An NFL Lockout…Could You Survive?

Erin Ennis

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First and foremost: the Saints won the Super Bowl! Celebrations abound! My hatred of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts is for another article entirely…but let me tell you, I sure was happy to see an NFC team win Super Bowl XLIV! Now if only Super Bowl XLV could be with my team in it…but I’m getting ahead of myself…

Erin Ennis, Assistant Editor

Or am I? For those of you who only pay attention to football this one Sunday of the year, or only during the playoffs, you might have missed the most important football moment that’s still to come. That is right…the Saints’ AMAZING win is not the most important of the year. That nod goes to Roger Goodell and the future of the NFL.

According to Player’s Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, “on a scale of 1 to 10, the chance of an NFL lockout in 2011 is approximately a 14.” While Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL doesn’t necessarily agree, that screams problem for most of us real fans.

No football!? I’ll be honest…that will absolutely ruin every Sunday and Monday for me from August to January. My Sundays are pretty simplistic at the moment: I wake up, work on The Charger Bulletin, catch up on the injury report, and then settle down into my couch to watch whatever team happens to be on. If it isn’t mine, I pick the next most important game. Come December and January, when it is WAY too cold to go outside, I spend my weekends looking up fantasy games and discussing with my friends the chances of the playoffs. When I have time I make my way down to Lincoln Financial Field for a game or two. I couldn’t imagine the beginning of the fall season without pigskin, blitzing, and the intensity that comes with NFC football.

The reason behind the potential lockout is pretty simple: behind all the rough and tumble of the game, the NFL is a business. The current CBA agreement between the most important business heads is up in 2010, and players, coaches, and owners will have to discuss new ideas for salary caps and money spending. With an upcoming season of no salary caps (or salary floors, for that matter), teams will start to be able to pull apart in their free agent and drafting spending money. In the past, huge franchises like the Dallas Cowboys have been kept on a relatively stable market with small franchises like the Buffalo Bills. Their massively different abilities on the field are in response to player abilities and coaching style, not the money they are paid. But now, with changing salaries and a looming lockout, teams have the potential to start to separate, and low budget teams will be forced to have another year without a Super Bowl.

Now, I’m not saying that is a bad idea. Hello? I love football, and NOT baseball, for a reason. I like seeing my team win because they deserve it, not because they have lots and lots of cash. But a year without football isn’t worth the salary dispute. Roger Goodell, PLEASE get your head out of your butt and start paying attention! I know concussions and injuries are really important, but that issue is going to exist whether you fix the monetary issues or not. Fix the REAL problems and then work on the smaller ones. Oh yeah…and players. Obviously you want a lot of money…who wouldn’t? But when each team has approximately 123 million dollars to spend, I think a salary cut wouldn’t be so bad…particularly if it meant you could continue to play the game you love.

Finally, just for a last final “football” jab at the end of the season when it comes to this money issue…we might not be in this problem if teams stopped building ridiculous stadiums! Dallas’ stadium aside, the Giants have been unable to sell tickets for their new stadium in New Jersey. With thousands of seats currently without owners and no wait-listed individuals looking for them, revenues are practically nonexistent. Teams need to learn how to spend their money wisely so these money issues stop becoming such a problem.

Again…congrats to the New Orleans Saints! I really TRULY enjoyed watching Peyton Manning lose a Super Bowl. But, more than anything, I REALLY hope I get to continue watching football each season.

Come to some sort of agreement so Super Bowl XLV, and every one after, keep being played on time!

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An NFL Lockout…Could You Survive?