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We have our first reports from the antitrust hearing

NFL Lockout Football AP

Wednesday’s antitrust hearing pitting the NFL against its players has taken a quick break.

Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that the hearing took a break around 12:15 p.m. ET after starting at 10:30 a.m. this morning.  Bedard has a few other interesting nuggets from the morning sessions.

The most eye-opening:  “Only 1 mention of irreparable harm and [Judge Susan] Nelson said it ‘appears players have strong case.”‘

According to USAToday, the NFLPA* argued the lockout was illegal.

“Let them go back to work and do what they do, and that’s playing the game of football,” said lawyer James Quinn, speaking for the players. “The lockout itself is illegal. Over 800 players are unsigned. These players have no jobs. They have nowhere to go.”

Bedard said most of the talk so far has been about whether the the court has jurisdiction.  Quinn was up for 33 minutes and fielded 13 questions.  NFL counsel David Boies has been talking for 58 minutes and has taken 23 questions.

UPDATE: The break is over.  Hopefully everyone got a snack at halftime.  Boies is still taking questions.

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89 Responses to “We have our first reports from the antitrust hearing”
  1. Patskrieg dot com says: Apr 6, 2011 12:36 PM

    Ron Borges has been diligently waiting in the courthouse mens room stall since 11:30 last night waiting for the real scoop to reveal itself. Can’t wait.

  2. bfridley says: Apr 6, 2011 12:37 PM

    “They have nowhere to go”

    I don’t understand this… if I had ‘nowhere to go’, there isn’t a shot in hell that I would be saying to my boss: “Excuse me, I refuse to work under the terms you offer me – can I see the company ledgers? If not, I’m going to take you to court.”

    And then they get off at playing the victim role in court: “We’re just simple football players… we just want to participate in our sport… and you go and do a thing like lock us simple players out of our facilities… we just want to play”

    …give me a break. This is nonsense.

  3. thetobygrizwold says: Apr 6, 2011 12:41 PM

    This is why the NFLPA didn’t care to negotiate. They have a better chance of getting their wants in court. Just get it resolved.

  4. b7p19 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:42 PM

    This is riviting

  5. blackglass3 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:43 PM

    Goodbye, NFL. It was fun while it lasted. :-(

  6. jakek2 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:48 PM

    Here we go NFLPA-ay, here we go. Clap-clap.
    Here we go NFLPA-ay, here we go. CLAP-CLAP!

  7. eslaught says: Apr 6, 2011 12:48 PM

    A favorable irreparable harm ruling will set a huge legal precedent. If they rule for the players, anyone ever laid off or locked out will be able to sue for irreparable harm. Corporations will go under faster than ever and no one will have a job. These players are pampered ass clowns. If the players win tickets will be $500 for a nosebleed to just to pay these turds

  8. moggy6actual says: Apr 6, 2011 12:50 PM

    If the players win, the NFL as we know it is done. It will become like MLB with only a few teams having a realistic shot and it will simply become the haves and have nots. Only the top players and top teams will benefit.

  9. hawkeye6 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:51 PM

    If the ruling is in favor of the NFL, everything will be addressed soon and the lockout will end. This was the player’s chance to get a larger piece of the pie.

    Either way, it will be over before the summertime, IMO.

  10. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:52 PM

    The player have no case……This is headed for the supreme court….how one can say you must work in unfavorable conditions……..on either side, when both side agreed to the same deal…is mind numbing….but this is the white house agenda…keep everybody employed…. eventually to the govt.

  11. dprouse says: Apr 6, 2011 12:52 PM

    Kiss of death for the players. Any time a judge butters you up by telling what a strong case you have, there is usually a huge, “but…” hanging in the air. Later on, you get told that as strong as your case was, the other side’s was better.

  12. chc4 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:54 PM

    Judge will almost rule for the players as they always do. And liberal writers like on this site will gloat about how the players are winning. But fact is the players will ultimately lose b/c they are stupid. See guys Dez Bryant, Javon Walker, Cromartie, etc. Once this gets to August and starts threatening paychecks the players will panic. And I can’t wait. Fact is the judge can’t force the owners into a CBA so everything else is window dressing. So unless the owners fold like a cheap suit, which is unlikely, they will win. It’s alot easier for 32 owners who are already wealthy to stay on message than 1,800 players many of which make $1m per year yet live paycheck to paycheck.

  13. pixelito says: Apr 6, 2011 12:57 PM

    Give me back my offseason!

  14. broncobeta says: Apr 6, 2011 12:58 PM

    “The lockout itself is illegal. Over 800 players are unsigned. These players have no jobs. They have nowhere to go.”

    Didn’t a few of these guys graduate with a degree?

    Didn’t all of them make AT LEAST $300,000 a year?

    This makes me puke that the players feel so entitled to play a GAME, not a JOB.

  15. 2011to2020lions says: Apr 6, 2011 1:01 PM

    I kid you not, If this winds up that there is no draft, or cap to keep the league competitive I will be done with the NFL and I will only watch college ball.

    These players and their greed is taking away a sport I love, not just the game that they will eventually get back, but free agency, draft, trades ect.. There is more to NFL football than the game it’s self for us fans. We like the whole package. If you take away a big part of it, I will take away the rest, at least for me.

    I never thought the Players I once admired would be the ones to run me away from the game I love.

  16. golions1 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:01 PM

    I’d be shocked if the players lose this round, they are definitely the home team in this circuit.

  17. drop703 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:02 PM

    I wish people would stop comparing this feud to a regular job. This is not a simple employer/employee relationship. The NFL /NFLPA setup is more of a partnership. The owners need these players to make what they make. The players know that and they’re trying to make a deal in their favor because of it. The last CBA was NFLPA friendly…The owners want something different now. That’s it. Hopefully, whatever the ruling is…progress is made and football activities can continue.

  18. cscfriarbob says: Apr 6, 2011 1:02 PM

    The most eye-opening: “Only 1 mention of irreparable harm and [Judge Susan] Nelson said it ‘appears players have strong case.”‘

    It’s definitely eye-opening, but not in a good way. For her to say that before anybody else even MENTIONED it in court gives at least the potential for a strong argument to the NFL for disqualifying her decision on appeal. (Assuming she rules against them, of course.)

    If that’s the way she’s leaning, she was a fool to come out and say so that blatantly. Even if it were true (which it isn’t, but let’s pretend for a second), she has no business saying that from the bench UNTIL she’s rendering a decision. At that point, it’s justifiable for her to make that decision and see what the appeals court decides. Right now it’s displaying bias and that’s the LAST thing she needs to be doing.

  19. clownburger says: Apr 6, 2011 1:03 PM

    But if the Players win, all it means is that they can’t be locked out.

    Under that scenario, doesn’t the NFL still get to make the rules and being that there is no union, the players can’t really bitch about it? I might be wrong here, but that’s what it has sounded like to me.

    I’ve been saying that’s what the NFL should have done the second the union folded.

  20. packerfantastic says: Apr 6, 2011 1:11 PM

    The players are ruining the game we love!

  21. semperfi24 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:11 PM

    So, if my logic is correct, the players are saying: “If we dont like the current agreement, we will strike, and you cant stop us, but if you (owners) dont like the current agreement, and you lock us, we will take you to court”.

    How can the players fight this in court, they cant have the ability to strike, if the owners dont have the ability to lock them out…..?

  22. flasaint says: Apr 6, 2011 1:12 PM

    Does that mean the 800 players that are out of job count against the unemployed in the Obama era………and will they receive 98 weeks of unemplyment checks in the mail and food stamps???

  23. chapnastier says: Apr 6, 2011 1:13 PM

    This is absurd… hearing the players case makes you hit your head over and over trying to get where the hell they get the cahonas to make this claims. Go find work in another industry my friends.

  24. whathappenedtovox says: Apr 6, 2011 1:13 PM

    @ eslaught

    A favorable irreparable harm ruling will set a huge legal precedent. If they rule for the players, anyone ever laid off or locked out will be able to sue for irreparable harm. Corporations will go under faster than ever and no one will have a job.
    ____________________

    Why stop there? Towns will no longer be able to pay their police forces and there will be complete lawless anarchy, banks will be robbed, there will be no more electricity, no more heat, no more oil or gas. People will have to hunt for their food, and the only way to have warmth during the cold winter months will be to burn fires. People will soon forget what computers are, as our entire society will revert back to the days of America’s first settlers.

    All because the NFL players are greedy. They’re all going to ruin our lives!

  25. cappa662 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:14 PM

    A college degree means nothing unless you have experience to go along with it. I know a lot of people who have college degrees, but no experience in their major and they are working some crappy job… or worst have a degree with no job. The nfl guys might have a degree, but if you’ve been playing in the nfl… I doubt they have any work experiece off the football field. Hence, they are not employable.

    And yes, I work in hr.

  26. jakek2 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:14 PM

    All the drama queens are out saying the NFL is over as we know it if it loses the ruling.

    You owner suck-ups are only jealous that god didn’t give you the abilities to throw and catch a football. I’m sure in your professions, god has blessed each one of you in unique ways. Think how you would like it if you were replaced by garbage men that couldn’t lift a can as good as you. Don’t be haters.

  27. Richard Dickson says: Apr 6, 2011 1:16 PM

    What kills me is that the negotiations were moving along. Progress was being made. Then the players busted out the “Show us your books for ten years,” knowing full well the owners would never agree to it. They didn’t want to compromise, they just wanted to create the impression they did. Then they could paint the bad ol’ owners as the stubborn villains to take the heat off of the players when this went to court. Problem is, everybody sees right through it.

  28. jakek2 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:18 PM

    ch4 – This won’t get til August. The owners have more to lose than the players. Jerry and Mara have huge mortgages to pay on shiny, new overpriced stadiums. No games + no season tickets money = FORECLOSURE! Smarten up player hater.

  29. upperdecker19 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:20 PM

    “The break is over. Hopefully everyone got a snack at halftime.”

    Hopefully, the Black Eyed Peas are nowhere near the court house.

  30. jakek2 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:22 PM

    The players under contract deserve to be paid. The players are ready, willing and able to perform on their contracts but the owners are unwilling to abide by them. The owners couldn’t be in more breach if they tried. HAHAHA. Dumb spoon-fed hicks.

  31. bfridley says: Apr 6, 2011 1:25 PM

    NFL: Here’s your deal…
    Players: We want more.
    NFL: No, that’s just bad business.
    Players: Well let us just see your ledgers.
    NFL: No, again – bad business.
    Players: We will take you to court for this…
    NFL: …See you there.
    Players: You don’t understand, we have nowhere else to go. You HAVE to give us more.
    NFL: …Actually, that means the exact opposite…
    Players: We’re just football players! We just want to play!
    NFL: Then you would be wise to take the deal.

  32. duster1982 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:27 PM

    For me, its not even whats best for the owners or players anymore, but whats best for the GAME.

    If the players win out on everything, the NFL will forever be changed, and for the worse.

    Good bye draft, revenue sharing, salary cap….the sport will be toast, and it will have lost me forever.

  33. thefiesty1 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:29 PM

    Liberal Obamaite is going to screw this thing up. “looks like the players have a strong case”. You’ve got to be kidding me. The players have NO case. They are really suffering. NOT!

    My lawyer is better than you lawyer, Na, Na, Na, Na, I win, you lose. What a farce!

  34. 12strikes says: Apr 6, 2011 1:29 PM

    HALF TIME AT THE HEARING….
    Maybe the NFL can get MTV to produce a 45 minute “Potty Break Show”.
    I can see it now.
    “The 2011 League Hearing Half Time show sponsered by LegalZoom”
    “Performing tonight – Bruce Willis Blues Band”

  35. blantoncollier says: Apr 6, 2011 1:30 PM

    This site is so biased. I heard Darren Ravell on CNBC state the judge was “skeptical” of the arguements made by both sides.

    Yet the one quote posted is most likely out of context about the “players having a strong case..”

    And so it goes…

  36. phishe21 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:31 PM

    The most eye-opening: “Only 1 mention of irreparable harm and [Judge Susan] Nelson said it ‘appears players have strong case.”‘

    It’s definitely eye-opening, but not in a good way. For her to say that before anybody else even MENTIONED it in court gives at least the potential for a strong argument to the NFL for disqualifying her decision on appeal. (Assuming she rules against them, of course.)

    If that’s the way she’s leaning, she was a fool to come out and say so that blatantly. Even if it were true (which it isn’t, but let’s pretend for a second), she has no business saying that from the bench UNTIL she’s rendering a decision. At that point, it’s justifiable for her to make that decision and see what the appeals court decides. Right now it’s displaying bias and that’s the LAST thing she needs to be doing.

    =========================

    You’re forgetting that prior to today’s hearing that the Judge has already reviewed everyone’s position via previously tendered briefs/memorandum. She already knows everyone’s position.

  37. mkporter says: Apr 6, 2011 1:33 PM

    I can’t understand this argument that the players should take whatever they are offered and be happy with it. You guys do understand that the players, by virtue of their union, have agreed to let the owners operate businesses that violate many antitrust laws, which allows them to make a lot of extra money, right? And the owners are the ones that decided they weren’t making enough money, and created this situation by exiting the deal early, right?

    This will all be worked out, they will come to an agreement, and football will go on. This is simply part of the negotiation process of two business entities. Save your your partisan anger for when games get canceled. Then you can decide whether you back the white collar criminals that own the teams, or the blue collar criminals that play the game.

  38. chapnastier says: Apr 6, 2011 1:34 PM

    @ drop

    We have had this debate in the past. They are employees who simply make far more than you, I or the average employee makes in any other industry. The NFL would survive without these players seeing as how the average career is only three years. Like I have said many times, name me the starters on your team three years ago, or two or hell, even last year. If the players were partners they would be required to give portions of their endorsement dollars back to the NFL. Guess what they don’t have to do?

  39. angrycorgi says: Apr 6, 2011 1:35 PM

    Well, if the moron players win this and the government “shutdown” (aka “lockout”) occurs next week, then as a government contractor, I’m suing the pants off of the USG for the same thing: “irreparable harm”…same damn scenario…only I don’t get paid millions of dollars and I’m not bitching about my pay…then again, maybe I need to follow the players’ lead and act like a horse’s rear to win…

  40. dfinpds says: Apr 6, 2011 1:40 PM

    Bring on the scab players…..Thank you Mr. fairy queen Tom brady and Mr. hairy mole Drew brees for ruining an American institution that used to be the NFL…..pathetic.

  41. endzonezombie says: Apr 6, 2011 1:40 PM

    Posters like bfridley and chapnastier will just disappear and go back fulltime to their stadium janitorial jobs after a new CBA agreement is reached.

  42. bmac187 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:41 PM

    @clownburger – my understanding is they would play under the rules of last season.

    @semperfi24 – the players never said they didn’t like the current agreement. only the owners did.

    @chapnastier – you may not agree with the player’s stance, but that does not in and of itself make it absurd. if it was that absurd the case would have been thrown out already. why should they have to find a new field? they have a profession and the owners, by operating what would in most cases be an illegal monopoly, took away the players ability to work in that field at the highest level.

  43. thesmiteofthewicked says: Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM

    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner? What have the owners done to show that they care more about the game and the fans than the players?

    I realize this comment will get overwhelmingly disliked, but it’s insane to act like the owners are totally right and the players are totally wrong….both sides are wrong.

  44. mrfrostyj says: Apr 6, 2011 1:46 PM

    Does anyone here actually know what’s going on before they comment?

    Whether the players win or not has no bearing over the CBA. This trial is over the legality of the lockout itself. The players are willing to play whether their is a CBA or not (and have for 3 years) but the owners have locked them out. If the players win, there still will be no CBA but the offseason will resume (or in this case, start) like normal.

    Those predicting the end of the world or some type of slippery slope situation that effects the nations economy or whatever Fox News/CNN like political nonsense they can come up with really needs to find a hobby till this whole thing is over. I’m almost waiting for one of these geniouses to come up with a scenerio where if Carson Palmer gets traded after refusing to work, unions everywhere will begin telling workers to stay home from work without pay till they get what they want.

    As for those with the “prima donna” players complaint. If you won the lottary for a substantial amount of money and your installment payments stop through no fault of your own would you just say “oh well, I’ve got a college degree, I’ll just get a temp job till it blows over” or would you fight to get the money you’re owed? (plus if you can find a $300,000 a year and up temp job, please let me know). I know it’s hard to empathize for the average person but imagine a job where you are on the clock 24/7 and can be fired for not taking care of your body on top of a crazy travel schedule and basically going through body trauma on purpose every day of the week. You let the average joe do 1 NFL level practice and I doubt they’d go back the next day (and would probably end up in the hospital).

    These guys earned the right to play in the NFL and we as fans should want them out there. If they aren’t playing, we loose as well. So who cares who gets our money in the CBA we as fans should be hoping that at least we get a season while they argue over it.

  45. Deb says: Apr 6, 2011 1:48 PM

    Oh Auntie Em! The players are ruining football!! It will never be the same!! Why did we ever have players in the first place, Toto??? And here come the flying monkeys … aaaaagggghhh!!!
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Obviously, a lot of you are very young.

    Believe it or not, the players probably care more about the game that feeds their families than you do. And yes, Dorothy, the game will go on.
    :roll:

  46. angrycorgi says: Apr 6, 2011 1:52 PM

    “The players under contract deserve to be paid. The players are ready, willing and able to perform on their contracts but the owners are unwilling to abide by them. The owners couldn’t be in more breach if they tried. HAHAHA. Dumb spoon-fed hicks.”

    And why then is it legal for an under-contract player to strike and not honor his contract? That too is breach of contract. So you are saying the players should be allowed to breach their contracts, but the owners should be taken to court when they breach a contract? Sounds like you are the ignorant “spoon-fed hick”.

  47. MosesZD says: Apr 6, 2011 1:53 PM

    These players have no jobs. They have nowhere to go.”

    They should, most of them, have college degrees… And those that don’t… There’s always the fast-food service industry.

  48. Deb says: Apr 6, 2011 1:54 PM

    @chap …

    Please tell me you’re smart enough to understand the business relationship of a publisher and author, which is comparable to the owner/player relationship here. You need to stop obsessing over the word partner and demanding that it be taken in such a literal sense. The relationship between owners and professional athletes is unique in business. I’m trying to be polite here, but for people to keep dwelling on the minutia that “they said they’re partners and partners do this and that but they don’t” is childish.

  49. angrycorgi says: Apr 6, 2011 1:56 PM

    “Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner?”

    It’s about balance/equality. The legal system says its “ok” for the players to strike at any time they choose and breach their contracts, yet its “illegal” for the owners to breach the contract. If the legal system rules in favor of the players, then its a joke and should be done away with. Justice is not about revenge or what “seems right”, its about consistency in application of law. This would be a MAJOR inconsistency in the enforcement of contract-law.

  50. raidermike says: Apr 6, 2011 1:58 PM

    N – No

    F – Fans

    L – Leaves

    P – Players

    A – Astounded

    They can all KMA !!!

  51. whathappenedtovox says: Apr 6, 2011 1:59 PM

    @ chapnastier

    Replacement players would be a disaster. 1987 is proof. How many Peyton Mannings are there? How many Tom Bradys? Hell, how many decent QB’s are in the NFL right now? 15? 16? 17? And you think the product won’t suffer if they clear out the 1696 or so current NFL players and replace them with the next best 1696? That’s laughable.

  52. zaggs says: Apr 6, 2011 2:00 PM

    “thesmiteofthewicked says: Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM

    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner? What have the owners done to show that they care more about the game and the fans than the players?”

    A few reasons. First people tend to be fans of teams. PLayers come and go but the team remains.
    Secondly some of the arguments by the players are just stupid. “They have no where else to go”. They all got free degrees from college, or had the chance to. If the players were too stupid not to pay attention, well reap what you sow.
    Third, players take no financial risk for the health of the league. If a stadium is destroyed by some freak weather, players get paid the same while the owner has to rebuild the stadium.
    Fourth Owners have to consider everyone in the organization, not just the players. Players tend to only think about themselves and those that are not full of self interest don’t think about the people running the stadium and team.
    Fifth, most owner became rich because either they, or someone in their family, took risks, worked and did well in business to be able to buy a team. Players on the other hand get a free ride through college and high school and tada, get a NFL contract. They typically will not put in long hours required of some business leaders.

  53. MosesZD says: Apr 6, 2011 2:01 PM

    thesmiteofthewicked says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM
    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner?

    We’re ‘pro-profootball.’ In that we want a competitive league in which we feel our clubs, with proper management can compete on a regular and long-term basis.

    Most of us have seen what happened to basketball and baseball thanks to the players in those leagues. When the Yankees have been in the playoffs 17 of the last 18 years because they gut my team every few years….

    Well, because of that complete lack of balance I gave up on baseball. And the same happened with my basketball team. I just got tired of rooting for a team that, save for a fluke season every-now-and-then, was never going to compete.

    But in football… One good GM and one good coaching staff and we can compete with anyone, no matter how big the market. And it’s that reason because of competitive balance, because no team can win because of an economic advantage.

    Also, frankly, players come and go. Where is Willie Brown? Where is Roger Staubach? Where is Jim Brown? Where is Sam Huff? Where is Jack Lambert?

    Where are any of the old greats? Gone… But those teams remain and new stars are manufactured for public consumption, only to be, once again, supplanted for the next generation…

  54. chazk100 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:02 PM

    eslaught: you have a poor understanding of the issue. no such precedent would be established, except POSSIBLY in another UNIONIZED work setting. Even then highly unlikely, because all the businesses in that industry would never collaborate. Could you imagine Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW, etc. ALL agreeing on the same rules for hiring, firing, and paying their employees?

    Likewise, to those who don’t think the owners should show their books– why not? The owners CONTRACTUALLY AGREED with the players that they would do everything possible to maximize (player) revenue. They gave their word. Then, they were found guilty of breaking their word by not maximizing TV revenue. Then, they went to the players and said “we can’t share as much revenue with you.” The players said “prove it”, and the owners said “No. Trust us. Even though we just screwed you.”

    Think about it. If I signed a contract promising to pay you as much as possible, then told you that I couldn’t pay you as much any more because I didn’t have the money, would you just say “okay, no biggie”, or would you ask for some proof?

  55. semperfi24 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:04 PM

    bmac187, I understand that the players didnt say they didnt like this deal, I am simply saying, the players have the ability to strike if they want. The owners have the ability to lock out the players (the owner equivalent to a strike). If the players want the ability to strike (they have in the past) then they cant argue against the lockout, that is all I am saying

  56. footballfan292 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:08 PM

    Like I’ve been saying for the longest time. The palyers will win in court. That’s why they didn’t take the deal the owners were trying to shove down their throats.

    This lawsuit has the potential to destroy the NFL. If the courts kill the lockout, the players have all the leverage in the world.

  57. Deb says: Apr 6, 2011 2:09 PM

    @angrycorgi …

    And concern about the enforcement of contract law is why you keep raging about the personal lives of players? Uh-huh.

  58. mrfrostyj says: Apr 6, 2011 2:09 PM

    thesmiteofthewicked says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM
    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner? What have the owners done to show that they care more about the game and the fans than the players?

    I realize this comment will get overwhelmingly disliked, but it’s insane to act like the owners are totally right and the players are totally wrong….both sides are wrong.

    ————————————————

    Simple explenation is the GOP is very anti-union right now in the US and they are using this forum to spread their agenda. These posters could care less about the NFL and most of their comments have nothing to do with football in any way. They’ve pretty much run the regular readers of this website out of participating in any article regarding the lockout.

  59. bukes111 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:09 PM

    @ bfridley

    Your employer analogy doesn’t fit here. If Goodall signed these players to contracts on behalf of the NFL and then assigned them to different teams, I would agree, the players have other options aside from the NFL. If there was no draft or cap, and each team in the league negotiated contracts with each individual player, then you’re right, the player either should honor the contract if they’re under contract, or try to take there talents elsewhere if they’re let go. And your analogy to your job would be correct.
    But this is not the case. The NFL plays with being a single entity vs 32 different entities and gets the best of both worlds because congress loves football (which is great).
    But because of this unique setup, they have to enter a partnership w/ there labor force. This work stoppage sucks but don’t compare this situation with your own job.

  60. chapnastier says: Apr 6, 2011 2:15 PM

    @ Deb

    Don’t be polite, I can take it :-)

    I understand your point but I just don’t agree with it. I think if the players had handled their PR a little better many fans would probably be on their side. When they start crying poverty when just 4 months ago they finished a year earning $300,000 at a minimum, to fans who are lucky enough to have a job, they lose a lot of credibility.

    My partner gripe is more based on the fact that the players want everything and are willing to give up very little. A true partner works for the benefit of their partners who share a mutual interest. When you start calling your bosses slave drivers you clearly don’t see them as partners so why do you benefit from being considered one?

  61. bukes111 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:18 PM

    @ bfridley

    NFL: OK old deal expired and while we’re still making a profit, it’s going to suck in the future. Give us a billion and a bigger piece of the pie
    Players: umm… no. Let’s stick w/ the old deal.
    NFL: No, that’s just bad business.
    Players: Well let us just see your ledgers.
    NFL: No, again – bad business. Got to trust us. We’re going to lock you out and scrap the season if we have too until you bend over and take our terms.
    Players: We will take you to court for not letting us play football.
    NFL: …See you there.
    Players: You don’t understand, we have nowhere else to go. You HAVE to give us more.
    Judge: You guys have a point
    NFL: Yeah… wait what!?

  62. geobh says: Apr 6, 2011 2:21 PM

    BRING ON THE REPLACEMENT PLAYERS AND HAVE A SEASON.

  63. bukes111 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:24 PM

    angrycorgi says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:52 PM

    And why then is it legal for an under-contract player to strike and not honor his contract?
    __________________________________

    A better question is why a player under contract can get cut w/ the owners not having to honor the remainder contract. Basketball and baseball have guaranteed contracts that both sides have to honor.

  64. falstaff1962 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:25 PM

    Have we really come to a point when the biggest game in NFL history is being played in a courtroom and not on a football field? And we sit here and suck it all in. Who’s more pathetic- the owners, the players, or us for putting up with it?

  65. eagleswin says: Apr 6, 2011 2:26 PM

    whathappenedtovox says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:59 PM
    @ chapnastier

    Replacement players would be a disaster. 1987 is proof. How many Peyton Mannings are there? How many Tom Bradys? Hell, how many decent QB’s are in the NFL right now? 15? 16? 17? And you think the product won’t suffer if they clear out the 1696 or so current NFL players and replace them with the next best 1696? That’s laughable.
    ————————-

    Since we are going back to 1987, why not 1982.

    The NFLPA actually staged two AFC-NFC “all-star” games during the strike, perhaps the lowlight moments of the work stoppage, and the contests drew only 8,760 fans to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and 5,331 to the Los Angeles Coliseum. Said then Redskins star fullback John Riggins after the first game: “I guess I’ll do just about anything for money.”

    The NFLPA “stars” can create unwatchable football also.

    I’d rather see the NFL shut down the 2011 season and retool with new players in 2012. That would give you 2 drafts worth of players and enough time to integrate the new players into the NFL environment. The key point being to let everyone know that NFLPA members would not get their jobs back. If people think that the NFLPA players will get their jobs back there are many players who wouldn’t risk the wrath of the union.

  66. willycents says: Apr 6, 2011 2:29 PM

    I see from the latter bunch of comments that the members of the NFLPA have found this PFT post and are defending themselves with their normal stupid comments…”bbbbbbut I sacrifice my body”….”you all would not last a single practice”….”The owners are a bunch of greedy bastards”…..”We players are the NFL, no one else matters”…”the NFL is dead without the players playing today. When we retire the league will be second rate, slightly behind peewee football in talent.”
    Get a grip Brees and Brady, the NFL will be around long after your arrogant butts are dead and rotting in a casket, that is, unless you manage to destroy it simply so you can claim to be the “greatest” that ever played. You players posting make me sick with your parroting of talking points when you have no clue what any word over four letters means. Go back to your drugs and hookers and gunfights and enjoy life.(expecting lots of TD’s on this one…lol)

  67. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 2:29 PM

    well if the news from NFLN, is any good, the lockout is going to stand…..

  68. broncsfan says: Apr 6, 2011 2:39 PM

    mrfrostyj says: Apr 6, 2011 2:09 PM

    thesmiteofthewicked says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM
    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner? What have the owners done to show that they care more about the game and the fans than the players?

    I realize this comment will get overwhelmingly disliked, but it’s insane to act like the owners are totally right and the players are totally wrong….both sides are wrong.

    ***

    It actually was quite the reverse right up to the decertification. Whether the shift has to do with a legitimate change of heart, an influx of new but genuine commenters, or actual astroturfing is up for debate.

  69. cscfriarbob says: Apr 6, 2011 2:54 PM

    phishe21 says: Apr 6, 2011 1:31 PM

    You’re forgetting that prior to today’s hearing that the Judge has already reviewed everyone’s position via previously tendered briefs/memorandum. She already knows everyone’s position.

    =========================

    Actually, no, I’m not. She obviously knows what they’re arguments are. But they still have to make them! If they don’t, and she appears to show bias by blatantly supporting one side without obvious cause, then it at least could turn out to be a devastatingly stupid mistake on appeal.

  70. sandyf79705 says: Apr 6, 2011 3:03 PM

    It is amazing how many try to compare the NFL to a normal business like say an oil company. It is not the same but any stretch of the imagination.

    You cannot just start an NFL team and be included and do business. Can’t and won’t happen. It is a club in such that you have to be invited and voted in. How many of you were in that position? The players have to be drafted or signed and the contract is such that nothing is guaranteed about your job. The average length of employment in the NFL is 3 and one half years. Wonder if that is the average length at your company.

    It is (in case you didn’t know) a sport and a sports business. The same rules do not work in the NFL like your 7-11 convenience store.

    Neither side is totally right or totally wrong. Both sides need to quit acting like kindergarten students and work it out.

  71. ubummer says: Apr 6, 2011 3:04 PM

    thesmiteofthewicked says:
    Apr 6, 2011 1:43 PM
    Can someone explain to me why everyone on this site is so blatantly pro-owner?
    *************************************

    The answer is very simple, and yet it is something the players haven’t grasped.

    Every kid dreams of scoring the winning touchdown in the SB. No kid dreams of owning a SB winning team.

    In other words, the fans identify with the players. So the fans ask themselves, if I was a player what would I do in this situation? Well, the fans would play for their team for FREE. In fact, the fans already PAY just for the privilege of wearing a team jersey.

    So when fans, who are so passionate about their teams, see divas turning down more money than the fans could possibly dream of making, to do something the fans would PAY to do, the fans turn against the divas.

  72. ubummer says: Apr 6, 2011 3:18 PM

    The owners still have yet to use their nuclear option. Oh sure, some people think they’ve launched it already with the lockout, but the owners still have one last devastating desperation move they can make.

    Just as the players have used their option to decertify in order to sue the league under antitrust laws, the owners can form a single entity as a partnership. It would expose the NFL to antitrust from other football leagues, but it would allow the NFL to easily beat back the players lawsuit, and the league could then impose whatever payscale and rules it wanted since it would be all the same company, and then break the partnership. It would be just as legitimate as the players sham decertification.

    It would be difficult to do, and no doubt the owners don’t want to take that path, and revenue sharing is one of the problems the owners have struggled to work out. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes, and if the players and/or courts push too hard, the owners would have nothing to lose by it.

  73. tdotsteel says: Apr 6, 2011 3:32 PM

    The one caveat to this dispute between the NFLPA and the owners that no one ever raises, is the owners always have the right to cancel a players contract at any time. The owners always have the ultimate power.

    In most jobs one cannot be fired without probable cause as they are subject to litigation. Not the NFL. One can perform their job admirably for 8 yrs and the employer deems said player expendable because they are too old and gives them their walking papers, although a contract has been signed. If an owner cannot succeed under those terms……..

  74. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 3:33 PM

    If you understand your budget, the basics of any agreement, and understand the bigger picture, that goes beyond pro sports, which most dont, You are pro owner.
    Both sides are greedy. both sides have a right…. but only can destroy the other and themselves….and if the courts side with them, will destroy there own goose egg with no way to go back.HINT; its not the owners.

    The owners will get their money, it will be the players who have no other alternatives that will suffer.

  75. martinmayhew4president says: Apr 6, 2011 3:35 PM

    Some people have gifts and talents that are God given or genetics. Others though lacking raw talent, through hard work and unbelievable will power accomplish what to many is impossible.
    I say this because it seem to me a lot people are jealous that these guys make a ton of money playing a GAME. A game that the average person can’t or couldn’t play on a NAIA level maybe at HS level.
    But what a lot of you haters forget that all of these current and future professional athletes were once student/athletes at a college, that recruited them to play a game at the next level. ALL coaches come bearing gifts like education, great college tradition and if some of these guys are good maybe a chance at the NFL. Most are 17 or 18 HS kids at the time,some from wholesome 2 parent, financially stable families, others are from single parenting or meger finances, SIGN a contract that gives the Universities complete contol of their likeness or image for ETERNITY. On top of that these guys can’t get a job while a student/athlete. After 3 years playing a sport/game avg age 21 and aint worked a day in their life. Some have brought fortune & fame to that college or coaches and now get a chance to make a fraction of the money they watched being made at their alma mata.
    NOW THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL.

  76. angrycorgi says: Apr 6, 2011 3:41 PM

    “A better question is why a player under contract can get cut w/ the owners not having to honor the remainder contract. Basketball and baseball have guaranteed contracts that both sides have to honor.”

    Uhhh…you apparently don’t know how the contracts are written. Most of the contracts are partially gauranteed. Not the entire contract, usually, but a healthy portion of the $$$$$$$ generally is gauranteed. If they cut a player, they still have to pay them. Go ask Antonio Bryant. He fleeced the Bengals for $8 million without playing a single down of football. And lets not ask “why can’t the NFL have basketball-esque contracts”. The NBA is in the tank right now because of its ridiculous contracts. And keep in mind, the baseball AND basketball players can sit-out just like the football players can, and its perfectly legal. In short, the legal system babies athletes and gaurantees that ticket prices for fans will always spiral out of control.

  77. angrycorgi says: Apr 6, 2011 3:43 PM

    “But what a lot of you haters forget that all of these current and future professional athletes were once student/athletes at a college, that recruited them to play a game at the next level.”

    And evert serial killer was once a litte cuddly baby too. What is your point??

  78. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 3:51 PM

    if 2011 was all that was in jeopardy, we would not be here….the owners would not have backed out of the deal……….to only focus on football in 2011 is short sighted, naive and ignorant.

  79. realitypolice says: Apr 6, 2011 3:54 PM

    moggy6actual says:
    Apr 6, 2011 12:50 PM
    If the players win, the NFL as we know it is done. It will become like MLB with only a few teams having a realistic shot and it will simply become the haves and have nots. Only the top players and top teams will benefit.
    =======================

    No it won’t!

    Weeks and weeks and weeks of articles on here explaining what these legal proceedings mean, and you (and so painfully many more like you), still don’t have a clue what is going on here!

    The only way for the scenario you describe above to happen is if this suit ever got to trial and was actually adjudicated by a jury, and the jury ruled for the players on every aspect of their case.

    That will never happen. Neither side wants that to happen, not even the players!

    Because for the case to go that long would take years and cost millions.

    If the players get an injunction lifting the lockout, it doesn’t mean they win the case. All it means is that they will have more leverage. If the owners are able to stop the injunction and maintain the lockout, they have the leverage.

    Then lawyers representing the players named in the suit (not the NFLPA*) and lawyers for the NFL can enter into mediation with a judge.

    The agreement that comes out of that will be registered as the “settlement” of the lawsuit, and be the de facto CBA.

    This is exactly what happened last time, and it is exactly what will happen this time.

    And there will still be a salary cap, free agency, and a draft. The only thing this hearing determines is who will have the leverage and who will not.

    Relax.

  80. vetdana says: Apr 6, 2011 3:59 PM

    Could you imagine Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW, etc. ALL agreeing on the same rules for hiring, firing, and paying their employees?

    I have been in that business for 25 years and well give you a little hint…..that is EXACTLY what they have already done !!!!

  81. harvardflawreview says: Apr 6, 2011 4:09 PM

    Update, 3:26 p.m. ET: The sides reconvened after a recess at 3 p.m. ET. Boies then told Judge Nelson that she simply doesn’t have the authority to issue an injunction.

    He cited the Norris-LaGuardia act that says: “No court shall have the jurisdiction to issue a restraining or temporary or permanent junction in any case involving or growing out of a labor dispute.”

    —-

    Accurate characterization of the act?

  82. commandercornpone says: Apr 6, 2011 4:26 PM

    they can go work at the car wash or mickey d’s.

    got nothing to do? who do they think are, the statler brothers or roger miller?

  83. Deb says: Apr 6, 2011 6:35 PM

    @chap …

    But I’m fond of you and don’t want to be mean :)

    Please stop dwelling on a slave remark made by one player and echoed by a couple more. Several others disagreed with Peterson. You’re never going to personally like everyone in an organization–or even everyone in your family. That has nothing to do with the right or wrong of an issue. And the owners are masters of propaganda who have a skilled PR department on their side. It certainly doesn’t hurt that people have narrow views of athletes as guys who hang out and have fun all day, then go to strip clubs, and earn fortunes. That’s not an accurate or fair picture.

    Elite athletes work constantly to stay that tenth of a second ahead of the next man. Most of the players in the league stay out of trouble, do their jobs, and lead productive lives. Most do not earn millions of dollars, and most have shorter life expectancies than average workers. These guys did not come in demanding extra money. The owners did that. And the owners earn from multiple revenue streams that are not included in the divided revenues.

    The owners are not hurting. And the story of how they treated players over the course of the league is one of the most shameful chapters in American labor history. It’s not the responsibility of current players to take care of the players who came before them. That’s the owners’ job. But that money still comes out of the players’ revenues and everyone seems to think it’s their duty.

    So much of this situation has been grossy misrepresented. I’m sorry, but people are naive to the point of silliness if they actually believe these savvy billionaire businessmen are being taken advantage of by a bunch of jocks.

  84. chapnastier says: Apr 7, 2011 7:40 AM

    @ Deb

    The slavery comment is huge because only two guys were dumb enough to say it but we can almost guarantee that there are more that agree with it than don’t. I don’t feel bad for grown men who can make $300,000 at a minimum to do what I have to pay $40/month for (workout). I agree that the owners have run a much better P.R. effort but even when the players tried to have that sit down with Vrabel, Brees, Foxworth, Saturday and a few other guys they just sounded out of touch with reality. The are well paid to have fun and that is the bottom line.

    I do find it curious how you mention the owners other forms of revenue outside of football. What the owner of a business does outside of any business is irrelevant to the employees. The only thing that should matter is the revenues from football. This is some class warfare stuff again. Just because the owners are wise enough to diversify doesn’t mean they should be punished. What the players should do is invest their 6 figure income wisely and then they wouldn’t have to rely on the NFL for the rest of their lives.

    Oh yeah, and I am quite fond of you as well lol

  85. Deb says: Apr 7, 2011 12:34 PM

    chap, I’m not talking about the owners’ other business interests but about stadium revenues and monies earned from the NFL Network and Web site. Players receive no part of that.

    And you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of why so many fans are against the players: the erroneous belief that they’re paid to have fun. If being an elite athlete were about having fun, Jamarcus Russell would still be quarterbacking. Being a pro athlete is no different than any other profession–it’s work and a lot of it. I took guitar lessons but didn’t have the discipline to practice. The professional musicians I know never let their guitars out of their hands. They worked morning, noon, and night–not just on their guitar skills but on booking gigs and writing songs, and playing rinky-dink dives until all hours.

    I don’t know how much time you spend in a gym, but I doubt you do the work to develop your body to the level of a Terrell Owens. Beyond that, you have to memorize increasingly complex route-running, develop your hands, develop your footwork, constantly push through pain and injury. These are the guy who never stop pushing themselves when others give up, get tired, slack off, stop studying, stop listening to coaches, let the pain slow them down. These guys are constantly tormented by the next guy who might be one-tenth of a second faster and take their place. They’re never never able to get comfortable where they are–not even a Brady or a Manning. And they have to work as much on the mental aspect of their game as the physical. You can have a so-so day at work when you’re not all there. One day like that when their concentration is off could cost their job–or if they get injured, could cost their career.

    When you say they’re just out there having fun, you really don’t know much about professional athletics. It’s a much harder world and much more unforgiving world than most laypeople realize.

  86. chapnastier says: Apr 7, 2011 1:19 PM

    Since this is the internet, I spend 3 hours a day, 6 days a week in the gym. Not really but enough to keep healthy. You make it seem like working on all of those things are bad. Being in the gym, throwing a football around, catching a football, running drills, running plays, all of that is fun to people who do it. If someone doesn’t enjoy it they end up like Jawalrus. His fun was more at the buffet that his paycheck allowed him to enjoy.

    Look there isn’t a single sports fan that doesn’t understand the hard work that goes into being a professional athlete. But exercising, while it may be work, is certainly not work like we understand it. If I had the talent, I would be more than happy to exchange this desk job to work on my football skills.

  87. mrfrostyj says: Apr 7, 2011 2:18 PM

    broncsfan wrote:

    It actually was quite the reverse right up to the decertification. Whether the shift has to do with a legitimate change of heart, an influx of new but genuine commenters, or actual astroturfing is up for debate.

    ————————————————–

    Once the decertification happend is when the pro and anti union debate people showed up and ran the NFL fans out of the forums. If you go to articles regarding the offseason that don’t directly talk about the lockout like this, you will get “real fans” opinions regarding the lockout whether they are for or against the owners or players. Alot of these political responses are actually anti NFL as a whole. I know if a person said half this stuff at a parking lot in a real NFL stadium, they wouldn’t make it out of that stadium alive. Do you think real NFL fans are going to stop going to games based on which side is getting the extra 1 billion dollars of their money? How about neither side gets it and the money gets refunded to season ticket holders and local businesses who will miss out on revenue because of a lack of a season or the tax payers who are fitting the bill for stadiums?

    The whole reason they have that money to argue over is because we (the fans) pay to watch those players play what some of these outsiders are calling “just a game”. Alot of us have watched these “prima donna” players since they were broke college students and some of us have even been in that position ourselves. It’s become the head of the student councel talking down to the jock because the jock makes him look bad in gym class debate which would never go on during a regular season since most fans of NFL teams are wannabe jocks.

    I personally am not pro owner or players because FACT is the OWNERS don’t even agree on whether they are pro owner or pro player. How many teams have been fined already for allowing their coaching staff to have contact with players? what 5 or 6 now and that’s just the ones who have gotten caught. This whole deal to me seems like a group of owners who had teams forced on them making everyone else including fellow owners pay because they can’t run a team. For every Bud Adams “slavedriver” owner out there who runs his team like a corporation or Jerry Jones who builds a 50 bajillion dollar stadium then claims the NFL isn’t profitable there is a JJ Debartolo who wants to own a team and gladly take the financial responsibility off there hands and would probably run it 10 times better since he actually cares about the sport or a Randy Lerner who is doing what he can to make his players, employees and fans happy while the others fight it out.

    This deal is about whether the players should take a pay cut now in hopes of profitting from it in the future. Both sides have legit arguements but anyone turning it into some political debate really doesn’t belong here.

  88. Deb says: Apr 7, 2011 3:52 PM

    @chap …

    I think there’s a different dynamic when it’s your job, yeah. You’re at the gym that much because you enjoy it, but if something came up to keep you from being there, it wouldn’t matter. And you don’t have someone standing over your shoulder waiting to take your place. You don’t living in constant terror of losing your spot. It’s a different world when your life depends on it. That’s not to say they don’t love it. I love my work and can’t imagine doing anything else. But … it tortures me, too. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes I wish I did anything else. I just think you’re being naive not to understand that it is a job.

    Have you ever read North Dallas Forty? You should pick it up at a used bookstore. Football has changed a lot since then, and a lot of the book deals with the racy lives the players lead off the field. But it’s a great look into a player’s head. At the time it was published, it was considered the first real glimpse inside pro football. And it’s a brilliant book from a writer’s standpoint. The lead characters are based on the author, Don Meredith, Landry, and Tex. Since all of it happened before you were born, I don’t think you’ll get bent out of shape over anything negative you learn. But some things don’t change, and the psyche of athletes is one of them.

  89. viguy007 says: Apr 12, 2011 3:12 PM

    No matter who is right in this war between the NFL and the players, both sides do not have any concern for us, the fans. They are killing the fan interest that produces ticket and merchandise sales, but most importantly the television audience they sell to advertisers. The NFL is expected to enter into TV contracts worth 46 Billion dollars as soon as the next CBA is signed. The NFL just assumes we will once again slip back into old modes of behavior, and they have no fear we will not. Let’s just put some fear in them.

    The NFL will be watching their draft very closely for any signs of slippage in its viewing audience. Remember last year, when they so proudly announced that the television ratings had increased by 18%, it was a sign that the NFL reached new levels of popularity. Now imagine how they would react if the rating declined by 50%. And if you intend to go to the draft in person, don’t go, let the auditorium be half filled. Support your fellow fans by not acting like a fan. You can watch the results of the Draft on your late night sports report, and these blogs will be filled chatter about the selections. You will know who they are, you will lose nothing, but maybe gain a season. Send a message that the sleeping giant is starting to awaken, and he can not be taken for granted, or ignored any longer. This is only the first step.

    Pass this message on, post it to your Facebook page and other blogs, Tweet “Join Fan Boycott of NFL Draft on TV”. Spread the word,

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