In negotiations, it's often the side with the most leverage that receives the best deal. We've covered the lockout to death, along with just everyone else, but I think instead of talking about how it could be solved, I'd talk about the side the loses the most: the fans. It's not exactly what you think either- we are doing it to ourselves.
I think a lot of fans side with the players, not only because they are the actually the ones producing a product, but because we think the owners are stupid. But the fans are the most idiotic of the bunch, because we keep coming back. When the lockout was briefly lifted around draft time, and the owners screwed everyone out of even a morsel of offseason training, we tuned into the draft, booed the commissioner until the cows came home, and gave the league a whole bunch of cash for watching the juicy ads on ESPN.
We as fans largely laugh at Goodell's attempts to say the fans want an 18 game season. We don't, but the hubris of the owners representatives is another matter. Because what happens if their is an 18 game season? 16 game season? 2 game season shortened by the lockout? Do you think fans will show up to those games, or watch them on TV or (gasp!) online? Of course. We'll pay for that overpriced beer, thank you very much.
I half-finished an article about the would be lockout (yeah, that long ago), talking about costs of stadiums and how the owners need this extra billion that stalled the CBA talks. I don't think I'd need to convince you it's complete bull. Take Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts. It cost them $720,000,000 to build. That isn't a sum of money any of us have laying around, yet the good fans in Indianapolis funded almost 620,000,000 dollars of that cost. For those of you counting, that's 86%. Then you have to factor in how much Lucas Oil payed for the rights. If you are wondering, it's over 120,000,000 dollars. With the exception of Jerry Jones, I'd say naming rights, concessions, events, ticket sales and public funding just about cover everything they'd need.
I really wish Paul Taglibue and Gene Upshaw were still the heads of each side. Do you think this would have happened if they led both parties? No. Hopefully both sides will realize they caused this mess by letting people who are litigation experts lead negotiations, and next time, when this happens again, they'll nip it in the butt before it causes a problem. Sort of like...Paul Taglibue and Gene Upshaw!
But no matter what players or owners say we as the fans want, we'll just shut up and pay them whatever they ask for whenever football is back, no matter how much crap they put us through. That is why we are the weakest link in the lockout. 80 dollar ticket? Check. 10 dollar beer? Check. 20 dollar parking? Check. Oh, and how about you throw in that 'sort-of-but-not-really-authentic' jersey for an extra 75. Thanks Roger!