By Stetson Hershey-
Imagine: Sunday. No football.
“I don’t know what I would do,” said a sophomore from Penn Manor. “I never really thought about it. I watch the Eagles every Sunday.”
If the NFL players and owners don’t come to a new collective bargaining agreement soon, there could be no football for the 2011 season.
“Why are they [the players and owners] even fighting? Don’t they already make too much money?” said a junior from Penn Manor.
The players and owners are having a dispute over a few things. The biggest one is how to split up nine billion dollars in revenue. The old agreement would give the owners a one billion dollar top off. The owners would like to increase it to two billion before the players would get their share.
Owners would also like to push the season from 16 games to 18 games, while decreasing the preseason games to two. If the season is expanded then the players would want to receive better health care and retirement plans.
Another issue the owners want to fix is the rookie salary. They want to introduce a rookie wage scale, keeping a limit on how much, and how long the unproven rookies can sign contracts for.
Some fans would have a change in heart about their favorite teams if there was a lockout. Some wouldn’t want to attend games anymore, while some would still root for their team just as much as before.
“The Steelers are my team and I will stand behind them no matter what,” said a freshman at Penn Manor.
“I would stop watching the NFL and start watching college football more,” said a junior at Penn Manor.
“If there was a lockout I wouldn’t attend a football game,” said gym teacher Scott Lackey.
1987 was the last time there was a player lockout and it reduced the season games from 16 to 15. Weeks four through six of that season were played with replacement players. Lackey, a Ravens fan, described the games with replacement players as ‘unwatchable.’
Some feel that a lockout will happen and there won’t be any football next year.
“I think a lockout will happen,” said a freshman at Penn Manor.
Others are optimistic that the problems will get worked out and football will be played.
“No, they will play,” said a junior at Penn Manor, “I can’t imagine they would have anything to gain by not playing.”
“No, owners and players can’t stand to lose too much money,” said Scott Lackey, “something will be done before it’s too late.”
Owners and players appear to be sincere on coming to an agreement before the CBA expires on March 3.
The assistant executive director of external affairs for the Players Association recently sent an email regarding this issue to ESPN.com.
“The players didn’t walk out and the players can’t lock out. Players want a fair, new and long term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised,” said George Atallah.
Stay up to date with the events that unfold with this issue, as it could drastically affect your Sundays this fall.