Lockout. It’s the “L” word everyone’s talking about.
Next season for both football and basketball could be in jeopardy unfortunately. Distribution of wealth and the owners’ desire to implement an 18-game season threaten to disrupt the NFL season, which apparently runs from April to February. The NBA is seeking to reduce player costs by about 700 to 800 million dollars Contraction has been discussed, but what would the world do without the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Charlotte Bobcats, apparently extinct NBA species for the better part of a decade.
When the clock strikes midnight on March 4, the NFL’s labor agreement will have officially expired. If no new CBA is in place by then, there will be no spring B-Roll of 3rd string quarterbacks vying for the coveted job of holding a clipboard and getting free admission to NFL games during the fall. If players and owners continue to bicker, the entire offseason, training camp, and preseason could be lost. The draft will be allowed to continue, however, in lieu of a team hat and congratulatory hand shake from Roger Goodell, the draftee will get up, be handed a piece of paper that says “IOU one NFL contract.”
Using words like “collusion” and “supplemental revenue sharing” would make this missive sound like one of those local city hall meetings on public access that are so popular among the sleepless and inebriated. Let’s just say that the owners want the players to shrink their percentage of the revenue. It sounds like a pretty reasonable demand doesn’t it? “We want you guys to play two more meaningful games, absorb an extra 120 minutes worth of collisions, and take less money to do so. Sound good?”
Collective bargaining. It sounds so innocuous. Athletes today are still trading for fur, just now using a lot of cash to do so.
The NBA has seen revenues and salaries skyrocket The NBA owners are pushing for a salary cap to protect them from being Koncak-ed and Commissioner David Stern (whose Q-Rating needs to be viewed with a very high-powered microscope at the moment) has said some teams may need to be contracted to make ends meet. Where will all those empty seats at Sacramento Kings’ games go? Stern and the NBA owners say they have lost $400 million, which, if true, would make me more profitable than the league (I don’t believe it either).
The players union and the NFL have enjoyed 23 years of marital bliss and the NBA, 12. Of course, like every marriage, there is the usual name calling, monetary gripes, and chair throwing. A looming storm cloud threatens to wipe out the seasons of two of the biggest sports seasons in the US, potentially forcing people to search for some other amusement outside the 46 inches in their living room. Oh my.
The NFL and NBA are in danger of being taken away from us as fans all because these athletes and owners can’t get on the same page as to how to decide over millions of dollars. Oh, the pity. The hardcore sports nut like me will always watch and always go to games but what about casual fans? That’s where the lockouts would take the biggest hit. Where does it end? A good thing usually isn’t appreciated until its gone and if nothing gets done, that will be exactly what happens.