Somehow this year in the U.S. the National Hockey League (NHL) season outlasted the National Basketball Association season (NBA). The Boston Bruins of the NHL won their first Stanley Cup Championship in nearly 40 years on Wednesday night. This came three days after the Dallas Mavericks vanquished America’s anti-team the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The NHL season started before the NBA season – as it always does – on October 7th, 2010. Ice hockey is a winter sport played outdoors in many places. While I understand the need for television revenue and the fact that after May sweeps there is a dearth of programming, it just does not seem right that there is hockey in mid-June or basketball for that matter.
Now that pro hockey and basketball are done only one of the four major sports (baseball folks) is in season. In fact these are the only 2+ months of the year where there is only one sport in season before the NFL season kicks off in September. But only if there is an NFL season this year that is.
Mired in an owner imposed lockout, the National Football League has been making headlines all throughout the spring under the threat of not having a season because the owners and players cannot work out a new collective bargaining deal on how to share $9 billion of revenue. However this past week there have been rumblings about the two sides coming closer together and potential deal sometime in the next two weeks – ahead of the opening of mid-July NFL training camps.
While players are considering what they would do if there were not a NFL season, repercussions of a non-NFL fall and winter would be much more far reaching. Aside from die-hard American NFL fans missing their favorite television sport (by a wide margin), in a continually difficult economy there would be a large number of non-players and league personnel who would lose the critical income they earn during the NFL season.
The major television and radio networks also would be extremely affected (think about Dish network and its popular NFL package). In fact Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott (who ran women’s tennis and is a very interesting and forward thinking guy) came out earlier this year noting that the Pac-10 might move some of its games to Sundays. College football on Sunday? It happens once in a while but having it regularly would no doubt increase the popularity of college football even more than it already is now.
So now’s the time for all good men (and women) to come to their senses and make a deal so we can have another great NFL season. Not that the NBA is a copycat league but it too has its collective bargaining agreement up for renewal and there have also been discussions about a work stoppage. It’s all part of negotiating today to make discussions public. The prospect of putting more Americans out of work at this time should be something both the NFL and NBA consider and speak to by making their deals. I just wish they’d cut the crap and make a deal.
We just want to watch the games. Does it really matter who wins or loses?