The fate of the 2011 NFL season could very well be decided at the NFL owners meeting taking place in Chicago on Tuesday. In a communication to owners last week, fellow owners descending on Chicago were told to bring an extra pair of underwear to be prepared to stick around until Wednesday to hammer out ownership’s position in the lockout negotiations.
There has been some very guarded optimism on the lockout front over the last few weeks, with both sides at the bargaining table and progress being made. I’ve heard some rumblings that 85% of the new deal is done. While that sounds like great news, keep in mind that the last 15% is most likely the hardest to get agreement on – the money.
The concern now is that there is some dissension in the ranks among ownership. With 32 teams and 32 unique situations, it’s hard to get a common voice to satisfy everyone’s interest. It’s up to Commissioner Goodell and the owners to come to some common ground to go to back to negotiations with alignment in their goals.
What we as fans have going for us to increase the likelihood of a deal is that the longer the lockout goes, the better the chance that owners will feel the first pressure point – missed preseason games. Most of us could care less about the preseason games, owners still sell tickets, concessions, parking, etc at preseason games. With so precious few games, any missed action has a substantial impact on the owners – up to 10% of their ticket sales.
Here’s to hoping that someone spikes the punch at the meeting and they get their shit together to get to the table and close this deal.