With the Earthquake in Japan and the ensuing tsunami in the Pacific, it’s hard to find any real concern in my mind for the pending NFL Lockout and who it directly affects. When you think about what’s just happened here, the devastation to mankind, the human toll and pieces that are left to pick up from those who survived, the fact that the NFL and the NFLPA can’t agree on how to split $9 billion certainly puts things into perspective. When you juxtapose the issues the NFL is currently dealing with, against real world problems, to suggest that the current labor situation is nothing more than a tragic comedy, is both an oxymoron and the reality of the situation.
Never the less, the world of sports goes on, at least in the world the NFL lives in, as we watch the clock tick towards a lockout. Yesterday Jayson Braddock discussed how the UFL might be able to capitalize on an NFL Lockout. What we haven’t heard about however is the fact that there are plenty of people whose lives will be changed who do not own NFL teams, are not team employees and do not play in the NFL.
The people who would suffer most if there's no NFL season this year are those whose jobs, businesses and even charity work depend on games. There are ticket-takers, janitors and other game-day employees who will have no work. Receptionists and accountants will have nothing to do. School booster clubs that sell food and merchandise at games will lose a funding source. Stadium security, parking lot employees, nearby restaurants and hotels – the list is endless. You can spend an hour listing employment positions and small businesses that will get crushed by the greed.
"It's like an earthquake -- there's a ripple effect out to other people, other parts of the region for 32 teams," said James J. Cochran, co-author of "An Event Study of the Economic Impact of Professional Sport Franchises on Local U.S. Economies" and an associate professor in economics at Louisiana Tech. "You feel the shock everywhere.''
On a day when an earthquake so prominently equates directly with the loss of life and despair, to suggest that the loss of employment will have an earthquake effect on those not directly affected by the natural disaster would seem a bit dramatic if not insulting to many. To those who may lose their livelihood however, a prolonged NFL lockout will result in an abundance of personal tragedies on a lesser scale.
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