So this year we saw two of the major sports leagues in the United States (NBA and NFL) go into a lockout due to differences in profit sharing. Even though both leagues came out of the lockout in relatively good time, it had a big impact on how certain teams played throughout the season and may have been the ultimate deciding factor on who started off well and who didn't.
It began because the owners believed that they were getting a raw deal in the revenue sharing, while the players believed that the league and owners weren't treating them correctly, like rookies making too much money, or safety issues, and most importantly of all, the 18 game season (which I personally think is stupid). But the people who suffered the most from the lockout were the fans. We are the ones who support the leagues, and without us, they would be nothing, so they take us for granted because they know all we want is football. But the major effects came from missing minicamps and training camp. The prep time for rookies to understand the system and new coaches to implement their system is critical to the success of each team trying to rebuild. The most reestablished teams, like Green Bay, New England, and Baltimore, all came out swinging because they have been at it for years, while teams like Cincinnati, Carolina, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay all that had young players in key positions and new systems, who had a lot of trouble adjusting and came out of the game slow. Some teams, like Cincinnati, were able to recover and not only made the playoffs but found their future franchise QB and WR that should take them further and further in the coming years.
We see some of the same effects in the NBA lockout. The lockout was mostly for the same reasons, with the owners believing they were being taken advantage of while the players asking for more, and yet again the fans were the ones who suffered the most. But the effect on play for teams has been drastic. The NBA Lockout lasted a bit longer then the NFL's, cutting into the season itself and having to sacrifice 20 games and compacting the remaining 62 games into a condensed season. This has been a true test of endearment for the likes of Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Tim Drunken – those players who are battling old age and injuries while being forced to pay more games in less time and still asked to perform at a high level. But we are seeing teams like the Lakers, Rockets, and Nets struggle with understanding their new system or implementing new players into key roles because of the time constraint. Most teams have not had time to get together, and we see the sloppy play and poor defense even after most teams have played 14 games. As the season wears on, things will become sharper and players will become comfortable, but until then, we'll be forced to witness more sloppy basketball.
Thankfully the CBAs aren't set to expire for a good 10 years, so hopefully we won't have to deal with it again, but it goes to show that when greed is involved, the people with the most to lose are the consumers.