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Vindicated by labor fight, Ralph Wilson isn’t gloating

Marcell Dareus, Ralph Wilson Jr., Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey AP

In 2006, only two NFL owners voted against the recently-expired labor deal.  One of them was Bills owner Ralph Wilson.  Five years later, the 92-year-old original owner of the Buffalo franchise of the AFL, which landed in the NFL as part of the merger, isn’t gloating about the fact that he and Bengals owner Mike Brown were right.

Wilson didn’t like the revenue-sharing component of the deal that gave the players nearly 60 percent of all revenue, after the league received $1 billion off the top.

I’m upset about the whole deal and the way it was presented,” Wilson said in 2006, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News points out in a new interview with the 2009 Hall of Famer. “And 59.5% is far too much money for the whole league, not just Buffalo.”

Wilson’s more recent comments confirm that the revenue-sharing issue is still lurking, even though the players strategically have refused to try to divide and conquer the owners along those lines.

“It’s very difficult,” Wilson tells Myers of the Bills’ financial performance.  “We’ve had a tough time.  We’ve hung in there.  Buffalo has lost population and it’s a tough go.  When I came in the league, it was the 14th largest city in the league.  All the corporations moved out of Buffalo.  We’re doing alright.  We will make it, but it’s not easy.”

Making it less easy for low-revenue cities is a player-compensation system that is driven by total league revenues.  With franchises like the Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, and Patriots reeling in much more money than the smaller markets, the higher revenues generated by other teams drive up the labor costs of the Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, etc.  But the owners amazingly have been able to keep that key point of contention under wraps for now, with the apparent goal of first getting the best possible deal from the players, and then taking up whether and to what extent enhanced revenue sharing will be necessary after the dust settles on the CBA crisis.

Regardless, time has shown that Wilson and Brown were right.  And yet neither man is involved in the current negotiations.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons the league and the players aren’t getting anywhere.

UPDATE:  And, of course, I forgot that Mike Brown will be involved in mediation on Monday.

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62 Responses to “Vindicated by labor fight, Ralph Wilson isn’t gloating”
  1. tommyf15 says: May 15, 2011 9:49 PM

    Mr. Wilson could wind up in a better spot with a different CBA.

    Or he could wind up screwed, blued, and tattooed if Brady, Manning, Brees, etc win in court. That would mean zero sharing of local revenues, no salary cap, no draft, and perhaps even no national TV deal for the Bills to share in.

    So if I were Ralph Wilson, I wouldn’t gloating either.

  2. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 15, 2011 9:51 PM

    “And 59.5% is far too much money for the whole league, not just Buffalo.”

    *****************************************

    Ol Ralph didn’t get rich by being stupid. Too bad other owners weren’t able to see the vision he had last go round. Your damn right 59.5% is too much money to be sharing with ungrateful, law breaking, hoodlum players.

    Don’t worry though, the owners are patient. They will just wait for the players dam to break, and there are already leaks springing.

  3. stixzidinia says: May 15, 2011 9:51 PM

    Without revenue sharing the Bills would’ve been in Toronto by now.

  4. cax20 says: May 15, 2011 9:54 PM

    what does this old fogey know? its all about greed for the owners.

    players only get to play an average of 4 years. their significance to the game is so much compared to someone like this ralph so called wilson.

    go players, i hope they get 79 percent of the take, because they put their lives on the line. plus they only play for 4 years. even if it bankrupts the league and takes away the draft and the cap and makes all small cities teams go to big cities, like LA.

    the real people who are losing here are these freakishly talented young men who are getting a bad deal, by a bunch of worthless geezers.

  5. commoncents says: May 15, 2011 9:56 PM

    I sense a shift in the FLO of information from this site. A little less biased. Maybe this will help lead the PA people back to where this needs to be to play football, negotiating!!

  6. hambone1978 says: May 15, 2011 9:59 PM

    What a coincidence that the two cheapest owners who just so happen to have two of the worst franchises in the NFL both shook their canes at the last deal. I know what they did…

    They both said “we’ll shows those players dagnammit…we won’t pay them sh!t…who cares how bad we suck”!!!!

    Now they both can say who really won?

  7. toiletking says: May 15, 2011 10:00 PM

    There’s a good chance that these freeloaders (owners) will not be able to make football happen even if the players cave. They’ll just get right into another court battle again over revenue sharing.

  8. toiletking says: May 15, 2011 10:03 PM

    “iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 15, 2011 9:51 PM

    “Ol Ralph didn’t get rich by being stupid. Too bad other owners weren’t able to see the vision he had last go round. Your damn right 59.5% is too much money to be sharing with ungrateful, law breaking, hoodlum players.”

    It’s really hard to believe this person is a football fan. Why on earth do you follow this game if you really think this about the players?

  9. mac3333 says: May 15, 2011 10:10 PM

    The LAST thing anyone wants is for Mike Brown to be involved with the negotiations. This man is responsible for more training camp hold outs than any other Owner / GM. He would be the absolute WORST candidate since we need compromise and Brown holds a harder line than Stalin.

  10. wideright91 says: May 15, 2011 10:12 PM

    When the Krafts built Gillette Stadium, I saw Bob on the local news gloating about having 50 different wines available to enjoy at a game.

    I knew that was the beginning of the end.

    Jerry’s overpriced palace, Stephen Ross’s nightclubs, everything Dan Snyder…. give me a break.

    Long live Ralph Wilson, the Bills, and the way the game is meant to be.

  11. lovesportsandsurfing says: May 15, 2011 10:13 PM

    Hambone,..the Bills and Bengals have been to 6 superbowls combined,..granted theyve lost them all,…I would hardly say they are the worst franchises,..I would say San Diego is the worst…been to one, got humiliated in it, and are the face of a team that always is the favorite to do this and that, and yet still havent won a darn thing, they are the weak link of the AFC west, the only team there without a ring,..and they will never get one,..and they will be in LA soon due to poor fan support, but I dont blame their fans, they are a beat down group always the female dog of the Raider fans,..dont believe me?…go to a Charger-Raider game in San Diego sometime, see for yourself.

  12. vahawker says: May 15, 2011 10:17 PM

    cax20…mommy is calling, your hot chocolate and bubble bath are ready. Go on now. Hope your rubber duckie doesn’t sink.

  13. smacklayer says: May 15, 2011 10:19 PM

    I’m impressed MF, an article about owners that isn’t taking pot shots and blaming them for everything.

  14. captainobvious1 says: May 15, 2011 10:23 PM

    I’ve been saying it since this thing started and I’ll say it again – the root of the lockout is that the owners can’t come up with a revenue sharing agreement so their solution is to take it from the players. It’s become a situation where the league revenues are so high that Buffalo, Cincy, Green Bay, Jax, etc can’t compete financially with the big market teams. I really wish they could’ve figured it out amongst themselves before the players and owners initiated these shenanigans.

  15. bsizemore68 says: May 15, 2011 10:28 PM

    Stop taking sides, both have taking the low road here, greed will win out in the end, there will be football, perhaps not until 2012, hang in there, the pie is waiting to be cut. Bill

  16. str82dvd says: May 15, 2011 10:28 PM

    I laugh at every poorly written diatribe against those evil old white owners. What do you think is the median income for these idiots shilling for the players? 35K?

  17. sakatak says: May 15, 2011 10:30 PM

    Good article, all the owners are in completely different situations. They will never all agree on the same thing. Say what you will about Roger Goodell, but he is the one responsible for getting all these guys on the same page, he has his hands full.

  18. geo1113 says: May 15, 2011 10:30 PM

    cax20 says:
    “they put their lives on the line”
    _______________________

    Ralph Wilson is a World War II veteran. What would he possibly know about young men putting thier lives on the line!!!!

    Grow up!!!!!!!!

  19. paulieorkid says: May 15, 2011 10:32 PM

    Half a decade ago, followers of this site may recall how PFT mercilessly mocked Ralph Wilson as a confused, pitiful and senile old coot for his dissent over the past CBA.

    Wilson has been vindicated – and had the courage to voice his views even though they were unpopular and subject to ridicule … especially here.

    Exceptionally good site and lots to love about it, but you guys got that one wrong.

    To be fair, so did 90% of the NFL owners – as did most of us, myself included.

    Still, it would’ve been nice to not have gone so hard on a guy who was almost 90 years old at the time.

  20. rolandsloan says: May 15, 2011 10:43 PM

    cax20. Does the 20 represent your IQ?
    The NFL you hope for can’t possibly exist. Most of the “freakishly talented” young men you mention would be stocking shelves at Walmart or
    flipping burgers because those “worthless geezers”
    could just walk away. Police, firemen,and construction workers among others have dangerous jobs. I love football and admire the talent the players display. But you put them on a pedestal they don’t deserve to be on.

    Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown may be cheap. They might also be fiscally responsible.

  21. guppies66 says: May 15, 2011 10:48 PM

    cax20 is the biggest idiot poster I’ve seen here. He’s likely a player or a player stooge (his IQ fits their profile).

    Hint to the players: if you have your way, all you non-Tom Brady’s will lose your gravy train (and that’s the only comfort I take from the players’ attempt to destroy the league’s competitive balance). Good Luck !$!@!

  22. harmcityhomer says: May 15, 2011 10:49 PM

    I want to see the NFL with no CBA, draft or restrictions on free agency. The owners should share the TV revenue, but that is about it.

  23. notoriousjebus says: May 15, 2011 10:59 PM

    Dear Mr. Wilson,

    Maybe you find your team’s revenue falling short of where you think it should be because your front office and coaches have failed to make the playoffs for 11 consecutive years and have only had a record above .500 once in the same period.

    People don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to sit in that pathetic stadium on a frozen Sunday in December to see the Bills lose a week 13 game when they have no chance of making the playoffs.

    The owners that seem to complain most about their financial situation are the ones that seem to have the most poorly run franchises. If only the richest teams were successful, how come the Redskins, Giants, Eagles and Cowboys don’t win the superbowl every year?

  24. cax20 says: May 15, 2011 11:11 PM

    it’s not one single player’s fault that the owners cling to these worthless cities like bufallo, indianapolis, jacksonville, carolina, new orleans, san diego, detroit, green bay, kansas city, cleveland, cincinati, where the dirt bag white trash populace cant/wont fork out the money necessary to fund top notch/world class atheletes.

    given this simple minded intransigency, the players demands of 75% off the top seem more than fair. and they will get it, because currently the NFL is an illegal sweat shop, guilty of breaking many anti trust laws.

    and no, i am not a current player, I’m only tangentially associated.

  25. gf2711 says: May 15, 2011 11:14 PM

    @notoriousjebus

    We’ve had over 50k season ticket holders in the last 11 years pack that ‘pathetic’ stadium, and not too many blackouts, either. It’s tough to raise ticket prices in a town where people aren’t getting the greatest pay raises, hence the financial difficulty.

    You take away the Bills, and you take away the city’s identity, and one of the last things it has left that it can share with the big bad corporate cities. We live and die with that team every Sunday.

    Go Bills.

  26. endzonezombie says: May 15, 2011 11:19 PM

    Once Wilson passes on, the Bills will be sold to an owner and market willing to invest in the franchise. There is no place in the NFL for a cheapskate like Wilson.

  27. ntr0py says: May 15, 2011 11:19 PM

    Its hard to see how putting Wilson in charge of the owners negotiating team would improve anything. Wilson would like to be able to pay substantially less than he would be required to under the owner’s last offer.

  28. bengalsown says: May 15, 2011 11:19 PM

    I thought you reported that Mike Brown was a part of the mediation proceedings…

  29. melonnhead says: May 15, 2011 11:27 PM

    Ralph Wilson is a huge cootie. Gate receipts are like the change you find in your couch cushions compared to the TV and marketing revenue. They’re split 60/40 and you play 8 games away from your crappy, dying city anyway, you old fool.

    The other owners knew full well that they’d opt out. They got the players to agree to a short-term solution to keep them playing.

    Brown and Wilson are lying. They voted against the last CBA because they wanted to keep the old revenue sharing model so they get a bigger chunk of welfare for crappy, sit on their hands team owners like themselves. Let’s not pretend that these two choads are smart owners, ok?

  30. qj1984 says: May 15, 2011 11:27 PM

    captainobvious1

    Green Bay is a whole different ball of wax, they don’t even have an owner. So, their motives or what have you are totally different. As for the other examples you listed, they cant compete because they have poor management plain and simple. Baltimore, Kansas City, and Indianapolis are also teams that could be considered “small market” and they do just fine.

    Oakland has one of the larger markets and bigger NFL fanbases and over the past few years they have dealt with black out problems. But its because they suck, not because of the market they are in. The same could be said about a team like Detroit and the Falcons during their Ryan/Vick-less period.

  31. kire562000 says: May 15, 2011 11:32 PM

    I’ve said it here before, the underlying issue here is revenue sharing among the owners, which is why the owners did not want to open up their books. No one wants to show how much they are really making. Teams like the Cowboys, Giants, Jets, and Pats are making a lot more money than the Buffalo’s of the NFL, which is why they signed off on the deal. Now the owners that are cash strapped want a better deal and it’s easier to get it from the players than from the other owners.

  32. melonnhead says: May 15, 2011 11:32 PM

    Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown may be cheap. They might also be fiscally responsible.

    —————————————————–

    Fiscally responsible people spend their money wisely and thrive. Cheap people spend as little as they have to to get by and whine about what they DO spend. I’d say the latter fits Wilson and Brown.

  33. fsfwannabe says: May 15, 2011 11:36 PM

    @notoiousjebus:

    It probably would help if he wasn’t playing in a market even he admits isn’t very good.

    Ralph wants it both ways, he wants a level playing field, but he doesn’t want to maximize his business’ earning potential.

  34. paperlions says: May 15, 2011 11:39 PM

    So, how many teams lost money during the last CBA? Isn’t that answer ZERO? Every NFL team makes money (even after they pay themselves and relatives money that hold positions within the organization) every year.
    .
    Wilson was correct that owners would decide the players were getting too big a piece of the pie, but NFL teams did just fine under the last CBA. Everybody was making money.

  35. livenbreathefootball says: May 15, 2011 11:47 PM

    Except Ralph Wilson forgets that it is the high revenue teams like the Cowboys, Patriots and even the Skins who get the eyeballs which translates into those record setting tv contracts. No one is tuning in to see the Bills lose every week. That 60% to the players is pretty much covered by the tv contracts. It’s the profits that aren’t generated beyond that amount he is whining about.

    BTW, it’s not the players who are keeping Wilson from moving out the municipal stadium or doing other marketing deals. It’s Wilson himself who refuses to change his business model.

  36. ccooww says: May 16, 2011 12:18 AM

    Let me try to explain what is the truth here. Wilson is correct to a point. Yes the large market teams make a lot more than small markets, but they also first do a better job of marketing their product and in most cases offer a better product. Example, the packets, you cont ask for a smaller market than this and they are one of the elite teams. Why, they have a good product and excellant marketing team. Buffalo could do the same is they would spend the money to hire good scouts, coaches, and a marketing team. Its like comparing apple, once on the verge of bank ruptcy to IBM. Both now are elite companies. Come on Wilson, grow up and join the rral world.Pp

  37. melonnhead says: May 16, 2011 12:27 AM

    It’s become a situation where the league revenues are so high that Buffalo, Cincy, Green Bay, Jax, etc can’t compete financially with the big market teams.

    ——————————————————

    Wrong. It’s become a situation where teams like those aren’t making as much as the big market teams. The issue is profit margin, not losses. Last I checked, the Packers are the current Super Bowl champions. As for the rest, , in the words of the immortal Winston Wolfe, “Move out of the sticks, gentlemen”.

    In the league year that ended on March 31, 2010, BEFORE their Super Bowl win, the Packers pocketed about $10 million. I would venture a guess that Wilson, Brown et al pocketed even more than that. Main difference is that that profit goes back into the team in Green Bay.

  38. t1mmy10 says: May 16, 2011 12:27 AM

    “And yet neither man is involved in the current negotiations. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the league and the players aren’t getting anywhere.”

    We are talking about the same mike brown that gives himself a salary for being the unofficial team GM, right? The same one who’s probably partially responsible for making the players claim to see financial statements a semi-well founded claim? Semi referring to how much info the players should get to see.

  39. melonnhead says: May 16, 2011 12:29 AM

    Long live Ralph Wilson, the Bills, and the way the game is meant to be.

    —————————————————–

    Played in Toronto?

  40. bdickey33 says: May 16, 2011 12:32 AM

    cax20 says:
    May 15, 2011 9:54 PM
    what does this old fogey know? its all about greed for the owners.

    players only get to play an average of 4 years. their significance to the game is so much compared to someone like this ralph so called wilson.

    go players, i hope they get 79 percent of the take, because they put their lives on the line. plus they only play for 4 years. even if it bankrupts the league and takes away the draft and the cap and makes all small cities teams go to big cities, like LA.

    the real people who are losing here are these freakishly talented young men who are getting a bad deal, by a bunch of worthless geezers.

    ___________________________________
    What team do you play for?

  41. skins359 says: May 16, 2011 12:41 AM

    To bad NFL. You’re paying players a lower percentage then both the NBA and NHL, not to mention only a small portion of your contracts are guaranteed. To make matters worse you’re making money in a recession.

    You jerks are the reason people have to overpay DirectTV just to see their favorite team out of market. Whose solution to overpriced preseason games is not to lower prices to a reasonable level but put the players at further risk by playing two extra games.

    Originally I just wanted to side with whoever could end the lockout quicker but these 60+ days have given me time to see how full of crap you guys are. For Gods sake you’re making DeMaurice sourpuss Smith look like a good guy.

  42. zinn22 says: May 16, 2011 5:26 AM

    Saying that Wilson was vindicated may certainly be an exaggeration. If one listened to Wilson’s interviews at the time of the last labor deal one might just come to the conclusion that the reason he voted no was imply because he was completely cluess and had no idea what was going on. His interview was bizzarre and it looked like age had caught up with Wilson. He looked confused senile and unable to comprehend simple concepts.

    One just might draw the conclusion that Wilson was either unwilling to understand the agreement, to stupid to to advanced in age.

    The second issue here is to say that the agreement was a bad deal for the owners and that is why they voided the agreement is also buying into the owners talking points. The primary reason it was voided was that many of the owners did not like sharing revenues and did not want to subsidize their fellow owners.

    Second is that a small contingent of owners wanted to use the economy as a reason to stick it the players. Afterall no one has ever seen the owners books. They refuse to show it to the players, to the court or to anyone to justify their claims. After all the times the owners have been caught colluding and lying I can’t understand why anyone would take them at their word. If one is asking for a 20% reduction in salaries some sort of proof of their claims would help.

    Lastly the players 1st offer was a substantial reduction from what they are receiving now and the owners simply walked out on it and offered an incomplete vague offer and then locked them out. This lockout is simply a power play against the players and the weak owners designed to grab as much money as possible for the richest of the owners and everyone else will suffer, players, fans and the small market owners. Ralph Wilson predicted nothing. Ralph Wilson, gold bless him, is nuts.

  43. weneedlinemen42 says: May 16, 2011 5:50 AM

    Strange, no mention of how the press practically eviscerated Brown and Wilson at the time. I remember accusations of incipient dementia in Wilson’s case. They were portrayed as dangerously out of touch. Which was significant because at the same time there were other people predicting that the owners would certainly exercise the opt clause as soon as they could.

    Everyone knew it was a bad deal at the time, absolutely everyone. Brown and Wilson got panned because the wanted to keep the infighting between the owners going, long after the other 30 had realised that Gene Upshaw was about to kick their arses and that they better band together against the players.

    That was what the last CBA was about. Players took a position of strength and gave the owners a humiliating beating. The owners layed back in the ropes and took it hoping for an Ali style rope-a-dope. The owners signed that CBA so that they had four years to set themselves up for a labour stoppage that they couldn’t have survived in 2006.

  44. crunchyclam says: May 16, 2011 7:02 AM

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Bills have been on of the most poorly run franchises in all sports for the last decade. If you present a terrible product for 11 straight years you shouldn’t expect to make any money. If you do a better job running your franchise it won’t matter how small your market is, you will still make money. Just ask Pittsburgh and the Rooneys.

  45. faderwader says: May 16, 2011 7:08 AM

    WOW… Mike Brown was right…… there’s four words I’ve never had to type together before!

  46. crunchyclam says: May 16, 2011 7:11 AM

    iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says:
    May 15, 2011 9:51 PM

    Ol Ralph didn’t get rich by being stupid.

    —————————————————-

    You’re right, Ralph only got rich after he inherited his father’s insurance business.

  47. skoobyfl says: May 16, 2011 7:24 AM

    Ralph voted no for it because he didn’t get a chance to read it all, he reads too slow. So, giving him credit here for being a genius is just classic.

  48. beyond2k says: May 16, 2011 7:39 AM

    Ralph Wilson doesn’t lose a penny here in Buffalo. We, the taxpayers of Erie County pay all the bills. He makes money whether they win or lose. Wilson has given us a poor quality product for 10 years while laughing at the city and county residents all the way to the bank. Let’s start paying on performance. If they win 50% of their games, the county will pay 50% of the bills. Ralph doesn’t even live here. He is an absentee owner, so has no care at all about the city of Buffalo. And all the talk about the team moving to Toronto, Toronto doesn’t even want the Bills. Canadians are a fickle bunch. Tickets up there are like $200+, so the Rogers family seems even greedier than Raplph.

  49. EJ says: May 16, 2011 8:10 AM

    cax20 says:
    May 15, 2011 9:54 PM
    what does this old fogey know? its all about greed for the owners.

    Show some respect, Ralph Wilson is a Hall of Famer…
    Also, if it wasn’t for him and a few select others, the NFL wouldn’t be what it is today, the most popular sport in this country. The man wasn’t voted in to the HOF for nothing.

  50. geo1113 says: May 16, 2011 8:19 AM

    zinn22 says: Lastly the players 1st offer was a substantial reduction from what they are receiving now and the owners simply walked out on it and offered an incomplete vague offer and then locked them out.
    _____________________

    What kind of drugs are you doing? And don’t say pot because it doesn’t warped your mind that much…ok, maybe your mind.

    The players made no offer. They decertified, then the owners locked them out. If the owners did what you suggested, they would have just locked the players out from the start, i.e. before the players decertified (which as you probably are unable to recall started during last season). I actually think the biggest mistake the owners made was not to lock the players out before they decertified. But then again, they have said all long that they want to settle this at the bargaining table. The NFLPA simply said no the whole time.

  51. clintonportisheadd says: May 16, 2011 8:29 AM

    ” Five years later, the 92-year-old original owner of the Buffalo franchise of the AFL, which landed in the NFL as part of the merger, isn’t gloating about the fact that he and Bengals owner Mike Brown were right.”

    ——————————

    Who says they were “right”?

  52. h0c2000 says: May 16, 2011 8:40 AM

    Yet this idiot left millions of dollars in stadium naming rights on the table to fulfill some sort of narcissistic need. Was it to screw the players out of 1/2 or is he just a whiny little girl?

  53. clavette says: May 16, 2011 9:16 AM

    Ralph Wilson is the worst owner in the NFL. The only people that disagree are the retarded bills fans that still think they have a chance at making the playoffs at the start of each season.

    Al Davis Mike Brown and Jerry Jones aren’t far behind him either. All 4 of these bums are the disease that plagues their franchise

  54. anthonyfromstatenisland says: May 16, 2011 9:22 AM

    Well if my team had no quarterback and was going to average 10 points per game in the upcoming season (assuming there even is an upcoming season), I wouldn’t gloat either.

  55. cscfriarbob says: May 16, 2011 9:27 AM

    “Regardless, time has shown that Wilson and Brown were right. And yet neither man is involved in the current negotiations. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the league and the players aren’t getting anywhere.”

    Check your facts, Mikey. Brown is at the negotiations today.

    Now whether that’s a good thing or not could well be debated. Brown’s idiocy runs along the ability to put a quality product on the field, not his ability to run a business, but some people can’t tell the difference. So many people will probably think not.

    Me, I’ll take a wait-and-see. It might work out. It might not. We’ll find out soon enough.

  56. zinn22 says: May 16, 2011 9:49 AM

    geo1113 says: May 16, 2011 8:19 AM

    zinn22 says: Lastly the players 1st offer was a substantial reduction from what they are receiving now and the owners simply walked out on it and offered an incomplete vague offer and then locked them out.
    _____________________

    What kind of drugs are you doing? And don’t say pot because it doesn’t warped your mind that much…ok, maybe your mind.

    The players made no offer. They decertified, then the owners locked them out. If the owners did what you suggested, they would have just locked the players out from the start, i.e. before the players decertified (which as you probably are unable to recall started during last season). I actually think the biggest mistake the owners made was not to lock the players out before they decertified. But then again, they have said all long that they want to settle this at the bargaining table. The NFLPA simply said no the whole time.
    ————————————————————-During the mediation a few months ago the players made the owners an offer based on total revenue which is a different formula than what was used in the last agreement. But the net effect was their offer was asking for about 10% less than they received under the previous agreement. While the offer was not comprehensive in terms of all matters under negotiation it addressed the main issues of the owners wanting the players to take 20% less and was framed as a starter offer to negotiation.

    The Owners response to the players offer was to walk out from the negotiation table. At the point it became fairly clear to anyone with a brain (which unfortunately excludes 50% of the general population and 95% of football fans) that the owners have no desire to negotiate. That their plan is to break the players and make them pay before any serious negotiation can take place.

    The owners later made a last ditch vague offer with no actual numbers. Their offer seems more designed for publicity than anything else.

    In regards to desertification It was only done by the players to protect themselves against the owners threat of a lockout. This whole entire disagreement is not about the players, not about the fans and for the most part not about the owners but simply about the greed and ego of 9 elitist owners who want to break the backs of the players and small market owners.

  57. guppies66 says: May 16, 2011 9:54 AM

    cax20 says:
    May 15, 2011 11:11 PM
    it’s not one single player’s fault that the owners cling to these worthless cities like bufallo, indianapolis, jacksonville, carolina, new orleans, san diego, detroit, green bay, kansas city, cleveland, cincinati, where the dirt bag white trash populace cant/wont fork out the money necessary to fund top notch/world class atheletes.

    given this simple minded intransigency, the players demands of 75% off the top seem more than fair. and they will get it, because currently the NFL is an illegal sweat shop, guilty of breaking many anti trust laws.

    and no, i am not a current player, I’m only tangentially associated.
    _____________________________

    cax20, thank you for showing your true colors. If you and the players get your way, 1/3 of the current true American cities that built this country and this league would be discarded. That pretty much sums up the players’ attitudes.

    I am basically anti-big business, but based on the players’ intentions, the owners need to crush them, for the good of the league and the good of the country.

  58. seatown12 says: May 16, 2011 10:06 AM

    wtf…Ralph Wilson cheap?…This may shock you fools, but some people hold tradition, honor, fans,….FOOTBALL!…OVER money! wierd right?

  59. olskool711 says: May 16, 2011 10:23 AM

    “it’s not one single player’s fault that the owners cling to these worthless cities like bufallo, indianapolis, jacksonville, carolina, new orleans, san diego, detroit, green bay, kansas city, cleveland, cincinati, where the dirt bag white trash populace cant/wont fork out the money necessary to fund top notch/world class atheletes.

    given this simple minded intransigency, the players demands of 75% off the top seem more than fair. and they will get it, because currently the NFL is an illegal sweat shop, guilty of breaking many anti trust laws.
    and no, i am not a current player, I’m only tangentially associated.”

    Barrack Hussein Obama is that you?

  60. rolandsloan says: May 16, 2011 10:52 AM

    ccooww….

    The Packers success on the field, and the Bills lack of success have NOTHING to do with how the teams are marketed. 90 to 95% of the marketing of NFL teams is done by or through the NFL. When you buy your Lions(?) beanie at
    K-Mart the profits on that beanie are split 32 ways by the NFL.
    The Packers best marketing tool?!? Winning!

  61. rabidbillsfan says: May 16, 2011 11:03 AM

    I am glad so many of you know what your talking about… @ Cax20 you cannot be serious? First of all Carolina is not a city, second, where do you get off by calling people in those cities White trash? Are you sure your name isn’t Warren Moon. Or do you just live in Pleasantville? Seriously you have NO clue what your talking about. You want the Players to “win”? Ok, but make a valid argument, not just some BS you came up with sitting in your rocker. Also, to the Ralph haters. Again NOOO Clue what so ever. I’m sure all of you are still in your Teens, so I apologize for the history lesson. Outside of the last decade, the Bills have had major success. 4 Superbowl Appearances (albeit losing) is something that will never be done again. They were a very succesful AFL team that supposedly could not compete with the NFL. Ralph helped shape the NFL to what it is today. I’m sure that when you are in your 80’s, some nurse will be changing your Diapers and wiping drool of your chin, and not running a professional sports franchise. Ralph is not the reason for the poor play either, poor coaching, draft Busts, and FA signings that don’t work out have plagued this team over that span, not all of which is his fault. Buffalo is one of the strongest football communities. Actually it is one of the strongest sports communities. I’m pretty sure that if any other team in the leauge had 11 years of failure, they wouldn’t have the backing that the Bills do. Also, for those of you who comment on Buffalo itself. Take a look at your largest city. It’s not all roses and daisys in the inner city now is it? How many sports cities can say they are home to a Wonder of the World in Niagra Falls? So get a clue. This is Buffalo’s year, shortend or not. They will be relevant.

  62. rdskns2000 says: May 16, 2011 2:21 PM

    If you can’t compete then move or go out of business. Maybe the NFL can have a minor league after all with all those little small market owners.

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