed and stupidity play a hand in this area. Cap the money and terms them be done with it.

     Another sore spot is the revenue split. The owners want 51/49 while the player want 50/50. How can a single.percentage point be such a sticky issue? Beats me on this one. Some quick math, a 50/50 splits on 9 billion is 4.5 billion each. At the 51/49 split, the owners would get 90 million additional. Do the owners really need that revenue? Not really. Last time I checked almost every NFL owner is already a billionaire. In my opinion, the players need this more than the owners. With the average career lasting maybe five years, any revenue that can help after the players career is crucial. Health casts aren't cheap when you carry most of the expenses out of pocket.

     Now those are the pressing issues in the league, but what about us? The fans who sit in the stands, pay the out of this world ticket prices, gobbled down over priced concessions, and faithfully buy the merchandise. What happens to us? What happens to all the stadium workers if there is no games? The impact on the country as a whole would be astronomical. Go ahead and laugh but think about it. Bars wouldn't need as much help during game day cutting workers hours. Sports stores wouldn't carry as much inventory, cutting retail workers hours. The big hit in my view will be the fantasy leagues.

     For those of you that haven't played in a fantasy football league, I'm sorry you haven't had the joy of doing so. For others like myself, the fall brings the excitement of a new season and the hopes of winning it all. Of course the leagues are strictly for entertainment purposes only. Fantasy football is a revenue generator on so many levels. You have the websites that charge for managing the leagues. Magazines that give you the rundown on the best players to draft. Advertisers that spend millions to put their ads on the fantasy websites. Trust me, if football doesn't go off this year, there are going to be a tremendous amount of unhappy folks.

     When it comes to money, there is never a simple solution. If the players and owners step back and realize the impact to their sport a lockout will have, I'm sure a deal would have been done by now. I remember when baseball had their lockout and how it took so long for it to come back. The damage will be greater than either side can foresee. So NFL, is the items on the table worth destroying everything you built this league to be?

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