According to Mayan researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, the ancient civilization's NFL schedule runs out after the upcoming 2010 season, making it yet another sign that there will be no NFL season in 2011.
"It is amazing that this went unnoticed for thousands of years," said Dr. Cliff Engstadt, the director of the school's Mesoamerican Studies Center. "But following Super Bowl 45 on February 11, 2011 in Arlington, there is no other mention of professional football being played in the United States that year, save the UFL and the Arena League."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dismissed the importance of the Mayan schedule, but warned that the players would have to make significant concessions to get the league finances in-line to avoid the fate foretold by the ancient civilization.
"For all the great accomplishments of the Mayan civilization, from language and tools to architecture and astronomy," said Goodell, "they never achieved much in the form of collective bargaining, nor did they have many labor attorneys of note. I am confident we can get something done for the benefit of the owners, players and, most of all, our fans."
In addition to restructuring the collective bargaining agreement to funnel more money to the league and team owners, Goodell also plans to introduce tougher concussion standards as well as an 18-game schedule.
Dr. Engstadt says the Mayans predict all of that will happen in time for a 2012 season.
"But then, of course, the world will end before the 2012 season finishes," he said. "Because, and I'm translating exactly here from these ancient documents: 'An 18-game season is a totally stupid idea.'"