With the CBA expiring at 11:59 pm EST tonight, I think it's safe to say that we should all begin to steel ourselves to the chance that there will be no football this season. Do I realistically expect that to happen? No, because the NFL is such a cash cow, someone will eventually cave in.
I'm afraid, though, that it will be the players who give in first. The owners are financially set, even if they don't rake in the billions of dollars that the league brings them because most, if not all, of the owners were multi-millionaires before they ever stepped foot into the league. While they may not be mega bucks billionaires like they would have been if football had been played this year, they're more than likely not going to be smarting too much because eventually, the ones without the money and the businesses (aka the players) will be forced to give in.
When I look at the grand scheme of things behind the debates and the CBA, I can only realistically think of one thing:
Ohh crap.To be honest, I can't imagine what life would be like without the NFL. I've become such a huge fan of the Falcons over the past few years, I can't fathom waking up on a Sunday in October and not looking forward to being able to watch the Birds on TV.
Well, if that happens, I'll just tape myself crying for 4 hours. Every. Single. Week.
It is easy to blame the owners or the players, depending on how you look at it, but I can understand both sides. The players want a bigger piece of the pie since their income pretty much ends after football. They don't own businesses like Home Depot that continually bring in money even after the fact.
Truthfully, I don't look at Falcons Owner Arthur Blank as a greedy man. Perhaps that's my personal bias speaking, but I can tell from his demeanor and his interviews that he genuinely cares about the fans and the team. Does he deserve to get paid? Well, yeah. He's the owner of the team. I don't think he's the kind of man that would be unfair to the players. He's about as fair to his own players as any owner in the league, and I think that, at the very worst, he has a mutual respect for other teams' players because one day, he might be signing their checks.
That said, there are 31 other owners and a Roger Goodell. I've read around the league that some fans are absolutely disgusted with their owners (Bengals) and some owners screw up Super Bowls for some fans (JerryDome) because of something they knew about in advance. I understand that being an owner of multiple businesses is hard, but come on. Some of these guys have fancy degrees and have worked their tails off to get to where they are, but even then some of their decisions are questionable at best.
I'll reiterate what I've said for a long time now, we are so lucky to have the owner, the front office, and the coaching staff that we have. As a Falcons fan, I wouldn't have it any other way.
That said, how many tears will you all shed if there's no football in 2011? You'd better get your buckets ready.