Football 2010 is now over. It ended the night of February 6th with Green Bay's 31-25 victory over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 45 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Now comes the hard part. Making sure we have an NFL season for 2011. The league's collective bargaining agreement with the players association ends March 4th. If no agreement is reached that would mean a lockout starting on that date.
Fans see this as a battle of the Billionaires (owners) vs. the Millionaires (players). And they are right. The big issues are the owners want an additional billion dollars exempted from the shared-revenue pool, a rookie wage scale and adding two games to the regular season while dropping two preseason games.
The players don't want to take a reduced cut of the multi-billion dollar NFL pie. They want salary increases for the additional regular season games, improved post career health care and better pension vesting. The Players Association has also asked to see full financial disclosure records for all 32 NFL teams.
Meanwhile the owners point out that the average value of its franchises has actually fallen for the first time since 1998. Forbes magazine showed a decline of 2% from 2009. That means, on average, an NFL franchise is now worth $1.022 Billion. Seriously! That's a decrease!
The Dallas Cowboys remain the highest valued franchise in the NFL and all professional sports at $1.805 billion. A 9% increase this year.
The NFL's poorest franchise, after a drop of 16% in value since 2009 are the Jacksonville Jaguars falling to $725-million.
Billionaires vs. Millionaires. Let's hope the losers aren't us - the Fans!