The 2011 NFL football season is in a very dark place right now, so dark in fact that you might not be able to see it. Yes, you may not get to watch football in 2011. The NFL and its players are in court (and mediation) trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement since the old one expired but both sides have demands that the other side is not willing to meet. NFL fans worldwide are watching this drama play out not on the football field but in the court room and most recently in the mediation room. The sides have attempted to mediate their differences for months now but they are having problems. Having to watch this must be hurting football fans who right now are doubting whether or not there will even be a NFL season in 2011.
There are quite a few big sticking points that I’m watching to see who will give some way. There is splitting revenue, the owners want more and the players don’t want to give more. There is also the topic of extending the season to be 18 games instead of 16 games. While all NFL fans would love to watch more football in a year, the players aren’t too happy about having to suit up for an additional two games per year. They feel that their bodies already take enough punishment in a 16 game season that they don’t want any more games. But if they are concerned about receiving more money then they should consider suiting up to play more games. The more games that are played, the more people watch football, the more advertising dollars and dollars made at the stadium for tickets, hot dogs, and beer.
The mediation is stepping it up a notch, we even have Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joining the mediation talks. Jerry knows money and I’m sure he senses that not having the 2011 NFL season is not in anyone’s best interest. There are also players, mediators, and other representatives at the mediation talks. It seems like there may be too many people with too many opinions and desires in one room. Both sides should assign one person to deal on their behalf and this would help speed up the process.
What we need to watch in the upcoming weeks is which side will make some concessions. Will we watch the owners give way a little or will the players concede a little. Whoever gives up a little first may gain the respect of the other side and it may start a snowball effect where the talks will become productive instead of at a standstill and maybe just maybe we can all watch some football this year.