We mentioned it in a recent edition of PFT Daily, and a very recent tweet from the league’s labor-focused website serves only to reinforce our opinion.
In a battle between millionaires and billionaires, the average fan will be inclined not to take a side, instead opting for the posture of “you’re both going to hell.” So the challenge will be for each side to find a way to connect with the average fan.
That’s why we’ve all heard from the league for months about the need for a rookie wage scale. The union’s opposition to it, though in some respects having merit, for the most part misses the mark with the average fan.
And that’s why Packers president Mark Murphy headed straight for the media after Wednesday’s bargaining session between the league and the players’ union.
The message? The NFL wants to give us more football that matters, and the union doesn’t. And if that’s how the debate is framed, it will be harder and harder for the NFLPA to get the average fan to support its position on more important issues, like the manner in which the revenue pie will be divided.
Why does public support matter, you ask? Because politically-connected NFLPA Executive Director De Smith can’t wait to try to sic Congress on the NFL in the event of a work stoppage. But Congress won’t be inclined to do a thing if the constituents of the elected representatives have lined up behind the folks who realize that something needs to be done about the players who become instant multi-millionaires without ever earning it — and who likewise want to give us more football that matters.
That said, it’s not a reason to be upset with the league. If the union had a strong position that would resonate with the average fan, the union would be playing it up, too.
The only problem is that none of the union’s positions on any of the issues are resonating with anyone at this point. It’s not to say the union’s positions are incorrect or misguided. There’s just nothing about any of the union’s positions that will get the fans to make the kind of noise with their Representatives and Senators that will get enough members of Congress to give the NFL a hard time.