Most fans of the National Football League have an opinion as to who shoulders the greater amount of blame for the labor difficulties currently plaguing the sport. And despite recent hopeful signs that an end to the contract dispute may be in sight, only about one in five expect that the 2011 season will start on time.
The survey comes from Rasmussen Reports. The survey pool was qualified to speak on the topic – respondents had to watch NFL programming at least once a week in order to take the survey.
The owners locked out the players to precipitate the current work stoppage, and 49% of respondents blame them for it. That’s not quite half, but it is a far greater percentage than the 29% blame the players. The remaining 21% said they were undecided on this topic.
Asked if in their opinion the season was going to be delayed, a very solid 70% said yes. And more than half of them – 38% — said a delay to NFL games was very likely to be in the cards.
Only 21% think the season will begin on time, and a tiny 3% believe it is very likely going to begin as scheduled.
RBR-TVBR observation: If what we were seeing last week is true – that the players have come a long way in terms of splitting the pool of cash the league generates – then it really is up to the owners to get a deal done.
We suspect that many of the football lovers out there won’t be able to help themselves and will return to support the league regardless of how angry they may get at any given moment. But the owners already have the edge on being fitted for the black hat, and it turns out that it is true the players gained the moral high ground by being willing to make concessions, then the owners must come to their senses and avoid a major financial disruption that will affect far more people and businesses than just the NFL and its players.