The man who has covered the NFL in L.A. during the 16 years in which 100 percent of the games have been canceled has penned a summary of the labor dispute that, in his assessment, presents a 70-percent chance of devouring regular-season games.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times provides an excellently simple, bullet-point look at the lockout, and we tend to agree with his conclusion that, as of right now, the chances of seeing the season not start on time sits considerably on the wrong side of 50-50.
We also agree with Farmer’s assessment that the likely outcome entails the players giving back some ground to the owners. “Barring some legal surprises, the players will wind up making concessions,” Farmer writes. “They were fine with the CBA as it was, remember. It was the owners who opted out in hopes of a better deal. When this mess is finally sorted out, it won’t be about whether the players make concessions but how many concessions they make.”
But making concessions doesn’t necessarily mean losing money. If the pie keeps growing, a smaller slice can still yield more total money. And that, of course, remains the core issue in dispute. The players insist on continuing to receive 50 cents of every dollar that passes through the cash register. The owners insist on reducing that number. At some point, both sides need to ask whether a refusal to find a middle ground now will result in everyone making less total dollars, under any formula to which they may agree.