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NFL Has Plans for Lockout Shortened Season

The NFL is making contingencies in case the lockout drags into the season and forces and abbreviated 2011 campaign.

The reported plan essentially means that in order to have a 2011 season, a new collective bargaining agreement would need to be reached no later than early November.

Under the reported plan, the eight-game season would start in late November and culminate with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis Feb. 12. The NFL has previously cleared the way for the Super Bowl to be played as late as then.

Obviously none of us want it to come to that, but the league has to be prepared for anything to happen. I hope that the league explores the possibility of pushing the Super Bowl deeper into February and even March if need be. That time of year is a sporting wasteland until March Madness. Maybe the league will even fall into something good like a Super Bowl the day before Presidents Day, which would mean everybody would have the day after off.

February Super Bowls have become an NFL staple recently, but the league only got the idea when 9/11 forced that year's big game into the second month of the year by accident.

There is precedent for labor woes forcing a short season from the NHL in 1995 and the NBA in 1999.