Friday, September 4, 2009
The NFL is Going Do It's NHL Impression...
And in 2010, there is not going to be a salary cap. Both players and owners know it. Some fans are in denial because they don't want it to be so or they think it too stupid of both owners and players to fail to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. But fans in the latter category fail to factor in human nature.
Without any substantive negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement, Goodell said Thursday team owners are preparing for an uncapped 2010 season, the final year of the current deal that the owners opted out of last year. And though he says the owners are not heading for a lockout, the owners have yet to put an offer on the table for the union to start with. The two sides cannot even agree as to what percentage of actual revenues the players are getting since 2006.
...message being sent to players by the union: The money spigot could soon be turned off.
...there are ominous predictions of a lengthy work stoppage that could wipe out the 2011 season...
Consider that the league minimum salary (about $295,000 in 2008) makes each NFL player a member or the top 5% of annual household earnings. Consider, too, that most owners make more each year than the highest paid players in the league. There will not be much sympathy for either side when they have their public feud and piss off fans by shortening or entirely missing the 2011 season.
But both sides know something about the fans and their anger: once the NFL comes back, so will its fans. Fan anger rarely lasts in big numbers. There may still be a few baseball fans who have not forgiven MLB for missing a season in the mid-90's, but there are not enough to matter financially to the league. So ignore all the articles and comments you will read over the next few years about how both sides are killing the goose that lays the golden egg and how fans will punish the league by staying away. That will all be blustery BS.
Both players and owners are going to have face the fact that people aren't going to be spending as much on NFL games and merchandise for a while. With 12 teams facing potential blackouts, there is no shortage of problems on the horizon for the NFL. Enjoy this season for now, don't expect another "regular" season before 2012.