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Lockout, decertification leave NFL in limbo

WASHINGTON — Welcome to The NFL Lockout.

As far back as two years ago, it became a possibility.

As recently as a week ago — when owners and players agreed to extend the deadline for reaching a labor deal — Commissioner Roger Goodell made it sound avoidable.

And yet here we are: The country's most popular sport — water-cooler fodder for six months of Mondays; generator of more than $9 billion in annual revenues; responsible for the two most-watched programs in U.S. TV history, the 2010 and 2011 Super Bowls — is stuck in a holding pattern, thanks to its first work stoppage in nearly a quarter of a century.

The owners imposed a lockout on the players Saturday, essentially shutting down operations. That came hours after talks broke off and the union dissolved itself.


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