Locked out and shut down. So you think the potential NFL lockout isn't that big of a deal?
"Yea, it's a big deal because we are spoiled around pro football because we've had such a long run of labor peace. 100 years ago when I played we had strikes and it's not fun," said NFL Hall of Famer
It's not fun for players, management, and certainly not good for fans. But it's more than that. Everyone suffers from an NFL lockout. Restaurants who depend on fans every Sunday will suffer, t-shirt companies will take a hit, sports radio and television will have nothing to talk about and both CBS and FOX will lose ad revenue.
In just over a month, the collective bargaining agreement ends. That means guys like Christian Ponder who have waited their whole life for a shot at the NFL may have to wait a little longer, and that will cut down on his bottom line and his preparation time to get ready for the league.
"No one knows what will happen. If there's something not in place when we get drafted, we're not really employed. It's gonna be a mess. Hopefully it gets cleaned up," said Former FSU Quarterback
"You have a masters degree--that seemed easier," said Lee Gordon. "Yea it did," replied Ponder.
At the end of the day, it's a group of billionaires in the owners fighting a group of millionaires--the players. And it's not going over very well with Joe fan who is working to make ends meet. Unfortunately, neither side seems concerned with the lasting effect that the lockout will have on business and the overall trust of the fans.
Just how popular is the NFL right now? The NFL and ESPN are close to a 2 billion dollar renewal for the rights to Monday Night Football. In 2010, 65 of the top 100 watched sporting events in the U.S. were NFL games. And every television ad for this year's Super Bowl was sold months before the big game. All signs point to growth, but unless the two sides meet in the middle, everyone will lose.
"I'm still optimistic they can avoid this lockout and get something worked out. We have a great league and we just don't need this," said Archie Manning.