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The Jax are Back. Now for the Bad News

by Craig Edwards

Posted on October 25, 2007 at 8:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:41 PM

By Craig Edwards

What a difference a week makes. Last week, the Portland Lumberjax, along with the rest of the National Lacrosse League, canceled their 2008 season. Some 10 days later, the season is back on.

Today, the league and its players agreed on a new, seven-year collective bargaining agreement. It means fans will not miss the season...for the most part.

The decision to kill the season will still have some very lasting consequences.

First, many teams, including the Lumberjax, gave back scheduled dates to their respective arenas, simply because they weren't going to need them. Now, the league's entire schedule has to be redone. Some teams may not even play, while a shorter schedule definitely seems to be in the cards.

To make matters worse, the cancellation came as the league was negotiating TV deals in both the U.S. and Canada. Sorry folks, but those TV hours are likely gone. If you haven't been paying attention over the last 40 years, TV is the holy grail to big league sports. You really have to have it if you want your league to succeed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Lumberjax are back. A shorter, TV-less season is way better than no season at all. However, the league should... and will regret canceling their season in the first place.