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Will there be a NFL next season?
February 7, 2011 - Jim Smith
The Green Bay Packers, the only truly fan-owned team in the NFL, has won the Super Bowl, taking the Lombardi trophy back home, but the big question now is will there be a NFL season this fall?
The collective bargaining agreement between players and owners expires March 3, with the owners saying they want to take back some of the concessions made to players in the last contract negotiations and extend the 16-game season to 18 games, meaning two of the previously played preseason games would be regular season games.
Players and ex-players, who are now sports commentators, have voice opposition to both relenting financial items in the existing contract and extending the season, citing the growing number of players in the 16-game season who are being injured as the players get bigger and faster. The players say extending the season will lead to even more injuries and will necessitate even more safeguards for key players, which will take some of the excitement away from the game as it is now played.
The last time there was a work stoppage, the owners keep the game alive with "replacement" players, but there has been no mention of such a tactic is there is a work stoppage in this fall's season.
One talking head, Howie Long, has said he doesn't believe football would be too badly hurt if the stoppage did not go deeper than the first two games into the season. I hope he's right.
The real question is can owners and players afford a non-season?
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