The pending NFL lockout has left some fans in the dark. A survey by The Associated Press reveals that NFL lockout knowledge is actually quite low, with more than half of the people polled stating they had heard nothing about the labor dispute.
According to the AP Poll, which was originally used to gauge fan interest in an 18-game schedule, there appears to be a disconnect between the NFL and those who were surveyed. It might seem odd to die-hard football fans that there are people who aren’t aware that there is about to be a work stoppage in the most popular American sport. That number could actually work to the benefit of the owners if fans don’t figure out they are the ones making the money grab.
Shortly after the completion of the 2010 NFL season (after the Super Bowl on Feb. 6), the NFL owners will lock out players. At dispute is a new labor agreement between the owners and the players, one that has to be in place before anyone can go back to work. Called the collective bargaining agreement (or CBA), it is the basic agreement on where the money that the NFL makes will go. There are rules about salaries, television revenue, and just about anything else you can think of that deals with money.
Beyond the money aspects, there are also rules and regulations that get put in place under the CBA, one of which is the rookie pay scale. The owners want to rein in the salaries that rookies can make right out of college, and are forcing the players to concede certain points in this lockout.
One of the most contentious points of the pending NFL lockout, though, will be the wish of the owners to spread out the NFL regular season to 18 games. The moves from a 16-game schedule up to 18 games would also remove two of the preseason games.
In the AP survey, 27 percent of those asked strongly favor or somewhat favor adding those two regular season games. When they narrowed the survey data to just those claiming to be NFL fans, the number in support of the increased games rose to 41 percent, but those strongly in favor reported at just 18 percent. It is thus clear that there are people who support the increase of games in the NFL schedule, and the NFL owners may grasp those numbers in order to enforce their will during this lockout.
The most troubling aspect of this poll has to be that 31 percent of NFL fans and more than half of the people polled had no idea there is a dispute between the players and the owners about the CBA. That’s a lot of people to not know about the money grab the owners are trying to make here, especially when the players are fine working under the current agreement for a longer duration. Any fans who are still in the dark could be quite shocked when they come to realize that this lockout may end up costing everyone games in the 2011 regular season.