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Friday, May 06, 2011

Pro Football NYC Merges With Football Reporters Online

Pro Football NYC Merges With Football Reporters Online

For General Release

Brooklyn, NY May 5, 2011

Pro Football NYC, the website created to preface the groundswell of excitement leading up to the 2014 Super Bowl in New York, has been annexed by Football Reporters Online, the long-standing, hard-hitting behind-the scene entity run by Dr Bill Chachkes.

John Fennelly, the founder of PFNYC, said in a statement today that the site would immediately fall under the FRO badge and diligently continue to cover the New York Football Scene.

In addition, Mr. Fennelly said he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the site, which was founded in March of 2010 and quickly became the fastest-growing NY-based sports site on the net.

Dr. Chachkes will assume the role as CEO and Managing Editor. The FRO staff and their affiliates will begin to migrate the site in next few weeks.

"I have full confidence in Bill and his team, that they will see this site to its fruition," said Fennelly. "He has been covering football for nearly four decades and no one knows the terrain better than he does."

“The Focus of PFNYC will not change, but will be enhanced by the combining of the two staffs into one,” said Dr. Chachkes “ “Even though John will no longer be a day to day contributor, he will continue to be a trusted advisor, and our staff will continue to support and submit written content to John’s “Giants Football Blog” at SNY.tv, and John will continue to broadcast with us on Tuesday evenings when he is able. We will continue to bring Football fans in NYC and across North America the story, and go deeper behind the story.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lockout Underscores Owners’ Lack of Respect for NFL Fans

By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer-Football Reporters Online

The clock finally struck midnight on Friday night, and now, while talk of March Madness and Cinderellas are in full swing, the 2011 NFL season is in realistic jeopardy of turning into a pumpkin.

One week after the original March 4th deadline for ironing out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was extended, NFL owners officially closed up shop and locked out their players, effectively shutting down the league (other then next month’s NFL draft) until further notice.

Sadly, it’s those who are most responsible for the insanely huge amounts of money that NFL owners and players are quibbling over – NFL fans – who will suffer the most unless the upcoming season is saved.

Duping their loyal fans, NFL owners have taken a page (and then some) from a 1989 film about another sport, the classic baseball movie, “Field of Dreams.”

Most of us know the story. Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella hears the whispers… “If you build it, they will come.”

That’s exactly what NFL owners did with over-the-top, extravagant new stadiums.

Except, they went one step further, with the unfortunate notion that in the NFL, “If you build it, they will come… and when they do, you can try to shake every last dollar you can out of not only the fans who show up, but from the players the fans will pay exorbitant amounts to come see.”

And, that’s all while putting the financial burden of building those shiny new stadiums largely upon those same fans.

Yes, that is the sad state of affairs in today’s NFL for the average NFL fan.

Not only do fans, as taxpayers, shoulder much of the cost of new stadiums like Jerry Jones’ Cowboys Stadium (often dubbed the “Dallas Palace”), or the Giants’ and Jets’ New Meadowlands stadium (each having come with price tags in excess of $1.6 billion), but those same fans are asked to pay thousands of dollars in Personal Seat Licences just to have the right to buy tickets to watch games in them.

If that wasn’t enough, now loyal remaining season ticketholders who weren’t priced out (by PSL’s) of buying tickets to see their favorite teams play, can’t even do that, because of the unyielding collective ego and greed on the part of NFL owners.

That’s not to say that the NFL’s current labor issues are all one-sided. Every dispute has both opposing parties which are usually at least somewhat at fault.

However, it’s the players who really just want to give the fans what they want – to play football -- under the current CBA specifications that the owners agreed to themselves, years ago. That agreement was fine for NFL owners until that no longer became convenient in the face of the owners trying to squeeze every last dollar out of both the NFL Players’ Association and NFL fans.

The simple fact is, the owners can’t fully be trusted.

Only now, after the NFLPA has been forced to decertify and involve the threat of a possible court injunction, are NFL owners beginning to open their books to any extent at all (and even at that, they won’t be opened far enough to justify the extra $1 billion and greater portion of shared revenues along with an increase to an 18-game regular season schedule that NFL owners are seeking).

But, the reason for the mistrust of NFL owners goes beyond that, back to the stadium issue.

Under the guise of “parternership” to win public support, NFL owners have secured more than $4.4 billion in taxpayer money for 21 new or renovated stadiums (nearly two-thirds of the league’s stadiums) since 1995.

The reality is that of the $2 billion teams claim they are investing in stadiums, about $1 billion comes from NFL loans and PSL’s, two sources where the dollars come either exclusively, or at least mostly, from fans.

A particular case like the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field renovation shows what the NFL’s “parternship” with the public for financing new NFL stadiums really means.

The Bears pledged to pay $200 million of Soldier Field’s $632 million renovation, but when all was said and done, thanks again, to partially fan-financed NFL loans and to fan-paid PSL’s, the final cost to Bears’ ownership for the renovation was less than $30 million.

It’s no different around the league. Over the next 30 years, taxpayers in NFL cities will pay more than $2 billion in interest payments on bonds that were used to raise public money for NFL stadiums.

And, thanks to a deal worked out with the U.S. government, while fans are helping to finance NFL stadium through paying their own taxes, NFL owners collect PSL money on a tax-exempt basis.

The bottom line is that the players just want to play. But, NFL owners want yet more money despite having already asked for billions from NFL fans to help finance new stadiums that ironically are supposed to be fan-friendly. Yet, despite all of the state-of-the-art amenities, how “fan-friendly” can it really be when those same fans are also being asked for thousands of additional dollars per seat in the form of PSL’s?

And, how much more can possibly be asked of NFL fans, who simply want their sport back in time for Week 1 of the regular season in September (or for that matter, in time for the upcoming NFL draft and training camps)?

Adding further insult to injury was the most recent Super Bowl, in February, with yet another irony. So desperate was Jones and the NFL to cram as many fans as possible into the new Cowboys Stadium as a result of further greed (to make more money) and ego on the part of Jones (to set the Super Bowl attendance record), that temporary seating wasn’t installed in time, thereby shutting out many fans who paid about $800 each per ticket (in additional to travel expenses to the Dallas area).

While the NFL more than rectified the situation financially, those fans missed seeing the game live and became the latest casualty of the NFL putting everything else about its game before the fans who support it.

Fans, as taxpayers and now as PSL buyers, have been conditioned to paying for stadiums for millionaires to play in and keep an exclusive NFL family owners in the business of remaining as billionaires, all while the average taxpayer and hardcore NFL fan can’t afford a seat in those very stadiums.

When you look at it that way, it’s amazing that it’s not the fans who haven’t decided to stop paying or to stop showing up, and haven’t locked out the owners and players.

Ultimately, we all love the game too much for that to happen.

But, after all the fans have given to the NFL, it’s time for the NFL and its owners to give something back.

For once, NFL owners (and even players) need to realize that they would have been nothing without their fans.

And for once, they need to let their fans come first, and make sure that it’s not the fans who are the next to be locked out.

Which "NFL" Gang is Greedier? the Owners or the Players?

By David Levy-Fan Experience reporter-Football Reporters Online

When I set out to film this documentary(Gang Greed) in August of 2008, my goal to tell the fans side. To let the fans speak about what it means to be a Jets fan. How the new PSL's were going to affect their status as a season ticket holder. Were they going to invest in them or stop going to games altogether. Now, it seams, no one may be going to any games in 2011.

National Football League team owners locked out the league’s players Saturday, shutting down professional football for the first time in 24 years and plunging the nation’s most popular and prosperous sport into a time of uncertainty.

The owners acted after labor talks with the players’ union collapsed Friday afternoon and players decertified the NFL Players Association, moving the bitter dispute into the courts and ending an era of NFL labor peace that had lasted since players went on strike in 1987.

Decertifying the NFL Players Association enabled the players to file antitrust litigation against the owners, which they did late Friday, with superstar quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees among the 10 named plaintiffs. Lawyers for the players also announced that they are seeking an injunction to lift the lockout.

Some still wonder if all of this was worth the headache. Not just for the players and owners, but the fans as well. Both the Jets and Giants issued apologies to the fans for the lockout. The players feel they did what they could but were left with no other choice.

The team owners will complain they are losing money. I am sure they will have no issues paying their bills though. The income is a loss for their business, not them personally. Some younger players will feel the crunch if they are not playing. Many veteran players have investments and other business ventures that will help them get by. But in the end, they will all be on the losing end.

Does anyone really win when this happens? When the last lockout occurred in 1987, who won that battle? The players went on strike while the owners went out and hired "scabs" to play out the season. Will the team owners do the same thing this year? Probably not. They all want to get this rectified before training camp begins. The fans would like it done sooner.

For season ticket holders, they would like to know sooner than later. Many are pleased only 50% is due and not the whole bill. It gives some longer to get that money together. But knowing a season will happen is better knowing now rather than three weeks into a season. We are on the outside looking in, wondering if a sport many of us enjoy will even happen this year.

Last week Judge David S. Doty ruled that the NFL violated the collective bargaining agreement with its players by renegotiating $4.078 billion in television rights fees for team owners to tap during a lockout even if no games are played in 2011. Why should the owners be entitled to money if there is no season? Should the players get paid if they do not play?

Both sides have their issues. Many players feel the union walked away from a deal that sounded good and met their needs, despite the negative media attention towards the NFL and its owners. According to that statement the NFL released the latest proposal’s details included:

1. The NFL proposed that the two sides split the economic differences between them, increasing their proposed cap for 2011 "significantly" and accepting the NFLPA's proposed cap number for 2014, which was $161 million per team.

2. The NFL proposed an entry level compensation system that was based on the union's "rookie cap" instead of a wage scale that the clubs originally proposed. In this proposal, the players drafted from rounds 2-7 would be paid the same amount of money, or even more money, than they are paid now. The savings that would come from the first-round picks would be reallocated to help veteran players and benefits.

3. After a player is injured, the NFL would guarantee that they would pay up to $1 milllion of that player's salary for the contract year. This is the first time that the owners have offered a standard multi-year injury guarantee.

4. The following changes would be made immediately to promote player safety:

Reduce the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 weeks to 10 and limiting on-field practice time and contact.

They would limit full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season

They would increase the number of off days for players

5. The NFL proposed that any change from a 16-game season to an 18-game season would only be made if the two sides agreed on the change. The 2011 and 2012 seasons would be 16-game seasons.

6. The NFL team owners would boost retirement benefits for more than 2,000 former players by nearly 60 percent by funding retirees benefits $82 million in 2011 and 2012.

7. The owners offered current players the opportunity to stay in their current medical plans for the rest of their lives.

8. The owners would allow third-party arbitrators in the NFL's drug and steroid programs.

9. The owners would improve the Mackey plan (designed for players suffering from dementia and other brain-related problems), disability plan and their degree completion bonus program.

10. The owners proposed a per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons.

Now that you know the particulars of the deal, do you still agree with the NFLPA's decision to decertify and go to court with the NFL?

Yes, the negotiations have been messy and well-publicized but progress was made before the recent burning of bridges. After having half the month of March in extensions of negotiations, both sides were reportedly off by $185 million on how much owners should get up from each season for certain operating expense before splitting up the rest of the revenues with players. That’s a far less amount than the $1 billion difference that separated the two sides earlier in discussions.

A recent poll by ProFootballTalk.com asked fans to place blame on who is responsible for the lockout and 27,000 have said that the player’s are to blame, barely. Just over 38% say the players are to blame, while 24.8% blame the owners and 36.7% blame both.

Many say this is the billionaires vs the millionaires. Two sides who get paid well, fighting to be paid more. If you own a professional football team, one would think you already had enough. Some of that may go to team operations and other bills to be paid, but many know where the bottom line ends. Players put their bodies on the line and should see a little more compensation. Let's see Woody Johnson or the Mara or Tisch families out there to battle for that extra compensation. I think not.

So while the league and the union continue to bicker like a divorced couple fighting over bank accounts, the fans are the ones who are truly hurting from this dispute, like a child overhearing their parents argument.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some things & Other Things: the Locked Out edition

By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

Everyone is pointing the finger at each other since this past Friday afternoon. The owners accusing the players of not bargaining in good faith, the players accusing the owners (and by extension the league) of wanting this to happen all along. The Players filed a class action suit (Brady Vs. the NFL) after voting to decertify. What drives me nuts here is the players never asked for anything then what they had asked for since 2009: for the owners to open the books. The feeble hearted attempt to do that at the 11th hour was just that. Feeble. Are you telling me the owners really don’t care about how much money they are leaving on the table? That the players really wanted to go the route of litigation as opposed to negotiation?

The league released a “summary “ of it’s proposal, amid other press releases coordinated by Team Owners, and in combat directed at the players. While they all were apologetic to a fault to the fans, not once did they offer to extend the deadline to keep talking, even though the owners claimed up until Friday that they were closer then they ever had been to a settlement. Remember they initiated this by “opting out” of the 2006 extension, because they felt they had given up too much.

The Players never got even the little things they asked for from the Owners Group..

The fact is that the Players never waivered on two serious issues: The extended 18 game schedule was a deal breaker for the players. While the owners and The NFL told us that the “fans want more meaningful” games, the owners never truly showed us they cared about the wear and tear on the players bodies. Did the NFL really take a survey of the fans asking them: do you want two more regular season games and two less pre-season ones? Where are the results of this research?

The second issue was player health and safety, for both current players and the “pre-1993” players. Five years of post career health insurance is just unacceptable in the modern age, while the NFL gets doctors to “lie” in Hearings that “Concussions caused by playing football” don’t lead to “Permanent Brain Injury,” or a lifetime of “headaches.” Just ask Brent Boyd, the former Vikings Offensive lineman who has been to capital hill to testify. He runs a great organization called Dignity After Football (DAF.Org), and if you aren’t totally swayed by what I say, talk to him for 10 minutes. I wonder if he’s had a good night’s sleep since he left the game in 1987.

I have a great deal of respect for Mr. John Mara, and I believe he and Bob Kraft were part of the moderate camp in this mess. Did you notice how he was at the front of the negotiating panel the last several days. That’s because I believe he really wanted to get something done. That’s why you didn’t see Richardson or Jones speak much recently, because no one really wants to hear what “they” were saying. These were the guys who wanted to “Break the players will” just a few weeks ago, that went on 60 Minutes and said a “Lockout wouldn’t be such a bad thing” Remember? I did…

They all talk about how they give to charity and help the less fortunate, but what did they just do to the working class and small businesses that depend on the NFL to earn it’s living. They have already priced out the working class with PSL’s and rising ticket prices, but wanted the players to “see the reality” that the economy was shrinking their profit margins, keeping them from building new stadiums. Why not rebuild the ones that are already in place? Why spend money that you don’t have, or expect local cities to come up with it? To me, the players take all the risks. They are the ones who could die or be paralyzed in a quick moment, or suffer permanent head or spine injuries like so many do, and don’t realize it until long after the fact.

True, no one forces these men to play the game. Many do it for the love of competition. Many do it because it is their only way to a better education and a better life. But if they are going to play, can’t they get the protection they deserve from severe life threatening injury? Can’t they have lifetime insurance? To me this is more important then how to split an extra few million.

Well, at least the draft isn’t cancelled….

You are now going to see the real worth of various teams’ scouting departments. With no free agency period in sight (unless a court ruling forces the parties back to the table and the NFL resumes team operations), the NFL Draft will now be the defining moment for teams to fill their needs. Still, after the player is selected, beyond the initial phone call, no team can have contact with a drafted player until the CBA conflict is settled (at least not legally). Sucks if this was your year to get a QB…

While this doesn’t directly cost me financially, it does impact me in that I only have “half” a sport to report on, the college side of the game. If it doesn’t get settled by the summer, you are going to see a lot of angry fans, a lot of people financially hurt and even businesses ruined, and people asking the question that no one wants to hear: “why bother to watch the NFL anymore?” Is that what the owners truly want?
Why should we feel bad for someone who tells his team “your taking a pay cut of twenty five percent until this is settled, as several teams have done already.

Baseball never fully recovered from the strike of 1994, and Hockey didn’t recover from their strike & lost season several years back either. Can The NFL really survive this? All we can hope for is a quick resolution by the courts at this point.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NFL Fans Should Pay For Their Tickets, Not Stadiums

By David Levy-Fan Experience Reporter-Football Reporters Online

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta remains a perfectly fine building for professional football. Still a teenager, it is nowhere near long in the tooth. Capacity is enough to accommodate nearly every Atlanta Falcons fan willing to buy tickets.
Arthur Blank, the team owner, craves a new stadium. That seems akin to trading in your car after it has logged only 20,000 miles, but he can well afford it.  Blank, the former owner of the ubiquitous American home improvement store chain called The Home Depot, has a net worth of $1.2 billion, according to Forbes, and the franchise value has risen 52 per cent since he bought it in 2002 for $545 million.

But wait. Blank expects the quasi-public agency that operates the Dome and the proposed site of a new stadium to issue bonds that would pay some of the costs. That should be 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, sticking it to taxpayers at the same time that funding for public schools in Georgia is being cut.

This sickness is spreading among NFL team owners. In Minnesota, the Vikings' Zygi Wilf has capitalized on the collapse of the Metrodome's inflatable roof amid a once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm and the fear of the franchise relocating to Los Angeles in his campaign for a replacement stadium. Of course, citizens would contribute to the project. Never mind that Blank might expect Wilf, worth $1.3bn, to pick up their lunch bill.

The shameless nonchalance of these folks who seem detached from reality has generated a shifting of the winds.  We have already experienced it here in New York and New Jersey.

The public, which normally sides with management during labor disputes in American sports, is sympathetic toward the players in a stand-off with owners that has pushed the league to the brink of a lockout.  In a poll conducted by Seton Hall University, 35 per cent who participated backed the players, compared to 22 per cent for their bosses. This, even though the same study found that most contend the players are overpaid.

Taxpayers are increasingly fed up with being forced to become stadium-erecting partners with Rolex-wearing, yacht-sailing jet-setters. Economists nowadays agree on little, but one belief they share is that public support of professional sports offers almost nothing financially in return.

The Giants and Jets grew tired of their shared arena and convinced the government to pitch in for a new-and-improved one. The old Giants Stadium was torn down despite carrying more than $100m in debt that must be paid off by the good people of New Jersey.  Plus, the season ticket holders are also helping flip the bill on the new one with PSL's.  Isn't that double dipping?  The nerve!

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, stands complicit in this wasteful building boom. From his office comes a wink-nod promise of the ultimate in ego gratification for owners: host your own Super Bowl! Just throw up a stadium and you will get the big game. How you bankroll it, that's your business.

Which explains why the 2014 Super Bowl was awarded to New Meadowlands in a region where the average low temperature in February is -2°C.  Which also explains why 22 of 32 teams have moved into fresh digs or had their existing ones totally made over in the last two decades.
In that time, teams have been blessed with more than $7bn in taxpayer subsidies for construction and renovation, according to the NFL Players' Association.

The players union reports that, on average, taxpayers put up 65 per cent of the financing for those projects. Owners found a way to avoid putting in any money for 10 of them; for nine others, their contribution amounted to less than 25 per cent.
Further driving public sentiment toward the players are reports on the sport's inherent physical risk, particularly for victims of post-concussive syndrome that has ravaged retirees. Fans are looking beyond the average salary of $1.9m and discovering other statistics:

$770,000, the median yearly pay.  Three-and-a-half years, the average length of career.  Eleven, the average number of players per team on injured reserve this past season.

While many of us might trade places with the players, the figures show that most of them accumulate more aches and pains than enough wealth to last them a lifetime.

For team owners, it is a different story. Admittance into the club all but guarantees going from rich to richer, experienced from the comfort of a stadium luxury suite.

Fine. That is the American way. But those who knock on government doors seeking handouts to finance mostly unnecessary arenas should instead heed the marketing message aimed at customers of Blank's old home improvement stores.
Do it yourself.

Follow me Twitter @LevysBakeryProd or at LevysBakeryProductions.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As the NFL lockout approaches, the average fan is clearly unaware of all of the issues

By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

As I sit here writing this at 4:30 am on the 12th day of January 2011, we are 49 days away from the first job action in professional football in 23 years. The “labor peace” that so many worked so hard for over the last 30 years to keep in place is about to go up in a puff of smoke like the $12 cigars that Madison av. money men favor. But this time, the formula for this impending action comes out of 280 Park Avenue, the headquarters of the NFL itself. I’m not saying this is directly the result of anything that Roger Goodell has done. If anything, he is trying to affect the quickest possible resolution to the problem. Except that mr. Goodell’s authority is limited by the owners who run the NFL. A small fraction of these owners want to see a ”correction,” like the stock market take place in pro football.

Yes folks, this is the doing of a small group of owners who could care less about the players health and general well being. All the more saddening is the fact that the owners in question have more to loose then they realize, and the league has gotten big business and the TV networks to play along.

Although I have been paying attention the last few years to the goings on, I took part in the NFLPA media conference call yesterday with Assistant Executive director (for external affairs) George Atallah and player executive board members Dominuqe Foxoworth (Baltimore Ravens) and Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns). Most of the questions revolved around the current health and safety issues and the Leagues’ launch of a new website to address these issues. Underneath it all is the countdown to when players will be “Locked Out” of their teams’ facilities (March 3rd).

While most would paint this as a “Millionaires vs. Billionaires” fight, the players in this case are getting the short end of the stick. Players’ rights have never been more at risk now then in all the time since Bernie Parrish helped lead the drive to organize in the 1950’s.

It’s true I subscribe to the “more football is good” theory, but when it’s cast about as a way to get around very real concerns about player health issues, then we have to look deeper. The owners want to add 2 regular season games to the schedule: great, right? Get rid of two pre season games, shorten up the time frame with regard to OTA and mini camps.

Players feel this is the major sticking point in getting a deal done. Not who makes more money, the owners or the players. "To me, right now, as things stand, 18 games, the way it's being proposed, is completely unacceptable. ... I see more and more players get injured every season," said Fujita on yesterday’s call.

Atallah informed us that 352 players were on injured reserve for all or part of the 2010 season, a record high, and just about 1/5th or 20% of the total number of active players this year.

Foxworth added "We put our bodies on the line and produce a lot of revenue, and we get five years (of post-retirement health insurance), And then they want to tack on two more games ... which is just going to multiply the injuries and the ailments that we're going to see after we go into our 40s, 50s, 60s -- 70s, if we're lucky”. ... Foxworth, like so many players, has a growing family, and considers a two thousand dollar a month COBRA payment a steep cost to keep health insurance active while locked out. While some players could probably afford to pay it, most of the younger players with less then 3 years of service in the league would probably have to seek temporary employment at something else to help pay that cost.
"We're not willing to budge on health and safety, and we'd like to gain some more ground in ways we can protect former players and current players." Foxoworth added.

I had a conversation at the 2010 draft With Kevin Mawae, who until this September was the players’ association president. “It all comes down to money, plain and simple. The owners had more then the players until the last agreement. The owners want it back now because the economy took a bad turn, so they want to make up for the outrageously high contracts they give to rookies, which add up to more money then most current vets will ever see, Not that I’m saying that a Bradford shouldn’t get every cent he can. You can die or be paralyzed at any time on the field of play” He was very open and candid about what many players see as a travesty in the making.

This is not to say that the financial issues aren’t important, and that the NFL and it’s workforce don’t need to agree to mutually beneficial terms to insure the survival of the great game of football. They do, and soon. But when you want to force a bad deal down one side’s craw as management is trying to do, I have to question what the owners (at least some) are doing here. If you were truly concerned enough to install and reinforce rule “tweaks” to the game this year to prevent more head to head contact injuries, why would you cut off players’ access to health care during a job dispute? Why have the TV networks agree to pay you money even if no games take place in 2011? Why threaten to lay off or furlough up to 50 percent of League and team staff?

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones recently said on a 60 Minutes interview segment that “it wouldn’t be so bad if the lockout went to the 11th hour before something got done” That doesn’t sound like a man who cares about his players or their families does it? Fujita doesn’t think so either, calling those comments irresponsible.

What the NFL owners don’t see here is beyond costing both sides a great deal of money and anguish. They are going to kill off the popularity of the game, that the NFL won when professional baseball struck in 1994. I’d want to know why I’m getting charged how ever many thousands of dollars for my tickets next year if there won’t be football played, if I still had season tickets. As my fellow writer David Levy points out many times over in his article series about the fan experience these days, Most average people have been priced out of going to see the game they love. If the owners love this game so much, why do they want to kill off it’s popularity, esp. when this past weekend’s “Wild Card Playoffs” broadcasts averaged over 32 million viewers per game.

This is what people should be asking of the NFL.

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