Lockout puts NFL season in jeopardy



            For the first time since 1987, the National Football League has a work stoppage threatening its season.  Last Friday, the NFL Player's Association decertified and filed an antitrust suit against the NFL, which marked the beginning of a lockout.


While the war between the players and owners over money may be resolved by the time the upcoming season rolls around, it will affect the rest of the spring and summer off-season.


            The NFC West Blog on ESPN explained that a lockout would prevent players and their organizations from having any contact with one another. This would affect conditioning, cohesiveness, and rhythm in a sport where all three are key to winning.


            The real problem with a lockout is that the NFL is more than just players, coaches, and owners.  It will also affect people who work for the organizations or who work at football stadiums.  Merchandise sales will plummet, beer sales will fall, and without football, people will be wondering why FOX and CBS still exist.


A recent USA Today article explained that the NFL makes $9 billion a year and would lose around $400 million a week, each week during the lockout. People would probably watch less SportsCenter, NFL Live wouldn't exist, and many reporters would be temporarily out of a job.


            Take for instance all of the bars that love the NFL season because it equates to huge profits on Sunday's and Monday's.  


O'Brien's Irish Pub, on the corner of 23rd and Wilshire here in Santa Monica, is just one of the bars that would take a hit if games were not played this year.  Owner of 18 years, Willy O'Sullivan, said "losing the NFL could be the last straw for a lot of businesses."


            While O'Brien's is more than a sports bar, they still brought in 40 percent more business on NFL Sunday's compared with regular Sunday's. O'Sullivan expects to lose money because bars are a "squeezed industry" and people these days don't have a lot of extra money to spend. 


            Bars are a huge source of revenue for communities because they attract business and offer numerous jobs. The Santa Monica tourism website shows that there are some fifty bars in the Santa Monica area alone, and that's just a tiny fraction of bars that exist in the Los Angeles area.


Is this going to be the end of hamburgers, beer, and drunken conversations, as we know it? 


Even those of us who prefer to watch out of the comfort of our own home will not be participating in special Sunday or Monday night rituals.  This dip in excessive splurging will influence grocery stores, merchandising companies, and even the homeless people, who will probably find less cans to go through.


            Even worse, NFL fans will find themselves with a huge new chunk of availability.  Myself and other students might actually spend a Sunday doing homework instead of watching football.  Monday might actually become the most hated night of the week.  Fans might have to start spending time with family, cleaning the house, or even resort to mingling with people outside of their group of friends. 


Church and ESPN bowling might be the new thing to do on Sunday's.  Imagine a bunch of educated, religious people talking about politics at the bowling alley, while enjoying a club soda. 


Am I the only one who is freaked out by that picture?  Some people enjoy music, others art, but many revel in the comfort of sports, and life without the NFL would change the very essence of who they are.