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Collinsworth thinks there will be no football until November

AlandCrisGetty Getty Images

NBC’s Cris Collinsworth dropped a bombshell last week on his Twitter page and at his website, FootballPros.com, predicting that the NFL’s regular season won’t begin until November.

The thinking is that the Eighth Circuit will conclude that the lockout should remain in place, that negotiations will get serious after Week One is missed (and the NFL and its players incur the wrath of the fans and the media by not playing on the 10th anniversary of 9/11), a deal is reached within a month, camps open in early October, a single-game preseason is played, and the real thing starts in November.

Collinsworth elaborated on his views in a weekend discussion with Peter King of SI.com, including a general observation about the mess that currently exists.

“Is this really what we want — judges determining so much about the future of the National Football League?” Collinsworth said.  “We’ve got the greatest game in the world here in a time of incredible wealth, and we’re in a position where that very possibly can be changed forever here very soon.   And I’m just asking:  Why?

The easy answer to the “why?” question is that both sides have opted for leverage over compromise.  But that’s really where Collinsworth’s “why?” becomes even more relevant.

Why are the players and the owners so intent on getting the best possible deal that they are pushing the sport to the brink of long-term damage?

“God, I just wish I could get through to somebody,” Collinsworth added.  “You know how when you’re talking to your kids, and you know positively what the right thing to do is, and you also know they’re going to do something else, and there’s nothing you can do about it?  That’s how I feel now.  And, God, is it painful to watch.

“The game’s so good.  The players are making money.  The owners are making money.  The commissioner’s got some good safety initiatives going.  The networks are thrilled.  The fans are thrilled.  The game’s never been better.  It’s time to quit sugarcoating this thing and really start thinking about what the NFL really might look like at the end of the process.”

He’s referring to the possibility that the players will eventually win the antitrust lawsuit (regardless of whether the lifting of the lockout while the case proceeds is upheld on appeal), that the players won’t make significant concessions from the ensuing position of ultimate leverage, and that the league will eventually say, “Screw it.  Let’s have no rules.  Let’s be baseball.”

Hell, maybe that’s what the hard-line owners secretly want.  Maybe Jerry Jones wants to blow up the current system so that he can keep all the money that America’s Team makes and spend as much of it as he wants on the players he wants, in search of the string of Lombardi Trophies that he covets.  And maybe Mike Brown is content for the Bengals to be 4-12 each year as long as he can pay the players as little as he wants while still making a tidy profit.

It only takes nine owners to block any and all proposals for a new deal, and if only nine owners ultimately want an NFL in which they can run their businesses as they see fit, the other 23 owners and everyone else who cares about the game will have to deal with it.

Perhaps the only way to knock this possible plan off course is for folks with the influence of Collinsworth to openly ask “why?” and for the rest of us to adopt a position other than “wake us up when regular-season games are missed.”

By then, it could be too late for anyone to make a difference.

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84 Responses to “Collinsworth thinks there will be no football until November”
  1. sj39 says: May 16, 2011 9:18 AM

    Never have like ol’ skinny head much but I agree with him 100% on this one.

  2. ocgunslinger says: May 16, 2011 9:19 AM

    Why? Two words. Greed & Stupid !

  3. albanyhawker says: May 16, 2011 9:19 AM

    Blogs like this one are enabling the union and management by feeding fan’s NFL appetite, even if it is with the thinnest of actual football content.

    If you folks in the media REALLY want to make a difference, you should combine and schedule an NFL blackout date, where nobody reports on ANYTHING to do with the NFL, its players, owners or the labor issue.

    Maybe if players and owners witness a full day without football, they’ll get the message.

  4. anthonyfromstatenisland says: May 16, 2011 9:19 AM

    If the players prevail, being in the same division with Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, and the largest market in the country, the Eagles will take out a permanent lease on the NFC East cellar, unless San Antonio gets an expansion team and it is slotted into the NFC East to give the Cowboys a geographical rival – something they of course don’t have now.

  5. rad312 says: May 16, 2011 9:22 AM

    Ya think that Collinsworth has the cell number of De Smith.?.?.?

  6. footballfan says: May 16, 2011 9:23 AM

    I am an avid hockey fan along with being an avid football fan. I can only hope that if this lockout continues and the season is lost that football can recover like the NHL has so far. To be honest I don’t see it happening. I really feel since the money in the NHL has never been anywhere close the the money in the NFL they might have not been quite as greedy. I really think a few players and a few owners are banking on making all the money for themselves and the sport will get ruined for several years.

    I never thought I would see the day I would agree with Collinsworth….

  7. nationalmediacansuckit says: May 16, 2011 9:25 AM

    Dear NFL,

    F*$# YOU.

    Sincerely,
    The Fans

  8. seabreezes51 says: May 16, 2011 9:26 AM

    Yep, my yard is gonna look reaaaaaly good this fall.
    And after November, I’ll still be pissed enough to find somethin’ else to do.

  9. zinn22 says: May 16, 2011 9:27 AM

    You are so right this whole process here is being controlled by the fringe elements. By 9 super rich crazy men who have put their pride, greed, ego and personal interests ahead of the welfare and future of the game.

    It only takes 9 greedy nutballs to make sure there is not football until everyone bows to their wishes. This is not just a war against the players these 9 are fighting but a war against the small market teams, a war against their lack of success as franchises and a war against whatever might piss them off each day. They want the players, the small market teams to pay for their anger, frustration and greed.

    It is just a very bad system where the majority of franchises and future of the game is controlled by a small fringe of elitist nutballs like Jones, Brown and Richardson. If it was a majority 17/32 system we would have an agreement by now and the health of the game long term would not be compromised by the giant egos of the 9.

  10. r8rsfan says: May 16, 2011 9:28 AM

    Wake me up when regular season games are missed. It’s a game, a form of entertainment. Life goes on with or without it.

  11. deljzc says: May 16, 2011 9:29 AM

    All the silly fans that spout the “I just want football” line don’t really know what they are asking.

    What we really want is very similar rules to what we had. We want a salary cap, we want a draft, we want reasonable restrictions to player movement, we want ways to control owner spending.

    This is what we should be shouting. Not “We want football”, like any version of the NFL is acceptable to us as long as it starts September 10, 2011.

    The fans are smarter than that (at least I am). I will gladly give up MANY games as long as the rules that made the NFL what it is today continue.

    And I don’t believe your implication (unverified) that there are owners that want this too. The only side that wants to blow up the system to prove they are “right” is the players. No matter how short-sighted it is. All Kessler, Smith and that team care about is winning so it goes on their resumes as lawyers. I don’t think any owner needs this round of labor talks as a “win” to sleep at night with a smile on their face. The owner just got tired of player cost rising at 12% when revenue was rising at 7%.

    Remember, the owners aren’t asking for a PAY CUT…. they are asking for SLOWER GROWTH than what has happened over the last agreement. Don’t buy the NFLPA propaganda this is a pay cut.

  12. hulksmashyou says: May 16, 2011 9:29 AM

    Unfortunately, he’s probably correct. At this point, I don’t really care anymore. The players, the trade organization and the owners can all go to straight to he!!.

    D. Smith = douche & R. Goodell = puppet

    They have already made a huge mistake and will lose fans over this. I hope they all get theirs in the end.

  13. jerrydesaulniers says: May 16, 2011 9:30 AM

    I agree with Collingsworth on the content but I disaree on him with the date. I’m optimistic that we will see all 16 regularly scheduled games of our favorite teams. I think the Owners and Players are almost sick of their own stench and will soon start to settle out of court.

  14. shackdelrio says: May 16, 2011 9:31 AM

    This headline is wrong. There will be football.

    Come Labor Day weekend, we will have college football. No NFL? No problem.

  15. chuxtah says: May 16, 2011 9:33 AM

    I hope he is as horrible at predictions as he is calling football games.

  16. oldbyrd says: May 16, 2011 9:33 AM

    I think he has a very good chance of being correct. I hope you all see what communism is all about now. It destroyed CUBA. That comes right from Fidel Castro himself. It was on every broadcast. “Communism has failed in Cuba” “Communism doesn’t work” Now minature Castro, The 3′-1″ Markist Moron D Smith. Which by the way has to stand for DUMB. Sticks his uneducated, communistic A– out thier and spews jems of idiocy. These guys, 80 % of whom retire broke, listen to the squeeking midget. LOOK WHAT THE UNIONS HAVE DONE TO FOOTBALL. THE SAME THNIG THEY HAVE BOUGHT TO THE USA……..BUSINESS LEAVES

  17. lgbarn says: May 16, 2011 9:33 AM

    I’ve always liked Cris Collinsworth even back in USFL Tampabay Banits days. He is really just echoing what fans are thinking.

    Thanks Cris!!! Too bad you aren’t a part of this process.

  18. east96st says: May 16, 2011 9:34 AM

    “Maybe Jerry Jones wants to blow up the current system so that he can keep all the money that America’s Team makes and spend as much of it as he wants on the players he wants, in search of the string of Lombardi Trophies that he covets. And maybe Mike Brown is content for the Bengals to be 4-12 each year as long as he can pay the players as little as he wants while still making a tidy profit.”

    And that’s exactly what’s going on here. Been saying that for awhile. Jones was the CBA’s greatest champion and now is it’s greatest opponent. We all know Jerruh is making money hand over foot. Jones openly mocked Brown for his inability to bring in more money. Jerry doesn’t want to share any more of his cash with the likes of Brown. Jerry’s got himself a Super Bowl to buy. Jones has envisioned himself the next Steinbrenner since Day 1 and this is how he will get there.

  19. nj22 says: May 16, 2011 9:37 AM

    For the last two years I have been saying there is no way these guys could be dumb enough to have a work stoppage. Now I know their stupidity has no limits. If they miss one regular season game, I am done with the league. I have been a fan for 36 years and that would be tough, but I don’t care. They could not care less about us, so I won’t care about them either. Baseball and basketball have never got me back as a fan after their work stoppages and neither will the NFL. Goodell has tailored every move he has made since he took over towards the casual fan, with moves like the NFL draft schedule, and games over seas. Well he is in for a rude awakening when he realized the casual fans that are not taking this personally, don’t really care and they are not the ones that spend all the money every year! F them all!

  20. crackerjackjoe says: May 16, 2011 9:37 AM

    Who cares? I like football. If the NFL won’t play, I’ve got NCAA, UFL, CFL and the local high schools to watch.

    I keep hearing pundits chime in about how this compares to the NHL lockout in 2004. Well, it does not compare. The NHL was broken in a big way when the owners restructured. The NFL was not broken. It was the most successful sport on the planet. This compares more to the NBA with the way the league is alienating fans through incompetence of ownership. Fans left the NBA and never went back. And now, by November, I’ll already be set with plenty of other sports/leagues to watch. This whole thing is just ridiculous.

  21. chuxtah says: May 16, 2011 9:38 AM

    I wrote ” I hope he is as bad at predictions as he is calling football games” Why did it get deleted?

  22. 411dooleybug1 says: May 16, 2011 9:40 AM

    His comment on children is very apropos.

    If the season starts in November, would it be foreshortened or would they play a full 16 and play the Superbowl in March?

    What a freaking mess. The NFL as we know it could be gone. I wouldn’t want a league where the same four or five big money teams won every year. Boring.

    Well, if this goes into November count me out. I’ve got better things to do and better things to spend my money on.

    I cannot believe I am actually thinking about watching UFL games – but at least they WANT to play football.

  23. santolonius says: May 16, 2011 9:40 AM

    will someone in sports journalism please do some digging on the possibility that a minority of 10 or so owners is holding the other 20 or so owners hostage in this situation? this post (in its last 4 paragraphs) is the first one i have seen to brush up against what i think is really going on here!

  24. east96st says: May 16, 2011 9:43 AM

    “I can only hope that if this lockout continues and the season is lost that football can recover like the NHL has so far.”

    The Coyotes, the Islanders, Dallas, Columbus, and Atlanta – all on the verge of going under or moving to Canada to save their lives. The Coyotes got $25 million in taxpayer money and STILL lost over $11 million. The League had to step in to prevent Dallas from going under. The top rated NHL team for TV viewers is Pittsburgh. They average just over 100,000 TV viewers a game. The average NFL regular season game averages over 17.5 million. Yep, that NHL “recovery” is a second “miracle on ice”. BTW – Which network can you tune in to see regular season NHL games again?

  25. deadmanwalking47 says: May 16, 2011 9:45 AM

    i hate collingsworth with a passion!he is an arrogant jerk,but he’s probably right about this prediction! if they wait till november to play,i wish they would not play at all! and whenever they do play,there will be a lot more injuries than normal count on it!

  26. winkeroni says: May 16, 2011 9:49 AM

    I hope his estimation is wrong. I can’t wait till November. With the lack of player transactions and OTA’s, I’ve tried getting into baseball. Even tried watching some basketball yesterday. None of those sports glue me to my seat. November is six months from now, I’m not going to make it.

  27. SpartaChris says: May 16, 2011 9:51 AM

    albanyhawker says:
    If you folks in the media REALLY want to make a difference, you should combine and schedule an NFL blackout date, where nobody reports on ANYTHING to do with the NFL, its players, owners or the labor issue.
    ================================
    A single day blackout would be toothless and worthless, just like those “Lets protest gas prices by not buying gas on this day…” That doesn’t stop people from filling up the day before or after, so there’s really no impact.

    If you want to have an impact, you need to cease all football news and information permanently, until an agreement is made. Problem is it will never happen. There are too many avenues for people to communicate with.

  28. therevdewitt says: May 16, 2011 9:51 AM

    If it takes that long, the NFL is going to alienate a lot of really good fans. This lockout is already making the fans pretty irritated. Once June starts, that’s going to kick up even more. And with each month, more and more fans are going to grow more and more frustrated. I hope everybody involved gets absolutely roasted if even one week of football is missed. I’ve looked for Facebook groups around “End the Lockout,” but none are over 200-something supporters, which surprises me. I’d like to see one with 30,000 supporters. Something to get their attention to say, “Hey, this is pissing us off!” What else can we do as fans to let them know that this is totally unacceptable?

  29. whatswiththehate says: May 16, 2011 9:52 AM

    The headline says what Collins thinks. Sadly, it seems that is the level of knowing what is going on with this lock-out are, these Analysts and media folks over analyzing what is going to happen with the football season.

    Maybe if we were back in the days when sports media depended on REAL news instead of them creating it for themselves, these NFL folks would see the darkness they are causing by not coming to an agreement and would get back to talking.

    But why bother, when you now have sports folks who enjoy entertaining themselves with non-stop regurgitated opinions and atheletes off the field activities.

  30. peytonwantsaflag says: May 16, 2011 9:53 AM

    I don’t disagree with Collinsworth’s point at all BUT…

    But before we fall all over ourselves patting Cris on the back for his clear and logical thinking remember this man played for 7 YEARS in the NFL and went on TWO STRIKES.

    He’s no better than the rest of them.

  31. hebro42 says: May 16, 2011 9:54 AM

    @anthony
    (Queue the “Eagles haven’t won a Super Bowl” or “Philly fans are the worst” token responses):

    How has over-spending worked for Dan Snyder so far? You act like Philly is a small market. Every team in the NFC East is in the top ten in value. So while the other three are ahead of the birds, it’s not like the Eagles are cash strapped.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/30/football-valuations-10_NFL-Team-Valuations_Rank.html

    And with all the money it will take Jerry Jones to run his monstrosity of a stadium, and the Eagles having upgraded theirs to run almost self-sufficiently on re-useable energy, most of Lurie’s money can go towards players rather than operating costs. That is if they ever play football again.

  32. zinn22 says: May 16, 2011 9:56 AM

    May 16, 2011 9:33 AM

    I think he has a very good chance of being correct. I hope you all see what communism is all about now. It destroyed CUBA. That comes right from Fidel Castro himself. It was on every broadcast. “Communism has failed in Cuba” “Communism doesn’t work” Now minature Castro, The 3′-1″ Markist Moron D Smith. Which by the way has to stand for DUMB. Sticks his uneducated, communistic A– out thier and spews jems of idiocy. These guys, 80 % of whom retire broke, listen to the squeeking midget. LOOK WHAT THE UNIONS HAVE DONE TO FOOTBALL. THE SAME THNIG THEY HAVE BOUGHT TO THE USA……..BUSINESS LEAVES

    ————————————————————

    So Ironic that this guy calls other people morons. This guy is walking, talking posting advertisement for gun control laws. I would be quite scared to have this guy living in my neighborhood. He seems to be a Tim McVay waiting to happen.

  33. stairwayto7 says: May 16, 2011 10:04 AM

    I been saying thsi for a while, no football until late October! Not a Collingsworth fan, however I do agree with him on this.

  34. joetorious says: May 16, 2011 10:05 AM

    My only disagreement with Collinsworth’s comments are with “The game’s never been better.” I would say it was exponentially better the last five or more years of Tagliabue’s tenure.

    Since Goodell has taken over, the League has been marred by his inconsistent, overzealous, nonsensical, unnecessary and tyrannous rule. A lot of adjectives, I know, but bottom line is – he sucks.

    On another note, the fans don’t care about whether NFL (or any) football is played on 9/11, as it relates to commemorating that tragedy. But seeing you try to justify your blog entry immediately following UBL’s death announcement is pretty funny.

  35. purpleman527 says: May 16, 2011 10:07 AM

    Finally, some media football pundit says something realistic.

    Since this mess began in early March, all we heard was optimism, negotiating and agreements.

    I stated then that this would not get resolved until the fall when the season was in jeopardy.

    Both sides have gone nuclear, and it won’t go away anytime soon.

  36. airraid77 says: May 16, 2011 10:10 AM

    Its hard for me to imagine that the owners who supposedly want to be the steinbrenners of the nfl, have not broke ranks. its also hard for me to think that anybody in their right mind thinks baseball works. the redsox and yankees should be winning the trophy every year. On top of that this isnt baseball. You cant just buy two players and be competitive. 24 teams can fold up right now if they adapt the baseball model. You essentially would have a league of dallas, washington, philly, miami, the ny teams, chicago and LA.
    to add, If the union wins this battle, effective immediately professional sports is dead. not just football, but baseball, the nba, the NHL…..all of it. done. finished.

  37. geemoney713 says: May 16, 2011 10:11 AM

    What does football have to do with the 10th anniversary of 9/11? I understand the skins and giants are playing that day, but that’s really more of a secondary importance to the day. I don’t think missing football that day will piss off fans any more than missing a normal Sunday of football would.

  38. gregjennings85 says: May 16, 2011 10:11 AM

    1.) Collinsworth is just so stupid.

    2.) Collinsworth is easily the most annoying color commentator around today.

    3.) Who cares what he has to say?

    4.) Get this deal done, tomorrow.

  39. MinnesnowtaJagsFan says: May 16, 2011 10:15 AM

    I usually don’t listen to this turkey gobble, but he knows what he’s talking about now. Agree with him…gobble gobble.

  40. Deb says: May 16, 2011 10:17 AM

    Yes, Chris, Jerry Jones and a handful of other owners want to blow up the whole thing for their own purposes. That’s all Jones has wanted since he came into the league and now he’s getting exactly what he wants while the players unwittingly help him destroy the league. Meanwhile, most of the fans on PFT cheer on this insanity out of player envy, union hatred, and some bizarre belief that corporate giants will actually trickle something desireable on their empty little pinheads.

  41. mbjst says: May 16, 2011 10:19 AM

    While I think that there is more than enough blame on both sides, I really can’t blame the Players from playing hardball. the Owners have proven, on more than one occasion, that they can’t be trusted.

    I think the only way for the public to voice their dissatisfaction is with their wallets. Boycott ALL NFL purchases. No jerseys, T shirts, stickers or inflatable chairs. Nothing. Unfortunately this will not have a very immediate impact.

  42. eustus says: May 16, 2011 10:20 AM

    nj22 hit the nail on the head. The league has put so much emphasis on growth through attracting the casual fan that it is willing to alienate and lose the hardcore fan.

    Dumb.

  43. grandpoopah says: May 16, 2011 10:23 AM

    @oldbyrd, you have no clue what communism is, you spell like a first grader, and clearly De Smith (whatever you may think of him as a person) is far more educated than you.

  44. touchdownroddywhite says: May 16, 2011 10:23 AM

    I’d just like to set the record straight that my attitude is not “Wake me when week 1 gets missed”. That is simply when I will choose to give up altogether.

    The closer this gets to actually impacting what I like about football, the more angry I get.

    I like football news about OTA’s, free agent signings, etc but it’s not THAT huge of a deal to me. Now come the end of July when I can’t start doing mock fantasy football drafts, I’ll be pretty mad.

    When August rolls around and I can’t start creating my fantasy teams, I’ll be even more mad. When I can’t watch pre season games, my anger will grow even more. And when that day comes that I WILL be planning for – that magical Sunday after the HOF game when it’s time for the first full day off football – and there is no football, that’s when I wash my hands of this madness. I’m already mad. I’m already taking my money elsewhere. But come week one when there’s no football, I’ll be done for good.

  45. hendeeze says: May 16, 2011 10:23 AM

    Collinsworth thinks…

    anyone else find the irony in that?

  46. dolfan66r says: May 16, 2011 10:24 AM

    If the networks were smart they would start lining up some games with the power conferences on Sunday and Sunday night to tentatively broadcast college football. Find some games on the schedule where both teams would take some money to move their game one day.

  47. dprouse says: May 16, 2011 10:34 AM

    Collinsworth, unfortunately, is likely correct. Look at how far apart the two sides are right now – they aren’t even speaking the same language. Whenever you have a gulf that wide in a labor dispute, you can’t just “split the difference”. There will be no movement until one side or the other blinks and makes a significant revised offer. THEN they can get down to splitting the difference between the revised offer, and the original offer. That won’t happen until there is significant economic pressure on both sides, and that doesn’t come until late September. Sadly, Collinsworth has nailed the timeline on this pretty accurately.

  48. jbcommonsense says: May 16, 2011 10:36 AM

    Both sides have agreed to a team salary cap — http://nfllabor.com/2011/03/11/exclusive-summary-of-nfl-proposal-to-nflpa/

    As long as nine or more owners are not going to nuke the whole system so they can simply buy all the best players, the two sides SHOULD be able to reach an agreement shortly after the court has ruled on this matter.

  49. xxxfixxxerxxx says: May 16, 2011 10:39 AM

    @mbjst
    While I think that there is more than enough blame on both sides, I really can’t blame the Players from playing hardball. the Owners have proven, on more than one occasion, that they can’t be trusted.

    Except in 2006, right? They were good guys back then…….. right?

  50. eagiants says: May 16, 2011 10:47 AM

    Man this gets more depressing everyday. Congrats to D. Smith and Roger Goodell for becoming two of the most infamous names football will ever know. Their greed is killing the game we love.

  51. nahcouldntbethat says: May 16, 2011 10:49 AM

    The lockout is not about players vs owners. it’s about owners vs owners.

    The Cincinnati Bengal and the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills can’t compete economically in an environment in which their costs are determined by an agreement that the average team can afford.

    Real revenue sharing beyond the TV deals would resolve a lot of those problems but that sharing would take money out of the pockets of Jerry Jones, the Maras, Woody Johnson, Robert Kraft and the other big market owners.

    The original 2006 CBA was the result of the big market teams wanting predictability in their revenue streams. The small market teams were aghast but they went along with the deal because it prevented the kind of labor uncertainty that we’re now seeing. A few of them recognized that they could not compete but only two voted against the deal. There was some minor revenue sharing involved above the TV deals mainly thrown in as a sop to the reality that the deal was going to kill small market teams.

    The opt-out happened because it became clearer and clearer that the small market teams were beginning to fold under the pressure of the starkly uneven revenue distributions that happened in the wake of the 2006 deal.

    Buffalo forced to play games in Toronto, with an eventual move from Buffalo seen as the likely result.

    Jacksonville unable to sell out at the higher ticket prices they had to charge to meet their obligations under the much higher caps that came out of the 2006 CBA.

    Cincinnati having a hard time competing with the much better markets in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Pittsburgh’s market being almost a national one due to the name recognition and wide-spread fan base of the team. Baltimore right in the middle of the east coast metroplex and drawing a lot of fans who like the team’s tough guy image. Lots of people go back to Pittsburgh and Baltimore from NYC, Boston, LA, Chicago, etc and buy tickets to a game or two a year. Not so many to Cincinnati and Cleveland.

    We’re headed one of two places at this point.

    Either the owners will begin to really share revenue and the NFL will remain much as it has since the free agency era began, with a generous CBA cutting off anti-trust action.

    Or

    We’re going to wind up with the MLB model minus the draft as the courts break up the monopoly on movement and player control that the draft and free agency restrictions create.

    In the first case we’ll still have small market teams playing in the NFL in five years.

    In the second we’ll have two teams in every market large enough to support them and a good half dozen smaller markets will be deprived of football while another few hang on as last-place sadsacks. There’ll also probably be a team in London under that scenario.

  52. goawayeverybody says: May 16, 2011 10:52 AM

    Stupid mindless owners. Do not forget THEY are the ones who picked this fight. And it was in a time when the NFL has never been more popular and revenue was increasing not decreasing. Even if they thought they were getting a raw deal, they’re getting an even worse deal now that the courts have intervened. If the owners had never brought this fight, they would have been enjoying their profits regardless of whatever their perception of the players’ take was. Stupid stupid stupid. If they had just let the current deal stand, everything would have been just fine.

    On what planet do you ask your employees to take a big pay cut during the most profitable era of the business? I see lots of people here complaining about the whiny players, but if the company you worked for was reaping record profits, would you be willing to take a pay cut? Hell no!!!

  53. minnesconsin says: May 16, 2011 10:53 AM

    to echo a couple other commenters, PFT needs to give up the 9/11 angle when it comes to this particular situation. We’ll all be mourning the loss of innocent lives on the anniversary of the attacks, but as much as we like football, it really doesn’t make a difference whether games are played on that day or not.

    Also, Chris Collinsworth calling this a “time of great wealth” rings hollow. I agree with a lot of what he says, and maybe the quote is out of context — but for the majority of Americans, this is far from a time of great wealth.

  54. narutofan10 says: May 16, 2011 11:05 AM

    f**k other football the nfl needs to get this thing done you guys can say this this and that but they never equal your own true team in football i follow my team screw the ufl and cfl

  55. mick730 says: May 16, 2011 11:09 AM

    “On what planet do you ask your employees to take a big pay cut during the most profitable era of the business?”

    I don’t know what planet you’re living on, but while the last few years have brought record revenues to the teams of the NFL, they have not brought record profits.

    The Packers net profit figure dropped from 35.8 million in fiscal 2006 to 5.2 million in fiscal 2010.

    The Packers profitability has fallen off the cliff despite record revenues in 2010 because player costs have risen on average 15% per season under the last CBA, despite the Packers having the youngest team in the league for all of those years and a team by the way, that signs very few free agents.

    So, given your great insight and knowledge of the NFL’s financial picture, can you tell us all if the financial problems created by the last CBA are the exception in Green Bay, or are any of the other 31 franchises experiencing the same decline in profitability?

  56. clownburger says: May 16, 2011 11:10 AM

    Pro Player PFT tries to make it sound like the OWNERS want the league to be run like baseball which is PURE NONSENSE!!!

    The OWNERS have a deal on the table.

    THE PLAYERS won’t even consider it!

    THE PLAYERS won’t negotiate!

    THE PLAYERS won’t counter offer!

    THE PLAYERS want the leverage!

    THE PLAYERS want no salary cap!

    THE PLAYERS want no rookie cap!

    THE PLAYERS want to change football!

    THE PLAYERS never wanted a deal in the first place! They were dragging it the whole way so they could get to litigation!

    This is on the PLAYERS. If you can’t see it, you’re blind.

    I’m convinced the moment THE PLAYERS decide to sit down and start HONESTLY negotiating, this thing will be settled in 1 week.

  57. richm2256 says: May 16, 2011 11:10 AM

    The owners foolishly agreed to a horrible deal for them (and conversely, a good deal for the players) in 2006. In 2006, the players foolishly gave the owners an “opt out” option.

    The owners took advantage of that option. The players shouldn’t have been surprised by that, it was in the agreement.

    That act should have told everyone just how bad a deal that 2006 CBA was, and should have driven home the realization that a “fair” deal was critical to BOTH sides.

    Instead, just the opposite happened; both sides came loaded for bear this time.

    The owners clearly didn’t want to fairly negotiate early on, thinking that they could get by on the TV insurance while they won the early court battles. Instead, they ran into a buzz-saw of a judge who killed their insurance scheme and ruled in favor of the players far too many times, which emboldened the players to not seriously negotiate as well, and continue rolling the dice at the craps table of Judge Doty …. and why wouldn’t they?

    Neither side is really thinking this through, that much is obvious. When the dust finally clears, both sides are going to have an NFL that neither is happy with, and it will be too late to change that. And they are both going to see a completely different fanbase than either side imagined.

    If this goes into the season – especially if it goes DEEP into the season – fans are going to desert in unfathomable numbers. Again, ask the NHL how hard the road back has been for them after they missed an entire season.

    We are witnessing a power struggle train wreck that will absolutely kill the NFL as we know (and love) it, right before our very eyes, and it’s as if none of the combatants can see what the people on the sideline clearly see:

    This “winner take all” mentality and battle will surely permanently harm this currently-perfect system.

    One side will emerge the “victors”, over what????

    No fanbase.

  58. nahcouldntbethat says: May 16, 2011 11:28 AM

    Collinsworth didn’t say widespread wealth, he said great wealth. He’s very accurate in this regard. There are a lot of very rich people in America these days. More than enough to keep an enterprise like the NFL rolling in money along as it doesn’t begin cannibalizing itself as it seems to be doing now.

  59. harmcityhomer says: May 16, 2011 11:32 AM

    The players offered many times to extend the recent CBA. The owners insisted on having the labor battle now.

    MLB has a CBA, a draft, 6 years to free agency, arbitration, RFA rules. They also play 162 games, have an international talent and fan base, a minor leauge system and anti trust protection. The NFL without a CBA would look nothing like MLB.

    No one really knows what the NFL without a CBA would look like in 2011, but I doubt it would be the disaster it is bieng made out to be. It would just be different, but the owners want different rules. They claim the system is broken.

  60. PFTiswhatitis says: May 16, 2011 11:33 AM

    If the season gets delayed [until November] then as fans we ought to DEMAND our season ticket money back. Why let them hold on to it while there is no football? Such a threat might actually wake up both sides.

    I’ll be totally pissed if we have a partial season. Give us a full season or no season (and our money back). A partial season will be the ultimate insult.

  61. geo1113 says: May 16, 2011 11:35 AM

    I see lots of people here complaining about the whiny players, but if the company you worked for was reaping record profits, would you be willing to take a pay cut?
    ____________________

    I thought the reason that the owners opted out of the CBA was exactly the opposite, i.e. that profits were down.

  62. stonedwhitetrash says: May 16, 2011 11:58 AM

    By November I should be over my pro football addiction, and my wife will have to drop her Sunday afternoon lover.

  63. bcvv says: May 16, 2011 11:59 AM

    It’s too bad the players weren’t missing game checks now, things would be moving more quickly. That is probably what it will have to take though.

    Having the lawyers and courts involved with possibility of eliminating things like the draft and salary cap is not good at all. Those elements of the game work very well and should be left alone.

    I thought Gooddell and the rules committee were making too many rule changes with no regard for the tradition of what has made the NFL great, but these changes will truly ruin the game permanently.

  64. commoncents says: May 16, 2011 12:01 PM

    Collinsworth makes some good points. His concern that the game of football may be changed forever if the players get their way is why so many of us here are more upset with the players right now than the owners. We want the game of football to stay the way it is! the most refreshing part of this article is that the writer didn’t slip in his usual bias against the owners, and just reported.maybe we are getting somewhere!

  65. ihateannouncers says: May 16, 2011 12:06 PM

    nationalmediacansuckit says:
    May 16, 2011 9:25 AM
    Dear NFL,

    F*$# YOU.

    Sincerely,
    The Fans

    ===================================
    Amen….
    It’s the fans that make the NFL wealthy. I know it’s unrealistic, but I wonder what would happen if we all boycott the NFL when they comeback. How long would the TV / Advertising contracts last if the fans just said no thank you this year?? Most of us on this site are more passionate than the average fan. Honestly, could you do it?? I doubt I could, but it would be nice to really send a message to both sides saying we are the reason you get to live like you do and we are pissed off about the way you are treating us. It’s cutting my nose off to spite my face, but if I hate my nose these days, I get a new one!! Rant off….

  66. Deb says: May 16, 2011 12:08 PM

    geo1113 says:

    I see lots of people here complaining about the whiny players, but if the company you worked for was reaping record profits, would you be willing to take a pay cut?
    ____________________

    I thought the reason that the owners opted out of the CBA was exactly the opposite, i.e. that profits were down.

    ***********************
    Except, geo1113, no matter what they say, that is not the reason the owners opted out of the CBA. Profits aren’t down for the majority of teams. This isn’t a case of employees working for a company and demanding to see the books. It’s more similar to actors having a deal with studios to be paid a percentage of film profits and being told “oops, sorry, profits are down,” without any proof to that effect. The actors are asking for proof that profits have declined, and the studios are saying, “No-no, you’ll just have to take our word for it.”

    Meanwhile, as others have pointed out, the real reason behind all this is that the more profitable owners are tired of sharing revenue with the less profitable owners–even though that business model is what has allowed the league to grow and thrive all these years. Where you once had a majority of owners who wanted what was best for the league as a whole, you now have quite a few who want what’s best for themselves at the expense of everyone else–and they’re willing to slaughter the golden goose to get it.

  67. huejackson says: May 16, 2011 12:14 PM

    who cares, this is all crap, there will be football at the same time there is every year,
    Theres to much money involved.
    There will be no lockout.. this is not a lockout.
    Players dont do really anything at this time of the year anyways

  68. fringetastic says: May 16, 2011 12:27 PM

    I just have to say this: the anniversary of 9/11 and football have nothing to do with each other in my mind. I won’t be any more or any less upset about missing games on that day than on any day, even though one of my teams is involved. 9/11 is so much bigger than then NFL, I find it offensive that you think what happens in the NFL on that day matters to me, a fan, at all.

  69. nahcouldntbethat says: May 16, 2011 12:27 PM

    There’s no way of knowing if profits were up or down because the owners chose not to open their books so we could see the answer.

    Again, this is not a players vs owners issue, it’s an owners vs owners.

    The best approximation of profitability that we can use is the Forbes valuations of the teams, and those were up again from 2008 to 2010, although nowhere near the explosive growth from 2000 to 2007.

  70. danspeakmanpe says: May 16, 2011 12:29 PM

    Mike,

    What exactly would you have the “rest of us” do?

    {and for the rest of us to adopt a position other than “wake us up when regular-season games are missed.”}

    I don’t want government intervention. I wouldn’t trust them to build a doghouse.

    We could have withheld season ticket renewals, but I doubt many season ticketholders (myself included) wanted to risk losing their seats permanently. What other recourse do we have?

    Fans like me are pissed. Why don’t you capitalize on that energy and write an article explaining exactly what you think we should do.

  71. jleimer says: May 16, 2011 12:37 PM

    I have to agree with Collinsworth on this one because lets face it in this 9 billion dollar game of chicken no one will blink and at this rate we are watching paint dry really slowly.

  72. purpleman527 says: May 16, 2011 12:40 PM

    @touchdownroddywhite says:

    “But come week one when there’s no football, I’ll be done for good.”
    ———————————————–

    Can you and others at least be HONEST when posting a comment?

    You won’t be “done for good” and you know it.
    And anybody else who posts the, “I will never watch the NFL again if this wrecks the season” rant.

    If you look forward to free agency, the draft, OTA’s, training camp, fantasy mock drafts, and fantasy football, you are an NFL addict. Welcome to the club!

    Once the dust settles, we will all be back in our chairs watching the game we love and enjoying our NFL addiction. Maybe not the first year. But when the mess is cleaned up, we will be back.

    Be real.

  73. oldbyrd says: May 16, 2011 12:49 PM

    Hey zimm what do you call a communist??? You can’t even see the truth. Obviously ur one of the backers of THE HARVARD MARXIST MORON. Get back to me when you get past 4th grade screwball!!!!!!!!!!

  74. sfsaintsfan says: May 16, 2011 12:59 PM

    We have had season tickets for over 40 years. If the NFL turns into a version of Major League Baseball, where some teams have NO chance to win before the season even begins, I may be done with this league as well. Will the “win at any cost” owners (large market teams with lots of extra cash to burn…..Jones, and mega rich owners who see “their” NFL franchise as a way to show how much of a man they are….Snyder) ruin this league as well?

    The players got a great deal last time. The owners want to roll it back a little. Some owners want to blow up the whole system because they can’t win with the current rules. The fans, just want the NFL pretty much the way it has been for years. The players will have to take less money as a percentage of total revenues to get a deal done. The only question is how much less will they take? After the players miss a couple of paychecks they will be on their knees, but do the owners want to push it that far?

  75. oldbyrd says: May 16, 2011 1:13 PM

    Hey granpappa why don’t you explain to all off us what communism is?????Part II Seems you are One. You are backing D Smith??? Need I say more? I think my poor spelling a–s has this figured out!!!! Look around the country idiot….Unions are finished. That’s a fact. They have lost 20% support in the last five years. Hope you weren’t heading for Greece? How’s Unions working out for them? Before you worry about my spelling, get your facts straight. By the way, just for the record….I am totally for gun control.

  76. texcisint says: May 16, 2011 1:25 PM

    “Hell, maybe that’s what the hard-line owners secretly want. Maybe Jerry Jones wants to blow up the current system so that he can keep all the money that America’s Team makes and spend as much of it as he wants on the players he wants, in search of the string of Lombardi Trophies that he covets. And maybe Mike Brown is content for the Bengals to be 4-12 each year as long as he can pay the players as little as he wants while still making a tidy profit.”

    Have we become such a Socialist nation that it is wrong for an owner to invest almost a billion dollars and not have the right to decide who he hires or what he pays? If he’s wrong he loses his money the good old American way.

  77. alan3008 says: May 16, 2011 3:38 PM

    I say fire all those overpaid, spoiled football players and start over from scratch. They snort most of that money up their nose anyway, in the form of cocaine. No other businessman shares his/her financials with their employees. Fire them all, lower ticket prices, concession stand prices, parking, and start over with a much lower payroll, fixed for ALL teams. It would be good for the sport.

  78. Deb says: May 16, 2011 3:53 PM

    @alan3008 …

    Is there any chance you could read just one article on what’s going on here so you can make an intelligent comment? None of this is about players asking for more money. The majority of players are not drug abusers, nor do the majority make millions of dollars. As in any organization, the majority do their jobs, collect their checks, and go home to their families. Unlike most organizations, when the minority get into trouble, we hear about it on the news.

    Player salaries have nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tickets, concessions, parking, etc. Those come out of different budgets, and the owners would keep raising prices regardless what they pay the players because prices are based on market demands. The difference is that they’d do what they did before free agency: pocket the difference. The players would play hurt until they couldn’t play anymore, then be dumped with nothing.

    I don’t mind a pro-owner post when it’s made by someone who actually has a legitimate financial reason for that viewpoint. But it’s ridiculous that after this length of time, people are still putting up nonsense correlating ticket prices to player salaries. If you don’t even know what’s going on, how could you possibly know what’s good for the sport?

  79. footballfan says: May 16, 2011 4:09 PM

    The Coyotes, the Islanders, Dallas, Columbus, and Atlanta – all on the verge of going under or moving to Canada to save their lives. The Coyotes got $25 million in taxpayer money and STILL lost over $11 million. The League had to step in to prevent Dallas from going under. The top rated NHL team for TV viewers is Pittsburgh. They average just over 100,000 TV viewers a game. The average NFL regular season game averages over 17.5 million. Yep, that NHL “recovery” is a second “miracle on ice”. BTW – Which network can you tune in to see regular season NHL games again?

    ********

    If you were a hockey fan before the lockout then you would know that list was much longer then. The Penguins who you mentioned were in bankruptcy and threatening to leave Pittsburgh for KC. Now they have sold out over 300 games in a row. Yes, they are rebounding. Yes, they are growing when most sports are losing. No, They are not as big as the NFL. That’s probably why they are doing better. Columbus, Dallas, and Phoenix are teams that have never had a fan following. Dallas and Phoenix are teams that were taken from cities up north when the threats for new arenas were not heard (happening in the NFL). Minnesota has their hockey team back in the Wild and I wouldn’t doubt that the Coyotes end up being the Jets again. How many NFL teams failed to sell out last year? The list is growing and will keep growing. TV viewers are nice but if you don’t put the fans in the seats then you are in trouble!!! Keep dreaming that the NFL is bulletproof.

  80. sanjosecupcrazy says: May 16, 2011 4:20 PM

    The golden age of professional football is over. Football as we know it will die and the next version will be something far less attractive. Sad.

  81. Wolfgang Depner says: May 16, 2011 5:04 PM

    The current economic arrangement of the NFL is a version of institutionalized socialism. Evidence? First, all teams regardless of their respective market, share equally (more or less) in all revenues, particularly television, in a system that mitigates the comparative advantages (or disadvantages) of NFL franchises. Two, the draft rewards teams that play poorly and punishes those who play well. Three, the leagues enjoys a degree of exemption (at least for now) under anti-trust legislation. Fourth, the owners have milked the public purse for billions of dollars in building new stadiums. In short, the NFL, perhaps the most American of sport leagues, has nothing to do with capitalism. But the owners, strangely enough, are unhappy with said terms in undermining the one part of the equation that has proven to be the least certain if not compliant: labour. Why? Because they see world soccer (as Collinsworth hinted himself) as an even more profitable model. International soccer neither includes a draft nor salaries restrictions. Free agency is a literal free for all, with teams signing players and coaches off competing rosters while the season is still underway. As Collinsworth suggested, if the worse case scenario comes true, the NFL will actually resemble soccer with a trio of teams (in case of soccer, Man U, Real and Barca) representing the very tip of the pyramid, with all other teams feeding them eventually their best players. But I cannot how see this model transplanted to the United States would work for American football. Soccer has a much wider base (read: global) that permits teams to divide their loyalties (and money) across the different tiers of the game. As a single example, I cheer for teams across countries, continents and tiers (Hamburg SV, German First Division, Darmstadt 98, German Fourth Division, and Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS). The NFL would lack this base, unless it goes to a system of relegation and promotion that reflects the coming economic disparity between teams.

  82. touchdownroddywhite says: May 16, 2011 5:04 PM

    purpleman527 –

    I am being honest. I will switch to collge football and never look back. Last I checked they don’t have free agents or a draft, but they do recruit. They do have fantasy college football and college pick em. I love all things football, not all things NFL. And the sooner you and those in charge over at the NFL understand this, the sooner we can move on and prevent it.

    Anybody who says nobody can live without going back to the NFL has serious dependancy problems.

  83. casualobserver1856 says: May 16, 2011 7:15 PM

    Even though I live in Nashville, TN, I am not a great fan of NFL football. That being the case, It doesn’t matter much to me when the season actually resumes. I feel no empathy for either the owners or the players. I do feel bad for those who love the game and will greatly miss it if the season is delayed or cancelled, whether they are diehard or casual fans. I feel even worse for all of the people who depend on pro football for a great portion of their livelihood, as I do see the economic impact pro football has on a city and the surrounding area. What is disturbing is there seems to be little to no concern from either side for the negative impact to the economies and lives of so many people beyond themselves.

  84. samoanjungle says: May 16, 2011 7:45 PM

    I hope preseason is cancelled so I can get a refund for those two games.

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