“The big loser, if there’s games missed and the season is pushed back or whatever, is me, you and every other NFL fan out there,” WFAN’s Joe Benigno said on Friday. “Those are the big losers.”
The dispute centers on how to divide the billions in revenues and the union’s demand for what it calls “financial transparency.”
Mike from Mount Vernon opined to Benigno and Evan Roberts, “the greedy owners don’t want to open the books, which way is the union supposed to go?”
What appears likely, given yesterday’s tone, was that talks could break off, leading to a lockout by owners or decertification by the union — actions that could threaten the 2011 season.
“As far as being a winner, we all know the fans are the losers, but just between those two, the owners do have a chance to mess this up because I think there’s infighting there,” said Mike. “Isn’t it the haves and the have-nots as far as the owners are concerned, and that’s what’s bringing this on in the first place.”
Beyond the rich players and even wealthier team owners arguing over how to divvy up $9 billion in revenue a year, there are die-hard NFL fans barely scraping by.
“I’m a union guy, been a union guy my whole adult life. Twenty five years in the same union. The fact of the matter is, times have changed,” Dave from New Jersey told Joe & Evan. “The average American only makes about $26,000 and change a year. If you take that over a forty year career, you’re at about maybe $1.1, 1.2 million for forty years of working their butts off in a factory or what have you, it doesn’t make a difference. That’s the average. That’s what it is, don’t hide it, don’t sugar-coat it.
“Whether they’re owners or players, they gotta have a reality check, okay? And the reality check is gonna be, nobody’s going into those gates. The reality check’s gonna be, no money funneling in from concessions and t-shirts and everything else that they sell.”
LISTEN: Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts talk NFL owners, a possible lockout, and DeMaurice Smith’s role
Overall, local economies would not see money so much lost as spent elsewhere. Fans would look to entertain themselves some other way on Sunday afternoons.
“Someday they’re gonna wake up and that stadium is not gonna be able to have people paying $10,000 or $20,000 PSLs,” said Dave. “I mean, you’re gonna run out of a pool of people that have that kind of money.”
Still, the blame can’t all be passed on to the owners, says Evan Roberts.
“Look, I’m with the players,” Roberts said. “But one thing about this DeMaurice Smith is that a part of me thinks he’s trying to make a real big name for himself here.”
Your thoughts on the NFL’s looming lockout? Add them to the fray in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)