Harrison Leipold – NFL Lockout Blog

Harrison+Leipold+-+NFL+Lockout+Blog

There is no professional sport more popular in America than the National Football League.  From merchandise sales to TV ratings there is no other sport that can even rival the immense success of the NFL these days.  In the past year, the league has made over $3.2 billion in merchandise sales worldwide and Super Bowl XLV between the Steelers and Packers last month was the most watched event ever with over 111 million people tuning in.  In fact, out of the 45 most-watched programs in U.S. television history 21 of them are Super Bowls.  Clearly the NFL is a very large part of weekends for many Americans in the fall and winter, so what would happen if it were all to be taken away?  Unfortunately, we may all be about to find out.

At midnight on Thursday March 3, the current collective bargaining agreement between NFL owners and players expired.  Though there will still be a draft in April, it is not likely that any other league activity will take place beyond that point until a new agreement is reached.  What that basically means is that we are looking at an NFL strike.  The players and owners are currently very far apart on the four major issues that need to be resolved in order to reach a new agreement.  The first issue is how exactly to split the revenue of the league among the two parties.  The owners would like more money up front to cover certain costs such as stadium construction and maintenance while the players seem unwilling to give anything up.  Along the same lines the owners would like to lower the amount of guaranteed money rookies get before they have even played a down in an NFL game.  Once again, the players association seems unwilling to even compromise with this issue.  Third, is the issue of extending the current 16 game regular season schedule to 18 games which the owners would like to see to create more revenue.  The players see this proposal as a slap in the face since so many of them already get hurt and injured enough during the 16 game season.  Lastly, the players association would like to see retired players get more money to cope with problems and life-long injuries caused by a grueling NFL career and once again, the owners disagree with this proposal.

Hopefully the two sides will at least start to take some positive steps towards reaching a new agreement.  If the NFL does go on strike they are projected to lose about $400 million every week, but yet the biggest losers may still be the fans.