File the National Football League labor negotiations under the heading “game within the game.” My best guess is that since veteran players, in particular, hate offseason minicamps and summer training camp anyway, this sucker remains months away from resolution. Don’t be surprised if the first few games of the 2011 season have to be scrubbed before the owners have made their point; and you’d need more than a feather to knock me over if the immediate upshot were a loaded-up January-February 2012 playoff schedule to prepare the television audience for the new tradition of an 18-game regular season starting the following fall.
It’s an understatement to say that the fate of the next edition of the NFL market-a-thon shouldn’t top our list of collective worries. Last week I saw this astute post on Twitter: “Maybe a country so obsessed with the NFL combine could use a year off from pro football.” I expressed a similar sentiment in this space six months ago (“Why a 2011 NFL Strike or Lockout Would Be the Best Thing for America,” Beyond Chron, Sept. 20, 2010) – except that I wasn’t commenting on priorities willy-nilly. I was, and I still am, talking about the national sports concussion crisis, reflection on which would be aided by an enforced shutdown over the failure of owners and players to peacefully divvy up their $9 billion annual pie.
CONTINUED TODAY AT BEYOND CHRON, THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER: