NFL Lockout: Five Reasons Why It Is Almost Over

Eitan KatzAnalyst IIJune 14, 2011

NFL Lockout: Five Reasons Why It Is Almost Over

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots signals during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Image
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Could it be?

    According to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, the NFL Lockout is nearing its conclusion. Freeman mentions a source who reports that the "negotiations are 80-85 percent complete."

    Normally, this would be cause for celebration. But with this lockout, I'm going to go ahead and use the famous phrase "it ain't over 'till its over." These two sides both have gigantic egos, and there is a lot of pride on the line.

    Neither side was willing to budge before, why is the tension decreasing?

    Why is Freeman telling us that, "One person tells the story of how he saw more smiles in one recent negotiation than he had in almost all of the mediation sessions in Washington combined?"

    Where did these smiles come from? Did one side make a huge sacrifice? Doubtful.

    More likely, the NFL and the NFLPA realized what they were doing (namely: destroying the greatest/most lucrative league in the United States) and got their act together.

    Let's go into detail about the five reasons the NFL lockout is seemingly coming to a close.

5. The Fans

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    GREEN BAY, WI - FEBRUARY 08: Green Bay Packers fans gather at Lambeau Field for the Packers victory ceremony on February 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
    Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

    Honestly, I was thinking about leaving the fans off of this list. After all, if they really cared about us they would have prevented the lockout from starting in the first place.

    But I find it hard to believe that out of the 300-something people who are attending these negotiations, not one of them is swayed by fan sentiment. Also, if it weren't for us there wouldn't be an NFL anyway.

    No matter what the NFL says, or what the NFLPA says—we are their most valuable asset.

    We pay the big bucks to watch these egotistical morons smash each other unconscious every week.

    Without us, they have nothing.

4. Even for These Guys, Enough Is Enough

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL lawyer Jeff Pash (L), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Art Rooney II (R), president of the Pittsburgh Steelers arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    I could only fit one photo here, but really this reason involves everyone in the negotiations (players included).

    After a while, don't you think these guys are tired of stalemating over and over again?

    Listen, everyone in the world knew that this thing had to end at some point. Is it possible that both sides realized that working together (just a tiny bit) would speed up the inevitable? Maybe they thought, "If it is going to end, and we are going to compromise, what is everyone wasting their time with?"

    The people working the negotiations are smart, successful people, but sometimes their egos clouded their judgement. With a clear mind after the break (there were no negotiations for a while), perhaps these intelligent people realized the easiest way to solve this thing was to just give a little.

3. The Owners

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    CHANTILLY, VA - MARCH 02: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives at a hotel fora  meeting with NFL owners on March 2, 2011 in Chantilly, Virginia. The NFL owners are meeting in Chantilly to discuss negotiations with the players union about a coll
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Finally, after months of prodding, plodding and deflection, the owners backed off.

    Remember when almost every single day there was a report out about an owner very deceivingly diverting blame towards the players? The "we aren't the bad guys here, we are losing money" line got kind of stale after a while.

    Especially when the owners basically told the NFLPA to go screw themselves when asked for their financial statements to prove that they were indeed losing money.

    The owners created tons of hate and anger between themselves and the players with all of their chirping. Since the lockout was reinstated, there has been sweet silence.

    I think this is one of the reasons both sides were able to hammer out a deal in harmony.

2. The Players

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 21:  In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, his son Jack (4) and niece Jordan (5), meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider of Disney's animated film, 'Tangled,' while celebrating Jordan's fift
    Handout/Getty Images

    Yes, that is Tom Brady. The same guy in the cover picture.

    What happened?

    No football happened.

    What many fans don't realize is how much these athletes rely on football. For many of them, it is their entire life. Their family, their friends, their profession and their interests. And for some, it is their only hope.

    We have lives, jobs, stresses and responsibilities which are there whether we like it or not. Even though we don't like to admit it, football is just a game. It's something we obsess over, but only because we love the competition. We have to win. Our team is the best, and we will argue that 'till our faces turn blue.

    Not for the players.

    One of the main reasons Brett Favre came back to the NFL so many times is because he missed the adrenaline rush every Sunday. He missed the camaraderie (even though he has none), the pressure, the adoring fans (even though he has none).

    It's the same reason Jordan came back to the NBA.

    For these players, what do they do without football? Antonio Cromartie made it pretty clear that he didn't care how it got done, he just wanted a deal so he could get ready for next season. It's 24/7, 365. Since high school, the only thing they have done is worked out and honed their craft.

    Now? They are stay-at-home dads. They are the guy next door.

    They are nothing without football.

1. Money

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    Here is the truth folks: the league makes $9 billion a year.

    As businessmen, do you think the NFL is going to let that money just disappear?

    Didn't think so.

    In the end, it all came down to money, money, money. Cromartie hit it right on the head when he said:

    "It's getting ridiculous when everything is always dealing with money," and followed it up by later saying, "Stop bitching about money. Money ain't nothing. Money can be here and gone."

    Who knew that the immature jock who forgot his kids' names would be so concise?

    Thanks for reading!

    Sound off in the comments section below and tell me how you're feeling about this.