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NFL?problems can be solved easily/Paul Peterson

April 23, 2011
By Paul Peterson , The Daily Mining Gazette

The word greed is loosely defined as "an excessive desire to possess wealth with the intention to keep to one's self."

That's why trying to take sides in the current National Football League war between the owners and players is like trying to choose sides between the CEO's of Haliburton Inc. and Exxon Oil.

Never have I seen such unmitigated greed on the part of two parties.

With a large pie - estimated at $9 billion a year - the two sides have been content to nit-and-pick over details that should never enter into the equation.

There's talk about an 18-game schedule, but that's just so much fluff.

Anyone in their right mind knows that the players aren't going to play two extra games - without an even bigger slice of television revenues.

The NFLPA says two extra games would add even more injuries to a growing list of serious ones.

I can buy that argument. Football played at the NFL level is without question a violent game.

The owners maintain that players got the best of the 2006 agreement between the two parties. They maintain that player salaries account for 60 percent of total revenues and that the figure is excessive.

The owners also say that escalating costs, and in some cases, sagging attendance figures, make it imperative for them to get a better deal this time.

In all of this haggling, one important part of the equation has been left out: The fans.

The solution to the whole mess is so simple I can't believe that anyone hasn't come up with it.

First of all, eliminate two preseason games. The preseason is a complete waste of time and most fans detest the meaningless contests.

Secondly, start the regular season on Labor Day weekend. There's no good reason to waste that weekend, and fans are ready for the season to begin by then.

Thirdly, add at least two wildcard teams from the NFC and AFC.

This gives the owners the extra revenue they are seeking and adds additional interest for the players ... and the fans.

Finally, increase the team rosters by three or four players. This will help reduce the number of injuries and keep the level of play at acceptable standards.

If a plan similar to this one can be adopted, we'll be looking at football on opening day. If not, look for a shortened schedule, maybe a 10-game one.



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