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NFL lockout causes cracks in fan loyalty

NFL lockout turns off fans: NFL fans are beginning to lose their patience and tune out as the NFL lockout continues.

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"If it dragged on or there was a shorter camp, something like that might not be inconceivable," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. The Colts training camp is held about an hour from Indianapolis at Anderson University.

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One day after canceling the rookie symposium scheduled for June 26 in Canton, Ohio — the first NFL event victimized by the lockout — Goodell reiterated the league's intent to play a full schedule this season. He recognized the need not only for some sort of training camps but also for a free agency signing period once a new CBA is reached.

"The uncertainty is something we have to consider in getting players ready to play, and we have talked about different concepts," he said.

One of those concepts would be expanding rosters to help teams keep rookies who might not have a chance to prove their value in training camp or the preseason.

A portion of these meetings was spent on adopting rules amendments for player safety. The league also announced a policy of "club accountability" for teams whose players repeatedly are fined for flagrant hits.

Punishments for the teams will be financial, but also could include further discipline by Goodell, including stripping of draft picks, for repeat offenders — something Goodell said he has "not contemplated yet."

That announcement brought a strong reaction from two Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers: LaMarr Woodley and the oft-fined James Harrison.

"Man, they're getting ridiculous," Woodley told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "Football is turning soft now. Too many fines. Too many penalties protecting the quarterback every single play. Defensive guys can't be defensive guys no more."

Harrison tweeted: "I'm absolutely sure now after this last rule change that the people making the rules at the NFL are idiots."

Local reporters, concerned about next February's Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium, asked several owners and Goodell whether the title game is in danger.

"You're going to have the Super Bowl here, I'm confident of that," Giants owner John Mara said.

"We're approaching 2011," Goodell added, "as we would any other season."


AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis contributed to this story.

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