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Roger Goodell Acknowledges Fans' Unrest over Labor Dispute

Maybe, just maybe, frustrated NFL fans can have an impact on ending the NFL Lockout and getting the players and owners to reach a collective bargaining agreement in time for their to be an uninterrupted 2011 NFL season.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday acknowledged that the league is feeling the unhappiness of the fan base.

“Clearly it has had an impact on the fans,” Goodell said as the owners completed their spring meetings. "We see it in various metrics. There’s been a noticeable change, TV ratings were down on the draft roughly 4 million people. NFL.com traffic (is down), we see that. …

“Fans want certainty,” Goodell added. “We can’t underestimate that the fans are going through challenges just in the general economy.”

Fans, of course, cannot sit at the negotiating table. They cannot force the players and owners to compromise. They can, however, not watch NFL programming. Not buy NFL merchandise. Not visit the league’s website. The only thing fans can really do, aside from visiting their favorite SB Nation sites to commiserate, is hit NFL franchises in the wallet — which is the only message that might have a real impact.