Focus is on the wrong place in NFL by Jason King

As the NFL Lockout rages on, fans are getting both anxious and annoyed for this thing to end

Let’s Do a Quick Recap…

The NFL lockout is now over 100 days old.  The players have filed their antitrust lawsuit, Brady v. NFL, in a federal courtroom in Minneapolis,Minnesota.  The players also have filed a temporary injunction to stop the lockout that was granted by Judge Susan Nelson.  The Judge also ordered mediation to begin, supervised by a judge.  The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals inSt. Louis,Missouri granted league owners a temporary stay on the lockout until they rule on the matter.  The three judge panel ruled 2-1, and we won’t know if this lockout is legal or not until early July.

Is your head hurting yet?….That’s just the shortened version.  The NFL Lockout has been a back-and-forth chess match between the owners, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the players, led by NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith.  Some positive signs have come forth in the last two weeks like secret meetings, and owners told to be prepared to stay an extra day at the owner’s meeting inChicagotomorrow.  The signs maybe positive, but the bottom line remains the same.  There is no Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, and the players are still being locked out by the owners. 

There is an estimated $9 billion in revenues to be divided.  That seems to be the biggest issue.  The owners want more money than the $1 billion they already get off the top.  The players think that the way revenues are being split now is sufficient.  The biggest problem seems to lie with the small market owners, whose teams don’t generate revenue like the big market teams.  This is a problem, but is it worth losing a season over?  Is it worth losing half a season over — I know there are other important issues at hand, but many people believe, as I do.  That $$$ is the biggest obstacle to getting a deal done.  In other words if they figure out how to split the money, everything else will fall into place with some compromise, right?

Most football fans hope not, therefore, the onus is on the owners to back off there over the top demands and make a deal.  Let’s face it, NFL owners aren’t losing money like their counterparts in the NBA (where an estimated 22 of 30 teams are losing money).  They may not be making as much money as they would like, but after the current TV deals run out after the 2013 season, the owner will be fine.  As popular as the NFL is, their broadcast partners (CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN) will hand Roger Goodell a blank check and tell him to name the league’s price.  The league’s ratings are soaring, advertising dollars continue to pile up, and ticket sales keep rising even though there’s a lockout. 

It has been estimated by Peter King, in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com, that if the preseason is missed, the league will lose around $700 million.  Owners get off your G5 planes, and make a sensible deal.  You have unlimited potential with a league which continues to thrive in a bad economy.  Just wait until the economy picks and you sign that multi-billion dollar TV deal after the 2013 season. 

Eagles fans inPhiladelphia want to be talking about signing soon-to-be former Raiders cornerback and big ticket free agent Nnamdi Asomugha.  We don’t want to worry about a panel of  judges’ ruling 889 miles away.

 

 Jason King  is a former reporter for 1520 WCHE  in West Chester, PA.  Jason can be reached at jdk2032@yahoo.com

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