Skip to content

Eighth Circuit’s “serious doubts” fuel apparently powerful argument by players

MootFestival-01

After spending two hours at the Nike outlet store near Washington, Pa. waiting for Florio Jr. to pick out new shoes and T-shirts and shorts, I decided to do something far less tedious when I got home.

I read the 89-page brief filed by the players who have sued the NFL for various antitrust violations, with the initial goal of overturning the lockout.  The document bears the names of 13 lawyers, some of whom possibly charge in excess of $1,000 per hour for their time.  Thus, in addition to the fact that revenue has dried up, the lawyers on both sides of this fight undoubtedly are racking up some gigantic bills.

Confronted with a three-judge panel including two judges who have expressed “serious doubts” regarding the ability of Judge Nelson to lift the lockout, the players wasted no time.  In the introduction to the brief, the players describe the ruling to which the Eighth Circuit has hinted as a “perverse outcome” that “can be predicated only on a seriously erroneous construction of labor law, abetted by a misapprehension of the facts of this dispute.”

In other words, the players are arguing in a very tactful way that the judges would have to be corrupt and/or stupid to eventually find that Judge Nelson lacked the power to lift the lockout.

The brief next calls the NFL a “cartel,” a term that in many respects is accurate but that has a distinctly negative connotation.  It was, frankly, a stroke of genius for the lawyers to capture the league’s essence in such a simple yet powerful word.  Unfortunately, the lawyers used the term only three times in the entire brief.

Eventually, the lawyers take on — with a vengeance — the argument that the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents district courts from issuing injunctions against lockouts.  Though Monday’s ruling from the Eighth Circuit contained language hinting strongly at an eventual finding that the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents federal courts from lifting the lockout, the comments apparently have served as a proverbial cattle prod to the lawyers, prompting them to articulate their reasoning in a manner that seems incredibly persuasive, possibly even more persuasive than it would have been without the express warning from the Eighth Circuit.

Then again, NFL lawyer David Boies also seemed incredibly persuasive before Judge Nelson.  And then she ruled against him.

As to the other arguments, the players’ lawyers have fashioned equally compelling contentions.  Of course, the NFL presumably will submit an equally compelling reply.

In the end, the outcome will be determined by the arguments that at least two of the three judges find to be more compelling.  Though the judges who agreed to stay the order lifting the lockout until resolution of the appeal have expressed “serious doubts” regarding the question of whether the Norris-LaGuardia Act permits the lifting of a lockout, keep in mind the possibility that one or both of the judges were hoping to apply some extra pressure to the players in the hopes of sparking real progress at a mediation session that was occurring on the same day that the ruling was issued.

Thus, there’s a chance that one of the two judges who expressed “serious doubts” will resolve these doubts in favor of agreeing with the players.  That in itself could be the difference between the lifting of the lockout, along with a virtual guarantee that football will happen in 2011 — and the preservation of the lockout, along with a strong possibility that no football will be played this year.

The answer will most likely come at some point in the month of June.  Given the players’ brief and in light of the possibility that the judges were merely hoping to give the players an incentive to try to work something out, we won’t be surprised if the lockout is lifted — and we won’t be surprised if it isn’t.

Permalink 80 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories, Union
80 Responses to “Eighth Circuit’s “serious doubts” fuel apparently powerful argument by players”
  1. ebenezergrymm says: May 21, 2011 10:43 PM

    lol DeMoron Smith thinks he’s at war with a cartel now.

  2. bw82b says: May 21, 2011 10:48 PM

    unfortunately deSmith is the one who looks like he could be the head of a “cartel”—kinda reminds me of frank lucas but not nearly as cool

  3. waitingguilty says: May 21, 2011 10:52 PM

    “We won’t be surprised if the lockout is lifted — and we won’t be surprised if it isn’t.”

    I think you just blew my mind.

  4. malthor says: May 21, 2011 11:02 PM

    I don’t think there is any chance of the lock out being lifted.

    If it is then I would be very amused if the NFL took the player’s approach and simply closed up shop………

    Then the players have no one to sue! The same owners could start over next year with the American Football League, which is the players union’s plan. That’s why the union always disbands when the owners don’t cave to a bad deal like they did in ’06

  5. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 21, 2011 11:03 PM

    DEmo Smith is screwing over the players so badly yet they are so damn stupid to realize it. And this site actually is giving props to DEmo. I guess ambulance chasers stick together, no matter what.

  6. eagleswin says: May 21, 2011 11:04 PM

    In other words, the players are arguing in a very tactful way that the judges would have to be corrupt and/or stupid to eventually find that Judge Nelson lacked the power to lift the lockout.

    ——————————–

    It didn’t sound very tactful to me. It actually sounds alot like the pro-player posts on this board. If you don’t agree with us you must either be on the owners payroll or stupid. They just dressed it up by using bigger words.

  7. scudbot says: May 21, 2011 11:13 PM

    “In other words, the players are arguing in a very tactful way that the judges would have to be corrupt and/or stupid to eventually find that Judge Nelson lacked the power to lift the lockout.” If the 8th Circuit judges aren’t stupid enough to miss that, this could be the worst possible approach of all time. And aside from being tactful it has De Smith’s skidmarks all over it.

  8. nfl25 says: May 21, 2011 11:16 PM

    the only way there will be no games missed is if the players lose and they also get no money from the insurance case. the players will not negotiate until they feel they ablsoutley have to. even the player backers should understand that the players r refusing to negotiate. they are doing what a lot of people would be doing, they figure why should i give anything up unless i have to.

    if u care about the game i don know how u can hope the players win this thing. is it that important that ur favorite player makes 3.7mill a year instead of 3.49mill a year?

  9. harmcityhomer says: May 21, 2011 11:26 PM

    Technically the NFL is a cartel, just not the type that smuggled booze during prohibition.

    The case comes down to the fact that the players have a legal right to decertify the union and change the rules of the game.

    It is the players union accepting a CBA that allows the NFL cartel to operate outside of the anti trust laws. The owners are not just born with that right, they negotiate for it, with a union, that now no longer exists and really can not risk reforming until the court cases are settled.

  10. deadeye says: May 21, 2011 11:34 PM

    Do the union buffoons even know what a cartel is?

    The NFL, from it’s inception, was intended to function more or less as a single business entity. People will argue about what the league is on paper, but common sense (which really isn’t that common) tells us that these NFL franchises aren’t trying to run each other out of business. No, all 32 franchises depend on the continuing success of all the others franchises, so they have games to play and rivalries to maintain.

    Either the players can’t understand that, or don’t care. They just want whatever gives them the most money now even if it destroys the league.

  11. kyle90 says: May 21, 2011 11:35 PM

    “Thus, there’s a chance that one of the two judges who expressed “serious doubts” will resolve these doubts in favor of agreeing with the players.”

    Yes, there’s always a chance, Mike. But I just don’t want to see you get your hopes up and then be disappointed in case the judges don’t listen to DeMo’s cronies.

  12. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 21, 2011 11:36 PM

    I have noticed that there are ALOT more pro player posts lately. I think this site recruited players to actually come on here ond make ridiculous statements. I see no other way some people can actually make such statements like some of these nitwits unless they really are players

  13. jtfris says: May 21, 2011 11:53 PM

    I am certainly not a lawyer. But it seems that you are much more favorable about the players position after reading of the players brief. You need to better explain why you believe this is so persuasive. Nothing in this article makes me believe the appellate judges will reverse their logic.

    It seemed from the judges earlier ruling that they were not going to rule against management if the NL act was the basis for the argument. It also seems that defense attorneys arguing that the appellate judges are stupid will probably not sit well with those judges.

  14. jeff061 says: May 22, 2011 12:02 AM

    Wish the Pro-players on boards like this would read these briefs. The goal of D Smith and the Attys for the players is to strip anti- trust from owners, eliminate the draft, eliminate the franchise players, and create an NBA type league…-2-3 stars making 75% of the salary…then a bunch if scabs. Does it seem odd to anyone that 3-4 months in – the owners have proposed 3 different proposals – and the players haven’t countered on one item!!

    Owners are trying to maintain the sustainable and profitable business they created – so their is money to share.

    Here’s hoping owners win in June – forcing the players to negotiate

  15. depotnator says: May 22, 2011 12:08 AM

    Does anyone else have the impression that the pro-owner shills are tapping their fingers while waiting for this site to publish anything regarding the lockout? They are the first posters to respond and give each other thumbs up on those responses. Really pathetic…

  16. footballfan292 says: May 22, 2011 12:08 AM

    A “cartel” is another term for a monopoly. Which is exactly what the NFL is. They control the entire industry of professional football.

  17. bucngator says: May 22, 2011 12:12 AM

    Nice intro….. momma always said, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”.

    ….. however, I don’t expect the judges would be impressed with being called idiots, at the beginning of the brief.

    That dangerous tactic could backfire, and have the judges ignore a well presented arguement..

    Players need to dump De Smith…… Mr. “let’s litigate— cause I don’t know how to negotiate!!”

    This will not end in a good way for the players, if they continue to insult the court’s intelligence.

  18. nflfan101 says: May 22, 2011 12:13 AM

    Any question of whose side PFT is on is answered in the paragraph:

    “The brief next calls the NFL a “cartel,” a term that in many respects is accurate but that has a distinctly negative connotation. It was, frankly, a stroke of genius for the lawyers to capture the league’s essence in such a simple yet powerful word. Unfortunately, the lawyers used the term only three times in the entire brief.”

    Notice that PTF is happy that the players’ lawyers used the word “cartel” with it’s negative connotation towards the NFL, but unhappy that the lawyers used it only three times.

    FACT: D. Smith walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one court ordered mediation session.

    Fans, players, and PFT employees that really want football need to tell D. Smith to get his butt into negotiations.

  19. acursor says: May 22, 2011 12:16 AM

    Would be very surprised if the judges changed their minds now. Judges are very independent. Changing after June 3 would almost be like admitting they were wrong.

    You’ve got to be wondering about the communication on the NFLPA side between the front line team and the rank and file. The rank and file cannot be of one mind; free agents will start to get anxious and the older players who are looking for a shot at a ring will not want this thing to cut into the season.

    How is D. Smith and company getting a handle on what 1,500 players want?

  20. joe6606 says: May 22, 2011 12:17 AM

    regardless of which side you think is right, there is one point that is inarguable:

    if the 8th circuit sides with the owners, they will have made a decision that is completely and utterly contrary to the N-G act, as well as case law. There quite simply is NO language in the act or in any court case in the history of US labor law that has ever found that employees of a union that has decertified cannot sue its employer.

    so if you favor judicial activism, you are hoping for the 8th circuit to side with the owners..

    just saying

  21. ntr0py says: May 22, 2011 12:18 AM

    The history of the Norris Laguardia act is on the players’ side.

    The actual language of the act is on the owners’ side.

    Fancy words change nothing.

    The judges can rule either way and easily support their decision.

  22. gothwolf says: May 22, 2011 12:39 AM

    Actually, Mike, the best way to ensure the future of pro football is for the lockout to continue. There needs to be a new CBA, not some limbo season to be followed by another off season full of CBA uncertainty and lawsuits.

    The players need to believe they are going to miss paychecks. DeMaurice will get the ultimatum, and a deal will be struck.

  23. hardjudge says: May 22, 2011 12:43 AM

    The mistake the player made was picking their forum. They should have picked a circuit that was pro labor instead of a district that was pro labor. The circuit wins every time.

  24. fatmeskan says: May 22, 2011 1:06 AM

    It doesn’t make sense…. the players want a better deal when several of them don’t want to honor the long-term contract that they agree to. On the other side, players are cut so the owners avoid big bonuses that are due. Fans are consistently getting screwed with the rising ticket prices, threats of relocation if a team doesn’t get a new stadium, and the lockout especially. I don’t see how I can support either side when each are making more profit than military, law enforcement, and fire fighters. which ever side is right or wrong doesn’t matter to me. its the fact that these people in an entertainment industry are whining about how many hundred-of-thousands/millions they want to get paid when families go from a day to day basis not knowing if a father/mother/son/daughter will not come home. those are the people who deserve a better contract. that’s my venting for the night. that and jerry Jones needs to go away.

  25. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 22, 2011 1:11 AM

    depotnator says:
    May 22, 2011 12:08 AM
    Does anyone else have the impression that the pro-owner shills are tapping their fingers while waiting for this site to publish anything regarding the lockout? They are the first posters to respond and give each other thumbs up on those responses. Really pathetic…

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

    Kind of like your pathetic self constantly waiting for any opportunity to spew ridiculous pro player DEmo propaganda?

    Yea, your right, you are kind of pathetic.

    DEmo, why don’t you spend more time countering the THREE different proposals the league submitted to you , and less time on here trying to drum up sympathy and looking like a fool

  26. realfann says: May 22, 2011 1:14 AM

    If Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Apple and HP got together and locked out all computer programmers in order to force them to take a paycut, it would be illegal. Nobody in this country would say otherwise.

    The Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and 29 other teams have locked out the players in order to force them to take a pay cut.

    The teams are seperate businesses because that’s what the US Supreme Court ruled.

    There is no anti-trust exception to protect the teams because there is no current CBA that would allow an exception. The owners ripped up the old one.

    So the teams are breaking the law just as much as Microsoft & IBM would be.

    These judges will rule against the owners.

    To do otherwise would drive a 100 ton truck right thru the middle of anti-monopoly laws.

  27. realfann says: May 22, 2011 1:25 AM

    The Supreme Court made it very clear that NFL teams were allowed to act together for the health of the league without violating anti-trust.

    There are a million examples of competing companies that co-operate with each other without breaking the law. For example, all film companies make DVD’s that can be played on the same machines. All the companies agree on a set of rules for DVD’s. They work together.

    The NFL draft is meant to maintain competitive balance. It’s agreed by all the NFL businesses. In itself, it is not an anti-trust violation.

    The players and their leaders have NOT said one thing that would lead anyone to believe that they want the draft to end. Not one word in any document filed with any court says they are seeking to destroy the draft.

    The ONLY people that say the players are seeking to destroy the draft are the NFL owners, their lawyers, the NFL commissioner, and some writers in the media.

    When people claim the players are aiming to destroy the draft, consider the source of the remark. I guarantee you that it is being made by someone with an agenda and not much regard for the truth.

  28. realfann says: May 22, 2011 1:37 AM

    The owners and their mouth pieces claim that the players are seeking an end to revenue sharing between teams which will destroy the competitive balance and allow rich teams to out spend poor teams.

    Not true.

    Not one player or player representative has said any such thing.

    The players are very much in favor of revenue sharing. It means players on small market teams can get paid as much as those on big market.

    The truth is that the biggest opponents of revenue sharing are big market owners like Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones & Robert Kraft. They have all expressed a dislike at having to hand over revenue their team earned to another.

    Jerry Jones even went to court to allow him to cut his own deals and keep all the revenue for himself.

    The enemy of revenue sharing is big market owners.

    The enemy of competitive balance is big market owners.

  29. purplescar says: May 22, 2011 1:59 AM

    All this as more fans drift farther away.

  30. billsfan1 says: May 22, 2011 2:44 AM

    Cartel, slave….I’m beginning to feel bad for these poor athletes who make hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars….as if they would earn that with out football….. in fact how many would even have gone to college without sports……ill laugh in 5 years when I still have my house on my tiny 60k per year job and they broke complaining how the league needs to take better care of the former players……

  31. realfann says: May 22, 2011 4:10 AM

    The players are happy with the old agreement. The CBA that they and the owners voluntarily signed in 2006.

    We the fans are clearly happy with that deal. Revenue and interest in the game has gone up every year since 2006. This past NFL year has seen new records set for TV viewing. Even blogs like this one has large followings.

    The owners are not happy. They want a new deal.

    That’s fine but the onus is 100% on them to propose a deal that makes both the players & fans as happy as they were with the old deal. The owners want change, they have to convince us all that the change is good.

    So, no, the players do not have to propose terms that could become a new CBA. From their (and our) point of view, the terms in the last CBA were perfectly good.

    It’s ALL on the owners to persuade us all why they should make a bigger profit out of the NFL.

    Something they have FAILED to do.

    They’ve not even tried very hard. Most of the league’s rhetoric these days are diected at DeMaurice Smith.

    For a thousand years its always been true that if you don’t have a very good argument, if your reasons are weak, if your logic is flawed, then attack the other person.

    Attack the messanger if you cannot attack the message.

  32. manzoa says: May 22, 2011 4:22 AM

    The players made the mistake of relying on Judge Dopey who has ruled consistently in their favor. And then they got Nelson, who followed suit. Now it’s in the 8th circuit, a very conservative, pro business circuit, being heard by judges who were Republican appointees. The league has David Boies as its attorney, arguably the best appellate lawyer in the country. The league will win and the players will lose..not just the lockout, but the other cases as well. The courts are not the place to resolve labor issues. Both sides must return to the bargaining table and bargain in good faith…that is the only way the issues will be resolved and we can have pro football in 2011.

  33. realfann says: May 22, 2011 4:25 AM

    De Maurice Smith is an ugly man. Wears old fashioned hats. Spouts old fashioned slang. He’s got a funny name.

    He’s also a lawyer. A very succesful litigator.

    He doesn’t suck up to the media. He doesn’t leak inside information to his media pals. He doesn’t always make himself available for interviews.

    Therefore, according to a number of folks posting comments, he is a bad man.

    He’s a bad man that lies to his membership, misleads judges, rides his personal ambition to the detriment of his clients.

    One blogger even said the only way to reach agreement was to take owner proposals to the players for a vote implying he was not to be trusted.

    Is there any evidence for these accusations??

    Of course not. There’s none. It’s just the owners PR machine throwing dirt at the players leader. They’ve not got a winning arguement so all they are doing is smearing their opponent.

  34. realfann says: May 22, 2011 4:42 AM

    Here’s my suggestion for a solution:

    1. The owners lift the lockout on condition the players reform their union.

    2. The players reform their union as soon as the lockout is lifted.

    3. Both sides (union & league) agree to a binding arbitration in front of an arbitrator that is mutually satisfactory to both parties.

    4. Both parties agree to abide by the arbitrators ruling to be made on Sept 1 unless both sides agree to a new CBA before that date.

    Easy really. Let both sides make their cases to an independent guy (or gal) and have them agree up front to live with the decision.

    Just like how arbitration is used in baseball to decide player salaries when franchise & player can’t agree.

    I doubt if this will happen because the last thing the owners want is the dispute be settled through logic and neutral oversight. They want to bully and bluster their way to getting a one sided deal.

    I shouldn’t imply all the owners. There’s a sizable minority of owners that think this is all a big mistake and that the league has been lead astray by Jones, Kraft & Richardson.

    When the league years starts and the owners don’t get their TV & gate revenue checks, look for more owners to start pushing for a settlement. Some owners are just as threatened by a loss of income as the players.

    And some owners just want to play ball. Paul Allen & Al Davies to name two.

  35. rickyoung1212 says: May 22, 2011 4:59 AM

    All you pro owner posters….why not got to another site or simply quit whining about the posts of those who may have a different opinion. You don’t see them griping about your posts!

  36. endzonezombie says: May 22, 2011 5:24 AM

    @billsfan: yup, it sux to be you living on 60K in 5 years ( hope you get a raise) , still whining on the internet, and still praying that your Bills might be a .500 team while your grandkids are alive.

  37. jo3jo says: May 22, 2011 7:09 AM

    @joe6606 – “There quite simply is NO language in the act or in any court case in the history of US labor law that has ever found that employees of a union that has decertified cannot sue its employer.”

    Um yeah, that point actually is arguable. I think that ship sailed when the union continued acting as a union through its same representatives, on behalf of its same constituents, and with its same money after “decertifying”. There is no legal basis for it to do this unless it, in fact, is still in existence. The players tried to have it both ways — to have a union when it suits them, but not for legal purposes. The court simply is cutting through the fiction here. There’s a lot of legal basis for doing this.

    At any rate, I think most of us realize from multiple aspects of life that you never win an argument or gain favor by telling the other person they are either corrupt or an idiot. That’s what you say when you don’t have a leg to stand on, perhaps, but if that’s the best you’ve got, most intelligent people simply bite their lip. Calling the NFL names such as “cartel” while at the same time telling the judges they are corrupt idiots doesn’t sound like a step toward victory for the players.

    I continue to be bewildered as to where they found their representatives, because they seem to be getting awful advice if they think they are going to win this round. At any rate, I suppose they had to just put down enough on paper to keep the litigation going so that they could still have some semblance of leverage going into the next round of negotiations. But if they don’t come up with a counter offer soon, we will see that their real goal is to destroy the NFL, not simply hash out a deal.

  38. jimr10 says: May 22, 2011 7:55 AM

    Who is surprised that PFT writes another pro-player article?

  39. heroofthisparish says: May 22, 2011 7:59 AM

    “The players and their leaders have NOT said one thing that would lead anyone to believe that they want the draft to end. Not one word in any document filed with any court says they are seeking to destroy the draft.”

    That statement would be correct if it weren’t for the brief filed in Brady Vs The NFL. That is exactly the issue, plus and end to RFA.

    However, I don’t think that the players want an end to the draft and RFA, but they are threatening destruction of the league to gain leverage to get the owners to agree to the terms, or equivilent, of the last CBA.

    My difficulty lies in De Smith. His threats are aimed to achieve the players wants, but if he can’t achieve that can he climb down from this position and make a deal? That might be a leverage position of itself; but I think it is an accidental side effect of De Smith’s ego rather than a deliberate ploy.

    If De Smith could just come out and not spit venom for once I might be able to get behind the players, but right now I hope the owners get favourable result in court to force the players to negotiate but I think De Smith is playing all or nothing… and in that case only Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, Robert Kraft Allen and 159 players will win.

  40. commandercornpone says: May 22, 2011 8:29 AM

    duh was picked because he promised he would get it all (back, and more) for the nflpa* in court. how’s that werkin out, homies? oh yeah, and a mostly black league will, surprise! – pick a black union head.

    if yer leadoff card is that the judges are corrupt and/or stupid, u already lost. and duh has been exposed as an empty suit.

    a lot of talk about the union’s* rights on this post…

    the owners had the right to opt out, and they did.

    the union* could always offer a detailed proposal. so… why havent they? they comment on nothing. they have nothing to offer. they want a sttaus quo ante they probly wont ever get back.

    time to move on. for starters, pick a real union* head.

    threatening an end to the draft and all simply means duh would, even if posturing, rather destroy the entire league instead of getting 100% his way. immature and crooked is no way to go thru life. duh must have gone to the OJ Simpson School of Law. “If you dont get your way, just cut their throat. Punish your enemies, and who cares who or what gets caught in the fallout.”

    decert was a sham, the union was replaced by the union*. the fact duh (and mawae, etc) is still around means decert is a sham. he should have been long gone. when u truthfully disband, that means u are sposed to be GONE.

  41. eagleswin says: May 22, 2011 8:54 AM

    rickyoung1212 says:
    May 22, 2011 4:59 AM
    All you pro owner posters….why not got to another site or simply quit whining about the posts of those who may have a different opinion. You don’t see them griping about your posts!

    ——————————-

    Are you serious? Anyone who is not pro-player has been called a litany of names including being accused of being owner plants. The owner of the website even made that accusation. It seems to be the favorite tactic of pro-players supporters and DeMaurice Smith when they can’t make a rational argument.

  42. hodag54501 says: May 22, 2011 8:58 AM

    Isn’t it time the CUSTOMERS did something to point out to BOTH sides that without eyeballs watching TV and butts in the seats there isn’t an NFL? Both sides act like we’re all just a bunch of morons who will eat their crap no matter what they dish out.
    How about fans starting protests in front of the NFL offices and the team sites each day until they finally get off their overpaid rears and get a deal done? Nothing formal, just show up and start shouting. It worked here in Wisconsin and I suspect some high-level picketing will get some high-level media coverage.
    A lawyer once told me: there’s one thing worse than murder: bad publicity. Lets use it.

  43. eagleswin says: May 22, 2011 9:00 AM

    realfann says:
    May 22, 2011 4:42 AM
    Here’s my suggestion for a solution:

    I doubt if this will happen because the last thing the owners want is the dispute be settled through logic and neutral oversight. They want to bully and bluster their way to getting a one sided deal.

    ——————————

    I would like to point out that the owners offered to let a neutral third party take a look at their financinals but DeMaurice Smith refused that for PR reasons.

    I’d also like to point out that whenever a neutral third party ruled against them during the last CBA (Special Master) they refused to accept his decision and went outside of the CBA to get a ruling they liked.

    Being that the players have shown a willingness to ignore neutral third parties when it doesn’t suit their agenda I think you are pushing an agenda which really isn’t true.

  44. heroofthisparish says: May 22, 2011 9:00 AM

    “I doubt if this will happen because the last thing the owners want is the dispute be settled through logic and neutral oversight. They want to bully and bluster their way to getting a one sided deal.”

    The people making this point lose me. The last deal was one sided towards the players (otherwise the players would not be so desperate to keep it), so unless the owners are expected to operate under a deal that is not good for them, the deal needs to be renegotiated. Why is that automatically by deafault a one sided deal?

    Not that the players should just cave, but as in any negotiations they should meet somewhere in the middle and avoid a one sided deal for either.

  45. biist says: May 22, 2011 9:07 AM

    Political ideology trumps any legal argument in a Nelson and Doty court. Legal arguments have weight in 8th and above.

  46. eagleswin says: May 22, 2011 9:10 AM

    realfann says:
    May 22, 2011 4:25 AM

    He’s a bad man that lies to his membership, misleads judges, rides his personal ambition to the detriment of his clients.

    Is there any evidence for these accusations??

    Of course not. There’s none.

    —————————————

    Actually there is.

    There is plenty of evidence that the union rank and file have no idea what is being done in their names as has been proven through interviews with players (ex. Steven Jackson and Chester Pitts) as well as tweets, etc. Whether this is because because the players don’t care to know or because Smith sold them a bill of goods, I don’t know. What is clear is that the players don’t know what is being done in their names.

    When you talk about him misleading judges the only thing I can think of is the sham decert. That is still a real issue before the court and until it is resolved it is a valid concern. Well that and the failure to submit any counterproposals during mediation.

    Personal Ambition. I would say the refusal to negotiate and the over the top rhetoric provides plenty of basis for this argument.

    He may be a very successful litigator but he is a failure as a negotiator to date. You do know has no experience in labor law?

  47. munchkin420 says: May 22, 2011 9:11 AM

    Seriously, a conservative judge expressing “serious doubts” is going to change his mind and come down on the side of labor? Mike, you must have been expecting the rapture to occur as well.

  48. eagleswin says: May 22, 2011 9:14 AM

    realfann says:
    May 22, 2011 4:10 AM
    The players are happy with the old agreement. The CBA that they and the owners voluntarily signed in 2006.

    —————————

    I love this argument, I really do. It means that the owners should be able to go back to any old CBA the players signed in the last 50 years and say, see you signed this once? I’m sure the owners would be happy with a CBA from the 70’s or 80’s.

    If you don’t support the owners being able to use the same logic as the players then maybe you should move on from this empty rhetoric.

  49. 3octaveFart says: May 22, 2011 9:15 AM

    Why haven’t you guys shut this site down?
    I mean, what’s the point?

  50. anthonyfromstatenisland says: May 22, 2011 9:24 AM

    I’ll tell you one thing: I’d rather hear DeMaurice Smith go on about “cartels” than all this crap that Jon Jones and Rashad Evans are throwing out there.

    Never mind the NFL. There should be a lockout in the UFC!

  51. ntr0py says: May 22, 2011 9:47 AM

    “If Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Apple and HP got together and locked out all computer programmers in order to force them to take a paycut, it would be illegal. Nobody in this country would say otherwise.”

    Actually, this would almost certainly NOT be illegal.

  52. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 22, 2011 9:55 AM

    Going back a week or so, didn’t Mike F. quote the 8th cir. to the effect that the Nor-Lag Act expressly provides that it applies not only to (formal) unions, but any equivalent association of workers? That is to say, the desertification here left behind a functioning association within the meaning of the Act.

    Hence, the NFLPA’s desertification didn’t automatically change the nature of the case, and, among other things, invalidate an ongoing lockout. Ergo, they reversed Nelson’s enjoining the lockout. Seems pretty straight forward.

    I wonder what the ‘incredibly persuasive reasoning’ is that has changed Mike F.’s mind. At any rate, it seems he is duly impressed by no fewer than 13(!) lawyers signing (?) the brief.

  53. ernieernie says: May 22, 2011 9:59 AM

    The 8th district court is not stupid. They clearly get the fact that the NFLPA picked the Minneapolis court knowing its the second most liberal in the land other the San Fransisco.
    Thus one could say a bias existed against the owners before they even entered the court and the outcome of Nelsons decision was predictable.

    The 8th court must in all fairness to both sides make a decision based on law. Not unions, not players rights, not collusion but what is the law and what should the correct decision be.

  54. kingjoe1 says: May 22, 2011 10:21 AM

    Next De will predict the apocolypse.

    “… War, drugs and the cartel spells the end of the world. NFL owners are collectivley the anti-christ. Save your soul, give the players an extra billion to split and give me 100 million for grins and giggles. Only than is there a chance the world can be saved…”

  55. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 22, 2011 10:23 AM

    realfann,
    Please tell us how you really feel.

    Then explain how the players* don’t have the option of working in the UFL, CFL, or even the Lingerie Football League?

    De Mo Reece (This is for you Deb!) keeps filing in Federal Courts but crying for immediate relief. Have he informed the players* that his scorched-earth strategy may take four years or more to be decided?

    De Mo Reece should have chosen the best venue for labor issues – France – and formed the NFFLPA*. Oui?

  56. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 22, 2011 10:24 AM

    13 lawyers? No wonder they didn’t get the brief filed until three minutes before midnight Friday.

  57. greghensley says: May 22, 2011 10:27 AM

    That July 4th deadline is starting to sound like a good date for the fans to begin their plans with no NFL for 2011. Either work out a deal or we do what both sides should fear most and that is we actually do get a life and that is a life without football.

  58. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 22, 2011 10:33 AM

    rickyoung1212 says:
    May 22, 2011 4:59 AM
    All you pro owner posters….why not got to another site or simply quit whining about the posts of those who may have a different opinion. You don’t see them griping about your posts!

    ——————————-

    Wrong young Rick. I made pro-owner comments. Deb called me a twit and said I made racist remarks. Neither is true but she is good for a laugh almost every time she comments.

    Deb doesn’t know me but would be surprised that I am similar to De Mo Reece in many ways. However, I don’t share his views on labor issues and believe he is pursuing a failed strategy.

  59. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 22, 2011 10:56 AM

    Make that ‘decertification.’

  60. camp69 says: May 22, 2011 11:09 AM

    If you want clarity on the lockout and anti trust case read this article.

    “When a Players Union Doesn’t Help the Players” in the NY time sports NFL section. Sunday May 22

  61. bluester111 says: May 22, 2011 11:22 AM

    I find it hard to believe that Republican leaning judges on the court will force laborers in a workforce to unionize, which is what the NFL is using as part of their argument. The AFL-CIO will be watching that one closely.

  62. ipeefreelyagain says: May 22, 2011 11:34 AM

    Why don’t the NFL close the doors, and the owners start-up a “new” league, and bring in players that are interested in playing football and not politics?

    I would almost bet that all of our favorite players would join the league (Except Drew Brees) and it would be as if the whole legal battle never happened.

    I always wondered what that mark was on Drew Brees face. Turns out it’s a skid-mark from having is nose so far up DeMaurice Smith’s ass.

  63. majorseahawk says: May 22, 2011 11:36 AM

    Well if the players argument is that the judges are stupid for agreeing with the owners, then they’ve lost. I want the players to win solely because if they do, then there will be football again, as opposed to the owners winning and extending the lockout indefinitely. Ultimately though, they both lose, they are losing fans each and every day.

    However though, maybe they should start challenging on the real issue here. Its not about whether its legal for Nelson to lift the lockout, its about the legality of implementing the lockout in the first place. It very specifically said that the NFL could lock out the UNION. Well, there was no union when they did it.

  64. ipeefreelyagain says: May 22, 2011 11:58 AM

    majorseahawk,

    The league can do whatever they want. It’s their league. The owners risked their dollars making the investment to run a team and all the pros and cons that come with it. If the players are creating a scenario where business would not be as profitable as they like, they can do whatever they want.

    If they want to shut the doors, thats their legal option at any point. Does it make sense is another argument. Union or non-union, it’s their prerogative.

  65. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 22, 2011 12:10 PM

    ‘…, keep in mind the very real possibility that one or both of the judges were hoping to apply some extra pressure to the players in the hopes of sparking real progress at a mediation session that was occurring on the same day the ruling was issued.’

    Is that really what appellate courts do?

  66. nflfan101 says: May 22, 2011 12:34 PM

    zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 22, 2011 9:55 AM

    Going back a week or so, didn’t Mike F. quote the 8th cir. to the effect that the Nor-Lag Act expressly provides that it applies not only to (formal) unions, but any equivalent association of workers? That is to say, the desertification here left behind a functioning association within the meaning of the Act.

    Hence, the NFLPA’s desertification didn’t automatically change the nature of the case, and, among other things, invalidate an ongoing lockout. Ergo, they reversed Nelson’s enjoining the lockout. Seems pretty straight forward.
    ———————————————

    Well stated. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it ain’t a pigeon and it is treated like a duck.

    FACT: D. Smith walked out of CBA negotiations, decertified the union, had certain players file suit, and then did not attend at least one court ordered mediation session.

    Fans, players, and PFT employees that want football need to tell D. Smith to get his butt into negotiations.

  67. mayfieldroadboy says: May 22, 2011 12:54 PM

    Help me understand: the NFL is a company with 32 franchises operating in different cities following the guidelines set up by the NFL. McDonald’s is a company with thousands of franchises operating within select districts following the guidelines set up by McDonald’s Inc. Kentucky Fried Chicken is a company with thousands of franchises following the guidelines set up by KFC. The NFL has a draft during which its franchises can select “untried” players at a price agreed to by each franchise and each player’s agent; McDonald’s and KFC hire “untried” employees at a government-imposed minimum wage. Each of these companies offer benefits ie health insurance and worker’s compensation. Is McDonald’s and KFC a “cartel” or a monopoly? Is the smiling face which hands me my food a “partner” or an employee?

    Somehow I can’t understand the term “anti-trust” when it comes to the NFL. “Anti-trust” would necessitate the lack of franchises, and the NFL having complete control over all hirings, firings, and settings of salaries and cost of admissions, etc., etc., etc.

    What is the difference between a corporation selling franchises to a company willing to abide by the corporation’s laws and by-laws, and a monopoly which would own every facet of the corporation’s assets and liabilities? It is my understanding that selling “franchises” would eliminate the “anti-trust” tag.

  68. golions1 says: May 22, 2011 12:54 PM

    Calling the judges morons in your brief is basically veering into the fast lane to an adverse verdict. The players are on the ropes and the lawyers know it. Nobody is buying the idea that they are no longer a union, and they shouldn’t. It’s a sham.

  69. nmeagle33 says: May 22, 2011 1:08 PM

    Hi, I would like to present a view of what the NFL would like should the players win:

    1. players such as Payton, Brady would probably bring about 200,000,000.00 a year

    2. lesser players will get if they’re lucky 100,000.00

    3. the “on any given Sunday…” would no longer apply

    4. competition would not be meaningful except for a couple teams

    5. with no ceiling there is no floor, meaning, a few players will be lucky to make 100,000.00

    There is more but my point is we won’t recognize the game we love. The game will be dead.

    Ah yes, what will Mike write about, hmmm.

  70. oldbyrd says: May 22, 2011 1:58 PM

    I have a question. Since it is a fact that 80% of the players are broke when they retire, is this the same group that elected D’ Goofus Smith to represent them? I am stunned to see anyone so bad at what he does. The players deserve better.

  71. bworacle says: May 22, 2011 2:38 PM

    Is it really a good idea to insult 2 of the 3 judges making the decision in your brief?

  72. jimphin says: May 22, 2011 2:54 PM

    Praytell… How does “lifting of the lockout,” bring “a virtual guarantee that football will happen in 2011″ ?

    The only thing that virtually or otherwise guarantee’s that there will be football in 2011 is an official CBA.

    The owners or players can not be strong armed into a non profitable deal via the court.

  73. southmo says: May 22, 2011 3:14 PM

    I’m actually agreeing with realfann on the binding arbitration idea. Of course, the players would never accept it since the arbitrator would likely force the players to compromise on something.

  74. ebenezergrymm says: May 22, 2011 5:38 PM

    What the cartel doesn’t know is DeMoron Smith is a student of military history and much like the Trojans he is hiding a small army under his bottom lip.

  75. maurile says: May 22, 2011 6:32 PM

    olions1 says: “Calling the judges morons in your brief is basically veering into the fast lane to an adverse verdict.”

    Good thing nobody did that, then.

  76. maurile says: May 22, 2011 6:36 PM

    jimphin says: “Praytell… How does lifting of the lockout, bring a virtual guarantee that football will happen in 2011?”

    The NFL has already released its 2011 game schedule. The only thing realistically jeopardizing it is the lockout.

  77. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 23, 2011 12:36 PM

    ‘Stroke of genius’? How about just ‘stroke’?

  78. hrmlss says: May 23, 2011 1:43 PM

    If the League is a cartel, then the Union is an extortion racket.

  79. macbull says: May 23, 2011 1:50 PM

    May 22, 2011 9:59 AM
    The 8th district court is not stupid. They clearly get the fact that the NFLPA picked the Minneapolis court knowing its the second most liberal in the land other the San Fransisco.
    Thus one could say a bias existed against the owners before they even entered the court and the outcome of Nelsons decision was predictable.
    ………………………………………………………………………

    ernie…did you do any research before you posted the above comment?

    ….I doubt you did, since you got it completely WRONG, claiming the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, is the second most liberal court in the land.

    Looking up the break down of the Minnesota Court, there are 12 judges… 5 appointed by Democrat Presidents…7 of the judges appointed by Republican Presidents.

    Your claim that the Minn. District Court was biased against the owners is not based on fact, but on ernie’s misguided “opinion”.

    While it is true that Player’s Union has received favorable rulings from the Minn. District Court in the past, some of the most important NFL cases to come before the Minn. District Court have been heard by U.S. District Judge David Doty. Judge Doty was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

    This case, Brady vs the NFL, was first assigned to (Repub. appointee) Judge Richard H. Kyle who promptly filed an order disqualifying himself from the case. The case was then assigned to (Repub appointee) Judge Patrick Schiltz, who stepped aside citing a conflict of interest.

    Finally, the case was successfully assigned to the newest member of Minn. Court, Judge Susan Richard Nelson, appointed by President Obama. Since this case was first assigned to two GOP appointed judges, before landing in the lap of Judge Nelson, it is hard to claim “liberal bias”. Also, the judge the Players Union would have preferred to hear the “Brady vs NFL” case, was most likely the “GOP appointed” Judge Doty.

    Since the NFL owners have had the conservative Judges as well as liberal Judges, rule against them in important cases that have been heard in the Minn. District Court going back decades, I find it hard to claim any kind of political bias in the Minn. District Court.

    IMO, it is more likely that Judges of this court are simply applying the antitrust laws…according to the rule of law.

  80. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 23, 2011 3:13 PM

    macbull,

    I believe if you check again, you will find that Judge Doty has heard ALL (or at least ‘most’) of the NFL cases going back decades. You will also find that he has a perfect (or close to it) record of ruling in favor of the players.

    That’s why the league wants the stadium issue to die today in MN, in order for the team to move west. Then, the Minn. courts obviously would no longer have any jurisdiction, and the NFL would never again have to appear in Judge Doty’s courtroom.

    As for Pres. Regean appointing Doty, Pres. Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren … his self-proclaimed ‘greatest mistake as President.’

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!