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Mediation not expected to hit paydirt

DeMauriceSmithMediationGetty Getty Images

When Judge Susan Nelson ordered a second wave of mediation last week, most in the media were pessimistic.  Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com and I chose to be optimistic.

And now Freeman has crapped all over that glimmer of hope.

Freeman reports, based on “brief telephone and text message interviews with people familiar with the talks” (at least Albert Breer will have company in jail), that neither side is serious about negotiating because each side believes it will win the first major legal skirmish regarding the question of whether the lockout will involuntarily be lifted.

The players presumably think they’ll win before Judge Nelson, and the owners presumably like their chances before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, where 13 of the 16 judges were appointed by Republican administrations, which in a loose red state/blue state sense will make them more inclined to side with the league over the players on the threshold legals issues relating to whether the courts can enjoin a lockout and whether the NFLPA* effectively decertified.

Regardless of who wins, we all lose.  Here’s why.

To achieve long-term labor peace, the two sides need to feel equally good — or equally bad — about their partnership.  With each side intent on swinging for the fences, someone will end up having to do a bad deal.  Which means that it’ll be a short-term deal.  Which means that we’ll be right back in this situation again in three or four years, if not sooner.

That’s why now is the perfect time for each side to recognize that they can lose, that in many ways they already have, and thus they they should do a fair deal now instead of a crappy deal later.

Complicating matters, as one source with general knowledge of the dynamics but no actual knowledge of the talks told PFT (that’s how you stay out of jail, fellas), is that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith has painted himself into a corner by taking two extreme positions:  (1) demanding 10 years of audited financial statements; and (2) calling the March 11 offer from the owners as the worst deal in the history of sports.

In order to steer this thing in the right direction, Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan needs to acknowledge this reality, and then to come up with a strategy for helping Smith ease away from those positions without looking lame in the eyes of his constituents.

More importantly, Magistrate Judge Boylan and Judge Nelson need to realize that the two sides aren’t truly taking the mediation seriously, and they need to order that all parties attend and participate — each of the 10 named plaintiffs and each of the 32 owners.  They may not like it.  But the judges shouldn’t care, and neither should the fans.

The players and the owners currently are playing Russian roulette with the interests of the game, all in the name of getting more for themselves.  The fans who have yet to lose interest should be very pissed about that.

And we’ve got a feeling that plenty of those fans will make their feelings known on April 28, 29, and 30, whenever anyone — Commissioner or incoming players — steps onto the stage at Radio City Music Hall.

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69 Responses to “Mediation not expected to hit paydirt”
  1. billsfan27 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:14 PM

    It’s gotten to the point, honestly, where I’ve moved on from the NFL. Not saying I’m no longer a fan, but it’s become too tiresome or bothersome to care.

    Kinda like falling out of love with an annoying chick.

    Basically, a sport that I was absolutely passionate towards – and fanatical – has uglied itself and bored me to the point where I could care less. I’ll probably pay attention to the draft, but after that, wake me up when the bullsh*t is over.

  2. huskersrock1 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:24 PM

    billsfan27

    Then why are you reading PFT?

  3. mtpack says: Apr 17, 2011 10:25 PM

    Mike, use the voice you’ve created. You have a legion of hardcore NFL fans who read each and every word every single day. The fans need to come together with own voice of their own. You can help. You have your finger directly on the pulse of this situation, we are the ones who make them so filthy rich… we need to figure out how to make them see we are throughly unimpressed. Help us… Take the lead.

  4. hawks12 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:26 PM

    is it that hard to split the money 50/50 i know there is more issues but come on everyone gets the same everyone wins both sides are really taking the piss

  5. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 17, 2011 10:26 PM

    I dont know how many times I have to state it for you.

    As I said last week, and the week before that, there will NOT be anything productive that results from mediation. The players want Judge Nelson to order the lockout over and the owners are fine with that because they know they will win on appeal in St. Louis.
    Until the issue is in the final court will any serious negotiating begin. Once the owners have their foot on the players throats then we will see the greedy ambulance chaser and his band of double talk blind followers begin to actually want to negotiate.
    Sit back, chill, and wait for the ingrates to cry uncle. Then a deal will get done

  6. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 17, 2011 10:27 PM

    I have been saying nothing will happen in mediation.
    Next time pay attention to my ID.

  7. canadian52niner says: Apr 17, 2011 10:28 PM

    Totally agree, the game is being ruined by whining players and stupid owners. Then you have scum bags like demaurice smith who care about absolutely no one. Everyone is a loser in this, no one is going to win. The fans will be the biggest losers of all though, followed by the employees and then the game that we loved.

  8. tdman21 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:29 PM

    “The players and the owners currently are playing Russian roulette with the interests of the game, all in the name of getting more for themselves. ”

    Come on man, you know that this isn’t true. The only people that aim to secure “more for themselves” are the owners. The 50-50 revenue split is no longer acceptable, and they have locked out the players in order to split the pie in a manner that is more favorable to them, fairness be damned.

    Please stop lying, telling people that both sides are greedy, etc. Only one side fits that description.

  9. lodan60 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:31 PM

    billsfan27, I think expresses the thoughts of most fans. Let the boys fight and quibble over who gets the most, and indeed, also wake me when the BS is over. DON’T CARE MORE!

  10. brownsfn says: Apr 17, 2011 10:34 PM

    @Billfan

    Agree 100% bro…well put my friend…

  11. mick730 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:40 PM

    “Help us… Take the lead.”

    Aren’t you the least bit ashamed of how pathetic that reads? ‘ Mike, you have a legion of us fans. Lead us oh great one.’

    Grow a pair. Please.

  12. notdumb says: Apr 17, 2011 10:45 PM

    i know the players are whining they should be happy because they get paid alot well their work is worth alot and everything is relative wake up fellow peasants unions are the best thing to ever happen to the working class

  13. mick730 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:49 PM

    “is it that hard to split the money 50/50 i know there is more issues but come on everyone gets the same everyone wins both sides are really taking the piss”

    Split the money 50/50, huh? Really. Ok, are the Viking players going to chip in 50/50 for the new stadium in Minnesota that is necessary, supposedly, in order to keep the franchise in the state? No? Why not? What does 50/50 mean in your mind?

    Oh, you mean the players, or should I say the slaves, should get 50% of the the revenue, but only the owners should foot the bills? Why is that?

    Oh, you mean so that the taxpayers, since the players only want the gravy and none of the grease, won’t chip in, they have to?

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    Oh, and one last thing. De Dig it says that “his players risk everything, every day of the year”. What a crock. How many days of the year do “his players” actually work. And they risk everything? Like what? Life and limb? I don’t think so. Somebody quick tell the me last time one of the slaves died out onthe football field? Now, in a drive by shooting, maybe.

  14. FinFan68 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:50 PM

    “To achieve long-term labor peace, the two sides need to feel equally good — or equally bad — about their partnership. With each side intent on swinging for the fences, someone will end up having to do a bad deal. Which means that it’ll be a short-term deal. Which means that we’ll be right back in this situation again in three or four years, if not sooner.”
    ——————————
    This is pretty much what the owners have said happened the last time. They agreed to the latest CBA (with an opt-out clause) so that the games could be played the last few years. The players have acknowledge the fact that they got a sweetheart deal last time. Now, the owners want a deal that is more equitable and this site and others have condemned them for it. The players’ reps have bristled at the idea of any form of concession and “decertified” their union to gain leverage in an abnormal market dynamic while they marched into court. If the players’ reps had any understanding of your paragraph quoted above, we would all not be in this mess right now.

  15. bison4me says: Apr 17, 2011 10:51 PM

    The networks should work with the NCAA to spread their games over both Saturday and Sunday. That will speed this bullish!t up.

  16. patriotsdefense says: Apr 17, 2011 10:58 PM

    @ billsfan27

    Seriously? What has been lost? The Bills weren’t going to sign any free agents anyway. But what has been lost? Nothing yet. Yes both sides suck and need to get over themselves right now and are hurting the sport they supposedly care deeply about, but it’s the freaking middle of April. You’ve “moved on”? Because of a 30 something day lockout in the end of Winter/beginning of Spring? Now I know there isn’t much for you to be moving on from, you’re a Bills fan after all, but to jump ship this early is fraudulent and maybe the NFL community is better off with people like you sitting this one out. I’m sorry it’s not the early ’90s but your team stinks and you want to lash up until mommy and daddy buy you a decent team but cry about it and holding your breath isn’t going to get you any closer. Please leave the NFL now and do not return.

  17. medic406 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:01 PM

    A fan’s strike of the draft would be a good start. Rock bottom ratings, would send a nice shot over the bow.

  18. scott8nj says: Apr 17, 2011 11:06 PM

    Getting tired of the blow by blow, just start the season on time. They are all paid like entertainers. The show must go on.

  19. chatham10 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:07 PM

    I think the draft can get real ugly, the fans who attend will let their feelings known to the Comm. when he comes on stage but the players may hear it when they are introduced. I think the Comm. will hear it the most and not because they blame him over the players but he is there and the players are rookies. It good be ugly.

  20. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 17, 2011 11:07 PM

    The players’ strategy has been predicated all along on a quick win in the courts to lift the lockout. In the unlikely event Judge Nelson denies the plaintiffs’ petition for injunctive relief, or if the 8th Circuit overturns any ruling granting the injunction, then the pressure will quickly mount on DeMaurice Smith to offer up something significant to the owners as a quid pro quo for ending this labor dispute. The late Gene Upshaw was wise enough to compromise by accepting the salary cap in consideration for a larger share of the revenue pie and free agency. Even after years of litigation, Upshaw had to compromise. The smart play here is to compromise sooner rather than later. First, Smith will need to replace his litigator hat with a conciliator hat.

  21. t1mmy10 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:07 PM

    and deMoron smith continues to ruin the sport i loved.

    any way the judges have power to just remove him from his position?

  22. 3octaveFart says: Apr 17, 2011 11:09 PM

    iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 17, 2011 10:26 PM

    “I dont know how many times I have to state it for you.”

    Huh?
    What was that?
    Did you guys hear something?

  23. jpmelon says: Apr 17, 2011 11:09 PM

    If I was trying to work out a deal with DeMaurice Smith I wouldn’t give in to any of his demands either. He is too short-sighted to have a reasonable discussion. I completely agree that he has painted himslf into a corner and this becomes a matter in which he is only trying to save face and not attempting to find compromise.

  24. sabeybaby says: Apr 17, 2011 11:16 PM

    not dumb

    buy a period.

  25. t1mmy10 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:18 PM

    @tdman

    in case you have reading comprehension problems preventing you from understanding past articles, the players currently get (a little) over 50% of the current revenue without any financial costs or liabilities which the owners are required to cover.

    doesn’t seem to “greedy” to me that a person with almost a billion dollars invested into his company is unhappy about only getting 10 million in profit back when some of his employees are making twice that. i call it “greedy” to demand more financial information than a union was ever given by its employers or labeling a deal the “worst deal ever” when it pales in comparison to they way players were treated 40 years ago. don’t get me wrong, the owners have been turds, too, but the NFLPA* has done more than it’s far share to help create this problem.

  26. jc1958cool says: Apr 17, 2011 11:22 PM

    roger pinnochio and his 32 cronies have played all their cards! too bad so sad, now they have to wait for the courts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. mick730 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:22 PM

    “well their work is worth alot ”

    Their what is worth a lot?????

    Last time I looked, they played football. These are grown men, well, ok, little boys in grown bodies, who play a boys game…….for millions. And each and every one of them is replaceable. And interchangeable.

    And by the way, considering your sentence structure, I think I would change my screen name if I were you.

  28. footballcoach17 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:25 PM

    Greedy…Players and owners Eventually, there will be no more because no-one will be able to afford it. Not even the sponsors. Sad, but true.

  29. nick1087 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:27 PM

    I’m just gonna throw this out there. Both sides say they aren’t making enough money and are trying to settle for the sake of the fans. But let’s cut the bs, they both make plenty of money so how bout they both take a little less than the millions/billions in profits they already get, and lower the ticket prices and other prices they charge us that are ridiculous. come on they are both selfish and neither care about us fans.

  30. iamgoodkid says: Apr 17, 2011 11:27 PM

    I don’t think the owners are negotiating in good faith, because they locked out the players because they want more money and that is not right at all… If i’m Judge Nelson I would grant the injuction, and I would not accept the appeal from the owners… that’s what I would do if I was Judge Nelson, because the owners did not negotiate in good faith, and that’s what the players are complaining about.

  31. iamgoodkid says: Apr 17, 2011 11:30 PM

    Hold on a second please, i got a problem over here on my social sites

  32. themr21 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:38 PM

    if fans really wanted to make a statement, instead of booing, no fan should show up for the Draft..

  33. voyager6 says: Apr 17, 2011 11:39 PM

    It can be solved easily. Have the federal government pass a 90 percent tax on all entertainment income over $1Million. Since the government will get it all, there won’t be a reason to fight for more! (Said firmly with tongue in cheek).

  34. dapell says: Apr 17, 2011 11:42 PM

    I have to wonder what the owners say about Paul Tagliabue behind closed doors now.

    Tags convinced the owners to accept what turned out to be a horrible deal for them in order to preserve his legacy as commissioner, but in retrospect, most of the owners probably wouldn’t pick the phone up if he called today.

    In the end I have a hard time siding with the players in all this. Since the economy crashed local governments aren’t willing to pony up the money for new stadiums anymore. If I owned a Billion dollar investment I’d expect to make 5-8% annually on it too, especially a business as popular as the NFL. And somehow it’s the owners trying to take care of the retired players.

    DeMaurice Smith comes across as the goat in all this to me. He sold himself to the players as a guy who was going to fight the owners to get elected. Something tells me he’s in about the same spot Custer was right before Little Big Horn. Overly confident and putting himself in a spot he has no options for surrender.

  35. mtpack says: Apr 17, 2011 11:43 PM

    Not ashamed at all, mick. I want someone who has thousands of nfl fans looking at their site DAILY, to help form a voice for all of us angry fans.

    You can still be a man and look for help, bud.

  36. tatum064 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:03 AM

    notdumb says: Apr 17, 2011 10:45 PM

    i know the players are whining they should be happy because they get paid alot well their work is worth alot and everything is relative wake up fellow peasants unions are the best thing to ever happen to the working class
    =================================
    Call it karma for the Wisconsin decisions by Koch Bros. and Scott Walker….ironic the Packers win the last Super Bowl, and the first.

    a work stoppage is a victory for all, except the television networks and advertisers..and good riddance…this is the last stand for organized labor, and maybe the public will either turn off on sports, altogether….

  37. eagle18411 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:05 AM

    They’ve ruined the offseason and the regular season is in jeopardy. Still come draft day every seat in Radio City will be filled. All others glued to the TV. The NFL was nervous the collegiates would boycott the draft, imagine how they’d feel if the fans did. No to Radio City and No to the NFL network. Let them know how we feel……

  38. gdpont says: Apr 18, 2011 12:07 AM

    I don’t understand why the league is so sanguine about its chances before the Court of Appeals. I think by the time the a favorable ruling is made, it will not make much of a difference. If memory serves, the recently expired CBA contained a provision that the NFL could not contest a decertification that occurred 6 months after expiration of the CBA (less than 5 months from now). By the time the Court of Appeals rules on the propriety of Judge Nelson’s presumptive ruling in the players’ favor, it will be be a moot because 6 months will have passed from the expiration of the CBA (there is no dispute that the CBA has expired). At that point, the NFLPA* can decertify again and the current lawsuit can be refiled without any issue involving the NLRB.

    Assuming Judge Nelson rules in favor of the players and does not stay the injunction against the lockout (I think a stay is unlikely), would the owners blow things up in the middle of training camp and risk the ire of the fans? As one who just plunked down some serious bank for my 2011 season tickets, I can assure everyone that I would cancel my tickets if they did so.

  39. northeastern31 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:07 AM

    So in other words…

    It sucks to love the NFL right now…

    I , once upon a time, loved hockey and please forgive me for taking a line from the movie Johnny Dangerously : ” You shouldnt lock out on me Johnny…the NHL locked out on me once…..ONCE!!”

  40. kom2k10 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:19 AM

    tdman21:

    The players are spoiled… no one has sympathy when the worst employee of the NFL makes $350,000/ year and the best one’s make almost $20,000,000/ year… Actually, they make that money only working for 6 months of the year! If the players feel like they are underpaid, then by all means let them go and find a better paying job out there like the rest of us who are bustin our butts trying to make $50K / year.

    The bottom line is, the owners feel like allthough the game is growing in popularity and revenue, the players are getting a larger piece of the those revenunes, and the owners therefore are getting “screwed”.

    When they players feel like they are getting screwed, they can, and do, go on strike. When owners feel like they’re getting screwed, they lock the players out.

    It’s B.S. that the players would exercise their option of goin on strike if they felt it necessary, but when the owners do the equivalent and lock they players out, the players decertify and sue the owners and now we’re on a path of several lawsuits that could take several months to get resolved…

    We’re all tired of this… JUST GET A DEAL DONE!

  41. tdman21 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:24 AM

    My take on the NBA and NFL CBA negotiations is that both leagues are finally trying to emulate general American business over the last 30 years, when it comes to management-labor relations. Both leagues, through their CBA’s, seek to facilitate the upwards redistribution of income. Owners are effectively trying to take money out of players pockets in order to pad their own.

    To “run and grow a legitimate business” in this day and age means that an organization disconnects the link between worker pay and worker productivity, allowing management to capture all gains. Since it is difficult/impossible/irrelevant to determine the “productivity” of an athlete, disconnecting worker pay and worker productivity is applied differently. Here, the owners goal is to disconnect worker pay from increases in demand, “demand” being defined as fan interest in the game.

    With more fan interest, the MRP of players increases, not because their productivity increases, but because additional fans increase marginal revenue, resulting in an increase in demand for the players labor. Ordinarily, when demand rises, so do wages. However, in an attempt to emulate a “legitimate American business,” owners seek to disconnect this link, causing increased demand not to result in increases wages, but only increased profits, captured entirely by owners.

    When the author of this piece makes an erroneous statement like “the players and the owners currently are playing Russian roulette with the interests of the game, all in the name of getting more for themselves,” it is a bold-faced LIE. I don’t understand how anyone can think otherwise.

    The owners opted out of the CBA. They are the only ones asking for more.

  42. tashkalucy says: Apr 18, 2011 12:31 AM

    The lawyers should make out fine.

  43. tashkalucy says: Apr 18, 2011 12:33 AM

    wake up fellow peasants unions are the best thing to ever happen to the working class
    _______

    Good to know that professional athletes are the working class

  44. bucfandango says: Apr 18, 2011 12:34 AM

    Is that 50-50 before expenses or after? So if it is 50-50, do the players pay for the Coaches, Scouts, Stadiums, Marketing, Travel, Facilities, and Insurance too? I mean, if it is truly 50-50, then split it up.

    And the owners need to have all the money in the kitty.

    Dez thought his jewelry bill was high, wait until he has to start helping Jerry pay the mortgage on the World’s Largest Cow-Patty.

  45. biist says: Apr 18, 2011 12:57 AM

    It seems to me Mr. Smith is self aggrandizing; using the NFLPA as a stepping stone.
    Using courts to accomplish what cannot be negotiated means years not months to resolution. Lack of resolution shrinks the size of the pie being sliced. In the end, NFLPA might win legally but actual dollars will be less–the pie will be smaller– than if they simply negotiated and taken less than 100% of demands.

    Court hurts the game–for both. But has bigger impact on the players as it will shrink the size of the NFL. Less public money to support stadiums as economies shrink and tax revenue goes to more pensions. Owners risk footing more stadium costs and may simply exit the game completely as the league loses its allure and stature at worst, shrinking profits and thereby less player compensation at best.

  46. monkeesfan says: Apr 18, 2011 1:16 AM

    That DeMaurice Smith is the problem here has become more and more glaringly obvious the longer this drags on. It bears repeating that his demand for ten years of audited financial info from the teams after blowing off release of such information by the Packers and offer of release by the Bears and Broncos was the demand of a bully. Nowhere has he made ANY case for his side – calling the owners offer the worst in the history of sports when he didn’t even read it further showed the economic illiteracy he has been operating under.

    Make a case for why the PA SHOULDN’T allow an extra billion a year to go to stadium upkeep etc. Maybe then DeMaurice Smith will actually show himself a leader, not a fraud.

  47. vietnambob2473 says: Apr 18, 2011 1:19 AM

    The only thing holding my interest at this point is the draft, when that’s over, the NFL will no longer be on my mind until this horrible mess is over.

  48. satanphoenix says: Apr 18, 2011 1:20 AM

    having all 32 owners in mediation may be a little difficult since on one of them is on jury duty

  49. stanklepoot says: Apr 18, 2011 1:41 AM

    iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 17, 2011 10:26 PM

    I dont know how many times I have to state it for you.

    As I said last week, and the week before that, there will NOT be anything productive that results from mediation. The players want Judge Nelson to order the lockout over and the owners are fine with that because they know they will win on appeal in St. Louis.
    Until the issue is in the final court will any serious negotiating begin. Once the owners have their foot on the players throats then we will see the greedy ambulance chaser and his band of double talk blind followers begin to actually want to negotiate.
    Sit back, chill, and wait for the ingrates to cry uncle. Then a deal will get done
    _____________________
    Once more you demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the appeals process. Are the owners holding out because they hope to win an appeal? They probably are, along with the hope that the NLRB will rule in their favor or that the fact that they’ve filed a complaint with the NLRB will convince the Judge to hold off on ending the lockout to see what the NLRB will do. If the owners feel that they will definitely win on appeal simply because the Justices are mostly Republican nominees (Judge Doty, anybody?), then they’re rather foolish. I looked into the numbers.

    According to Lawfirms.com, “According to the U.S. Court of Appeals judicial case load profile, in 2007 there were 58,410 new Appeals filled in the U.S. added to the overflow cases of previous years, the total was 62,846 cases waiting to be heard. Out of those 31,717 were terminated on merits alone and 28, 755 were terminated on procedural applications, meaning roughly 96% of appeals cases were not fully heard.” In other words, there’s no guarantee the appeals course will even fully hear the case. Given the importance of the case, it’s much more likely, but it’s not guaranteed. They might simply review the file and see no reason to continue with the case.

    Even if they do, according to another legal web site, “A civil appeal is not a second chance. In a civil case at least 80% of the time the Court of Appeal affirms the trial court.” The point is that appeals courts don’t retry the initial case and substitute their views for the views of the original judge. Appeals courts review the initial case and determine whether there was a procedural error or whether the judge’s ruling fails to fit within the existing statutes or is beyond the authority of the sitting judge. Republican or not, the appeals court judges won’t simply sit there and say, “As Republicans we always favor the richer people, so let’s overturn the sitting judge regardless of how well she may have handled the case.” Perhaps you should spend less time talking and learn to do a little research first.

  50. wader51 says: Apr 18, 2011 2:49 AM

    Players simply don’t deserve a 50/50 split. Doesn’t matter how much money they make, the majority of players will never be wealthy. But they will have several hundred thousand dollars worth of jewelry

  51. favrelous says: Apr 18, 2011 3:36 AM

    That’s what she said

  52. lawboy2000 says: Apr 18, 2011 3:55 AM

    Will the players ever realize that De Smith was a terrible choice and dump him?

  53. weneedlinemen42 says: Apr 18, 2011 5:10 AM

    “With each side intent on swinging for the fences, someone will end up having to do a bad deal. Which means that it’ll be a short-term deal. Which means that we’ll be right back in this situation again in three or four years, if not sooner.”

    We are already in that situation. I put a lot of the blame on Gene Upshaw, he took advantage of the owners when they were in a weak spot. He took it too far and humiliated them in. Now the owner’s are looking for a little payback.

    It was the owners fault they were in weak position last time. The were so busy fighting amongst themselves that they didn’t think about how vulnerable they were making themselves to the players. The bent themselves right over the table for them.

    Upshaws mistake was to take full advantage of the owner’s error. He should have left something on the table. He should have left them with some dignity. Instead he practically wiped himself off on the curtains after he had finished and then took their wallets for good measure.

    Everything that has happened since then, from the league renegotiating their tv contracts to the early opt out was effectively set in motion as soon as they were compelled to sign the last CBA.

    When you hold the whip hand in negotiations, there is not point in flogging an already beaten opponent. If they can, they’ll bide their time and come back looking for revenge later.

  54. brazy44 says: Apr 18, 2011 5:33 AM

    BOYCOTT THE DRAFT!!!
    don’t watch it or go to it. get your updates via an app on your phone or the internet. let their TV ratings piss poor (lower then baseball).

  55. ravenution says: Apr 18, 2011 6:09 AM

    All of you that claim to be done with the NFL forever will be rigt back cheering in thevstands or watching v once this crap is over. So will I. I dont like this garbage going on now, but my love for football runs deep. Go Ravens!

  56. virginiaiggle says: Apr 18, 2011 7:20 AM

    I lost you at “Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com”

    He redefines the term “hack.”

  57. dccowboy says: Apr 18, 2011 7:25 AM

    hawks12 says: Apr 17, 2011 10:26 PM

    is it that hard to split the money 50/50 i know there is more issues but come on everyone gets the same everyone wins both sides are really taking the piss
    =======

    The current (or rather past) deal splits the money 50-50 pretty much. The owners say that is too much, the players don’t want to change it.

    A 50-50 split in revenue doesn’t seem fair to me when you consider that one side that gets 50% doesn’t pay a dime to cover costs associated with raising said revenue while the other side has to pay all costs associated with raising that revenue.

    If the players want a 50 50 split (i.e., they want to be ‘partners’ – or ‘part owners’), then they should throw their endorsement deals and other ‘revenue’ they raise as a result of the sport into the pot to be split or they should contribute some of the costs of raising the revenue to be split.

  58. src3346 says: Apr 18, 2011 7:59 AM

    NLRB! What is your answer to the complaint?

  59. weneedlinemen42 says: Apr 18, 2011 8:09 AM

    At this point, what have lost? Free agency in March. It’s really only in the last 10-years that media coverage has given blanket coverage to every little thing in the off-season. Before that, the dispute would hardly have registered.

    The draft is still happening. We’ve missed a few OTA’s but not a day of training camp. We haven’t missed single minute of pre-season yet, and during a normal year lots of people complain about how pointless it is to watch them.

    So it is kind of hard to get on side with people who think this strike is causing serious damage to the fans. If it goes on and on and we lose most of the season, there could well be a problem.

    Lost games hurt both baseball and hockey, but the NFL isn’t there yet. We’ve lost nothing, yet.

    I am a Redskins fan. Generally the only exciting thing that happens for us is the first day of free-agency, but loosing it doesn’t seem like too big a deal.

    Anyone who quits watching football because of what has happened with the CBA up to now just wasn’t a fan in the first place. That or was in dire need of a cool drink and a lie down in a darkened room.

    In the end, we wont even lose free agency. It will have to happen at some point because the teams simply wont have enough people under contract to play. When the new agreement is signed, there will be a short free agency period. It only needs to be a week long. Most of the significant deals are done during the first few days in a normal year.

  60. bigd9484 says: Apr 18, 2011 9:11 AM

    In the end, the only way the owners/players would stop relying on the courts would be if all season ticket holders entered a “union” (official or unofficial, doesn’t matter) on their own (along with people on the waiting lists) and EVERYONE agreed to not purchase their season tickets until a new CBA is reached. Until the fans can unite and not give the machine anymore money, they won’t give two flying rips about us.

  61. airraid77 says: Apr 18, 2011 9:20 AM

    It doesnt matter if they miss games in mind. Because if the future of the league is in financial jeopardy, missing games in 11 will be the least of our problems. I would rather miss games or even a season, Come to a deal where both sides are somewhat happy, sign a long ter peace agreement….and then play football…know that the league, its owners, first and foremost will have a vested interest in winning on the field and off….and the players know they are going to roll in the dough.

  62. bluepike says: Apr 18, 2011 9:34 AM

    DeMaurice has painted HIMSELF into a corner! That means, to me, that this is about him and not a fair CBA. Before the players end-up looking down the abyss, I have an easy remedy for this. Fire De Smith and end his “15 minutes” NOW! This little runt thinks this is about him and it’s hurting everyone involved. Only a fool will refuse to acknowledge that he has made a mistake when indeed he has made one – it’s called being “dumb twice”!

    It’s still not to late for the players to realize that they’ve hired the wrong guy. Hopefully, they’ll come to their senses and get rid of this litigious, immature, self-serving and acrimonious little tyrant. Then they can find a real leader and actually end-up with a CBA that is fair all around. If they don’t – I fear that they will rue ever hiring De Smith in the first place.

  63. vahawker says: Apr 18, 2011 9:47 AM

    Magistrate Boylan must be a magician or a miracle worker if he can get DeIdiot out of this without looking lame. Guy more lame than stupid Friday video on You Tube. The guy is a Moron, jerkoff, jack wagon, idiot (oh wait, that’s his name) at least I’m my view.

  64. jbniner says: Apr 18, 2011 10:37 AM

    Players
    1. Play the game
    2. Train and stay in shape to play the game at their highest possible capacity
    3. Stay out of situations that impede their ability to play the game
    a. Injury during outside activities
    b. Legal Trouble

    Owners
    1. Provide facilities and personnel that allow players to accomplish numbers 1 and 2 on their list
    a. Coaches
    b. Team facilities
    2. Provide programs that shelter (or educate) players from number 3 on their list
    a. Ex. Substance abuse program, etc.
    3. Generate revenue to pay the players, and provide facilities and programming
    a. Generate sufficient interest in the game via marketing and other strategic planning that ensures continual growth
    i. Create individual endorsement opportunities for players
    ii. Network contracts and programming
    4. Assume all risk (financial or otherwise)
    a. Team operations
    b. Player issues (i.e. your star QB goes on a drug fueled bender and can no longer perform, leading to decreased fan interest and media scrutiny)
    c. Liability (i.e. a drunk fan falls from the top of stadium because he thought he could balance on the railing)

    The list highlights the key point. The owners must act like owners by building and maintaining a business that provides good facilities, coaches, programs to protect the players from themselves, and a continued effort in “growing the pie” that is the NFL’s revenue base. The players only have to show up and do their job (which for some is a challenge). If this is truly a partnership, it is the oddest partnership in the history of American business.

  65. thefiesty1 says: Apr 18, 2011 10:59 AM

    As long as De is involved I don’t expect much progress. He needs to just fade away into the night. He already screwed up his 15 minutes.

  66. jftreshj76 says: Apr 18, 2011 12:18 PM

    BOYCOTT the first game! Empty stadiums week 1. Strike back! “I’m sick and tired and I’m not gonna take it any more!” HIT THESE MILLIONAIRES VERSUS BILLIONAIRES where it counts, their greedy wallets!

  67. CKL says: Apr 18, 2011 1:43 PM

    If all either side cares about is “WINNING”…everyone loses.
    BOTH sides need to start caring about what’s good for the sport long term or there won’t BE a long term.

  68. ponci21 says: Apr 18, 2011 3:20 PM

    I apologize to all, I wish I was a stronger man. I fault the owners, I fault the players, and I fault DeMaurice for the current situation. I hate the prospect of missed free agency, missed games, maybe even replacement players. But, I love football and football knows I am not going anywhere. I have watch 5 spring games. I have MY big board ready for the draft. The kegs are on order for my draft party.

    I will sit here more frustrated than most, but whenever they decide to play, I will be right back in the palm of their hands with my Sunday Ticket, my three flat screens in the living room at the same time.

    It may be similar to falling out of love with a chick, but if that chick is hot enough and has a boat load of cash, it will take more than a labor dispute to end that love.

  69. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: Apr 18, 2011 7:21 PM

    stanklepoot;

    remember my words, and remember your words.
    Can’t wait to clown you when it all breaks you simpleton

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