Owners and Unions
Over a decade ago, I took part in a BBC Radio discussion on the baseball strike that saw the World Series cancelled. I was the only person there defending the players' stance and wound up being promised a free dinner by then Atlanta Braves' pitcher Tom Glavine, for probably being the only one who truly understood the issues involved. The baseball owners complained they were spending too much money and wanted the players to stop them doing it. Ridiculous.

Then came the hockey strike - the owners wanted a salary cap, the players didn't. The problem with the NFL was that the television revenues were a fraction of those found in the other three American sports but the players wanted salaries and conditions commensurate to the other three. Ridiculous.

Now comes the breakdown in talks over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL Owners and the NFLPA. Gene Upshaw of the NFLPA is probably the weakest of the four Amerrican sports labour representatives, and he has given way probably too much in past negotiations over revenues and benefits.

But the NFL owners are making more money right now than they ever have done. Since the original salary cap and revenue agreement was drawn up, the owners have become a lot better off across the board and hence quite rightly should be asked to give a little more back to the players.

And without going into numbers, the NFLPA have to be careful on being tarred with the same brush as Don Fehr and his baseball cronies did at times in the past decade, although thankfully they are not dealing with a lameduck commissioner as Bud Selig.

There is room for everyone to be happy here, owners, players and fans. There is enough money to go round to everyone. The NFL is the most successful sports league in the world and is there because of "League Think", the original revenue-sharing agreement dreamt up by Pete Rozelle in the 1960s. Every fan is watching this saga unfold and analysing every little step. Find a solution please, because the alternative is well, ridiculous.