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League cites potential irreparable harm absent a stay

Clay Redden AP

We’ve obtained a copy of the 15-page document filed last night by the NFL in response to Judge Nelson’s order lifting the lockout, in which the league seeks a stay of the order pending appeal.

The league argues that it will suffer irreparable harm, if it’s forced to proceed with business as usual while the appeal proceeds.  “[I]t will not be possible to unscramble the eggs,” the NFL writes regarding the prospect of a stop-and-start to the league year, with the 2011 league year beginning absent a stay and ending after a successful appeal of Judge Nelson’s ruling.

The fact that Judge Nelson, who is considering the request for a stay, already has found that the players are suffering irreparable harm during the lockout and that the NFL will suffer significantly less harm if the lockout is lifted puts the league at an obvious disadvantage.  The possibility that the league will have to begin the 2011 league year and then end it arguably creates discomfort and/or inconvenience, but it’s hard to regard the outcome as “irreparable harm.”

At worst, the league year will start, players will sign contracts, players will be traded, players will be cut, players will work out at team facilities, and the league will conduct business as usual unless and until the lockout is reinstated.  At that point, the doors will once again close.  The possibility that the lockout will continue makes it hard to conclude that the harm to the league will be “irreparable” if the league is required to transact football business unless and until an appeals court scuttles Judge Nelson’s ruling.

Though requiring the league to proceed with the 2011 league year will force the league to determine on the fly the rules that will apply to free agents — rules that undoubtedly will be challenged as antitrust violations — the league has had a full opportunity to plan for this eventuality, and to determine the rules that will be used if the lockout ends.  Despite the sense of chaos that emerged last night (a cynic may say that the chaos was feigned by the league in order to justify the decision to treat the 89-page ruling ending the lockout as somehow incomplete), the league has planned its moves carefully.  And the league knows which rules will be applied if/when the lockout is involuntarily concluded.

In the end, Judge Nelson will be guided by the following factors, as articulated in the league’s brief, in deciding whether the stay should be granted:  “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.”  Given Judge Nelson’s assessment of similar factors in deciding to implement the injunction that lifts the lockout, it’s hard to envision Judge Nelson deciding that it’s the league and not the players who now must be protected against irreparable harm.

Thus, while we believe that it would be more orderly and sensible to avoid ending the lockout and then starting it again, Judge Nelson easily could conclude that it makes more sense to err on the side of protecting the players against ongoing irreparable harm than to protect the league against harm that is more annoying than irreparable.

In the end, it could be the appeals court that decides whether to issue the stay.  Ultimately, it’ll be the appeals court that decides whether the lockout will continue.  Even if the stay isn’t granted, the doors could end up being closed once again — and they could possibly stay closed for part or all of the regular season.

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53 Responses to “League cites potential irreparable harm absent a stay”
  1. airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:04 PM

    This is so short sighted its comical.
    the players are suffering irreparable damage while the league in the long run doesnt?
    Lets say for a minute the league does suffer irreparable damage, Dont the player then suffer irreparable damage? you idiots. whats the courts ruling then? puff out 32 more billionaire to lose money? ROLMAO!
    And when does public interest have anything to do with somebody elses money? Wonder what happens when they start to apply this logic to the newspapers? and a certain pro football reporting venue?

  2. cdjones34 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:11 PM

    How about the league forgoes the stay and allows the lockout to be lifted and allows all to proceed on the grounds of the 2010 cba rules. And in avoiding the appeal the former NFLPA agrees to get back to the table with the intention of actually coming to an agreement on the new CBA. Both sides win and maybe put a deadline on getting a new CBA worked out like JUly 1st.

  3. jm11890 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:12 PM

    You know what will be irreparable harm for you billionare scumbags? Your stadiums being empty when and if the season starts because us fans have had enough of your greediness.

  4. nbaraie says: Apr 26, 2011 6:16 PM

    This is getting very boring and tiresome.

  5. cappa662 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:17 PM

    The owners are laughable. I don’t feel bad for the owners or players. I feel bad for the bars and restaurants and everyone else associated with football who will lose a their homes, cars, and etc. if there isn’t a season.

  6. jakek2 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:17 PM

    “can’t unscramble the eggs”….jeez, how amateur!! We tell first year attorneys in our firm to stay away from such overused cliches especially when drafting “stay motions”.

    The owners can’t prove a single element, nevermind all four.

    This is a classic case of defense attorneys churning a file!!

  7. pacificamjr says: Apr 26, 2011 6:19 PM

    these greedy bastards (both sides) better be ready to settle when the mediation resumes next month

  8. bworacle says: Apr 26, 2011 6:20 PM

    The irreparable harm is opening themselves to antitrust violations at triple damages which would be a lot more of a loss than the players will suffer over the next 3 or 4 months.

  9. Richard Dickson says: Apr 26, 2011 6:21 PM

    “…the league has had a full opportunity to plan for this eventuality, and to determine the rules that will be used if the lockout ends.”

    The only problem is, this whole thing has played out like the league expected to win and has made no plans for the very real possibility they don’t.

  10. themohel says: Apr 26, 2011 6:21 PM

    Again, what does “business as usual” mean? The Judge has just said that it is likely the league will be found in violation of anti-trust laws, and then the league is supposed to operate in it’s usual fashion? A bit confusing, no? That is the harm the league would suffer through a decision not to stay the ruling during appeal – that the league will be put in an impossible legal position in which acting within the law (as determined in the future) isn’t possible.

  11. xtb3 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:32 PM

    Irreparable harm? What about the tens of thousands of workers jobs for the teams and in many associated industries who are being “irreparably hurt” by the loss of NFL games.

    Methinks the judge considers that especially in this era of unemployment as 2 rich factions fight each other because neither ever can have enough money!

  12. pfmadden says: Apr 26, 2011 6:33 PM

    Why havent you posted this document? It’s, you know, public domain and not everyone has a pacer account…

  13. skoobyfl says: Apr 26, 2011 6:36 PM

    I can see more legalities turning into a never-ending court case. Don’t think that the NFL won’t change their course this easily, with one judge’s decision.

  14. kire562000 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:39 PM

    NFL owners have a revenue sharing problem, not a revenue problem and now they are dragging the players into a fight that should be fought amongst themselves. Remember, the owners opted out of the CBA, not the players.

    If you think it is too expensive to run an NFL franchise, sell it, I’m positive they will find buyers.

  15. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 6:42 PM

    So, according to the owners, if the season happens there is a 100% chance of irreparable harm?

    And in Cleveland, how is that different from every other year?

  16. j0esixpack says: Apr 26, 2011 6:44 PM

    No offense to the owners – whom I generally think are justified in seeking a new CBA – but it strikes me as difficult to cite “irreparable harm” saying “there’s no way to unscramble the eggs” when they’re the ones who scrambled the eggs in the first place.

    No one forced them to end the current CBA and call a lockout. They did that of their own accord.

  17. kom2k10 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:45 PM

    I don’t understand how she can rule that the players were suffering irreparable harm that cannot be compensated with money???

    By being locked out, the players lose their abbilities to practice and earn a spot on the team. On the other hand, if there was no lock out, and they were able to practice and make a team, their reward would be MONEY! Therfore, any damages that the players would have suffered from an “illegal lockout” COULD HAVE BEEN COMPENSATED WITH MONEY!

    What other harm is there to the players by being locked out that couldn’t be resolved by paying them money in damages??? That to me was a big leap that the judge overlooked to ensure her liberal pro-labor agenda. Unions destroy American production, and now they’ve destroyed our favor sport…

  18. fflnick says: Apr 26, 2011 6:48 PM

    By law an collective bargained contract takes precedent over antitrust lawsuit.
    Since the CBA expired, that “protection” has been removed.

    The NFL is an tough spot here. If they forced to open without previous CBA rules applying, every player without an existing contract is a free agent.
    That is what they mean by “unscrambling the egg”. None of the four major sports has that. Years of service always play into it.

    If the “union” does not agree that the previous CBA rules apply and free agency starts with restricted and unrestricted free agency, the league opens themselves up with an antitrust lawsuit. If they lose they would have to pay three times the amount of damages awarded.

  19. melissashusband says: Apr 26, 2011 6:54 PM

    xtb3 says

    Irreparable harm? What about the tens of thousands of workers jobs for the teams and in many associated industries who are being “irreparably hurt” by the loss of NFL games.

    Methinks the judge considers that especially in this era of unemployment as 2 rich factions fight each other because neither ever can have enough money!

    ————————–

    Sorry to break it to you but the onlythingbeing considered is the legality of the actions not the jobs in associated industries

  20. kom2k10 says: Apr 26, 2011 6:54 PM

    Unions destroy everything…

    The MLB players union is the most powerful among all professional sports and it’s in complete disaray… Players are WAAAAY overpaid with guaranteed contracts and it looks like they have little to no interest in whether or not they win their games. The biggest markets sign the best players and their union delayed steroid testing until the 2000′s after it had already destroyed the sport.

    NFL had the weakest union and yet it’s grown to be the most popular sport in history.

    Most teams have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs and players seemed to be hungry to be on the field and make the team b/c contracts are not guaranteed.

    It’s sad to see DeSmith and the union lawyers fight to destroy this league…

  21. footballisking says: Apr 26, 2011 6:58 PM

    the league has planned its moves carefully. And the league knows which rules will be applied if/when the lockout is involuntarily concluded.

    I would have to disagree with that whole statement…I would love one example of evidence that goodell has ever known what he is doing…and as far as to knowing what laws apply if they knew the laws that well they wouldnt have lost EVERY court battle during this whole process..and I am serious I really want any shred of evidence that goodell has ever had a clue as to what he is doing

  22. lovesportsandsurfing says: Apr 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    The players, most of them, are uneducated, ignorant, dont have good communication skills,…they should take what the owners offer,..otherwise the smartest of the bunch might get the primo jobs, the drive thru guy,..get to wear that headset…and the majority of the rest will try and make a living selling crack, or be like the rest of their family,..on welfare and food stamps.

  23. kom2k10 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    I hate when people use the lame argument: “remember, the owners opted out, not the players!”

    Are you serious? Of course the owners would opt-out! All the players even acknowledged that they got a “Great” deal at the last CBA! That would therefore mean that the owners got a “Bad” deal at the last CBA!

    Obviously the players weren’t going to opt out of the last deal b/c salaries have been skyrocketing over the past 3 years because of the bad deal that was in place. The fact that the owners opted out is further proof that they were getting a bad deal!

    Why wouldn’t the owners opt out of a bad deal if they had the opportunity to do so? We know the players could have, and would have done the same if they felt they got a bad deal!

  24. harmcityhomer says: Apr 26, 2011 7:03 PM

    Wait, the owners are the ones imposing the lockout in the first place right? No one was forcing them to lockout the de-certified players. They could, and can impose all kinds of rules as long as they do not voilate anti trust law. They can take another billion off the top from payroll if they choose, they just can not restrict the players path to free agency as easily.

    Also if they never had a contingency plan in place in case they lost, who’s fault is that? Still the players? The key ruling was that the players can not be forced to remain a union and be forced into collective bargaining. The owners already succesfully divided, all they need to do now is conquer.

  25. wydok says: Apr 26, 2011 7:05 PM

    o.O

  26. scytherius says: Apr 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    The key that EVERYONE seems to leave out, including the “legal experts” they interview is that the players also had to show that they would probably win on the merits of the case. So not only has the Judge stayed the lockout, in doing so she has also said that she thinks the players will probably win the underlying antitrust case.

    The owners trek to success in court, and in the world of public opinion, is like climbing Everest naked.

  27. ravenator says: Apr 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    Greed…turning billionaires into ugly toads since…forever

  28. txhc says: Apr 26, 2011 7:12 PM

    Can’t unscramble the eggs? Seriously? Might wanna consider hiring some new attorneys, this is becoming so one-sided it’s comical.

  29. hobartbaker says: Apr 26, 2011 7:14 PM

    “It will not be possible to unscramble our muddled though processes.”, averred the players whose reputation and credibility has undergone irreparable harm under the reign of the Mad Gargoyle Emperor, DeMo De First.

  30. m4carrol says: Apr 26, 2011 7:17 PM

    The Players and the Owners need each other. But they seem to forget that both sides need the fans.

  31. tommyf15 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:20 PM

    airraid77, don’t be ridiculous. Even the owners aren’t claiming to be losing money.

  32. randolph32 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:21 PM

    ‘Defense attorneys churning the file’, love that language….it’s really no different than a Loan Officer sending a file to the 10th Lender, hoping for a miracle!

  33. savocabol1 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:32 PM

    For someone who claimed to be unbiased in this whole thing you sure do sound like you are on the players side once the ruling came down. It is hard to find such one sided articles without reading NFLPA material….

  34. eagleswin says: Apr 26, 2011 7:38 PM

    harmcityhomer says:
    Apr 26, 2011 7:03 PM
    Wait, the owners are the ones imposing the lockout in the first place right? No one was forcing them to lockout the de-certified players. They could, and can impose all kinds of rules as long as they do not voilate anti trust law. They can take another billion off the top from payroll if they choose, they just can not restrict the players path to free agency as easily.
    ———————————
    Leaguewide they can’t do any of the things you suggest. It would be up to the individual team.

  35. tompapp1 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:45 PM

    The NFL’s idea of irreparable harm is they cant have as much of the profits back as they want that they gave to the players in the last CBA. Anybody backing the owners are backing greedy losers in this chess match. The judges know this the players know this its somewhat surprising some of the posters around here dont know this.

  36. jakek2 says: Apr 26, 2011 7:47 PM

    Unions destroy American production, and now they’ve destroyed our favor sport…
    ——-
    kom2k10 –

    If there was no NFLPA and the owners were able to pay the players 80% less than what they are paying now…..are you THAT thick-headed to believe that the owners would still lower ticket prices to accomodate the fans even though many teams still have a 20 yr waiting list to pay the fortunes that are charged today???

    When will you republicrites get it??? Your party is comprised of rich fat-cats that continue to prey on your ignorance! If they can’t get you on the anti-union discourse, they’ll try to get tug at other b.s. heartstrings like abortion and gun control b.s. Do you really think they care about those issues??? Get a clue!

  37. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 8:02 PM

    “And in avoiding the appeal the former NFLPA agrees to get back to the table with the intention of actually coming to an agreement on the new CBA. Both sides win and maybe put a deadline on getting a new CBA worked out like JUly 1st.”

    That makes as much sense as this:

    The Eagles are up 41-14 in the 4th quarter. Rather than play the remaining 15 minutes, they can settle for a tie.

    Seriously, stop it.

  38. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 8:06 PM

    Here is how you’ll know if the league is headed or ruin…multiple owners will sell their teams.

    Oh, but that won’t happen…because an NFL team is a license to print money.

    Some of you are just professional suckers.

  39. thefiesty1 says: Apr 26, 2011 8:14 PM

    Stay. – go, I don’t care anymore. The owners lost before they even had a chance with that liberal judge. Especially with lawyers saying things like “you can’t unscramble an egg”. I know that all lawyers are the scum of the earth, but that’s just unbelievable. They are all idiots and so are the fans that continue to follow this crap.

  40. melonnhead says: Apr 26, 2011 8:24 PM

    When will you republicrites get it??? Your party is comprised of rich fat-cats that continue to prey on your ignorance

    —————————————————-

    The joke’s on you. Both parties are comprised of rich fat-cats that prey on the ignorance of the electorate. There’s not a lot of difference between them, the objective of both is to fool the people into putting or keping them in power. The main difference is that nobody really votes for Democrats. They vote against Republicans.

  41. zaggs says: Apr 26, 2011 8:37 PM

    “How about the league forgoes the stay and allows the lockout to be lifted and allows all to proceed on the grounds of the 2010 cba rules. And in avoiding the appeal the former NFLPA agrees to get back to the table with the intention of actually coming to an agreement on the new CBA. Both sides win and maybe put a deadline on getting a new CBA worked out like JUly 1st”

    The NFLPA can’t reform. Remember that was the NFL’s argument. That decertifying was a sham. If the NFLPA recertifies they have proven the NFL’s point. If Nelson had only clue this is what the players were going to do then there would be perfect grounds for impeachment.

  42. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 8:40 PM

    harmcityhomer says:
    Apr 26, 2011 7:03 PM
    Wait, the owners are the ones imposing the lockout in the first place right? No one was forcing them to lockout the de-certified players. They could, and can impose all kinds of rules as long as they do not voilate anti trust law.
    **************
    Not quite. Yes the owners imposed the lockout but that was after the players decertified and BECAUSE they decertified. When the union went away, so did the anti-trust exemption that covers many things the NFL (league and players) did as daily business. If the 32 business adopt the same rules the players could cry foul or collusion and bring another anti-trust suit and that possibility is very real for anything that the league does collectively. The players walked away from the negotiating table and they forced the league to lock them out by removing the operating environment the entire league and its system is based on. Yes they planeed the lockout for the last couple years because they knew what the players would do. it is what they have historically done to get their way. The lockout was ONLY if the players refused to negotiate and did what they did the last time there was a big dispute and the union didn’t get their way. They decertified in the late 80′s and they decertified this year. The purpose is the same…to place the league in a situation that allows for an anti-trust suit.

    You people that think think the league wants to crush the union have it wrong. They need the union. They need a union to exist in order for the league to maintain any profit. The issue is this union wants to be unreasonable and the courts have let them so far. There is a very different dynamic than the last time the decert strategy was used.

  43. airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:01 PM

    Tommf,
    this isnt about 1 year or just the NFL……Which is what so many of you seem not to understand…….THIS IS MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU WANT TO BELIEVE…..THIS LOGIC DRAWN out to its natural conclusion is frightening.

  44. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 9:14 PM

    “The issue is this union wants to be unreasonable…”

    When you ask for $1B from a entity you share profits with, that party is entitled to ask why you need it and to show cause. The NFL made only a flimsy attempt to show how the lack of this $1B was going to lead to a meltdown.

    Then, after refusing to provide the disclosure that any business partner would be expected to show a partner in a profit-sharing arrangement being changed, they lowered their “must have or it’s over” figure by 50%. Then they leaked that they’d lower it by more. That suggests that the whole thing was BS.

    And it never passed the smell test as the NFL is more popular and making more money than ever.

    All the while, the introduced BS distractions like the 18 game season, further muddying the waters of what was needed / what was at stake.

    And the team they chose to represent the owners in all of this were comprised of the most belligerent and adversarial that could have possibly been chosen.

    That is what we call a bad-faith negotiation.

    And that was foolish, especially in light of the fact that the players ALWAYS had the option to go to court and win. The owners never stood a chance. The law was against them, they needed to back off the demand for the massive handout.

    They lost. It’s over. And now, for the first time in many of these trust-fund babies lives, they must live with the consequences.

    They banked EVERYTHING on having that TV war chest to carry them over. When they lost that, they had no fallback plan. They still don’t.

    Pathetic.

  45. rkt4mayor says: Apr 26, 2011 9:20 PM

    I am sick and tired of all this Lockout bs from the owners!

    And, it isn’t political! I am a conservative Republican and I tend to side with the players on at least one issue: I’m deadset against the 18 game regular season and find it ludicrous that the owners tell the players essentially: “take a billion dollar paycut and while you’re at it play two more games so we can wring more money out of the networks and fans.”

    Now tell me why should the players agree to such nonsense?

  46. giablommi says: Apr 26, 2011 9:30 PM

    “The joke’s on you. Both parties are comprised of rich fat-cats that prey on the ignorance of the electorate. There’s not a lot of difference between them, the objective of both is to fool the people into putting or keping them in power. ”
    ^^^^^

    ^This

    Otherwise known as ‘DIVIDE AND CONQUER’

  47. voyager6 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:46 PM

    IMHO, if you assume Judge Nelson’s ruling is valid regarding that the Union doesn’t exist, then the FULL Sherman Anti-trust rules come into play. You cannot operate under 2010 rules, which are full of traps that will entail triple damages to the league.

    The only way to proceed is for the owners to threaten the loss of playoffs and SuperBowl because they constitute a collusion among owners. In fact, the whole season needs to be rescheduled, with each team finding playing partners, setting game rules. The TV contract may have to be voided and each team negotiate a new contract for TV, shrinking the pie.

    All of this is required with no collective bargaining agreement. The players, of course, will sue to prevent this, but then they want their cake and eat it too. Only the reforming of the union and a CBA can avoid this.

    If Judge Nelson or Dotty rule against this, then the NFL can appeal as the courts are requiring the NFL to violate the law.

  48. voyager6 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:51 PM

    Another way around this is for the owners to sell their controlling interest to a single person, say the commisioner for a $ each, and each owner gets a seat on the NFL board and stock shares. Then likely the American Needle case is moot and the NFL is one business. Then there can not be collusion since there is a single owner and things could theoretically progress under 2010 rules.

  49. vader98 says: Apr 26, 2011 9:54 PM

    First, let me say that I would tend to fall on the players side on this disupute. But I more fall on the side of the fans that just wants this thing settled.

    That said, the most likely way to get to football is to have a negotiated agreement.

    So I say the NFL should call the NFLPA’s bluff and implement draconian work rules.
    I mean, they’re probably going to lose the eventual anti-trust case anyway, so why not implement rules that force the NFLPA to come back to the table because it would institute an immediate revolt by the members of the NFLPA. Sure they’d get overturned eventually, but would all the potential free agents and rookies be willing to forgo this free agent season waiting it out?

    I would suggest: 8 years of service time before you become a free agent, mandatory rookie contracts of league minimum for 5 years, outlawing signing bonuses, removing the salary floor, and dropping the salary cap by 20 or 40 million, reducing restricted free agent tenders to league minimum, etc.

    I mean I suppose the courts could stop all that, but could the anti-trust suit really be heard and resolved before games start?

  50. commoncents says: Apr 26, 2011 10:30 PM

    The owners got what they wanted, they’re going to make the FA’s sweat while they draft for need. I hope the FA offers come in low on Monday, maybe the acting NFLPA will wake up and start to negotiate with some urgency, and not just fight in the shadow of big brother Susan Nelson!! De-anti football Maurice.

  51. dirtmcgirt24 says: Apr 26, 2011 10:35 PM

    zaggs says:
    Apr 26, 2011 8:37 PM

    The NFLPA can’t reform. Remember that was the NFL’s argument. That decertifying was a sham. If the NFLPA recertifies they have proven the NFL’s point. If Nelson had only clue this is what the players were going to do then there would be perfect grounds for impeachment.

    I’m no labor law expert, but I’m not so sure this holds water. Once the NFLPA decertified, the players were not bound by any collective bargaining. Theoretically, and perhaps matter of factually, any player could have taken any deal from any team had there not been a lockout. The mere fact that that would have been possible means that it was not a sham.

    However, given the lockout, the players were barred from attempting to sign with teams.

    On the other hand, if there was no lockout, and if players all colluded to not sign with any teams, then one could reasonably argue a sham.

    So, I think you’re incorrect, and I think the NFLPA will one day again recertify as a union. Like they did 20 years ago (or whenever they last did this).

  52. childressrulz says: Apr 27, 2011 12:41 AM

    lovesportsandsurfing says: Apr 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    The players, most of them, are uneducated, ignorant, dont have good communication skills,…they should take what the owners offer,..otherwise the smartest of the bunch might get the primo jobs, the drive thru guy,..get to wear that headset…and the majority of the rest will try and make a living selling crack, or be like the rest of their family,..on welfare and food stamps.
    ___________________
    Actually the vast majority of players have college degrees. Something I am reasonably sure you’ve never heard of.

  53. truthserum4u says: Apr 27, 2011 1:18 AM

    moochzilla says:
    Apr 26, 2011 9:14 PM
    “The issue is this union wants to be unreasonable…”

    When you ask for $1B from a entity you share profits with, that party is entitled to ask why you need it and to show cause. The NFL made only a flimsy attempt to show how the lack of this $1B was going to lead to a meltdown.

    Then, after refusing to provide the disclosure that any business partner would be expected to show a partner in a profit-sharing arrangement being changed, they lowered their “must have or it’s over” figure by 50%. Then they leaked that they’d lower it by more. That suggests that the whole thing was BS.

    [First of all, they really aren't partners. The players take on no risks, responsibilities, decision making or financial investments in running the teams or league. They are employees who are paid based on a percentage of the income. They don't become partners just because they can help the league avoid anti-trust laws by agreeing to a CBA. They agree because it's also in the best interest of ALL of the players in the union not just it's stars, and it is vital to the competitiveness and health of the league which ensures their big salaries.
    The "must have or it's over" figure isn't BS, it's simply a common negotiating tactic. People & companies do it all the time! Make an offer, counter an offer. Done with houses, cars, salaries, you name it.
    By the way, in the past, how would the players have responded if they were asked to open their books when they were demanding more money?]

    And it never passed the smell test as the NFL is more popular and making more money than ever.

    [The cost of running a team has also gone up considerably. That cost eats into the owners profits each year and doesn't touch the player's profits. So the player's percentage of the television revenue will stay the same while the owner's profit percentage will decrease. Not saying they can't live off that, just that's where they're coming from.]

    And the team they chose to represent the owners in all of this were comprised of the most belligerent and adversarial that could have possibly been chosen.

    [The same has (accurately) been said of who the union elected as it's representitive - D Smith.]

    That is what we call a bad-faith negotiation.

    [Bad faith is when you decertify to avoid negotiating and push law suites; then later recertify.]

    And that was foolish, especially in light of the fact that the players ALWAYS had the option to go to court and win. The owners never stood a chance. The law was against them, they needed to back off the demand for the massive handout.

    [The players truly don't want to go to court and win because it would be the death knell for the leauge as they know it and the loss of significant money to all but the stars.]

    They lost. It’s over. And now, for the first time in many of these trust-fund babies lives, they must live with the consequences.

    [It's not over until the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which has a history of being pro business) makes it's ruling on the matter.]

    They banked EVERYTHING on having that TV war chest to carry them over. When they lost that, they had no fallback plan. They still don’t.

    [The game unfortunately is only approaching half-time. There is a ways to go yet.]

    Pathetic.

    [Both sides are.]

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