Despite the icy weather in Dallas, the NFL put on a great championship game.
Luckily for the fans, the game was held indoors so no one felt the effects of the cold--even those 400 fans denied seats because of unsafe conditions.
It was also a great performance by Green Bay's Packers, who took home the silver Vince Lombardi Trophy for the fourth time in their history. The Pack scored 21 of its 31 points off three Pittsburgh Steeler turnovers.
It just goes to show that it's not necessarily the best team that wins a championship, but the team that plays the best. And being that they were seeded last in the NFC playoffs and had to win four road games to claim the title, the Pack certainly fit that description.
Now that the season is over, the confetti has been cleaned up, and the players have properly proclaimed their intentions of going to Disneyland (and Disney World), a question that's undoubtedly weighing on millions of fans must be asked:
Was Super Bowl XLV the last game in the National Football League for a while?
The reason why this question is being asked? It's fairly simple:
There may be a work stoppage, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL owners and players is about to expire.
Actually, the owners dissolved the agreement some time before because they were unhappy about how things have gone, particularly financially. Among the issues that the owners want to see changed...
- According to these billionaires who write the checks and run the 32 NFL teams, the players are receiving too big a revenue share, which is nearly 60 percent of the $9 billion that the league generated, after the owners got the first billion of that.
- The owners want the regular season increased to 18 games from the current 16 by eliminating two pre-season contests and starting the campaign in mid-August.
- The owners want to set new spending limits on rookie salaries, as they apparently feel that first year players are getting too much money, considering that they have done nothing on the pro level.
As for the position of the players' union, the NFL Players Association, there is no way that they will agree to lower their revenue share, as the average NFL salary is lower than the NBA's and Major League Baseball's to begin with.
There is also concern about adding two games to an already grueling schedule. Concussions and other debilitating injuries are already rampant with 16 games, and now the owners want to add two more to pad their bulging pockets?
I'm pretty sure that that players are saying "I don't think so!" to that.
The only issue that I see a possible agreement on is the rookie spending limits.
I certainly feel that 21-and 22-year-old kids should not be paid $40 or $50 million just because they had a great college career, regardless of how many All-American awards or Heisman Trophies they won. Rookies need to prove themselves in the big leagues before even sniffing that kind of money.
Two other things that the NFLPA wants in negotiations are (1) better health care and pension plans and (2) for the owners to open their books and prove that things are as dire as they say they are.
The significant concern here is the fact that the owners are taking a hardline stance about what they want and are prepared to lock out the players if an agreement is not reached by March 4. However, the deadline can be extended if there is progress in the talks.
So far, however, the negotiation sessions between DeMaurice Smith, head of the players union, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell have been sporadic; that will undoubtedly increase as the deadline nears.
Goddell stated at the Super Bowl that he hopes to get a deal done in two weeks, but the chances of a lockout are good; it would be the first work stoppage in America's most popular spectator sport since the players' strike in 1987.
I personally feel that judging from the demands that the owners of the NFL's 32 teams are taking, they are looking to go to war and are willing to shut down at least part of the 2011 season if necessary, which will leave the fans, most of whom can't afford a ticket to a game, frustrated and disillusioned among other things.
It is rather sad that billionaires are picking a fight with millionaires over money, which is what all of this is about in a nutshell.
Needless to say, I hope a new agreement can be reached.
The immediate future of football at the highest level may be at stake.