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The NFL Lockout

The clock struck midnight and no deal was hammered out.  The NFL owners are locking out the players in another 24 hours after they agree again to not agree.  The general consensus here on the blog is that both sides are culpable.  Read on for how we think this ‘work stoppage’ plays out..

Last month we detailed elements of the strike and how it can get settled.  But a good set of eyes outlined his timetable for when the strike gets settled.  For that, we rolled in fellow Maplewoodian Angelo Vayas.  Angelo bleeds blue with the rest of us, and the other day we chatted about the labor impasse.

Will there be a lost season?  “No way,” said Angelo.  “If it was money for both sides to start it, it will be money for both sides that ends it.  Both sides will settle late August or early September just so that they can all get their wish on cutting down the preseason games and then start the season with 14-16 games.  They need to play, so they will play.”

This frankly makes a lot of sense, and I am on board with this very plausible scenario.  Veteran players who cannot stand the two-a-days of August will make their concessions when August is almost done. They can get most (if not all) of those game checks w/o the grind of a long summer camp and preseason.  I am reminded of Michael Strahan in 2007, who needed the checks but just was not mentally keen on trudging through Albany (or Coughlin, for that matter).  Now, all of the NFL players get to be Strahan and they will do what he did, cutting a deal once training camp has to be shortened.

For us as fans, what this means is that all of the offseason preparation will be lost.  And that means you better expect a lot of rust and shoddy football at the beginning of the new season when the rift is settled.
So we will set the over/under line on the number of games they play in the 2011 season at 14.  Like the old days.  14 games in a season.  And no one will have a problem with the new champion having played 2 less games.  After we did our first draft of this post, we went to bodog.com for an assessment of where the money is on how long this lasts:

How many games will be played in the 2011 NFL Regular Season?
0                      7/2
1-15                  3/2
16                     2/3
17 or more         15/2

So there you have it, the “mode” (event with highest probability) is for a 16 game season.  We’ll go under because of the August heat. 

Summary: When players see the game checks being lost and owners see revenue going out the door in chunks, they’ll both escalate concessions to one another and get the deal done.