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Here’s your chance to pick a side in the labor dispute

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When the decertification-litigation-lockout debacle unfolded 43 days ago, we asked you to let us know whether you blame the players, the owners, both, or neither.  Nearly 50,000 votes were cast.

In light of Browns cornerback Joe Haden’s belief that the fans “definitely” are on the players’ side, we decided to fashion a new poll that focuses not on blame but support.

So let us know what you think.  Do you support the players?  Do you support the owners?  Or do you support neither?

We’re not sure how it will turn out.  But we’ve got a feeling that Joe Haden may be surprised by the outcome.

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158 Responses to “Here’s your chance to pick a side in the labor dispute”
  1. fanoredsox says: Apr 23, 2011 6:25 PM

    I know that if I went to my Boss and said “let me see your books so that I can determine how much you should pay me”, I would be fired. They make a good salary for playing a kids game! GROW UP!

  2. triplepropalm says: Apr 23, 2011 6:27 PM

    I was tempted to go neither, but I didn’t want to chicken out and I sided with the owners.

    The economy is causing the owners to get less and less public funding to build stadiums and revenues aren’t continuing to climb.

    I don’t believe that reality has hit the players.

    Also, from all reports the players have been less willing to negotiate than the owners and they are pushing to blow up the fabric of the competitive structure of the league (draft, franchise tag, etc.).

    It’s hard to make me sympathetic to billionaires, but the players and their reps have pulled it off.

  3. joey49er says: Apr 23, 2011 6:32 PM

    does it really matter what we think? heres something to think about. how about the price for a football game? hot dog,beer ,parking,soft drink,this is gone to far!why average americans are struggling in the worst economy ever .what do they do ?the players strike!they try to ban the draft.ive been a fan for all of my life..but this is bull!!!crap..

  4. galvestontexans says: Apr 23, 2011 6:32 PM

    I support the Team

  5. centexhorn says: Apr 23, 2011 6:33 PM

    “But we’ve got a feeling that Joe Haden may be surprised by the outcome.”

    Nice attempt at influencing the results, PFT.

  6. centexhorn says: Apr 23, 2011 6:35 PM

    Why wouldn’t you support the players? They’re at such a disadvantage. They’re the underdogs in this. Don’t support the powerful.

  7. leviticus268 says: Apr 23, 2011 6:35 PM

    The players are fools if they think most fans are on their side. Especially now that we full understand what the end result of this lawsuit would be.

  8. joey49er says: Apr 23, 2011 6:38 PM

    I hope they hold out so long that both sides loose millions!!!! then maybe an average american can afford to go to a game eat and drink like they want to with out having to work for 2 weeks to pay for it!!!
    The players and owners are greedy!!!!!

  9. buffalohogan says: Apr 23, 2011 6:38 PM

    If the players really knew what the lawsuit they filed meant (32 sepearte businesses, no draft, no salary minimums, etc) they wouldnt support themselves.

  10. SirLoin says: Apr 23, 2011 6:39 PM

    If your going to have “millionaires” on your payroll then you had better be a “billionaire” yourself. Imagine if every employee at your place of employment demanded more money, and better benefits ect ect, eventually the payroll would catch up with the profits and then BAM! Nobody gets a paycheck and everyone looks for a new job. Am I totally out of touch on this?

  11. jeff061 says: Apr 23, 2011 6:39 PM

    Players are short-timers looking to fill their wallets before a life of unemployment.

    Owners are focused on creating a sustainable business

  12. stixzidinia says: Apr 23, 2011 6:41 PM

    I can understand those that would choose either “the players” or “neither”……but I gotta laugh at anybody dumb enough to vote “owners”. The Owners opted out of the CBA. The owners created the lockout. The owners had been preparing to lock the players out for some time and the proof lay in their failed and illegal attempt at creating their lockout warchest.

    The Owners have consistently robbed the game of its essence and dignity over the last 20 years to the point that it barely resembles the great game it used to be. The Owners gouge the fans on everything from tickets, to charging $200 to watch the SB on TV in a parking lot (looking at you on that one Jerry), to charging $300 for “authentic” jerseys that cost them 5 bucks to make. The owners have brainwashed you all into believing that in order to succeed as a business they need to build ridiculously extravagant stadiums on YOUR dime.

    It’s funny how unbelievably dumb the majority of the NFL fanbase is. Lemmings.

  13. kairn42 says: Apr 23, 2011 6:43 PM

    I’m a bit disappointed there’s no option for “The Fan’s Side”…although, I suppose “Neither” is as close as it gets.

    Did the players walk away from the table? Yes.

    Did the owners walk away from the deal two years ago? Effectively Yes.

    Are both of them walking away from the fans and reality and priorities? Yes.

    People say “The Owners are taking all the financial responsibility”. Others say “The Players are taking all the physical risk”. BOTH of them knew going in what the risks of each job were.

    Companies make money, and they lose money. The Owners were never guaranteed that they wouldn’t go through lean or losing years every now and then…and honestly, who do they have to blame for the outrageous paydays the players get? Themselves. Or rather….each other. If the teams don’t want to pay out the money…they don’t have to…but they’re all worried that if they don’t, the next team will…and that might cost them a Championship or a winning season. So…if the teams/owners have dug their own hole for what they’re willing to pay a player….and thereby making all other players want more than the next guy…aren’t “the Owners” then indeed saying the players are what makes the NFL run? They’re kind of validating the player’s want for more of a cut…not that all of them (or even a majority of them) deserve it.

  14. realitypolice says: Apr 23, 2011 6:44 PM

    I have a unique position on this. (at least it seems unique compared to other commenters)

    I SUPPORT both sides. The players are attempting to maximize their earning potential over what is typically a very short career, and the owners are trying to maximize the profitability of their company and protect their investments.

    I believe that both sides have followed their game plans: the players decertified, which they always planned to do, and the owners locked them out, which they always planned to do.

    As far as the machinations that went on before the lockout and all of the information that has been leaked out from both sides as well as their official statements, I ignore all of it. It’s all window dressing.

    If you had asked both sides three months ago where we would be today, both sides would have said we’d be right where we are today.

    If I had to predict the game plan moving forward, I believe both sides will stall until Judge Nelson rules on the injunction, the loser will adjust their position, and we will have an agreement which will settle the lawsuit within weeks of said ruling.

    Assuming that happens, I will hold a grudge against neither side. Other than some hot stove free agent talk, they won’t have taken anything away from me.

    And that sums up the post that may generate more thumbs down votes than any other in history.

  15. sakatak says: Apr 23, 2011 6:44 PM

    I just got a call from my union rep, he said it is important that we all vote to support the players as many times as humanely possible.

  16. howboutthemtexans says: Apr 23, 2011 6:46 PM

    As long as the players allow Kessler and the rest of the greasy clown lawyers pursue a path which would end the draft and free agency, I am firmly on the side of the owners. If the players do not step forward to stop this, though neither side obviously has the best interests in the fan at heart, it will become clear that the players are willing to dump on things that fans clearly care about.

    It ceases to be about millionaires vs billionaires if this continues. It becomes about who is trying to ruin the game we all love, and that will be the players, not the owners.

    P.S., SUCK IT, HADEN

  17. toiletking says: Apr 23, 2011 6:49 PM

    That’s right guys. I love seeing Dan Snyder catch bombs thrown by Al Davis every Sunday. I also think John Mara has been playing some really good defense. They really need a huge pay rise because they do soooo much to entertain all of you.

  18. mattsffrd says: Apr 23, 2011 6:50 PM

    Haden…looks like you’re wrong

  19. phelbin says: Apr 23, 2011 6:50 PM

    Most fans seem to have similar feelings…we just want football and the two sides share blame and need to just get it done. But I think it’s important to emphasize that the long-term health of the league depends on the owners “winning” the dispute. And so those who are trying to be impartial, really should see that they should support the owners…even if only reluctantly.

  20. phillyrocks says: Apr 23, 2011 6:51 PM

    I watch football because of the players and not the owners. End of Story!

  21. esg6string says: Apr 23, 2011 6:52 PM

    Neither. Still not sure how people support the owners. They broke the last CBA. They at one point reportedly refused to continue negotiations. They clearly were preparing for a long lockout with their TV contract/war chest that was deemed illegal or whatever. Its clear they were going to lockout the players and have had every intention of doing so for the last few years.

    As far as the players go, yeah you’re still a union and you put idiots in charge. You need the draft and FA rules. You figured that going to court was a better option so your dragging out the ‘negotiations’ as much as the other side just for show.

    Meanwhile its the fans who are getting F’d over. I just really started getting into the draft a few years ago. Now I may not even bother watching. If this extends into training camp or the season I might not bother watching the only sport I watch at all this year. I think both sides have had and still have their heads planted firmly up where the sun doesn’t shine and don’t understand that they need to compromise.

    Face it. Does it matter who wins the PR War? If someone gets so turned off by it that they don’t watch/don’t spend any money as a result it doesn’t matter which side they supported because neither will be getting their money/viewership when all is said and done.

  22. phillyrocks says: Apr 23, 2011 6:52 PM

    Also, the Players want to play football and its the Owners who are stopping the game of football, not the other way around.

  23. ibleednyg says: Apr 23, 2011 7:00 PM

    who cares? just end the lockout

  24. bryanwenzel says: Apr 23, 2011 7:01 PM

    I almost voted ‘neither’. Almost.

    But at the end of the day, I have a bad knee, a bad ankle, and a bum shoulder…from playing football. All other things being equal, the players are out there putting themselves in harms’ way for the entertainment of the fans.

    Yea, some guys make killer money. Too much, some say. Noone is forcing them.

    But they’re the ones facing life-changing (or even ending) injuries on every play. The owners are gazillionaires, yes, and risking money is still a risk. But strapping on the pads an taking an ass-kicking several hours a day is a whole ‘nother beast. That’s double-tough right there.

  25. toiletking says: Apr 23, 2011 7:02 PM

    It’s not the players demanding more money, it’s the OWNERS you dumb, mentally retarded cretins. The players have actually offered deals that involve them taking a pay cut. Get your facts straight or STFU and GTFO!

  26. jdz3184 says: Apr 23, 2011 7:06 PM

    Neither. Why would I support either? I support the game, and both sides are keeping us away from it.

  27. bostontim says: Apr 23, 2011 7:06 PM

    “…support the players as many times as humanely possible.”

    Hmm. How many times you suppose before it becomes inhumane?

    Cheers, BostonTim

  28. stoutfiles says: Apr 23, 2011 7:07 PM

    Some comments are so anti-owner they almost HAVE to be from a player. We already know players go to this site…why doesn’t one come forth? Don’t be shy; defend your stance on here and don’t hide behind anonymous names! You’d have a much better chance convincing a mostly anti-player website to root for you instead.

  29. giantrealist says: Apr 23, 2011 7:10 PM

    I truly wish the general public would get this passionate about real issues like jobs going overseas. Hard working Americans have been thrown under the bus by American Corporations. It’s killing our families and our futures.

    But all Football fans care about is a dang labor strike. Who the heck cares when you compare it to the problems facing typical men and women workers? Wonder if all the complainers wearing team colors give a hoot about American workers?

    I love Football. But both sides are just fighting for the best deals they can get. I can understand that.

    If there isn’t a 2011 season my life will go on same as always. Only difference is that I will have more time to work on providing a better life for me and my family.

  30. duanethomas says: Apr 23, 2011 7:16 PM

    fanoredsox says:
    Apr 23, 2011 6:25 PM
    I know that if I went to my Boss and said “let me see your books so that I can determine how much you should pay me”, I would be fired. They make a good salary for playing a kids game! GROW UP!

    You would definitely get fired, since you didnt help grow your bosses company or have a special skill set that only 1,900 hundred men can do in the world. Who is playing a kids game? Look up the history of kids game and you wont see football in there. The game was invented for men and his played for pay by men at its highest level. I hate when people say “kids game”…kids game are double dutch, cowboys and indians, king of the hill etc…
    FOOTBALL is not a kids game! Neither is baseball or basketball or hockey. They were invented for adults to play. Most of you people have no understanding, so I see why you constantly comparing football to your replaceable job.

  31. fanoredsox says: Apr 23, 2011 7:18 PM

    I own a business as well, but I will be damned if my employees will dictate to me what their salary and benefits should be. EVERYTHING in a business is based on a profit and I don’t see Manning or Brady handing out flyers to recruit new fans. The owners do that, as well as pay the drink girls, the hot dog guy, the beer man, the cost and repair (for the most part, not always) for the stadium and to keep the fans happy. The players are making a good living! They should go and be a normal SCHMOE and tell me if they have it bad. Most would live happily on what they make!

  32. Kave Krew says: Apr 23, 2011 7:21 PM

    Laundry and wins……laundry and wins

  33. gamblndan says: Apr 23, 2011 7:26 PM

    I feel that this lockout is 100% the Owners fault. The leauge is pulling in 9 billion a year in profits to share, and the players are onl asking for things to stay the way they are. Not asking for a dime more.

    I wonder how many people making coments on these blogs even know what terms the players are even asking for, or do they just think that because they are highly paid men playing a game for a living, they dont deserve a appropriote portion of the revenue earned.

    The owners are totally greedy in asking the players to have a longer season, and risk further injury and then also ask them to take less of the revenue in the process. I saw where someone said that the owners took the risk here, and that is BS.

    With the lucritive TV deals these teams get, there is no way an NFL Owner can lose any money. Its all just a matter of how much more they make on the backs of the players. They get Cities to subsitdize brand new stadiums at tax payers expense for them and the cities get none of that revenue shared back in return. The owners threaten to leave the city and blackmail a city to put up the cash or risk losing them.

    Any fool with some money left to them from their rich father can be an owner, but without the talent of the players there is no leauge. I would love to know how many of these owners even worked for the money they have and how many had it left to them by rich daddy. So all of you telling me that I should cry for Billionaires and worry about how they are going to feed their families are crazy! I might worry about them having a bigger private jet or a smaller one!

    These players are highly skilled athletes who can perform feats that no ordinairy person who is a average athlete could even dream of. They are special! It takes years and years of honing their skill and building their bodies to get the opportunity to play at this very elite level and they deserve to be paid for that elite level.

    If a doctor was a specialist n heart surgery, I would find it hard to see anyone complain that he shouldnt make a special living because he doesnt own the hospital he works in. The Hospital would be lucky to have the just like the individual teams are lucky to have the players they have.

    I say let the players try to find some new rich owners with open wallets and form a new leauge in new Cities and stadiums. If there were 24 new teams with the current players in new Cities, and 32 Current NFL teams with replacement players, who would the TV networks want to put on TV? Kind of answers the question about who is more important in this standoff.

    Also, as far as these players being Millionaires, people have to remember that the average career in the NFL is only 3 years, and only the top players make the big money. Not to much money to last a lifetime. After the NFL career is over they get a modest pension and have to start all over looking for an average job that most hae no training in, and most have injuries from playing that require medical care for a lifetime.

    What I dont like about this is that the owners planned this lockout all along. They put conditions in the TV contracts that they would get paid no matter if there was a season or not, so there is NO pressure on them to come to the table. Then they let the players walk away.

    With 9 billion dollars on the table to split up in a weak economy like this, and the players not asking for a penny more then last time,I find the players position more then reasonable and the owners to jut be Greedy Billionaire Pigs who can never have enough. How many more billions do they need in order to stop holding up he entertainment for an entire country.

    I hope the players hold out for as long as possible to get a fair deal which in my mind is to just keep the deal exactly as it is.

    BTW..I also dont believe that poll and eveyone I talk too feel the owners are crazy to have the lockout when they are making such insane profits other leauges would kill for! I think these responces are paid sock puppets paid to down the players.

  34. thehaljordanproject says: Apr 23, 2011 7:34 PM

    Stix you are 100% right. How can any of you support the owners in this. They have played every card that has led to this situation. The players have been asking for the same percentage they have always received. Its not the players fault the Direct TV charges $370 a year for Sunday ticket. Its not the players fault the cheapest seats in the stadium to a team that hadn’t has a winning season in 5 years start at $50, but by the time u pay for parking, feed 2 kids ( That thanks to the owners can wear replica jersey they are gonna cover in ketchup and and soda for the low price of another $50 a piece), and grab a beer for yourself you are out a few hundred bucks. Let me give all of you a lesson in sports. I’m a dolphins fan from Philly. 10 years ago the Phillies couldn’t sell out if they gave away tickets (and they did). Now every game is packed. If you are a good owner, put together a good staff, and build a good team you will win games. You win games you sell tickets, merchandise, etc. You do that you make money. You treat your players like trash no one will come play for you. You think football players are over paid & greedy? Let the judge rule they have to play with no salary cap like they do baseball!
    Seahawks & dolphins have the richest owners out there. Peyton Manning could demand $30 mill a year. I swear the NFL has people blogging propaganda cuz I can find more than 2 or 3 people in the real world that side with the owners. If you do you either clearly don’t understand the issue or own Packers stock.

  35. t1mmy10 says: Apr 23, 2011 7:36 PM

    @ centexhorn
    how are the players the ones that are at a disadvantage? unions have a right to strike, which the players have done in the past. owners have a right to lockout unions, which they tried to do AFTER negotiations (for whatever reason you want to pick) were unsuccessful. the PA* “decertified” to prevent a lockout, but based upon every comment made publicly by the PA heads they never really decertified thus the owners have the right to lock them out.

    the only thing you could possibly say that the players are disadvantaged compared to the owners is that the owners started this thing with more money than the players. that’s hardly a reason to discriminate against the owners.

    @ stixzidinia
    if the owners are “brainwashing” us, then how do you justify that almost 5% of the starting players in 2009 (info isn’t out for this past year) made more or an equivocal amount to the profit of 20% of the teams? and don’t feed me some line about how “i wouldn’t watch football if it didn’t have players like peyton manning in it so they deserve all the money.” employees don’t deserve to make more than their employers on a regular yearly basis because employers are the ones fronting the capital and taking the monetary investment risk. how about the players refusing to be tested for HGH? i suppose that has no effect on the “dignity” of the game? and i also guess you’re in favor of there being no draft and no salary cap?

  36. bluefan204 says: Apr 23, 2011 7:37 PM

    Takes two to tango. They’re ALL guilty of being greedy and stubborn, and their paying customers, who made each and every one of them rich beyond belief, are the ones who will suffer the most.

    When I see football being played, I’ll support ‘em all. Until then, they can all kiss my ***

  37. jo3jo says: Apr 23, 2011 7:37 PM

    @stixzidinia and phillyrocks,
    The players have filed a lawsuit that will destroy the game. And it’s not clear that they are able to stop it, because with no union, any individual player has the power to bring it to its conclusion. Thus to side with the players is to side with the demise of football and turn it into the same big market dominated game as MLB. Do we really want a game where the NY Giants win their division every year like the NY Yankees do simply because NY is the biggest revenue generating market? Do we want all the best players to end up on the same 5 teams, while the remaining have to hope to lock in homegrown talent? Baseball is a weak sport precisely because it lacks parity. The players antitrust lawsuit seeks to undermine everything that gives the NFL parity — the draft, franchise tags, salary caps. The only way you can side with the players on this is if you don’t get it.
    I’m all for giving players a bigger share of the pie but that’s not what they’ve sought here. They seek to ruin the pie for everyone.

  38. ninerdynasty says: Apr 23, 2011 7:39 PM

    phillyrocks says: Apr 23, 2011 6:51 PM

    I watch football because of the players and not the owners. End of Story!
    —————————————————
    I think you meant that you watch football because of the Teams, teams are manager by owners… Players come and go… teams stay put and is the reason why you keep watching throughout your life.. If it was about the players for me… i wouldve stopped watching once montana retired.

  39. brasho says: Apr 23, 2011 7:39 PM

    Here’s something for the ignoramuses that are siding with the players.

    During the 82 and 87 strikes, I’m pretty sure the fans overwhelming sided with the players. What did the players ultimately end up getting? Free Agency… and the fans were all for it.

    Free Agency and the salary cap basically began in 1994, at the time the salary cap was $32 million dollars per team. But years and years later of player after player getting raises and huge paydays, the owners are still profiting like mad, and now, so are the players…. and who fits the bill? The fans!

    This is a freaking recession, folks. We’re several years into it and these moronic, greedy players (yes-the owners are greedy too, that’s what allowed them to buy football teams in the first place) who have NEVER had a job in the real world, think they deserve millions MORE than they were already making to play a freaking game…. gimme a break.

  40. qbcampfail says: Apr 23, 2011 7:40 PM

    I will never understand the owner sympathy among fans. “I can’t identify with men making millions to play a game, so I will support a billionaire who views my team as a money-printing press.”

    We’re here because arrogant greedy owners like Jones and Richardson want their way and cannot conceive of a world where that doesn’t happen.
    If the owners keep their hard line, I hope the season is cancelled. I would be terribly disappointed but Americans do NOT have a God-given right to football. If the owners want to drive the league into a brick wall let them. I want them to feel the pain of their choices when it comes to paying all their financial obligations without any revenue.

    We as fans may not have much say right now, but we can do something: Write your Congressmen and tell them you want the NFL’s anti-trust exemption revoked. Losing that will light a fire under the owners’ seat.

  41. bigbluefan1 says: Apr 23, 2011 7:41 PM

    What has this become the posting point for every out of work union ahole?

    If not for the 32 owners there would not be an NFL

    Maybe 100 players could not be replaced but the rest of them are interchangable with many who did not get drafted so lets face facts no owners no NFL no Brady, Drew or Payton still an NFL

    If not for the owners of all businesses there would not be any jobs

    Get your heads out of your BA’s ass and think for your self

    No Owners = no jobs

    32 owners yes they are the boss get a grip that is called life you do not see any of these players making an offer to buy a team do you?

  42. rodbelding says: Apr 23, 2011 7:48 PM

    Please stop with the argument “Well, if I went to my boss and asked for the books I’d be fired!” Your everyday job is an awful comparison to the NFL for many reasons. I am guessing your employer doesn’t have an antitrust exemption (which allows the NFL to do things no normal business ever could). I’m guessing your employer doesn’t work with a players union. I am guessing that your employer doesn’t get billions of dollars to put their product on TV. I could go on and on. People who get paid millions to generate billions tend to have louder voices. This is essentially a multi-billion dollar deal between two parties and I don’t blame either side for wanting to have all information available to them. This isn’t a normal worker/employee relationship so stop comparing it to one.

  43. boltjolt says: Apr 23, 2011 7:49 PM

    I

  44. boltjolt says: Apr 23, 2011 7:53 PM

    Its the owners fault by agreeing to a deal last year and wanting out because they didnt like it afterwards. I side with the players though i do think a rookie salary cap must be in place and you have to keep the salary cap for teams too.
    The owners are the idiots that got all this out of control and now they see the problem that THEY caused. I dont feel sorry for them. Idiot owners like Snyder and Al; Davis are what drive up salaries by signings scrubs to big deals.

  45. threegriffons says: Apr 23, 2011 7:56 PM

    1st hour of that poll 6000 hits?

    didn’t realize this site was that popular

  46. prmpft says: Apr 23, 2011 7:58 PM

    …i’m gussing players will start signing in here pretty soon – looters!

  47. realtalkdoitall4rm says: Apr 23, 2011 8:01 PM

    I voted neither, because both sides are acting like entitled bigots and the fact that if no games are played everyone loses!!!!!

    Get it together. make a deal and play games.

    To owners: COMPROMISE

    To players: COMPROMISE

    PLAY BALL!!!!!!!!!

  48. PFTiswhatitis says: Apr 23, 2011 8:04 PM

    I support the fans and the NFL employees that all took 12% pay cuts because of the lame behavoir of the greedy players and owners.

  49. blkmanwtan says: Apr 23, 2011 8:05 PM

    Forget taking sides it takes two to tangle. Owners, players fix this mess!

  50. commoncents says: Apr 23, 2011 8:08 PM

    Too bad the players don’t seem to know what their representation seems to be fighting for. If they did, even they would switch sides.

  51. 202folife says: Apr 23, 2011 8:20 PM

    Players all the way! I’ll bet only a fraction of you guys realize all these owners with NFL franchises do this as side money. They all built their fortunes in other things, i.e. oil, real estate and software development. To tell these guys you’re taking a pay cut and, oh by the way we’re making you play two more games is just outrageous. Prove you’re losing money and that will solve this issue.

  52. lbcoach34 says: Apr 23, 2011 8:21 PM

    I support the fans.

    The Players support the fans

    The owners support the fans

    If you support either side; I think you’re under-informed…both sides are being greedy inn their own ways – and the dispute needs to be settled.

    The real support should go to the roster bubble type player that makes league minimum…but even that guy makes way more money than me

  53. FinFan68 says: Apr 23, 2011 8:23 PM

    The all-encompassing vote for one or the other is misleading. All things being equal, if one side had to win in its entirety, I would take the owners’ side because I believe that their overall case is best for the future of the NFL. On individual issues, it is different. I support the players’ stance on the 18 game season (leave it at 16 games regular season). The Owners’ stance on cleaning up the league (PEDs and discipline). On the rookie wage scale, I support a compromise of their previously stated positions. Much lower salaries for all rookies and a shorter path to free agency for most players. It is a bit more complex than asking simply which side do you support.

  54. msadpoet says: Apr 23, 2011 8:44 PM

    I chose neither. Both sides are to blame. If the sport loses games, then I walk away as a fan for the rest of my life.

  55. firethorn1001 says: Apr 23, 2011 8:46 PM

    I have a feeling I’d support the players if Gene Upshaw was still the head of the union.

    Unfortunately he isn’t. We are stuck with Smith and Kessler who are selling a bill of goods that is seemingly on a track to destroy the NFL as we know it in the name of money.

  56. dreamshaker05 says: Apr 23, 2011 8:47 PM

    After we have found out what the outcome of this labor dispute could be if the players win (taking away free agency, franchise tag and the draft) I am fully in support of the owners. I beleive that the NFL will become baseball and only the biggest markets will be able to be competitive year in and year out if the players get their way. People you gotta wake up to whats coming if the players win.

  57. Deb says: Apr 23, 2011 8:54 PM

    fanoredsox says:
    I know that if I went to my Boss and said “let me see your books so that I can determine how much you should pay me”, I would be fired. They make a good salary for playing a kids game! GROW UP!

    ———————————————–
    Typical PFT comment demonstrating absolutely no idea what’s being disputed, the history of these negotiations, or the work that goes into being a professional athlete.

    So with no idea what’s going on, we’ll just make a ridiculous statements about how bosses shouldn’t have to share their books with employees, assume this is about players demanding more money (nope), and tell the children to grow up. And everyone will thumbs up!

    Congrats … you just solved a Sudoku using all the wrong numbers. But, hey, you’ve put something in each square so it must be right!

  58. 1phd says: Apr 23, 2011 8:56 PM

    Even in this poll the owners AND players come out losers. Add neither to either side and the majority of voters favor neither the owners or the players.

  59. rubbernilly says: Apr 23, 2011 8:56 PM

    How much money people have or people make at this doesn’t play into my vote at all. Billionaires, millionaires. Whatever.

    Here’s what I know:

    A year ago, we had football.
    Then the owners opted out, claiming financial hardship.
    The players said, “OK, show us your hardship.”
    The owners said, “Take our word for it.”

    If you’re going to be the one to opt out of a deal, you’d better be ready to quantify your concerns… especially when you’re attempting to renegotiate a new deal with the same party to rectify those concerns. Should the players negotiate in the dark? Should they trust the owners? I’d have said no even before the owners were caught making their one-sided TV contract deals.

    If the NFL teams don’t want to share revenue information because they don’t want the other teams to see it, then they haven’t shared between themselves the facts of their mutual hardship yet. They’re just picking a number… “Let’s take… another billion off the top. Does that sound good to you?” Heck, they might as well have been sitting around their conference table at the last owners’ meeting before they opted out, saying:

    “Gee, you know what I’d like?”
    **”No, what’s that?”
    “I’d like to make more money.”
    **”Really? I was thinking the same thing.”
    ****”What are you guys talking about?”
    “Making more money.”
    ****”Make more money? What a great idea. Count me in.”

    The bottom line is, they opted out, claiming hardship… but they have yet to justify that hardship. If they did, then the players would have no choice but to take the cut that was necessary.

    And if they didn’t do that… well, put this poll up again and I’d gladly vote to support the owners. For now, I support the Players.

  60. howboutthemtexans says: Apr 23, 2011 8:57 PM

    Some of you clowns need reading comprehension lessons. The question is not who do you blame for the lockout starting. The question is, what side are you on now?

    If you like the draft, and you’re supporting the players, you’re a confused individual. Every other issue here is colored some shade of gray, but right now, the players team of lawyers is trying to END. THE. DRAFT. You know, the ONLY thing anyone cares about from February to July, football-wise? The thing that gives you some hope?

    Plus, think about how the COLLEGE game will be affected by all of this. NFL recruiting on college campuses? This will send college football straight to the realm which college basketball currently resides in. No, it won’t be quite that bad, but if you don’t think it will detract SIGNIFICANTLY from the quality of the game at both levels, you’re an idiot. It’s that simple.

    If you like football as it is today, and want the game to stay as great as it is, at both pro and amateur levels, then you should support the owners until the point the players retract their attack on the draft, at minimum.

  61. maverick0 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:01 PM

    The “Neither” option is a cop out…make the choice one (players) or the other (owners). One side will be the “perceived” winner in the end.

  62. Deb says: Apr 23, 2011 9:03 PM

    @brasho …

    How would you like to be told coming out of high school or college that you’re going to work in Detroit or Cleveland, and if you don’t like it, that’s just too bad? And you’re going to live there for your entire career with no chance to go anywhere else. The company can pay you whatever the company wants and trade you to someone else if they choose, but you have no say in the matter?

    Free agency is nothing more than the common decency of letting a man consider other offers after he’s spent three or four years serving out his time in Detroit or Cleveland, etc.

    The players didn’t have a bloody thing to do with bidding those salaries where they are today. The owners did that. Guys rolling in liquid assets like Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, and Paul Allen wormed their way around the salary cap by handing out cash signing bonuses like they were Skittles. Then when they got into trouble by not sticking to the cap, they demanded it be raised. That is how we got where we are–men trying to buy championships by buying championship talent. If you want to tell the story, tell it straight.

    The owners made their bed–now they want to blame the players because they don’t want to lie in it. And a lot of history-challenged fools are buying their fairytales.

  63. Deb says: Apr 23, 2011 9:07 PM

    @realitypolice …

    You’ve laid out the scenario I’ve been counting on. Just hope you’re right. And wish Judge Nelson would get on with it.

  64. bak72 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:11 PM

    I hate to do this, but I side with the owners. Tell me another business where the owners and employees are business partners and the employees are making more than the owners before any other business expenses are taken out.

    And I hate that the players are pulling a sham on the legal process about the union decertifying. Ask Mike Vrabel. He has told the truth about the union and the executive counsel still representing all the players. The Union is playing hardball and trying to everything in their power to have more power in how the NFL runs things. And while that might be good in some instances, it isn’t in this one. Imagine if the NFL is told that the draft and free agency cannot be allowed because of the anti-trust issues. The NFL will become a league of mercenaries and will ruin the college game because of their approaching players to sign whenever they can.

    The one other thing about the Brady lawsuit is if the players do win, watch the players of the NHL, NBA, and MLB seek for the same freedoms that the players in the NFL get. That is until they actually see the problems that not being covered from anti-trust legislations wreak on the NFL and the players.

  65. adammuz says: Apr 23, 2011 9:20 PM

    I really can’t say I could support the players because they have DeMaurice Smith (not a player/former player) representing them…

    I really hate DeMaurice Smith

  66. danetow says: Apr 23, 2011 9:24 PM

    I used to be in the neither side of things, but since the players demands have come out I can’t help but laughing my way to the owners side.

    The players are trying to get the same system in place that the MLB has. That system is proven to not work. Just wait, it will only be a few years until the MLB has a very long strike.

    No draft? No free agency restrictions? No salary cap? Anyone that loves the game of football and still sides with the players is nothing short of delusional. The lawyers for the players are trying to take away the very thing that fans love the league for, and for what? The top 5% of players to get even more ridiculously high contracts?

    Fact is that the players are starting to wake up and realize what is happening and are already starting to turn on their own.

    I hope the owners stick it to the players and rub their noses in it for simply trying to pull the crap that they are.

  67. rexryansdirtysock says: Apr 23, 2011 9:24 PM

    Which side do I support?

    Neither side, of course. I just want some damn football.

    Which side do I… say… hope loses?

    The players. Both sides are greedy in their own ways, but the end game that the lawsuit could bring if the players win is unacceptable for football.

    So in other words, this situation is completely f*cked and I don’t support either side, I just want football. But if I had to pick, I hope the owners come out on top.

  68. raiderapologist says: Apr 23, 2011 9:26 PM

    Most of us support ourselves. There should be a box in that poll for “The Fans.” We’re the ones that pay for everything, and we’re the ones getting screwed.

  69. freedomispopular says: Apr 23, 2011 9:27 PM

    If this poll’s anything like the last one, it won’t matter who votes for what, because the people with no life will stuff the ballot box.

  70. thefiesty1 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:31 PM

    Has Judge Nelson seen this poll? Maybe that would help make her decision a little easier.

    The players are a bunch of rich crybabies. They are overpaid to “play” a game. The litigation should be deemed frivolous and thrown out. Then, the players should beg the owners to let them come back. Or, just go find a real job and see how long they last in that job.

    This crap has gone on way too long. C’mon Judge, put the players in their place so the fans can enjoy some football with or without the current players. The owners can start over and build a team with “employees” that want to play and forget these idiots.

  71. nmking26 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:40 PM

    Hmmmm, seeing as how the owners imposed the lockout, I’ll side with the players.

    Seeing as how owners are LYING by saying that they’re losing money, I’ll side with the players.

    The NFL is one of the most profitable businesses in the world. They were due to make 9 BILLION on tv contracts alone with or without a season. Yet the OWNERS wanted MORE.

    The players didn’t demand more. The players didn’t lock themselves out. The players aren’t claiming to lose money when it’s obvious that they’re not. The owners are.

    Seeing as how the NFL is unlike any other business, players have a right to look at the books. It’s hilarious when people compare their jobs to the NFL. Your job doesn’t have the unique antitrust laws that the NFL has. And despite what you think, YOU are not the direct product your company sells like how the players are in the NFL.

  72. nmking26 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:42 PM

    firethorn1001 says: Apr 23, 2011 8:46 PM

    I have a feeling I’d support the players if Gene Upshaw was still the head of the union.

    Unfortunately he isn’t. We are stuck with Smith and Kessler who are selling a bill of goods that is seemingly on a track to destroy the NFL as we know it in the name of money.
    ______________________________

    Wait…so you’re supporting Roger F’ing Goodell?

    Seriously?

  73. nmking26 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:46 PM

    Just so I fully understand this…

    Most of you guys support the side that is the reason we don’t have football right now?

    You support the side that canceled the season? You support the side the OPTED OUT of the CBA? You support the side that IMPOSED THE LOCKOUT?

  74. jamillar says: Apr 23, 2011 9:46 PM

    Even if one was/is on the side of the players, how could they support the current NFLPA* stance?

    Players call the owners greedy but are actively pursuing a new league where the vast majority of money goes to to a small minority of players, and the rest will be taking a big pay-cut (minimum wage anyone?).

    How can an organisation (or trade union or whatever) work for rules that favor a small percentage of their contituents?

    The players have more to lose at the moment; fans expect owners to be greedy, but no-one wants to realise their heroes are as greedy as those Fat Cats in Washington.

  75. sgt50 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:49 PM

    where is the who gives a sh#@ button

  76. 3octaveFart says: Apr 23, 2011 9:52 PM

    rubbernilly says: Apr 23, 2011 8:56 PM

    “Here’s what I know:
    A year ago, we had football.
    Then the owners opted out, claiming financial hardship.
    The players said, “OK, show us your hardship.”
    The owners said, “Take our word for it.””

    Congrats, you’re part of a very small minority that actually understands what this is about.

  77. descendency says: Apr 23, 2011 9:56 PM

    I hate that the owners are doing what they are doing, but I really feel the players are trying to use similar dirty tactics.

    The owners tried to build a lockout strategy a while back and the players union tried to create a litigation strategy since they elected De Smith.

  78. qbcampfail says: Apr 23, 2011 9:58 PM

    You fools in a panic about the draft need to realize what the players are doing…negotiating!!! If the courts rule in their favor, that’s one more chip to bargain about with the owners. The reformed union can still allow a draft in a collective bargaining agreement, and in so doing keep their pay in return. They don’t want to end the draft any more than they want to keep the current rookie pay scale.

    And you Ayn Rand-channelers claiming there would be no league without the owners…please. You don’t think there’s thousands of buyers waiting to snatch up these teams if the current owners bailed? An NFL owner is an NFL owner because he was the highest bidder, not for some unique skill.

    Hell, I say revoke the NFL’s antitrust exemption, let it fold and let the players play in a new league, UFL or otherwise. Lots of money is to made with football and it doesn’t have to be the NFL owners who make it.

  79. dennis2488 says: Apr 23, 2011 9:59 PM

    support the players. unless you want to see no draft. then teams can buy players from the smaller teams that just want money. you wont see any jerseys with players names on it. at least 24 teams will start the season with absolutely no chance. 32 seperate businesses conspiring to keep salaries down is illegal and it has been for over 100 years. but everybody will probably side with the owners and against federal law because nobody realizes the dangers to america.

  80. kevinoc63 says: Apr 23, 2011 10:02 PM

    I am a capitalist and I believe that the owners should get 95 percent of the money. At least in America, workers are too stupid and lazy to deserve more that a small slice of the pie.

  81. dennis2488 says: Apr 23, 2011 10:02 PM

    nobody understands collective bargaining and the importance of contracts so its pointless to chose sides. lets go ahead and turn this into the way european soccer is run. if you arent familiar with it, please do some research. if you think baseball is bad without salary cap then you wont even be able to imagine what football could turn into.

  82. canadianvikingfaniii says: Apr 23, 2011 10:05 PM

    I support the fans.

  83. sirfurproductions says: Apr 23, 2011 10:09 PM

    @fanoredsox said

    “I don’t see Manning or Brady handing out flyers to recruit new fans. The owners do that, as well as pay the drink girls, the hot dog guy, the beer man, the cost and repair (for the most part, not always) for the stadium and to keep the fans happy.”

    If the lockout continues, owners will be putting the drink girls, the hot dog guy, and the beer man on unemployment…

    Yep, but nobody cares about those guys right?

    The Owners will be contributing to the nations already high unemployment rate.

  84. thesmiteofthewicked says: Apr 23, 2011 10:12 PM

    I voted neither, because both sides are wrong.

    But, of course the owners will win, because everyone on this site thinks the players are just average, dumb, greedy schlubs who should be kissing the owners feet for the right to play football.

    The reality is, both sides wanted a lockout, because both sides wanted a deal more favorable to them.

    It’s just so ignorant and detached from reality to believe one side is completely wrong. It really is.

  85. kmynatt says: Apr 23, 2011 10:16 PM

    Well, 21% for the players… I guess we answered that question…

  86. rocketman2010 says: Apr 23, 2011 10:34 PM

    Neither… I’m on the side of the fans…

    But if I had to choose a side, it would be the owners’ side…

    They lost the last CBA by a big margin and they still gave a ton of concessions this go around and the players association rejected it without barely even looking at it… they weren’t bargaining in good faith.

  87. realitypolice says: Apr 23, 2011 10:39 PM

    howboutthemtexans says:
    Apr 23, 2011 8:57 PM

    If you like the draft, and you’re supporting the players, you’re a confused individual. Every other issue here is colored some shade of gray, but right now, the players team of lawyers is trying to END. THE. DRAFT. You know, the ONLY thing anyone cares about from February to July, football-wise? The thing that gives you some hope?
    ===========================

    Says the man who has absolutely no understanding whatsoever of how the tort system works in this country. Or, for that matter, any type of negotiation in any business anywhere.

    The players lawsuit is based upon the league violating anti-trust law. For the suit to be taken seriously, it has to attack EVERY ASPECT of league business that could be even remotely considered a violation of these laws, and a draft where multiple companies in the same industry hold a meeting to divide all of the new incoming talent evenly amongst themselves certainly qualifies.

    The players and their lawyers are fully aware the settlement that eventually becomes the new CBA will include a draft, a salary cap, and free agency rules. But to maximize their leverage NOW, the suit must included attacks on all these things.

    If you only ask for the things you actually want, you have nothing to give up in negotiations. This is true in civil suits that are filed not to won, but SETTLED. It is also true in just about every negotiation in any business anywhere.

    Hope that clears it up for you.

  88. nmking26 says: Apr 23, 2011 10:48 PM

    jamillar says: Apr 23, 2011 9:46 PM

    Even if one was/is on the side of the players, how could they support the current NFLPA* stance?

    Players call the owners greedy but are actively pursuing a new league where the vast majority of money goes to to a small minority of players, and the rest will be taking a big pay-cut (minimum wage anyone?).

    ________________________
    Players are actively pursuing a new league?

    Link or are you just making up BS?

    But hey…the owners stopped the football season!

    They also claim to lose money despite being on of the most profitable businesses in the world!

    But, hey we’re okay with that. We’ll side with them. Right?

  89. nflrocks says: Apr 23, 2011 11:05 PM

    The owners are greedy people……

    I hope the Jets & Giants lose their shirts because of the PSL that they put in place that cost so many people their season tickets they had for years.

    The owners could have signed up for the same deal and should have……..

    Neither side cares about the fans………..

  90. blackheld says: Apr 23, 2011 11:19 PM

    I voted for the owners as a statement of dissatisfaction not with the players, but with the people doing their negotiating.

    De Smith is over his head as the titular head of the ‘trade association. He talks about ‘going to war’, and ‘the worst contract offer in history’, when in fact the last thing the players need is a war with their employers, and the owners offer might have had flaws, but it wasn’t the worst offer in history, by any means. Smith needs to put a sock in it, and start talking facts, not pompous, inflammatory statements for the press.

    Then we have Jeffrey Kessler, who, quite simply, wishes to destroy the game of football, as we know it. This guy’s connection with reality is tenuous, to say the least, and if the ‘trade association’ continues to allow him to press his point of view, sooner or later we can assume something bad will come of it.

    The owners have been planning this for years, and aside from the botched ‘lockout fund’ thing, they haven’t made a mistake, yet. Given the sorry leadership and silly negotiating team the players have employed, even the courts aren’t gonna save them. They can win and end the lockout, but it doesn’t get them a contract, and at some point the owners will succeed in shedding the court’s oversight, which is really all the players have going for them. Further, the courts won’t order the owners to open their books, and the owners can simply sit and wait for a CBA which suits them.

    If De Smith continues to wage his ‘war’ in this matter, the cold fact is the owners are ultimately going to win it. They basically can’t lose, when they’re the only game in town, and the players need to accept that.

  91. ccooww says: Apr 23, 2011 11:55 PM

    To me it is simple. If the owners are giving you such a low salary for your trade, quit and go do something else. That is the beauty of the US. You can go out and make your millions in so many different ways. Football is only one in tens of thousands ways to earn a good living. Be a man, call your office tomorrow and tell them I quit update your resume and go getup. Show them who is is boss.
    PS I dont charge for advice and good luck, you will have no problem finding a million dollar a year job. See how simple life is.

  92. howboutthemtexans says: Apr 24, 2011 12:07 AM

    “If you only ask for the things you actually want, you have nothing to give up in negotiations. This is true in civil suits that are filed not to won, but SETTLED. It is also true in just about every negotiation in any business anywhere.

    Hope that clears it up for you.”

    I understand that to the PLAYERS its leverage, but are you really convinced that those 10 players who have their name on this suit, Kessler, and others of that ilk have nothing more than leverage in mind, and aren’t willing to take this all the way?

    I’m not. So I support the owners at this point. If you are, you’re a naive child. Hey look, we can both be condescending.

  93. loytomaki says: Apr 24, 2011 12:07 AM

    People whp categorize what happened as “an Employee walking into the bosses office and asking to see the books to determine what he should get paid” are missing the boat completely.

    1)The owners had a contract with the players.
    2)They voided the contracts last year (or was it 2) because they wanted a better deal for themselves.
    3)They sited the economy as the reason they needed the players to take a pretty big pay cut (a billion a year collectively is what they asked for).
    4)Other indicators (T.V. Ratings, other revenue) indicated that the NFL was doing better now then in previous years despite the economic conditions .
    5)The players said “OK if you want us to take a cut prove what you are saying, let a third party bound by confidentiality agreements look at your books”.

    After that it got messy, you can blame the owners or the players or the lawyers or everyone. But the idea that the “employee” walked into his bosses office and said “open the books I want a raise” is a f-ing joke. The owners went to their employees and said “Did you see the news? Its hard times for working folks, so you need to take a pay cut.” The players thought they were being lied to and a fight started.

  94. nmking26 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:12 AM

    How can the owners win @blackheld? Without the players…they’re NOTHING. The players are the product. This is not a business where the product is easily replaceable. We’re talking about a place where the worst players are more talented than 90% of the rest of the world.

    The judge will remove the lockout and the owners will lose. They can’t prove that they’re losing money so they’ll lose.

  95. jamiebuf12 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:18 AM

    i find it funny how tom brady helped file the suite and didnt even have to show up for court…..where in the real world can you sue somebody and not even have to go to court?….i side with the owners even though i despise jerry jones and daniel snyder……if people remember when the nfl signed the last cba.ralph wilson and the bengals owner said it was a bad deal.on tv for a few weeks espn made fun of ralph wilson for not understanding the cba……well there was a opt out clause and the players knew there was one…the only reason that cba was signed was to bail out dan snyder…he would of had to cut half his team to meet the salary cap…..jerry jones as soon as he bought the cowboys started messing with the nfl system by trying to make side deals on apparel and not share it with the nfl…he thought he was above the rules from the start….with that said there has to be a rookie salary cap and a min salary cap and max…without parity the nfl will die and fans like me will not watch anymore………i also think people forget that the union filed decertification papers while they were still at the barging table…..how is that barging in good faith…the players started the lockout the minute they filed to decertify…….in this case it has to be the owners who are right..hard to stomach:-(

  96. thetruth845 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:30 AM

    “The economy is causing the owners to get less and less public funding to build stadiums and revenues aren’t continuing to climb.

    I don’t believe that reality has hit the players.”

    Its comments like this that make me wonder whether people actually read the articles posted on this site. The NFL made more money last year than ever in its history. What “reality” has to hit the players? The owners see the projected growth doubling or tripling over the next 8-10 years and they don’t want to have a 50/50 split on $20 billion+. The whole “lack of money, bad economy” argument is wrong and uneducated.

    That being said, side with who you want. Its a waste of time. The fan is getting the shaft on all of this so where’s that option on the poll. I side with the fans…the ones who pay for tickets, $10 beers, $8 hot dogs and tv packages.

  97. snaponrules says: Apr 24, 2011 12:56 AM

    Looking at it like the owners are the bosses and the players are the employees demanding to see the owners book is wrong.
    The owners are the ones that tied the players pay to a portion on the total profits, not the players.
    At that point the players became stock holders not employees. I love to see a single case were a CEO goes to the stock holders and tells them they lost money last and we need 1 billion in cash back from you. Do you really think the stock holders wouldn’t want to see those books?
    Do you really think the ceo would just tell them, no you cant see our crooked books, just trust us go by our word. We lost 1 billions and we need it back from you.
    They are hiding the books for a reason. Can anybody look at Jerah Jones and say “now there is an honest trustworthy business man”?

  98. dabigbangclock says: Apr 24, 2011 12:59 AM

    I’m shocked that over 40% are pro owner, figured it would be over 60% neither and then a 20-20 split… Wow

    The people hating on MLB, saying it is the NFL doomsday scenario, you do realize 9 of the last 10 world series winners have been different teams right? One could say the salary cap creates an even bigger disadvantage, as a few of the smartly run NFL teams (Pats, Colts, Steelers) have represented the AFC in 9 of the last 10 Super Bowls (only exception was 02 Raiders)

  99. CKL says: Apr 24, 2011 1:10 AM

    qbcampfail says: Apr 23, 2011 9:58 PM

    And you Ayn Rand-channelers claiming there would be no league without the owners…please. You don’t think there’s thousands of buyers waiting to snatch up these teams if the current owners bailed? An NFL owner is an NFL owner because he was the highest bidder, not for some unique skill.
    ______________________________________
    I don’t think there are anywhere even CLOSE to “thousands” of QUALIFIED buyers, no.
    NFL franchises are not even remotely open simply to anyone who has the cash anyway. They have certain levels of ownership they must have, certain restrictions on what other businesses they can have and also must be approved by the other owners.

    The fact that you scoff at the skill it would take to make the kind of money needed to buy an NFL franchise (not INHERIT where I will grant you there are some seriously weak links@ owner competence)is amusing though. Just because someone doesn’t sweat while they work doesn’t mean they don’t have a unique skillset or talent or work hard to achieve their goals. All people who are great at/successful in their jobs have a skillset or talent and have worked very hard to maximize it be it players, coaches, computer company founders, paper company magnates, etc.

  100. tbd3 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:19 AM

    *Metaphorically whipped by something stupid done by one of the players* I wanted to support you! *whip*

  101. zibikbeer says: Apr 24, 2011 1:35 AM

    I’m with the fans on this one. I think were all starting to hate both sides.

  102. deweygroup says: Apr 24, 2011 3:41 AM

    I believe I’ll stick with the owners. The frustrating part of this is there are several replies on this subject that seem to be written by players, not fans. The talking points are very similar to the former unions PR website. It sounds like a very canned response. The problem is, you can stop blaming the owners for opting out. The players agreed to that clause with the last CBA. It was a bad deal.

    I am sure that there are many players that own businesses as investments. I would ask them to practice what they preach and open their books to their employees. I would also ask them to guarantee a percentage of all revenues from their business to their employees regardless if the business is profitable or not.

    The players say they are the game, I think the team is the game. They say they want to be partners. That is great. In a partnership, you also share in all the expenses, then divide the profits. Not before. If they truly want to be partners, they should be kicking the same percentage of revenue the receive from speaking engagements, endorsements, and other income they receive as a direct result of their business partners across the courtroom making the investment in the product. The owners should be guaranteed a percentage of all those agreements.

    That is the problem with the players position. They sound like they are spoiled children and the majority of the public is turned off by their attitude. Their lawyers are not helping them win the PR war. That’s for sure.

  103. fedupsaintsfan says: Apr 24, 2011 4:20 AM

    The Fans!!!

  104. jebdamone says: Apr 24, 2011 4:22 AM

    it honestly makes me depressed and somewhat angry at how stupid people are. i cannot believe the numbers on this survey but am not the least bit surprised because i read the comments every day.
    someone needs to drill a few things into every person that follows this debates head before they go and make decisions like choosing the owners over the players. i cannot believe how many times these things have been pointed out, yet the masses obviously ignore them.
    first: THE OWNERS ARE NOT THE PLAYERS BOSSES.
    the two parties are partners in a business venture, which leads to entirely different positional qualifications. what two people would enter into a business ‘partnership’ and agree to only have one know how much money that business was making?
    second: THE OWNERS ARE NOT LOSING MONEY THEY ARE MAKING A LOT OF IT. when the owners talk about wanting a bigger cut of the pie because of profit indexes they make it sound like they are pariahs and the NFL is losing money. the fact is, the owners are making money, teams are becoming more and more valuable every year but the owners claim they are not growing or making money fast enough. couple of quick examples to illustrate my point.
    Rams were purchased in 1996 for 200million, while in 2010 they were worth and estimated 779 million. quick numbers give me an annual growth of about %39. in a more recent example, the vikings were purchased in 2005 for 600 million dollars by mr wilf. this is a perfect example because these are the years that the owners are saying they have been suffering so much. as of 2010 the team was estimated to be valued at 774million which is annual growth of over %14. i would love to see how many other businesses are out there gaining %14 every year. this is according to forbes magazine and these two examples are teams that rank 29 and 30 in the team value department of the 32 teams.
    third (and perhaps most importantly) THIS IS A LOCKOUT NOT A STRIKE. the players are ready to play and don’t have a problem with the current CBA that wasn’t set to expire for another year. THE PLAYERS ARE NOT ASKING FOR MORE OF ANYTHING. it is the owners who opted out of the CBA, it is the owners that are preventing football from happening and it is the owners who want more money of the top, want to pay the players less and want more games to be played.
    i am just baffled by some of the comments on here but i am sure that i will be the one getting the 0 thumbs up and the 200 thumbs down because i am the crazy one…seriously people do a little reading.

  105. footballfan292 says: Apr 24, 2011 4:24 AM

    People need to stop comparing this to your own job. It’s not the same thing. The NFL is a special kind of business.

    What would happen if you sue your boss? You’d probably get fired. Do you think Robert Kraft will fire Tom Brady at the end of all this? Not a chance in the world. Not a chance in the world.

  106. phillyrocks says: Apr 24, 2011 5:43 AM

    LMMAO at those who blast the union.

    Do you understand the union is doing what it can to get the game played?

    Do you understand this is not a STRIKE but a LOCKOUT?

    Do you idiots understand what the difference is?

  107. phillyrocks says: Apr 24, 2011 5:45 AM

    kmynatt says:
    Apr 23, 2011 10:16 PM
    Well, 21% for the players… I guess we answered that question…

    _____________________

    Yeah, the quality of thinking among fans is pretty low. Shows that fans of the NFL are too bright.

  108. phillyrocks says: Apr 24, 2011 5:46 AM

    Not too bright. The same person can vote 2000 times if they wanted too.

  109. mayanh8 says: Apr 24, 2011 6:25 AM

    What do the owners do with the billions they make as a group?

    Employ thousands, partially pay for stadiums, present us with a quality product that is matched my none.

    What do the players do with the billions they make as a group?

    Blow it on drugs, dubs, and sick houses they will eventually foreclose on.

    F the players. They were handheld through college. Some were even payed to go. And every time we read about one of these idiots getting busted for drugs and/or violence it tarnishes the game. But yet they feel they have the need to play “owner for the day” and read through financial documents they have no legal right to be looking at. The players disgust me. At least I can say with the owners they are giving something back to us with the money they make. They’re the ones that are still going to be around giving us an enjoyable product long after the Michael Irvins and Lawrence Taylors of the game have faded away into their miserable lives.

  110. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Apr 24, 2011 8:07 AM

    PFT readers crack me up with their pre-determined worldviews. I wonder what the owners couldn’t get you to believe…I’m thinking not much.

  111. realitypolice says: Apr 24, 2011 8:53 AM

    howboutthemtexans says:
    Apr 24, 2011 12:07 AM

    I understand that to the PLAYERS its leverage, but are you really convinced that those 10 players who have their name on this suit, Kessler, and others of that ilk have nothing more than leverage in mind, and aren’t willing to take this all the way?

    I’m not. So I support the owners at this point. If you are, you’re a naive child. Hey look, we can both be condescending.
    ================================

    Of course I’m convinced of it. It is the only logical informed opinion to have.

    You are basing your opinion on something that everyone who understands even the most basic concepts of how negotiation works knows will never happen.

    I am willing to bet that your opinion really rests not in a fear that the players will “take this all the way”, because you actually seem fairly intelligent so it would be almost impossible to believe you actually think that- but is more of a result of a basic dislike/distrust you have for the players, lawyers in general, or both.

  112. ignoranceisawesome says: Apr 24, 2011 9:06 AM

    People need to stop using the whole “how about they see how its like to work a normal job!!1!” garbage. The players are not the average citizen. They’re the best 1700 players currently playing. Unless your a current ceo of a large company, a high level executive or perhaps a surgeon, stop putting youreselves on the same level. You’re not even close.

  113. jlinatl says: Apr 24, 2011 9:14 AM

    I think if it was done with 5 choices:

    Who do you more support:
    1. Owners
    2. More Owners than Players
    3. Players
    4. More Players than Owners
    5. Neither

    … the gap would be even wider.

  114. bleedgreen08052 says: Apr 24, 2011 9:23 AM

    toiletking says:
    Apr 23, 2011 7:02 PM
    “It’s not the players demanding more money, it’s the OWNERS you dumb, mentally retarded cretins. The players have actually offered deals that involve them taking a pay cut. Get your facts straight or STFU and GTFO!”

    Learn to type like a man. Your typing makes you look like a 15 year old girl.

  115. prior0knowledge says: Apr 24, 2011 9:40 AM

    Reality check… As long as the votes are not 90-10 or greater one way or another, the result of this poll is irrelevant.

    The owners and players will do exactly how they please and to hell with public opinion. Fans will come back even if part or all of the season is lost.

    The biggest losers in a long lockout will be … ta da… bloggers like this site!

  116. stetai says: Apr 24, 2011 9:48 AM

    Do people actually think if the owners somehow “win” this bargaining and the players end up with less money, that ticket prices will somehow go down or stop increasing? do you think the owners will stop threatening to leave YOUR city unless YOUR taxes pay for a new stadium or arena?

  117. stetai says: Apr 24, 2011 9:50 AM

    This poll should be a “told you so” to the players, who had a chance to piss fans off in the early 90′s and go on strike, but still end up with a fair deal and have 20 years for fans to forgive and forget.

    Now you’re two steps behind the owners and you’ll be lucky to get an inch closer to what you think you deserve.

  118. nahcouldntbethat says: Apr 24, 2011 10:26 AM

    I voted neither. The revenue issue that so many point too is moot because the players made a relatively fixed percentage of the overall shared revenue under the old agreement.

    In fact the teams made a fair amount of money outside the boundaries of the old agreement based on licensing and marketing of team-based items, logos, promotional tie-ins, etc. The players also shared revenue on player-based items but they didn’t have any piece of the team pie in that area.

    This lockout is here for one reason: richer franchises were really worried that the push for greater revenue sharing among teams would take off and their net value would decline. Poorer teams felt they were being dragged into a higher cost structure that did not include major revenue sharing outside the national TV contracts and as costs escalated their revenues would stay constant and their net value would decline.

    The sad thing is that this lockout is not really about players vs owners. It’s really about owners vs owners and so it’s not resolvable by negotiations between players and owners. if it was it would have been resolved before what is becoming a disastrous stalemate for all concerned.

    If the players “win” and the draft is abolished and cap is abolished and free agency restrictions are abolished the real winners will be Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder, Robert Kraft, the Maras and Woody Johnson, who will be free of the prospect of significant revenue sharing and able to run their businesses exactly as they would like to.

    If the owners “win” and the status quo remains in a slightly watered down version, which is the most likely result at this point, the real winners will be the small market teams who will be that much closer to real revenue sharing outside the TV contracts and the financial stability that will result for them in a world of ever-increasing costs and revenues.

  119. giablommi says: Apr 24, 2011 10:41 AM

    “What do the owners do with the billions they make as a group?

    Employ thousands, partially pay for stadiums, present us with a quality product that is matched my none.”
    ^^^^^^^^
    What a stupid argument.

    Over the last 2 decades, NFL owners (as with owers of every other major sports league) have held cities hostage by giving cities an ultimatum of “build us a new stadium with public money” or we’ll move elsewhere (remember Art Modell/ Cleveland? That’s the mentality)

    Since cities don’t want to risk losing their teams, the stadium gets built on the taxpayer dime, and the owner then turns around and slaps fans with the bill via the SCAM known as a PSL.

    So please, stop pretending like the owners are handing out charity. These same owners, who rake in record profits year after year, were the first ones to lay off their employees once the *owner*initiated*lockout* began. The same owners who charge upwards of $50 just to park your car in a stadium parking lot, who charge $9.50 a beer and $6.00 a hot dog, and who have deliberately cast aside loyal, longstanding fans in the name of attracting a largely indifferent corporate clientele.

    IT’S THE OWNERS, STUPID

  120. playthedamngame says: Apr 24, 2011 10:51 AM

    This is a double edged sword. because on some points i support the players on others i support the owners.
    I voted for the owners strictly on how this whole thing has been handled. I believe after all I’ve read and comments from players their intent was to decertify from the beginning. They wanted this in the courts they never wanted to try to work out a fair deal. they wanted as much of the pie as they could get and the courts was the best avenue to get what they wanted.
    I support the players that are truly suffering because of the lockout. the guys that don’t make the big bucks. The guys that are being over looked in this mess the ones that i wonder have a voice in all this.
    Peyton,Brady,and Brees don’t have clue what these players are going through and if they do they damn sure don’t act like it. Plus they are letting these lawyers use any tactic they want even if it means changing everything we love about the game.
    I understand these players have long term health issues and i hope they get the benefits they need to have a decent life after football but so does every american that works for a living. I work 70 hours a week my body is wearing out also try working on concrete floors those kinda hours 6 days a week all year. I have to pinch penny’s and save just to attend a pro football game.If players are truly partners in this and want they should share the cost along with the profit.

  121. diditforthelulz1 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:58 AM

    joey49er says:
    I hope they hold out so long that both sides loose millions!!!! then maybe an average american can afford to go to a game eat and drink like they want to with out having to work for 2 weeks to pay for it!!!
    The players and owners are greedy!!!!!

    does it really matter what we think? heres something to think about. how about the price for a football game? hot dog,beer ,parking,soft drink,this is gone to far!why average americans are struggling in the worst economy ever .what do they do ?the players strike!they try to ban the draft.ive been a fan for all of my life..but this is bull!!!crap..
    —————————————————-
    You’re obviously not very smart. The players didn’t strike, they were locked out. That’s the complete and utter opposite of striking. Furthermore it takes two weeks of pay to go to a football game? You must work at McDonalds or something, but then again, as stated, you aren’t very smart, so that’s probably your only option.

  122. diditforthelulz1 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:01 AM

    nahcouldntbethat says: Apr 24, 2011 10:26 AM

    I voted neither. The revenue issue that so many point too is moot because the players made a relatively fixed percentage of the overall shared revenue under the old agreement.

    In fact the teams made a fair amount of money outside the boundaries of the old agreement based on licensing and marketing of team-based items, logos, promotional tie-ins, etc. The players also shared revenue on player-based items but they didn’t have any piece of the team pie in that area.

    This lockout is here for one reason: richer franchises were really worried that the push for greater revenue sharing among teams would take off and their net value would decline. Poorer teams felt they were being dragged into a higher cost structure that did not include major revenue sharing outside the national TV contracts and as costs escalated their revenues would stay constant and their net value would decline.
    ____________________________________
    This is about the best post on here. You hit it right on the head.

  123. diditforthelulz1 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:06 AM

    I get tired of hearing everybody bitching about the price of football games. That’s the market price; salaries are expensive and as such tickets will also be expensive. What do you guys want — football charity? I don’t care if a person who works at McDonalds and has six kids can’t afford to take their family to a game. You’re responsible for your inability to go. You live in America, you could have made yourself better, but instead you didn’t study in school and decided to breed your way out of contention.

  124. jtfris says: Apr 24, 2011 11:42 AM

    If they miss games or screw up the balance of the league they can all rot in hell. Happy Easter

  125. bsmb says: Apr 24, 2011 11:56 AM

    I hate how the players think they can play football for a few years and think they have the right to retire and not have to work after that…when their football career is over its time to go out in the real world and get a real job…they get a great boost with the big money they make…make good investments with the money and get a job…they dont have the right to retire at age 30…most of them went to school for free so use the education you got!…and there should be acheck in this poll for a fans side cause thats the side im on

  126. bsmb says: Apr 24, 2011 12:04 PM

    diditforthelulz1 says:
    Apr 24, 2011 10:58 AM
    joey49er says:
    I hope they hold out so long that both sides loose millions!!!! then maybe an average american can afford to go to a game eat and drink like they want to with out having to work for 2 weeks to pay for it!!!
    The players and owners are greedy!!!!!

    does it really matter what we think? heres something to think about. how about the price for a football game? hot dog,beer ,parking,soft drink,this is gone to far!why average americans are struggling in the worst economy ever .what do they do ?the players strike!they try to ban the draft.ive been a fan for all of my life..but this is bull!!!crap..
    —————————————————-
    You’re obviously not very smart. The players didn’t strike, they were locked out. That’s the complete and utter opposite of striking. Furthermore it takes two weeks of pay to go to a football game? You must work at McDonalds or something, but then again, as stated, you aren’t very smart, so that’s probably your only option.

    ————————————-
    you obvoisly arent very smart because people have other needs to take care of throughout the week before they can take money out to pay for a game

  127. endzonezombie says: Apr 24, 2011 12:08 PM

    This is a dumb poll to conduct on a site that is the well known target of owner shills. They aren’t fans – they are shills.

  128. mick730 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:37 PM

    “How would you like to be told coming out of high school or college that you’re going to work in Detroit or Cleveland, and if you don’t like it, that’s just too bad? And you’re going to live there for your entire career with no chance to go anywhere else. The company can pay you whatever the company wants and trade you to someone else if they choose, but you have no say in the matter?”

    Where to begin. Firstly, cry me a river. Second, what the “kid” does if he doesn’t like the way pro football is structured is not go into pro football. Really simple. The “kid” can use his college degree (har, har, har) and go into some other line of work where he can choose the company for which he wants to work and the location where he wants to live. It’s not that difficult. If Pro Football is so god awful for these guys, don’t go into it in the first place! 100% of pro football players are totally replaceable with another body off the street. Look at the linebackers that played in the super bowl for Green Bay. Interchangeable, and literally, right off of the street. Look at Brett Favre. Did the Packer franchise fold without him? Did the NFL disappear without him? NO. They are all replaceable. Each and every one of them. It’s the game, it’s the teams, it’s the league, it’s the tradition; the players are just a different version of those little plastic guys on the vibrating football field we played with as kids. That’s all. Nothing more.

    Thirdly, you union hacks keep telling us that a Pro Football “career” is only two or three seasons long on average; so let’s face it; this isn’t a career at all. It’s an extremely well paid, short term gig where juvenile delinquents can pretend their still in the 8th grade but make millions of dollars doing so while playing a game.

    The NFL is a successful business enterprise. If “kids” don’t like the way it is run, they shouldn’t go into it.

    But of course they do, and it’s simply because of the money. The kind of money not a single one of them could earn in any other endeavor. So quit the bs.

    NFL players take notice. Potential draftees into the NFL take notice. If you don’t like the NFL, quit or don’t go into it in the first place. Get on with doing what you will need to be doing for the real part of the rest of your lives.

  129. brasho says: Apr 24, 2011 12:39 PM

    Deb says:
    Apr 23, 2011 9:03 PM
    @brasho …

    How would you like to be told coming out of high school or college that you’re going to work in Detroit or Cleveland, and if you don’t like it, that’s just too bad? And you’re going to live there for your entire career with no chance to go anywhere else. The company can pay you whatever the company wants and trade you to someone else if they choose, but you have no say in the matter?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Deb, I would LOVE to be told coming out of college (after to college for free and being given every chance, tutor, and special program available to allow me to succeed) that I would HAVE to go to Detroit or Cleveland to begin my career (if I’m lucky that career could last 10-15 years). First off, I would be playing a game I love for insane amounts of money. Secondly, the fame and fortune if I used it right would only set me up for my next career in broadcasting, other media, sales, etc. Finally, if I really had a huge problem with the team that chose me I COULD refuse to go (it has happened many times before) and force a trade… OR I could follow in the footsteps of the suckers (like me) that graduated from college and get a job making 10X less in the real world.

    You see, Deb, the rest of us suckers don’t have the opportunity to experience the hardships and heartache of being drafted by Detroit or Cleveland and have to work real jobs and we would all LOVE to be trapped.

    I don’t have a problem with free agency. I think it is great. The teams that don’t invest heavily in it are usually the best teams anyways, the teams that do, usually stink. It has been proven NOT to work both on the field and financially. I just have a problem with short-sighted players (there is life after football) trying to gouge every penny from the owners (which they get from the fans) and get ridiculous raises when 90% of the country hasn’t had a raise in the past 3-5 years.

  130. Deb says: Apr 24, 2011 9:38 PM

    @brasho …

    Where do you get the idea that being a professional athlete is not a real job? That’s a child’s perspective. If any fool could be a professional athlete, you and all the other guys who post these whiny comments would be doing it. Being a pro athlete requires natural gifts that have been honed by years and years of dedicated practice.

    As for the free education, many athletes come from horrendous backgrounds and have never attended a college prep course in their lives. Throughout their sports careers, they’ve been promoted forward because their schools profited from their athletic skills. They were never encouraged to crack a book.

    At college, many of these guys were pushed into token majors and urged to take classes that didn’t interfere with their practice schedules. They were convinced by recruiters and pro scouts that it didn’t matter if they didn’t have a degree because they were going to make millions in the pros. No one bothered to explain that most pro players don’t make millions … and most don’t make the cut.

    The publishing industry is taking huge hits and will never be what it once was, my health insurance premiums are almost $20,000 a year, and I’m working seven-day weeks. But I wouldn’t trade growing up with supportive parents and getting a real education for the salary or fab lifestyle of any NFL star. So I guess we just have different world views.

  131. bsmb says: Apr 25, 2011 12:42 AM

    its doesnt matter what they are pushed into…if they are going to school they have a right to take part in any academics they want…instead most of them go in to college thinking their s*** dont stink and spend their time chasing tail…its their choice if they want to take their academics seriously…if they dont their loss

  132. thelomasbrowns says: Apr 25, 2011 1:01 AM

    Way to go all scientific with the poll. Technical question: how many times can each ownertroll vote?

  133. nolanorth says: Apr 25, 2011 3:01 AM

    Odd thing I noticed.

    Every comment for the owners is an educated and fact based response!

    Every comment for the players is childish playground name calling banter!

    Seems very similar to what’s actually going on.

  134. thelomasbrowns says: Apr 25, 2011 9:06 AM

    It’s easy to give an “educated and fact based response” when you’re parroting a talking point crafted by a professional PR team.

  135. Deb says: Apr 25, 2011 12:21 PM

    @bsmb …

    If you’ve never played anything but sandlot football, you cannot possibly walk into an NFL huddle and miraculously start calling the complex schemes of an pro offense. If you have never been prepped for college, you can’t suddenly walk into academia, sit in a classroom and have advanced courses make sense to you. That should be obvious to all the whiners who are so jealous of athletes and their free educations. Some athletes are intellectually and academically prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. But many are not. And the system that exploits their talents bears some of the responsibility for that.

  136. FinFan68 says: Apr 25, 2011 2:22 PM

    They may have been exploited, but they did some exploiting themselves as well. How many of these guys were allowed to graduale middle school (much less HS or college) is beyond me. Sometimes the system shares the blame but the individual is ALWAYS to blame for their own actions or lack thereof

  137. Deb says: Apr 25, 2011 5:08 PM

    Absolutely, FinFan68, because a junior high kid living in a lower-middle-class foster home should have the good sense to tell the school administration to hold him back a grade because he can’t add 64 and 33 or read above a second-grade level.

    Why do you expect that kid to be able to connect the dots when you boys can’t?

    Sooooo damn easy to pass judgment on the lifestyles of the poor and obscure, isn’t it?

  138. SmurfJuice says: Apr 25, 2011 5:56 PM

    Back in the late 1950′s, there was an average player. Played two years, won a national championship, and he left the NFL.

    A smart player, he took his NFL money and started a small restaurant in his home state. Now, fifty years later, the man sits in on every labor meeting, knowing both sides of the fence.

    That man is Jerry Richardson.

    He didn’t make hundreds of millions playing football, like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc. He took his meager earnings from football and created multiple billion-dollar industries. He took his gift, used it to launch his life.

    He didn’t try to shut down the NFL to make his money. He used the blessings of NFL money to make his own money.

    How many of us would be much better off long-term financially if we made $450,000 for three years? How about $7,000,000? Twelve million a year for seven years? Would you bash the person who gave you the opportunity for that capital to start your life? Sue him for more? Threaten to destroy the basis on which that opportunity was given to you?

  139. Deb says: Apr 25, 2011 9:18 PM

    @SmurfJuice …

    Thanks for sharing that story, which I’d never heard. My dad is a self-made man, so I have nothing but respect for Richardson’s accomplishments. Of course, he had the innate intelligence to make the most of his blessings.

    You’re incorrect, though, about him not trying to shut down the NFL to make money. He and his fellow owners did just that when they imposed the lockout. This is not a strike by the players. The owners, Richardson among them, shut down the league to gain an advantage against the players. And the majority of players have no interest in destroying the league or changing how it does business. They simply want to reach a new collective bargaining agreement and return to work.

    Hope your story was more accurate than your understanding of the labor dispute.

  140. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:55 AM

    Deb,
    I understand what you are trying to say but I disagree with the premise that an individual is not responsible for his/her actions. It is not always the fault of the system. The same “system” that exploited some of these kids also gave them another opportunity to squander and many of them did just that. At what point would you stop looking for any external factors that can explain away behavior and start looking at the individual? Surely, there is some level of responsibility that an individual must take for their own situation.

  141. raven4life21 says: Apr 26, 2011 10:47 AM

    i am on the FANS side! forget the owners and players… the FANS… whatever benefits the F-A-N-S who are the ones who make this fantasy job possible… im against the ridiculous ticket prices, concessions, merchandise… it is all WAY TOO HIGH and has been going on for FAR TOO LONG! and i am also behind all the vendors and people who make a living on the football season… taxi drivers, restaurants/bars, merchandise and food vendors, hotels etc etc etc… EVERYBODY is affected by the greed and it is despicable… how about using that 9 billion to lower ticket/concession prices for the people who supply the money to make the league go round? atleast for a year maybe? the players make PLENTY of money and it isn’t our fault nor the owners fault if they cannot handle their money properly… i think they deserve longterm health insurance but other than that HECK NO! just meet in the freagin middle somewhere and everyone should be happy enough to get the season back on track… neither side is gonna get everything they want but that’s called compromise ladies and gentleman, JUST DO IT!

  142. SmurfJuice says: Apr 26, 2011 3:15 PM

    @Deb

    The players walked away from the table as well. I’m not exclusively on the owners’ side. However, I feel that the players are more responsible for the current inflation of salaries than the owners are. How many times in the last three years have you heard some talking head at ESPN say “And he signs the richest contract ever given to a..”?

    “Damn, Larry Fitzgerald just got $10M a year, I must have more than he does!” That statement is made much more often than “Well, Bidwell is paying his receiver $10M a year, I better pay mine $11M.”

    My overall point is, everyone in the business has money, much more than the fan that keeps this industry going. Take some of the ridiculous money paid to “top end” players (DeAngelo Hall’s $9M for 9 games?!) and give it to the lower guys that’ll only be in the league for 2-3 years. This would drop the overall salaries, bring equality amongst players, and eventually bring down the cost of attending a pro game. Who wins? THE FANS.

  143. Deb says: Apr 26, 2011 3:16 PM

    @ravenfan4life21 …

    I agree with you. But what you don’t understand is what realitypolice has been trying to explain on other threads. The CBA is structured so that the players’ cut doesn’t increase until revenues increase.

    In other words, revenues do not increase in order to pay the players higher salaries. Revenues increase because the owners determine that the market will support higher ticket prices and higher merchandising prices. The owners increase prices in order to increase their profits. Once they do that, it benefits the players because they receive a share of the revenues. But their salaries are not driving the price of tickets and merchandising. If the players went back to making peanuts, the owners would still charge what they charge for tickets and merchandising–they’d just pocket more of the money.

    Because there is no game without the players, I believe they are entitled to be paid according to the revenues they generate. That is a fundamental principle of capitalism. It’s not right that the owners should charge these exorbitant fees to the public, then pay the players as little as possible and pocket the rest. That’s what’s been happening throughout the history of the league. The NCAA makes billions on players and pays them nothing. In some cases, those players don’t make it to the NFL and wind up earning minimum wage while schools continue earning millions on merchandising their names and images and DVDs of their performances years after they’ve left the game. That simply is not right, ravens4life51. Nothing the players have done is increasing prices for the fans. The owners do that all by themselves.

  144. Deb says: Apr 26, 2011 3:31 PM

    @FinFan68 …

    You misunderstand me. I’ve never said individuals are not responsible for their actions. If you break the law, you pay the penalty. If you screw up your career and wind up out of the league, that’s on you. If you blow your money and wind up broke, that’s on you. But when educated, wealthy, and powerful people make a great deal of money by using people who are not educated or savvy, they have a responsibility to make sure their charges have every opportunity to succeed.

    I recently read Mikal Gilmore’s brilliant autobiography Shot in the Heart, about his brother Gary, the first man executed after the death penalty was reinstated. Mikal doesn’t sugarcoat his brother, but he also describes the childhood that creates a killer. Yes, Mikal was responsible for his actions as an adult. That doesn’t absolve the people who abused him as a child. If you want to eliminate the Garys of the world, you don’t wait until they’ve killed several people … you intervene when they’re being dehumanized by a parent or a system.

  145. pu74y says: Apr 26, 2011 4:55 PM

    I am embarrassed to be an NFL fan with the show these babies are putting on… Its getting to the point where I don’t even care if there is ever football again. Thanks goes out to the greedy pigs that ruined my favorite sport

  146. atlantabirds says: Apr 27, 2011 1:54 PM

    I am siding with the players, largely because the owners chose to gear up for a lockout (which they began planning for two years in advance) rather than negotiate (which again, they had two years to do, and still have not done really).

  147. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 10:36 AM

    Why I support the owners -

    1 – Kevin Mawae and Richie Incognito have admitted that the players tricked the owners into signing a flawed CBA back in 2006.
    2 – For all the rhetoric about the owners “using Gestapo tactics” it’s been the owners who have made concessions again and again, and that they signed the CBA even amid warnings it was raising the cost of doing business too high was because they NEVER WANTED a labor battle in the first place.
    3 – Nowhere have the players made any credible case that they would lose any real money if they signed a new CBA that allows more money to go to stadium upkeep and related areas – they actually think that TV “slush fund” loan was stealing money from them?!? On the contrary, as PFW has repeatedly shown (notably in debunking the “18% cut” myth), the players will make real money basically as they are now and will make more of it in the long run. What DeMaurice Smith et al have been raging about is percentages; they seem not to have even paid attention to real payouts.
    4 – The players are not the ones who have to spend money to make money in this game. It’s the owners. And the players are the ones staying in denial of the cost of doing business in this game.
    5 – The NFLPA*-dictated talking point “fans want to see players, not owners” is a red herring, for what fans want to see is THE GAME and THE TEAMS. I root for the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, not Tom Brady or Wes Welker or the increasingly-despicable ingrate Logan Mankins (and I’ve have preferred they brought back Reche Caldwell instead of Deion Branch). I root for the TENNESSEE TITANS, not Vince Young, Kenny Britt, etc. I like the MINNESOTA VIKINGS, not Brett Favre. Players matter; teams and the game matter the most.
    6 – The NFLPA* sticks to red herrings about seeing the owners’ books even after blowing off offers to see them in 2009-11 by the Packers, Broncos, and Bears. And just what do they think they’re going to find that somehow shows the owners are stiffing them of money?
    7 – The burden of proof is on the players, not the owners, and they players have failed.

    Get rid of DeMaurice Smith, grow the hell up, sign the new CBA, and get back to the game.

  148. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 10:40 AM

    Where Deb is wrong is assuming the owners are simply pocketing money when the fact is they have no choice but to invest it in stadiums as well as players. There has never been a case where players salaries didn’t increase even as revenues didn’t increase. It’s the “it’s not right that” myth that drives people to hate capitalism. Citing the NCAA ignores that those players get scholarships to go to these schools – they are not entitled to be paid. Players are not entitled to more than an objective share of revenue.

  149. Deb says: Apr 28, 2011 11:59 AM

    It still saddens me that someone with such good taste in music can be so misinformed on everything else. I’ve addressed the scholarship issue in previous posts on this thread … scan back through them.

    So you want us to believe that a bunch of jocks hoodwinked a group of street-smart billionaire businessmen who employ some of the best legal talent in the country into signing a contract unawares? Uh-huh. And you want us to believe those jocks are now manipulating those poor owners out of their profits and into bankruptcy? Uh-huh. And rather than sell their teams, the owners will just keep taking these hits … out of love for the game? Uh-huh.

    For your own protection, don’t ever sign a contract without having someone a little savvy take a look at it first. You are liable to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

  150. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 6:52 PM

    Deb, the players themselves admitted it – they tricked the owners. And the cost of doing business has changed – if it hadn’t there never would have been a CBA controversy at all. “And rather than sell their teams…..” That’s not a solution, it’s a dodge. All you’re proving is that you’re not terribly bright on the reality of sports economics. You don’t even try to argue against the point that there is no such thing as “owners pocketing the money” and all the other myths perpetuated in these discussions.

    I won’t scan back to your scholarship arguments because you’ve shown no credibility with which to read them.

  151. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 6:53 PM

    atlantabirds – it was the NFLPA that was refusing to negotiate. The owners didn’t “gird up for a lockout” because they didn’t want one. Girding for a lockout and trying to protect yourself are not the same thing.

  152. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 6:55 PM

    The proof of Deb’s non-credibility is citing Gary Gilmore – his childhood did not create a killer; HE did. His own mixture of evil and raging self-esteem made him a killer. There is no such thing as “the system” made someone like him do it.

  153. Deb says: Apr 28, 2011 9:15 PM

    @monkeesfan …

    I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the level of physical and sexual abuse Gilmore suffered througout his childhood, and doubt you know anything about it. And you certainly didn’t read my comment because I made a point of saying he was responsible for his actions. I did not in any way excuse his behavior, but talked only about intervening in homes like that before the damage is done.

    What a pathetic, simple-minded man you are. Too bad someone didn’t intervene before evil hardened your heart. This conversation is over.

  154. atlantabirds says: Apr 28, 2011 11:24 PM

    monkeesfan:

    You are speaking like just another guy who wants the players to sign whatever deal the owners give them because you want the players to “know their place.” That is why DeMaurice Smith is the target of such vitriol from you guys, as you see him as the head ape leading the revolt at the zoo. DeMaurice Smith is simply doing what the players want, and if they had hired someone else – someone of a different, er, complextion or political persuasion – he’d be doing exactly the same thing. You guys don’t seem to realize that Smith is only following the blueprint left behind by Gene Upshaw, do you?

    Taking your points:

    1. The NFL wasn’t tricked. Gene Upshaw was dying of cancer, had been taking a beating from the players and the media for years for giving away too much to the owners, and wanted a strong deal as his legacy. Paul Tagliabue was wanting to retire, was of course very sympathetic to his dying friend, and also wanted the deal as his legacy. The owners didn’t want to play hardball with a dying man who had suffered so much to his reputation to give THEM what THEY wanted so many times in the past, and they didn’t have a commissioner willing to take a hard line. So, they agreed to accept the Upshaw deal only until Upshaw was dead, Tagliabue was gone, and they could strengthen their position (i.e. lockout fund) for negotiating. The owners signed the CBA with the intention of breaking it later.

    2. The owners have made concessions? So have the players. It is called NEGOTIATING. You give the owners credit for making concessions, but you give the players NONE for doing the same. The reason is because you believe that the players should play under whatever terms the owners dictate, as if you would do the same on your own job or something, and in particular as if ANYONE who had skills that made them worth hundreds of thousands or millions would. Look, if some business executive who is making a fraction of what Andre Johnson makes is going to try to secure the best deal for himself, why don’t the players have the same right? Also, the owners haven’t made REAL concessions mostly anyway. All they have done is back off from absurdities that they knew that the players would never agree too, such as the 18 game schedule and a 55/45 revenue split AFTER taking $1 billion off the top, AND a rookie salary cap structure that would make it almost impossible for most players – especially tailbacks – to earn back the value that they put into the NFL because their careers are too short.

    3. First off, there is no evidence that the money the owners want off the top will be reinvested to make more profits fort the league. They could just put in their pockets. Second, even if they do increase profits, there is nothing that would guarantee the players any piece of it, because the salary cap (the owners’ last proposal would be $141 million per team) would be set for the duration of the CBA. So even were profits to double, the players would get the same amount of money. What are they supposed to do … wait until the next CBA to get more money? What evidence is there that they will get it then? You are asking the NFLPA to give the owners a level of trust that does not exist in the business world.
    Also, there is a principle involved. The players believe that they deserve a certain percentage of the revenue. Whether the revenue is $100 million or $100 billion, the players believe that the percentage that they deserve is the same. Look, if you work for a company and the amount of money that the company brings in quadruples because of the work that you put in to generate it, you’d be nuts to accept a 10% payraise and be happy just because your salary went up. The top executives, the top salespeople, the top brokers etc. … their income goes up as the profits go up. The same is true with celebrities in other fields … movie stars get a percentage of box office receipts, musicians get royalties based on record sales. The NFLPA wants the same deal, and there is not a single business reason for denying it to them.

    4. Moot point. The reason is that if the players don’t play, the owners don’t make any money either. Quite the contrary, the owners lose money, and lots of it. The players do have leverage, and they are simply using it. It is done in the business world all the time. Why you believe that the players shouldn’t exercise the same prerogatives as other successful, wealthy, talented/skilled folks who generate revenue do all the time needs to be explained.

    5. You root for teams, true, but those teams absent the best athletes would have no viewers, and thus generate no revenue. When the NFL used replacement players, it was a fiasco, and that’s why they aren’t going that route again. Further, no one pays attention to the Arena Football League. Other attempts to create competitors to the NFL (USFL, XFL) have failed. The CFL was teetering on bankruptcy a few years ago, and needed cash from the NFL to survive. The players have economic value based on their ability to play football, and some of them have added value because of their celebrity (Manning, Brady et. al.) which increases ratings and sells products. Granted, this wouldn’t happen without the NFL, but the NFL wouldn’t exist without the players. The players have economic value and economic clout, and would be completely absurd not to use it. Why you feel otherwise has to be explained.

    6. Yes, the players’ demanding to see the owners’ books is showboating. So are the owners’ claims that they are hemorraghing money, that the CBA means that certain franchises can’t compete (when Buffalo, Cincinnati, Jacksonville etc. weren’t winning squat under the last 2 CBAs either!), and the nonsense about $1 billion off the top and the 18 game season. But please realize that NOTHING that the players did compares to the owners’ refusal to even put a serious proposal on the table, one that even merited a moment’s consideration, UNTIL TWO WEEKS AFTER THE CBA EXPIRRED. And NOTHING that the players did compares to the lockout fund.

    7. What is this, a courtroom? Neither side has a burden of proof. Instead, both sides are free to either hold out until they get the best deal for themselves as possible, or work together to get the best deal for both. You’d have to be totally insane to try to cooperate when the other side is looking out for himself first. The owners are not trying to work for the best deal for everyone. Instead, they are trying to get the best deal for themselves, and trying to accomplish it by pitting some groups of players against others (rookies versus veterans, role players versus stars). Incidentally, if it was a courtroom, the onus would be on the owners to prove why they opted out of the CBA that they agreed to.

    And your claim that the owners were simply trying to protect themselves is ridiculous. The owners decided TWO YEARS AGO to opt out of the CBA. They didn’t make their first LEGITIMATE offer in negotiations until TWO WEEKS after the CBA expired, and even that offer included a bunch of provisions that they knew that the palyers would never accept.

    It is impossible to claim that the players are being unreasonable, because when you opt out of a contract, the baseline for the new contract is the contract that you just opted out of! That is how you do business. Your problem is that you see the players as chattel, and don’ t think that they are worthy of actually conducting business deals with anyone. You want the owners to just set the terms, and the players to say “Yessuh boss, whatevah you say cuz I is sho’ nuff glad to be playin’ me sum futbawl instead o’ pickin’ cotton, and I is sho’ nuff grateful to yo’ kind self!”

    The bizarre, out of left field proposals that the owners have been making ARE NOT NEGOTIATIONS. Abandoning – or softening – a position that you knew going in that the other side would never accept IS NOT MAKING CONCESSIONS.

    So, you claim that the CBA that just expired was bad. To me that is debatable: the NFL could increase revenue by abandoning certain unviable markets for better ones (i.e. Buffalo for Los Angeles, and Jacksonville for San Antonio), and also by jettisoning some of their longtime bad owners (i.e. Al Davis, Bill Bidwill, Mike Brown, and the Fords … can you IMAGINE how much revenue the Cardinals, Raiders and Lions would generate if they had competent ownership)? That is besides the point. The point is that the initial “offers” that the owners made to the NFLPA were WORSE than the previous CBA (the one prior to 2006) and may have even been worse than the CBA before that one as well! DeMaurice Smith’s claim that it was the worst proposal in the history of pro sports was grandstanding, but it really was just that bad, and the owners knew that the players would never accept it. Since it took two weeks after the CBA expired to make an actual proposal, who knows then the next good offer was going to come. Mid May? Early July? And that’s why Gooddell was doing granstanding of his own when he said “a labor deal will be reached by negotiation, not through the courts.” Yeah, start negotiating after the CBA has expired when the players aren’t making any money! Start negotiating when players aren’t collecting their offseason bonuses, and when 500 players aren’t getting any money at all because they are free agents! That puts ALL the pressure on THE PLAYERS to get a deal done so they can get a paycheck. If the owners were SERIOUS about getting a deal done by negotiation, they would have started negotiating over a year ago.

    But all of this is wasted on you, because you have the conviction that these guys should be willing to play for $75,000 a year (plus free medical insurance I guess) simply because it beats pumping gas, which is what most of them would be doing if they weren’t playing football. That is what you really feel. Right? And that is why the very existence of the NFLPA offends you, because you don’t believe that they merit such things. Right?

  155. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 11:31 PM

    Deb, so Gilmore was sexually abused through his childhood – the fact is the bulk of victims of sexual abuse do not become killers or even particularly violent (heck, it’s becoming a cottage industry a la Scott Brown and Ashley Judd to claim to have been sexually abused). I read your comment that he was responsible for his actions, but you couched it by dredging up his upbringing; what you were suggesting is that he would not have become a killer had there been an intervention in that home. It’s a ridiculous argument.

    The conversation is over because you lose on facts.

  156. monkeesfan says: Apr 28, 2011 11:43 PM

    Just which owners have been “pocketing the money” instead of investing to make their team better, anyway?
    If anyone says the Bidwells or Mike Brown they’re liars because what were two of the worst teams in the league became genuine contenders in the last eight years. If you want to criticize them for not spending enough or not spending intelligently, that’s a legitimate argument, but saying they’re just pocketing the money is disproven by their teams’ performance the last eight years – if they were pocketing the money there would have never been one .500 record by either the last eight years.
    If anyone says Ralph Wilson, it ignores that that team’s problem since Jim Kelly’s retirement has been going for the quick fix of name players (Rob Johnson, Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, TO, Merrimann) and firing coaches every three years instead of sticking with a long-term plan. And if anyone cites not hiring Bill Cowher, Cowher was not as good as advertised. Quick fixes has been the problem rather than what they’re spending.

    The “pocketing the money” argument is an argument that is economic ignorance personified.

  157. monkeesfan says: Apr 30, 2011 12:15 AM

    atlantabirds is suffering from the same economic ignorance as the NFLPA*

    1 – For the umpteenth time Kevin Mawae and Richie Incognito have ADMITTED that the owners were tricked in that last CBA. You leave out that there were warning signs that the deal would drive the cost of doing business too high. It was not signed as a favor to Tags or Upshaw (who contrary to myth did not just roll over for the owners) it was signed because the owners NEVER WANTED A LABOR CONFLICT. You also need to stop with the myth of “preparing the lockout fund” because that is not what they did.

    2 – DeMaurice Smith is NOT doing what the players want – he has taken over this dispuite as a trial lawyer (what he in fact is) would do and has turned it from an economic reality vs. the game issue into players vs. owners. Nowhere has he made any effort to actually solve the dispute.

    3 – There have been NO concessions from the players – just a disinformation campaign headlined by the 18% pay cut lie disproven by PFW.

    4 – Your argument here is based on the myth that owners want to line their pockets, when economic reality dictates they have to invest in the teams and the stadiums – if they don’t they not going to be able to stay in business. This is the economic reality that makes the real world work, and is why players ALWAYS see their salaries increase in real cash; making a comparison with Andre Johnson as you did is just economic ignorance.

    5 – The fact it is the owners who have to spend money to make money is a key point – they are why the teams and the game go. Players change; owners have to keep spending money to make money. The players are not exercizing leverage, they are being unreasonable because they are fighting a battle against an economic myth.

    6 – The use of replacement players in 1987 proved that it is the game, not the players. It’s why striking players abandoned the faux-proletarian struggle. Belittling the Arena League (now in its 25th season) displays mind-boggling lack of credibility on your part. Again, players change – teams stay the same.

    7 – The owners put forth real negotiation long before that two-weel window you want to mock; it was DeMaurice Smith’s group that kept blowing it off. In 2009. In 2010. In 2011. The common demoninator has been DeMaurice Smith refusing to negotiate; instead chosing to fight for a myth. The players are the ones with the burden of proof, and at that they continue to lose the argument. The fact remains the players are not going to lose any money with a new CBA. DeMaurice Smith simply lied to the world in calling the last proposal the worst ever. That is a fact.

    You claim the NFL could generate more revenue by abandoning unabandonable markets for mythical ones – Buffalo is a football demographic; LA is not. Jacksonville contrary to the haters myth being perpetuated of recent is a football demographic; San Antonio is part of the Dallas-Houston markets and as such is not entitled to a team of its own. This is not a serious proposal, it is gasbaggery. Attacking the Bidwells when the Cardinals have become an actual team since they got a stadium further proves you a fool.

    It was never the owners who weren’t negotiating – it was the players. They could have solved this by signing a new CBA a year ago; they instead stonewalled and blew off negotiating. There is never going to be a scenario where players play for just $75,000 a year – it will always be multiple times higher. That is what the reality of sports economics dictates. Atlantabirds like DeMaurice Smith is too embittered by spite to understand this.

    So on facts you lose, atlanta.
    Dump DeMaurice Smith and sign the new CBA.

  158. monkeesfan says: Apr 30, 2011 11:57 AM

    Darn typo – #7 should say “two-year window.” And one addition – atlantabirds’ idea that the league can generate more revenue by abandoning unabandonable markets is a dodge – it is passing the buck, not actually addressing the issue of containing the cost of doing business. And as such, I reiterate – it is not a serious proposal, it is gasbaggery.

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