There’s a very, very remote possibility that, if this work stoppage lingers, the NFL could choose to use replacement players in 2011. And if by chance that does happen, the league might end up pulling in better ratings than most of us would have assumed.

A Sports Illustrated polls reveals that 63  percent of fans would still watch the NFL if it used replacement players, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Of course, that’s the glass-half-full way of looking at the results. Being a world-class pessimist, I’ll pull out the abacus and announce that 37 percent of fans wouldn’t watch replacement players. Count Tomlinson and I among them … and we do this for a living.