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Sundays wouldn’t be the same without football

Super Bowl XLV ended with the Lombardi trophy in the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers proclaimed he “was going to Disney World” and Packers fans everywhere reveled in the glory that comes from your team winning the biggest game in sports.

Football season is now over.

But don’t expect news from the NFL to go away, not with the possibility of no 2011 season.

On Mar. 3, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement expires. If a new contract between the player’s association and the NFL isn’t reached by that date, players will officially be on strike.

I often get sick of the massive amount of coverage the NFL receives during its offseason when the MLB, NHL and NBA should be the focus. But this year is different.

The thought of no football on Sundays in 2011 is an unfathomable proposition.

I have found throughout the years I am the classic definition of a nerd. Not the geeky kind with glasses, but a rather  huge sports nerd. I spend more time thinking about Peyton Manning’s laser, rocket arm than I do Bradley co-eds.

Telling me there may not be an NFL season for over a year makes me want to go into hibernation.

Like many of you, my Sundays are composed entirely of football. I wake up, eat, watch the games all day, eat again and then watch the Sunday night game before going to bed. That’s it. For my entire life, Sundays were a slam dunk.

I can’t imagine going through the winter months without the NFL and I shouldn’t have to.

If you are reading this column and want me to berate highly paid, greedy athletes for trying to get more money you came to the wrong place.

If there is a lockout in 2011, it won’t be the players’ fault. The blame will fall directly on the NFL and the owners.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants to increase the regular season schedule from 16 to 18 games, reducing the number of preseason games from four to two.

This would mean billions of dollars in extra revenue for the league in not only ticket sales but also in TV deals.

The NFL Players Association’s executive director DeMaurice Smith said he was against an 18-game schedule because of safety concerns and the potential of shortening players’ careers.

It’s really simple. If the NFL wants to increase the number of games then the players need to be paid more than what they are now. What if your boss asked you to work 20 hours a week instead of your normal 10 and then only paid you for 10 hours of work?

You would be upset and rightfully so. Just because NFL players make millions of dollars doesn’t mean they should be treated any differently.

Ultimately, both sides have to come to an agreement and I am confident they will.

There will be a lockout and it will likely be long and dragged out. The season may even be shortened, but both sides have entirely too much to lose by canceling it.

They can’t kill the golden goose. They know the game is too popular and too important to let it vanish for long.

Look at Super Bowl XLV for example. On Monday, the NFL announced 162.9 million people watched the game and the broadcast’s 111-million person average watching at a time was the most for any television program in U.S. history.

In the end, there is too much money at stake for both sides. Neither side wants to lose the billions of dollars the NFL makes each season.

So while baseball season quickly approaches and the NBA and NHL reach their stretch run, I will still be following the NFL labor negotiations closely.

Let’s hope there is football on Sundays in 2011.

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