Another professional sports labor mess began officially at midnight when the NBA locked out its players. They join the NFL, which did the same 3-1/2 months ago.
Way too many sports fans are only going to pay marginal attention to these problems and call them strikes. They aren't. This isn't a case of the players refusing to go to work -- the owners aren't allowing them to work.
Is any of it justified? It depends on who you ask. When I look at the two leagues, I see very different situations.
In the case of the NFL, the league has never been more popular or profitable. The team owners mostly seem to think they're now not getting a big enough piece of the pie, so they want a new deal more in their favor.
I won't deny there are some smart elements they're asking for like a rookie pay scale, but it mostly smacks of a lot of greed to me.
The NBA is another thing all together to me. Under the current arrangements, a majority of NBA teams (including your Indiana Pacers) struggle to turn a profit. For many, it's all but impossible.
Additionally, the league's so-called "salary cap" is meaningless to teams who really want to spend the money to field a contender, making it an even longer shot for the struggling teams to ever do anything of significance.
It's a broken system that needs fixed. You might argue the owners got themselves in this situation, and you'd be right. They still need a way to fix it now, though.
But I'm tired of hearing about it. I don't tune into Sportscenter to hear about labor deals and sharing the profits. If I really cared about that sort of thing, I'd watch CNBC.
So I'm ready to enjoy the rest of the Major League Baseball season. The Reds and Tigers are both contending right now, so I have something worth watching.
And when baseball is over come fall? It'll be NHL time. Now's your chance hockey -- get back all the popularity you've lost.