Three stories you may have missed

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 14:  NFL commissionr Roger Goodell and team owner Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots stand on the sidelines before the start of the game against the Buffalo Bills on September 14, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

As the NFL steams into Week 3 of the 2010 season, there has been plenty of on-field stories, but I take a look at three that you may have missed during your daily check of the internet.

Even with a strong start to the NFL season, outside of TV blackouts in the usual places, the league seems to be riding another high. But everyone is looking ahead to this coming offseason and the league’s labor situation with the NFLPA.

One major component of 2011 is how free agency will be conducted if there is a lockout. Dan Pompei of the National Football Post wrote about how teams and free agents will have to act quickly if a lockout extends deep into summer and the traditional start of training camp.

The key quote from Pompei’s article:

“But other teams, sensing there could be bargains to be had and thinking more long term than short term, might play the free agency game hard. In fact, some teams have told the National Football Post they already have begun preparing for a quick free-agent strike. If free agents are devalued because of the unusual nature of free agency in 2011, smart teams will find a way to capitalize. Poaching players from rivals could be most beneficial, because even if those players can’t integrate a new system quickly, their departures could weaken the enemy.”

With the owners and the players bickering over the next CBA negotiations, the yearly release of the Forbes 400 (The Richest People in America) gives a great measuring stick on how life is good for several NFL owners, as half of the league’s 32 principal owners are on the list.

NFL principal owners on the Forbes 400: Seattle’s Paul Allen (No. 17; $12.7B), Miami’s Stephen Ross (T-101; $3.1B), St. Louis’ Stanley Kroenke (T-130; $2.7B), Tampa Bay’s Malcolm Glazer and family (T-130; $2.6B), Dallas’ Jerry Jones (T-182; $2B), New England’s Robert Kraft (T-269; $1.5B), Houston’s Robert McNair (T-290; $1.4B), Indianapolis’ Robert Irsay T-290; $1.4B), Baltimore’s Steve Bisciotti (T-308; $1.3B), Atlanta’s Arthur Blank (T-332; $1.2B), Tennessee’s Kenneth “Bud” Adams (T-356; $1.15B), Washington’s Daniel Snyder (T-365; $1.1B), San Diego’s Alex Spanos (T-365; $1.1B), New Orleans’ Tom Benson (T-382; $1.05B), Philadelphia’s Jeffrie Lurie (T-385; $1B) and Detroit’s William Ford Sr. (T-385; $1B). Combined net worth of these 16 owners: $36.3B)

For our third NFL story of interest, the Wall Street Journal’s Hannah Karp wrote a piece on how the league is getting kids hooked on football, and how those programs have resulted in higher viewership of NFL games by kids under 12 years old.

From Karp’s article:

A tracking survey conducted by the league found that 60% of the most avid NFL fans became engaged with the sport during elementary school, while the majority of casual fans, who aren’t as freakishly obsessed, got interested in the sport later.

And all of those kids will have their parents buy them NFL-logoed items for their rooms and team clothing. And the Madden videogame franchise also helps in that regard.

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