NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

ESPN is reporting that the NFL could reportedly lose $1 billion if there is a lockout after the March 3 expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement — even if the entire 2011 season is played. According to the Wall Street Journal, the NFL could lose $400 million in March alone, when many season tickets are renewed, and another $500 million if preseason games are canceled next summer because of labor unrest. Each team can expect to lose $8 million for each home game that doesn't take place.

James Quinn, a players'-union lawyer, said the league had only itself to blame for any financial woes. NFL owners, who collected an additional $300 million in cash and savings this year, opted out of the collective-bargaining agreement with the players in 2008, resulting in no salary cap this season. NFL revenues are expected to approach $9 billion this year, but owners claim that too much (nearly 60 percent) goes to players. They say they have huge debts from building stadiums and starting up the NFL Network and other ventures, making it impossible to be profitable.

Cry us a river. The only thing more maddening than millionaires and billionaires fighting over money during a recession is the possible interruption of the football season. The players are taking all of the physical risk; based on their decreased life expectancy, risk for chronic and debilitating diseases from taking hit after hit, the sacrifice by their families and the fact that their contracts aren't guaranteed, they should make more money than the owners. If more of the owners were former players (only two current owners are former players), then perhaps they would get it. If they still don't get it, see football legend Earl Campbell.

Read more at ESPN.

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