Even as we’re preparing for Super Bowl XLV, gloom and doom looms on the horizon, because – whether we like it or not – next Sunday may be the last time we get to taste good old NFL-brand football action for a long time to come. The Steelers and the Packers will clash next Sunday and only one team will hold up the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of that affair. The other team’s fans will feel nothing but sorrow despite the fact that their team has already proved its worth by advancing thus far. That sorrow is likely to spread to all football fans though, as right after the game wraps up, a new menace jumps onto the stage: that of the looming NFL lockout.
This next showdown will be between two powers far greater than any single NFL team. The scariest part about it all is that both of these sides seem driven by one of the greatest thrust-providing factors in the history of mankind: greed. The owners want to cut players’ revenues by about 18%, and they justify the move through the lens of increased private investments in stadiums. They’re also looking to extend the current 16-game season to 18 games, another move which doesn’t exactly sit well with the players. If the two parties (so quaintly called the billionaires and the millionaires in one post), fail to reach an agreement by March – and everything seems to say that they will – something akin to a category 5 hurricane will descend over the world of professional football, and the financial losses will be comparable to those incurred by hurricane-stricken areas too.
These losses will primarily impact the above said millionaires and billionaires, but from a financial perspective, neither of them are in a category for which we should weep. The problem is that the bomb will cause ripples reaching much further than that. Think stadium maintenance personnel, vendors, hotel industry, television industry and last but certainly not least, cities’ already beleaguered budgets. That’s the sort of meltdown we’re looking at here.
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