NFL Lockout: Understanding the Double-Dip Recession and Ongoing Labor Dispute

Mike LangthorneContributor IIJune 11, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 21: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting it's annual owners meeting in New Orleans(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The National Football League, for lack of a better term, is a cash cow.

It’s the mystical jackpot slot machine hidden in the back of the casino that only the billionaire owners, millionaire players, television networks, apparel manufacturers and stadium concessionaires are privy to take their pulls from. 

With that comes great responsibility for the custodians of that machine to ensure that it is running at optimum efficiency at all times and that it keeps churning out hefty payouts. If there is even the slightest hiccup, breakdowns will ultimately begin to occur, and the whole operation could be compromised.

Collectively, both the NFL owners and the NFLPA are fully aware of this. 

A double-dip recession is when gross domestic product growth slides back to negative after a quarter or two of positive growth. It essentially refers to a recession that is followed by a short-lived recovery, then followed by yet another recession.

In short, the mounting fears of a double-dip recession may prove to be the driving force behind the recent progress surrounding a potential resolution to the ongoing labor dispute in the NFL.

Those same fears are what seem to be causing all owners to take internal inventory of their personal assets. In many cases, the owners have other business interests which have helped fund their wealth. If those properties begin to bear the brunt of the ongoing recession, then they leave themselves susceptible to catastrophic results.

The last time a double-dip recession occurred in the United States was over the course of a three-year period from 1980-1982. It's only a mere, yet unusual, coincidence that the NFL also encountered its first work stoppage in league history during the fall of 1982. In the process, the 57-day players' strike cost the league seven weeks worth of games and nearly alienated its devout and loyal fanbase.

One of the primary functions of documenting historical information is so it can be used as a point of reference for individuals to learn from and refer to when making future decisions.

In the case of labor disputes in professional sports, there is a fine line that owners and players alike must tight rope when it comes to fan loyalty. If the trust of the fanbase waivers, the ensuing domino effect that takes place could have a detrimental outcome on the overall well-being of the league, and in turn it could take an extended period of time before normalcy is completely restored.

As is the case in all business, without demand (fanatical interest) there would be very little need for supply (professional football). A swift resolution to the labor strife will help quell fears of that scenario from occurring, but the question still remains, the next time a pull of the slot machine is taken, what will the result be?

For the sake of all of parties involved, they better hope for no whammies.