With Superbowl XLV coming up this Sunday, the economist in me couldn't help but wonder what the sports industry would be without the NFL. Look, I'm a New York Giants fan, I thoroughly enjoy the game of football as much as the next American, but if the NFL lost a season due to labor disagreements, what would likely happen amongst the other 3 major sports? I think I have a pretty solid set of predictions.
MLB: Baseball would probably introduce a substance that increase a batter's power to bring home run totals back to the steroid era, since baseball has declined over the past several seasons, however, it is a summer sport.
NBA: David Stern would probably step up his advertising and try to turn the NBA into America's Game...sort of. Instead of a national past-time, basketball would become the national PLEASE PASS, TIME!
NHL: Pretend nothing happened and do nothing.
MLB: Launch an aggressive campaign for autism awareness, cancer awareness, and maybe a dietitian to help CC Sabathia watch his calories.
NBA: Call ESPN and ask for advice.
NHL: Fundraise to help Sidney Crosby find the right razor blade for his face.
MLB: Extend their TV contract with top networks, such as ESPN, to stay in the national spotlight.
NBA: Extend their TV contract with top networks, such as ESPN, to stay in the national spotlight.
NHL: Continue to deprive Americans of adequate NHL coverage by "spreading into different demographics by utilizing the potential of the Versus channel."
MLB: The baseball off-season just became much more relevant.
NBA: Without the NFL, the NBA has no competition this time of year...riiight?!
NHL: Continue to rely on the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend to boost TV ratings.
MLB: Make last season's silver sluggers use silver bats.
NBA: Any time a player touches another player, he is ejected from the game.
NHL: Skip the first three periods and go right to a shootout. If that doesn't work, add a fourth period.
MLB: Keep a close eye on the historic franchises and promote the history of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, and other storied teams.
NBA: What's a franchise?
NHL: Expand into potential hockey markets, such as Mexico or Brazil.
MLB: Make sure MLB's CBA gets renewed before any labor tensions build. Assure fans that they should never worry about a work stoppage in baseball.
NBA: Have the players write the rules. There's none as it is. Assure fans that as long as ESPN has a TV deal with the NBA, there will never be a work stoppage in basketball.
NHL: Wait until the day before the CBA expires, pretend like they're doing anything and then complain that there wasn't enough time and lock the league out.
MLB: Encourage franchises to promote more giveaways to keep fans coming back.
NBA: Have fans' tweets run across the ticker of SportsCenter.
NHL: Design really slick third jerseys for every team, or in the Canucks' case, a 17th jersey.
MLB: Convince Chicago fans that it really was weather that damaged Wrigley Field and not some conspirators trying to ploy for a new Stadium.
NBA: Let the players play XBox between quarters.
NHL: Design every new arena to look like Nassau Coliseum.
MLB: The economy is still recovering. Reduce prices slightly to attract more fans for the long-term.
NBA: Find someone willing to go to a Nets game and buy them a beer...every day for life.
NHL: Prices? What prices???
MLB: Place mirrors around the field so the sun glares off of it to distract players, thus increasing bloopers and YouTube hits.
NBA: Paint the backboards pink in Cleveland and tell the fans it's LeBron's fault.
NHL: Ban goalie pads.