The NFL Needs to Wise Up

For the Cleveland Brows, this is a bad time for the NFL to have a work stoppage. 

With a new head coach/offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur, a second year quarterback in Colt McCoy, and a new defensive coordinator in Dick Jauron, the Browns need all the classroom work it can get.

Not to mention all of the mini-camps and OTA’s that will be missed. 

The organization has been warned not to do any coaching on the sly during any lockout as well. 

If there is a lockout, this is absolutely the worst time for the brown and orange. 

It also makes you wonder if the owners are really as smart as people think.

Owning an NFL franchise is like a having a license to print money.  The amount of cash that comes in from the league’s television deals and merchandising makes it almost impossible to lose money owning a team.

Almost impossible, right Art Modell?

Plus there is a salary cap, so there is no threat for a George Steinbrenner type owner to drive up the salaries so a smaller market team cannot compete.

Witness the current Super Bowl champion…Green Bay Packers.

The NFL has also stolen a page from baseball’s hot stove league in becoming a sport that carries interest all year around.

Immediately after the Super Bowl, you have talk about the draft and the NFL Draft Combine, where players eligible for selection run, jump, lift weights, and are interviewed by team officials and the media. 

Afterwards, players are moved up and down various rating lists based on their time at the Combine. 

Then you have mini-camps which take you into June, just six weeks away from training camp, and it starts all over again with exhibition pre-season games.

This is one of the sticking points of the negotiations.

For some reason, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has it in his head that the fans want less preseason games and more regular season games.  However, what the fans really want is not to pay full price for the games that do not count. 

Exhibition football is fine.  It’s an opportunity to see the players just drafted as well as a bunch of guys chasing a dream of playing in the NFL.  It can be entertaining.  Just not at the same price as a regular season game. 

You can go to an Indians’ game in Goodyear for $10 and get a good seat.  The NFL shouldn’t make season ticket holders purchase the pre-season tickets.  Discount the ticket prices and open it up to people who don’t have the chance to see games in person on a regular basis.

Outside of the scheduling issue, this possible work stoppage is all about the owners, who should all be doing well in the current system, wanting a bigger piece of the pie. 

Here’s a reminder for professional sports owners:  No one goes to the game to see you, they go to see the players. 

This isn’t the NBA situation where the players are making smaller markets non-competitive.  Just the opposite.  The pro football model resulted in the freaking Green Bay Packers, the smallest market in professional sports, winning the Super Bowl.

The NFL needs to get this situation resolved.  They can only hurt themselves by having labor problems with the popularity of the sport at an all time high.

It’s akin to killing the proverbial goose who lays the golden eggs.



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