If NFL crashes, NBA ready to pounce

Roddy Terrebonne
February 8, 2011
Krewe of Christopher Tableau Only, Monday, March 7, 8 p.m. (Thibodaux)
February 10, 2011
Roddy Terrebonne
February 8, 2011
Krewe of Christopher Tableau Only, Monday, March 7, 8 p.m. (Thibodaux)
February 10, 2011

I really hope you guys enjoyed the Super Bowl this past Sunday.

I hope you liked the crisp hits, the accurate passing and the remarkable catches.

Likewise, I hope you got a kick out of the pressure-filled moments that culminate into the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

I also hope you salivated over that last Tostitos Scoop laced with mild salsa going from your plate and into your mouth, because you and I both know salsa is a lot more delicious when it’s in front of a 50-plus-inch TV with a game on.

I really hope all of those things did the trick for you.

Because the truth is, it may be the last time we collectively enjoy these things for a very, very long time.

The NFL as we know it may be about to die.

Labor issues surround America’s most profitable sport and a resolution needs to be met before March 3 before the league officially becomes embroiled in a lockout.

Sure, neither you nor I care if the league is locked out in March, as long as football is played in August and September, but some analysts fear things might not be resolved in time for the 2011 season.

Either way, the league is set to lose plenty of trust with its fans – something that will undoubtedly cause a setback to the sport’s popularity, whether large, medium or small.

Football is supposed to be a common man’s game. It’s supposed to be a white-collar sport involving people knocking the tar out of one another for the sake of pride and passion for the game.

It’s supposed to be one man’s will against another man’s will with the better man prevailing on that given Sunday.

There’s no bigger turnoff to that white-collar fan base than a player who earns $14 million, claiming he deserves to be paid $14.5 million.

This same white-collar fan base will claim that they would play football for free, so the money disputes really are a collision course for failure in the big picture of the league’s long-term success.

The same constant labor bickers are what ultimately turned fans away from baseball, which did that sport in.

If the NFL doesn’t get things fixed, it will be what does them in, too.

Fans are fickle. They will come back – again and again and again.

But there’s a fine line between fickle and stupid and there will be a point in time where they won’t come back and the new nation’s pastime will be more “past” than “present.”

Should that happen sooner rather than later, the NBA is more than ready to take the throne and become the nation’s premier sport.

Sure, I’m biased because I’m one of the biggest basketball fans on the block, but can anyone in recent memory tell me a time in NBA history where basketball’s future has been brighter?

The answer to that question is: never.

There are storylines galore running through the current basketball landscape and honestly no one can tell you they definitively know who will be in the NBA Finals, much less the NBA Champion.

Will the vilified and hated Miami Heat overcome their naysayers and win evil King LeBron James his first-ever NBA Title?

Chasing at his heels will be the always-hungry Boston Celtics and their aging, but still significant Big 3 that has now been joined by a fourth star, young Rajon Rondo. If all of that’s not enough drama, there are upstart teams like the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls who hope their recent changes to their rosters are enough to make them NBA’s top team.

Oh, and by the way, the Los Angeles Lakers are quietly going for their third-straight NBA Title – all while saying goodbye to the best head coach in the sport’s history, Phil Jackson.

There are old stars like Kobe Bryant, there are new stars like Kevin Durant.

There are baby stars like Russell Westbrook and there are soon-to-be stars like Blake Griffin.

There are just storylines every which way anyone turns in basketball right now.

Heck, even locally, there’s reason for interest as the New Orleans Hornets are red-hot and look destined to make a playoff surge.

As a result, TV ratings for NBA games have shot through the roof and have risen upwards of 35-50 percent in some instances to last year.

Combine that with a possible lessened interest in football?

If the NFL doesn’t play its cards wisely there just might be a new sheriff in town in the world of sports.

The NBA is more than ready to take over the throne.

That is, of course, if they can overcome their own lockout woes.

Oh, the wonders of being a spoiled professional athlete.