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NFL Labor Issues: A Not-So-Doomsday Scenario

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A meteor shower will not crush several of the world's largest athletic venues to dust.

An epidemic caused by a mysterious bacterium will not eliminate from the planet everyone with a Y chromosome.

And here is another thing that won't happen if the men who own the teams that play in the National Football League and the players they employ can't reach an agreement about how to divvy up the $9 billion with which the game has been stuffing their collective pockets each year:

Come the autumn, millions of football fans will not stare for several hours at blank television screens each Sunday out of habit. We're sometimes dumb, we human beings, but not that dumb.

Sports gives us all sorts of stories. That's why we pay attention to our games. That, and because so much else of what fills our days is incomprehensible, infuriating, or both. Sports offers clarity. Some guy either catches the ball or he drops it. One team wins. The other team loses. Then we all move on to the next game. Yay, team.

Maybe the dull story the NFL has been giving us for several months now is the price we pay for the exciting stories generated during the season.

I guess a business as profitable as the NFL can't be expected to rumble along without greed, posturing, name-calling, and lawyers.

Most people accustomed to being entertained by guys running, throwing, catching, tackling and dancing in the end zone aren't enjoying this stretch during which their sport is reduced to sniping over a bargaining table. But so what, both sides seem to be saying.

This is not to suggest that I think the two sides are equally at fault that what passes for football news these days is the glacial grind of bargaining.

You ask me, the owners are selfish hypocrites for not giving the players even more money and lots more benefits, since the players are the ones who beat themselves up each week to entertain the millions who scream and shout and bet and pay the freight.

But that is not how it works, and lately it does not seem to be working at all, and for the sake of all those who will miss the stories involving the running, throwing, catching, tackling, and dancing in the end zone if those stories are delayed, let us hope the current circumstance does not continue much longer.

This program aired on March 9, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield has been the host of Only A Game since the program began in 1993.

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