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Thursday, February 4, 2010

NFL Lockout in 2011? Owners, players, must find a way to avoid it

With Super Sunday only a few days away, it is not surprising that most of the media's attention has been focused on Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. However, there is a much larger issue in the NFL that if it gains steam threatens to derail the whole league: the possibilty of an owners' lockout in 2011. The most recent debate between the NFL owner's and the players' union seems to center around the current collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire around March of next year. Not only that, but the way the current agreement is set up allows for the NFL to operate without a salary cap for the first time in years. The owners argue that the bargaining agreement must be reworked because they and the NFL as a whole are losing billions due to the current economic situation. The players union counter that the owners are using this as a ploy to demand players take an 18% salary cut. I am not sure who is right or who is wrong, but I do know one thing for certain: the possibility of a 2011 without an NFL season cannot be good for the players or the owners. While the economy has slowly picked up, things are still very tight for the average NFL fan. A lockout might turn off many fans who would decide to save the money they spent for games or spend it elsewhere. I remember the last time there was a work stoppage in the NFL, the strike season of 1987, and not yet being in middle school yet I thought it was cool to see scabs such as Don Strock play for the Cleveland Browns. Now, having gained a few years and a better understanding of how the NFL works, I feel that both an owners' lockout and/or players' strike would not be so cool. If the NFL and its owners truly have sustained the losses they are claiming, they will work as hard as they possibly can with the players to make sure that a lockout in 2011 never happens.

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