The bad news is the Jaguars are having trouble selling tickets. Again. They’re about 12,000 short of hitting the number to avoid blackouts for the 2011 season. If there is a season, of course.

The good news is the Jaguars aren’t alone. Most NFL teams have seen a major drop off in ticket sales, particularly when it comes to renewals.

There are the obvious problems with the fans .. . their teams are losing . . . the cost of supporting an NFL team is high and we’re still in an economic recession. But the biggest problem, I think, is one shared by every NFL market: fans are pissed off that the owners and players can’t get together on how to divvy up $9 billion. The NFL owners and players think they’re bullet proof, and they are to a certain extent. No sport has ever experienced the success the NFL now enjoys.

But I offer this word of caution: Don’t think for a moment we can’t live fulfilling lives without the NFL. Out of sight out of mind became a cliché because it’s true. Labor disputes killed a lot of passion in Major League Baseball fans, The NHL hasn’t recovered from losing an entire season because of labor problems.

The owners and players will work out their differences. I’m convinced of that, but the current problem illustrates once again how little both sides care about the fans.

The NFL folks are playing with fire.



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