Will There be a 2011 NFL Season?

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Professional Football has been in existence since the early 20th century, and since then our country has been in love with it. The National Football League is one of the highest grossing sports leagues in the world, and football in general is one of the sports growing immensely in popularity over the years. From Coventry, Rhode Island to Seattle, Washington, fans of the NFL are evident everywhere. There are your New England Patriot fans and your San Diego Chargers fan, but no matter what your team is, you are going to be crushed about this upcoming topic looming in the NFL. This topic, is the current 2011 NFL lockout.

There are two major parts of the NFL; there are the owners (which own the NFL teams) and the players. For the NFL to be active and have games there has to be a collective bargaining agreement in place. This collective bargaining agreement is basically a contract between the players and owners, which decides the conditions at which the players will play under and the rights of ownership that owners have. This could include features such as a max player salary, to putting new rules in place in the NFL, such as a longer NFL season. If the players and owners don’t agree on this contract by a deadline that is set (expiration of former contract), then either there will not be a NFL season next year or the NFL season will be prolonged until an agreement is made.

This leads to the current problem here in the present: there might not be a pro football season next year. There is currently one major issue between both players and owners, and that is nine billion dollars. You see, the owners want an eighteen game regular season (instead of the usual sixteen game seasons) and the players are willing to play these games if there is an extra nine billion dollars in the equation. The owners are sticking to their guns though and are sticking with what they want the league to be, while saving as much money as possible. Well, the problem for the owners is that the players are not begging at their feet like they expected and this is causing a major stalemate between the two sides. They extended the amount of time for the collective bargaining agreement to be signed by a week, but still no agreement was reached. This lead into the current lockout the NFL is in right now, and now everyone has to suffer for this, not just the “poor” and “suffering” players and owners of the NFL.

According to Demaurice Smith, Leader of the NFLPA (player’s association) this issue with the collective bargaining agreement is, “On a scale of 1 to 10, it is a 14”. His counterpart, commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell wrote a letter to fans that hold season tickets apologizing that the NFL is in a current lockout. If Mr. Goodell is doing this, then we as football fans need to be worried about the possibilities. Will there be a 16 game regular season next year? 18? Will there be half a year because of the lockout or, will there be a NFL season at all next year? Not only are the players and owners going through this struggle but the fans are also. If there is no NFL season when fall arrives, the country could be in complete bedlam.

Ever since I could remember, I have been a New England Patriots fan. I have followed them through thick and thin since they won that first super bowl in 2001. The point is, if the owners and players don’t agree with each other I will not be able to see the team I love. This means that people from other regions of the country will not see the teams they love. Fans from Colorado will not be able to watch their beloved Denver Broncos and fans from Texas won’t be able to see their Houston Texans or America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. I do not think the NFL realizes how important the fans are, and how they make what the NFL is today. The NFL needs to listen to the fans and see what we want. All we want is one thing, and that is a 2011 NFL season.

The NFL makes most of their profit on the fans that watch their games. Without its large fan base, the NFL would not be existent. The owners and the players know this, but for some odd reason they are still in this deep argument about a collective bargaining agreement. If the owners and players are not careful, they will dig themselves in a whole that is too deep to get out of. Meaning, they will lose a large chunk of their fans due to the selfishness of their actions. Fans understand that players risk their livelihood every time they step on the field, but didn’t they sign up for that? Football is what they love to do, but by delaying this bargaining agreement they are showing me and most other fans otherwise. Owners are not helping this cause either, because all they want is more money too. Wouldn’t the average American be content with making ½ a billion dollars a year? I know I would, but these owners are being too greedy and want every last penny they can get.

There are two sides to every story, and that is no different with this one. An owner vs. players, players vs. owners, and each side has valid points while some have ridiculous points. At the moment, I cannot say who I agree with. People will say players because the owners are asking too much of them, for too low for a reward, but people will also say it is the players fault for being too selfish and not caring about fans. Either way one thing is true in all of this, everyone wants football to be played. No one cares if the owners or the players win the argument; all they want to see is football starting that first week of September in 2011. NFL if you can do this all of your fans will be happy, isn’t that what you wanted all along?





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