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Old 08-24-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default I Fear the Effects of an NFL Lockout

I Fear the Effects of an NFL Lockout

August 24, 2010 at 9:41 AM

This season is very important for a lot of reasons, some more than others. One of the most important implications of the 2010 year is the labor negotiations that are looming over the games like a dark cloud. 2010 is the last year of play that can happen under the current NFL collective bargaining agreement, and 2011 may be headed for a lockout due to how far apart the sides are on a new one. For me, a year without football would be horrible, and you can bet that it wouldn’t be good for the NFL either. But, the question I want to pose is whether or not football cards can survive a whole year without people watching the game on TV.

Back in 1994, Baseball faced a similar predicament when play stopped due to a players strike. The 1994 post season and world series were cancelled, and MLB bore most of the problems due to the lack of games until Sosa and McGwire reignited the nation's love interest in baseball. It took practically four years for the fans to return to the game, and from 1995-1998, it was almost taboo to have faith in baseball again. During the work stoppage and the years after, the card companies definitely felt the hurt as well. Because there was such a drastic drop in the respect level towards baseball in general, many people stopped buying cards. The industry obviously survived, but those were different times as well.

Prior to 1994 I bought more cards than the other kids on my block combined. I loved buying and ripping open the packs, and going to card shows with my dad. When the strike hit in 1994, it was like I gave up overnight. I couldn’t understand why a player would value the money over a game like Baseball used to be. I eventually moved into listening to music, playing video games, being a teenager, and doing the normal things that teenagers do. I actually didn’t get back into cards until Pujols' rookie season. From what I have gathered from numerous people I have talked to, it was the same for them. Our view of a work strike was a deal breaker, and I think that if it were to happen in the NFL, cards would be in BIG trouble.

In 2004-05, the NHL had to cancel their entire season due to a lockout. It was so detrimental to the league that there were talks of the teams disbanding. Hockey lost national broadcasting deals, fans, and tons of money, mostly due to the reactions the MLB strike had on the country 10 years earlier. Now in 2010, Hockey is back on TV, but the effects of the lockout still linger in some areas of the game. Hockey cards made it through that lockout as well, but again, it’s a different situation. I think that because of the fact that Hockey was not a major sport for either Upper Deck or the other manufacturers at the time, it wasn’t a finishing blow to the line. The nation was also doing much better than they are currently, and when people have money to spend, hobbies based on disposable income flourish.

If there is not an agreement between the NFL owners and the NFLPA, it could be so detrimental to many parts of our hobby that the card companies may not be able to stomach another work stoppage. Card sales have declined dramatically enough that to spend a year without the rookies playing games may have all sorts of problems for the products that thrive on them performing well. AlthoughI wouldn’t give up on my collection this time because of the sheer investment I have made in the pieces I love, I would definitely halt a good portion of my spending until the games resumed. Because the companies were already vastly affected by the massive recession, to throw a lockout on top of it could force the companies into other markets permanently.

Hell, they may not even be able to or want to produce cards with the two sides in a drag em out brawl. Why spend the money on putting out a product that wont sell because of America's hatred of both sides being so greedy that they have to cancel the season? Its also another year off the career of some of the aging titans of the league, and a year off the prime time of the younger players too. With the average lifespan of an NFL superstar creeping under 10 years, it may cause a lot of issues in the long run for investors to have one of those 10 years scratched out.

The bottom line is that a lockout is like the atomic bomb. It should never be used, and if it is used for some reason, total destruction usually ensues. Hopefully the two sides understand that maybe the game is more important than their petty #@#@#@#@#@#@#@#@ surrounding rookie pay structure and the like.

Sports Cards Uncensored: I Fear the Effects of an NFL Lockout
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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Well, it's gonna happen. Happened 2x in the 80s after all. We're due again.
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