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As talks reach boiling point, Kessler, Quinn face a dilemma

James Quinn and Jeffrey Kessler, attorneys for the NFL Players Association enter a federal courthouse to resume court-ordered mediation in Minneapolis Reuters

For weeks, the owners have been leery of the lawyers representing the players in their legal challenge against the league.  The concern has been that Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn prefer to push the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit to a conclusion, even if it means missing an entire season.  Then, with a verdict that easily could exceed $10 billion, the players possibly could acquire partial ownership of the league itself.

But, again, that approach requires a full season to be lost.

And so the league has believed that, with progress being made between the two sides in recent weeks, Kessler and Quinn have been trying to derail the process.  The fact that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith at one point last month told Kessler and Quinn to “stand down” shortly after they re-entered the room seemed to confirm that the lawyers, regardless of their actual motivations, were an impediment to the process.

After Thursday night’s midnight-oil bargaining session, which Kessler missed because his other clients — the NBA Players Association — were in the process of being locked out, there are strong indications that progress once again is being made.  And with the next week being critical to the question of whether a deal will be completed in time to salvage the full $800 million generated by the preseason, Kessler and Quinn face a dilemma.

On one hand, they can spend the Fourth of July weekend trying to rally members of the Executive Committee and other key players to resist agreeing to the terms offered by the league.  If that delays the finalization of a new CBA beyond the point at which the full preseason can be played, the total dollars paid to the players for 2011 necessarily will drop, possibly making the players even less inclined to do a deal.  If, however, enough of the players rally around De Smith and support finalizing the negotiations over pursuing litigation, Kessler and Quinn will be extremely vulnerable to termination of their relationship with the NFLPA* once the asterisk is removed and labor peace is restored.

On the other hand, Kessler and Quinn can choose to support Smith’s approach, hopeful that he’ll decide in the aftermath of a new CBA that the lawyers helped generate leverage for an agreement and, when the time came to close the deal, they stepped aside and allowed the process to reach a conclusion.  That way, their stream of high-dollar legal fees will continue as issues inevitably arise under the next labor deal.

One source with knowledge of the dynamics believes that Kessler and Quinn will choose the latter approach, cognizant of the reality that, if they try to take on Smith directly, they’ll fail — and they’ll eventually get fired.  The league surely fears that the lawyers will opt instead to try to undo the progress that was made on Thursday, in the hopes of running out the clock and better positioning the process for litigation, not negotiation.

Regardless, the strategy the lawyers ultimately select could go a long way toward determining whether or not we’ll have football in 2011.

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63 Responses to “As talks reach boiling point, Kessler, Quinn face a dilemma”
  1. spectre14 says: Jul 2, 2011 12:44 PM

    I hope the NFLPA* is smart enough to realize that the lawyers are just greedy bastards in it for themselves and work towards a deal despite whatever Kessler pushes. I’m so sick of the lawyers at this point.

  2. friendlylittletrees says: Jul 2, 2011 12:48 PM

    If there is no football in 2011 there will be a dramatic change in the fan base that will cost the league and players much more than the money they are arguing over right now.

  3. jm11890 says: Jul 2, 2011 12:53 PM

    the lawyers will do whats best for the lawyers

  4. Deb says: Jul 2, 2011 1:00 PM

    So you’re saying Smith is trying to draw this thing to a close and get an agreement signed? And the question is whether Kessler and Quinn will play nice? Seems that Smith is holding all the cards here. If Kessler and Quinn don’t want to play nice, Smith can bar them from the proceedings. The advantage is that Smith speaks their language–quite well, judging from his credentials. Besides, as you point out, Kessler now has his hands full with the NBA. The clock is ticking. If they want to save the preseason, they have to act now.

  5. steelergold says: Jul 2, 2011 1:02 PM

    I have reached the point that everytime I read the word attorney, I want to punch one of them in the face.

    Kessler and Quin are DB’s.

  6. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:06 PM

    Few things…

    1. While Kessler is constantly being portrayed as the bad guy on this site, the reality is that he only as powerful as his clients (Brady, Manning, etc) allow him to be. If all of the players instruct him to drop the suit, the suit will be dropped.

    2. There’s NOTHING that says “football can’t be played unless the suit is dropped”. The St. Louis court could lift the lockout, the owners could voluntarily lift the lockout and impose their own rules, or the owners and players could reach an agreement that doesn’t require the suit being dropped. And make no mistake- the NFL saying “we have a collective bargaining agreement in place with the players” would be a heck of a point in their favor while defending the suit.

    3. Finally, going forward with the suit may be in the best long-term interests of not only the 1,700 current NFL players, but for every future generation of players in every team sport. Not only that, but it could very well benefir this and every future generation of FANS.

    Whether or not you realize it, the cartel of owners controlling all sports teams in America hurts you, the consumer. We all complain when taxpayers get squeezed out of billions of dollars when it comes to stadiums being built, we all complain about outrageous ticket prices, we all complain about major cities not having major sports teams, but we never ask the big question- how did we get here? Why are things the way they are?

    It’s because the major sports leagues get to disco dance around anti-trust laws.

  7. jokendave says: Jul 2, 2011 1:11 PM

    Man, I hate it when smart people act stupid. If the two sides can’t see (And what the world knows) that the lawyers don’t care about football. They only care about the dollar. Then they just shouldn’t be in the room anyway. Cause they are just plain stupid. I hate to see a season lost for lawyers who don’t care about the game, and players and owners, who just don’t want to believe it. I have said it before and I will say it again. WAKE UP!!!! Before its too late, NOT after!!

  8. cylondetector says: Jul 2, 2011 1:14 PM

    De Smith is using Kessler & Quinn as convenient ‘bad cops’ – which being lawyers is probably a step up for them.

    The players are being manipulated here – which is an easy enough task considering they are of average intelligence and above average greed.

    They have handed over the keys to a group of people whose final destination could be hugely different to what is best for them as individuals.

  9. 7370355q says: Jul 2, 2011 1:14 PM

    Thumbs up if you think an agreement is reached by July 8th.

    Thumbs down if you think an agreement is reached by July 9th-15th

    Call me a DB for neither.

  10. lovesportsandsurfing says: Jul 2, 2011 1:20 PM

    There will be no NFL in 2011,..ok?…now, go to your barbeques and get drunk,..now that I just told you all the truth, (because you dont get it here), you can all get on with your lives….happy holidays!!!

  11. cylondetector says: Jul 2, 2011 1:21 PM

    @Tommyf15

    I’m only worried about cartels (that exist with the big pharma and petrochemical industry) when they provide a service or product that is essential.

    People don’t need to be protected from sporting cartels – when people don’t like what they are paying for, or how much they are paying for it – they’ll vote with their credit card.

    Its that simple.

  12. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:22 PM

    friendlylittletrees says:
    If there is no football in 2011 there will be a dramatic change in the fan base that will cost the league and players much more than the money they are arguing over right now.

    Not necessarily!

    1. The players could make THREE TIMES what they would have for all the time they missed…just by sitting at home.

    2. At some point we’ve all got to figure this out- sports leagues ALWAYS rebound from time missed due to labor disputes. I could see someone making the argument that “all involved parties shall suffer when the fans don’t come back” thirty years ago when, for the first time in history, a sports league had it’s season interrupted by a player strike (Major League Baseball was on strike 30 years ago to this day). But it didn’t happen then, it’s never happened, and it won’t happen this time.

    It’s time we all learned from history. It may be comforting to think that the owners and players will suffer at the hands of the fans if time is missed, but if you really think that you’re kidding yourself.

  13. jimr10 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:23 PM

    All the players have to do is fire all of them. There was never any intention on the part of Kessler and Quinn to negotiate.

  14. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:34 PM

    tommyf15, Congratulations!!!! You just proved you are a socialist. You believe the rich are the problem and that “another controlling party? HARUMMHPh, cough, cough the people eeerr the govt could run sports better!!!!!!! SCARY! SCARY SCARY!. What drives prices up is unionization not rich people. rich people want to make money. YOu cannot be in buisness to screw and at the same time be in buisness to make money. the two do not go hand in hand in any scenario.

  15. tunescribe says: Jul 2, 2011 1:37 PM

    This “process” has devolved into a distinct four-party fight: the owners, the players, the lawyers and the court system. How weird is that?

  16. wryly1 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:38 PM

    The flip side of that, of course, is that the potentially enormous exposure the Brady antitrust suit threatens the owners with, is one of the strongest levers the players against the owners in persuading them to settle.

  17. oldbrowndawg says: Jul 2, 2011 1:38 PM

    Could be, might be, on the other hand. Bull! This is why we need more men today like Harry Truman who famously said that he wanted a one-armed economist. When asked why, Truman responded, “At least he won’t constantly say to me ‘on the other hand’.” I suspect most fans have had quite enough of this crap and, as friendlylittletrees noted, these dummies are risking losing a heck of a lot more $$$ by continuing this foolishness than the amounts they’re haggling over now. Sounds to me like the lawyers want to destroy the village in order to save it. Jerks!

  18. Soulman45 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:39 PM

    I think if the players won’t a deal done it will get done, if the owners won’t a deal done it will get done that leave the suites that is holding the deal up.

  19. dempsey63 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:40 PM

    Some of the lawyers represent other sports leagues as well. So there is a conflict of interest if it benefits Major League Baseball to have the eyes of the sports world focused exclusively on the World Series while both the NFL and the NBA are in a lockout mode, and those attorneys could be promoting one league’s misery to leverage another’s success while getting paid handsomely by both entities.

    (Whew! Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, anyone?)

  20. edrouse says: Jul 2, 2011 1:41 PM

    IF THEY MISS THE SEASON I AM DONE WITH THE NFL ….

  21. bunjy96 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:41 PM

    3. Finally, going forward with the suit may be in the best long-term interests of not only the 1,700 current NFL players, but for every future generation of players in every team sport. Not only that, but it could very well benefir this and every future generation of FANS.

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

    100% disagree with that statement. If one of the 4 leagues lose a case like this in court, all 4 leagues would ultimately lose.

    Major pro sports would then be a disaster. A small group in each league would be winners repeatedly and all the rest sucking hind tit.

  22. time2speakup says: Jul 2, 2011 1:44 PM

    I find it very hard to believe that D. Smith, the players, owners and their attorneys – and all the courts would stand on the sideline and let two people, that are no more than hired gun lawyers, dismantle America’s game. I can’t see two people having that kind of juice to impact that kind of money.

  23. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 1:46 PM

    airhead77 says:
    tommyf15, Congratulations!!!! You just proved you are a socialist. You believe the rich are the problem and that “another controlling party? HARUMMHPh, cough, cough the people eeerr the govt could run sports better!!!!!!! SCARY! SCARY SCARY!.

    For the record, I’m the furthest thing from a socialist, and I seriously doubt you even know what the word means.

    I’ve never suggested that the government run sports leagues- in fact, I strongly feel that the government should be far less involved with stadium building.

  24. Ricardo Grande says: Jul 2, 2011 1:52 PM

    I don’t care, as long as I get my wild wings…

  25. CKL says: Jul 2, 2011 1:56 PM

    @tommyf

    What rules could they impose that wouldn’t violate antitrust? My understanding is that even the 2010 rules would do that. Or are you positing that the league should lose its antitrust status?

    Great point BTW cyclonedectector. That nails it.

    I may be naive but couldn’t a case now be made that Kessler has an active conflict of interest since the NBA is in a lockout and the NBA “competes” with the NFL in the fall and he should have to choose which case he works on but not both? Maybe that’s too tenuous.

  26. glad4sgone says: Jul 2, 2011 2:02 PM

    I am so tired of this ridiculous farse. I don’t feel sorry for either side. I am a wildlife law officer who puts in long hours during autumn Sundays. I would be lost without my Sirius NFL. The owners either make enough cash to buy a franchise, or have inherited the means to own one. It would take me many years to make what the lowest paid NFL players makes in one. Most NFL fans are just like me. Put your greed aside and get it done. I’ve never been this close to hating the NFL.

  27. tashkalucy says: Jul 2, 2011 2:02 PM

    tommyf15,

    Hilarious post!

    Reminds me of he old joke where a person comes up to a rural person working their land and says, “hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”.

    So if the players get a stake in the ownership they’ll want to join in helping us fans?

    Really.

    You mean the players in all sports that constantly turn down multi-million dollar contracts – oftentimes over $100 million – by telling the fans that supported them in the city they’re leaving that they “have to do what’s best for their family.” Those players? Yeah, real caring guys, I’ve seen it since free agency started.

    The truth is that the players get together and LAUGH at the fans. Think we’re stupid…..and with good reason because there is no cause to worship these people.

    You come off as a partial politician and mostly a practicing attorney or attorney-in-training (yes, America needs is more attorney’s) trying to drum up business.

    Me? I’m for a flat tax for both individuals and businesses. No write-offs. Nada, None. Zip. Zero. (Including writing of money’s spent to get clients fed and drunk at sporting events.) Cut the lawyers and politicians out of it. 8% individual, 12% business. The government only needs to hire enforcers. All the government tax attorneys could be laid-off, the lobbyists immediately go out of business and have to find life’s work in something that produces something for America, and businesses and individuals to concentrate on what they do and produce and not have to hire an army of tax attorneys and accounts to figure out which bathroom they should use.

    Please, don’t do us fans any favors tommyf15. You’re whole write-up is the lawyers/politicians credo – there is a pile of money somewhere, and you want to get just a little bit of it…if only someone would let you in…..so you sell the public on the con that you’re doing them a favor….with no specifies as to what exactly it is you’ll do.

    This country is trillions of dollars in debt with no end in sight, and no future for my grandchildren. And it’s because of people like you. Now let us enjoy our sports, agents and lawyers have already partially ruined them for the consumer. You’re a parasite and con artist tommyf15, go do something productive.

  28. dagnon13 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:23 PM

    The problem here is that Kessler also reps the NBAPA and as such there is more for him to drag the NFL lockout out as this will go a long ways towards what option are available to the NBA owners have.

    if they settle the NFL then the NBAPA loses some leverage. Kessler is a bad man and one of the primaries in stretching this out…

  29. vetdana says: Jul 2, 2011 2:25 PM

    It’s time we all learned from history. It may be comforting to think that the owners and players will suffer at the hands of the fans if time is missed, but if you really think that you’re kidding yourself.

    First….few of us learn anything from history as we still are perfectly satisfied to continue to kill each other in war after war, to no end. Secondly…At no time in history have we had so many entertainment options avalilable, vying for our time and money. My children, and most of their friends, have no interest in professional sports and do not support them in any way.

    Thirdly…in this age of social media, people are informed instantly about all issues that concern or interest them[including the NFL lockout] and, as such, are more interactive and prone to act ! Speaking for myself, when the NBA and MLB pulled this labor greed move, in the past, they lost me as a fan and I have not , nor will I return ! It is still wise counsel to ..Never say Never !

  30. TurdSandwich says: Jul 2, 2011 2:25 PM

    Jeff Fisher to coach Giants. Papers signed. You heard it here first. (since there are no Giants threads currently)

  31. src3346 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:30 PM

    I think a good question would be, What would happen to the entire process if the NLRB suddenly ruled against the NFLPA and the SCAM issue? I wish some journalist would pursue that line and maybe push it to some conclusion.

  32. jimphin says: Jul 2, 2011 2:34 PM

    Kessler & Quinn getting fired…now there is a noble idea.

    Imagine how much money could be saved and how much football could be played if Kessler/Quinn were no longer in the picture.

    I have a dream.

  33. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jul 2, 2011 2:39 PM

    I suspect that pushing the “Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit to a conclusion” may involve missing more than one NFL season. That said, if the players are assured of prevailing on their antitrust action against the owners, and could potentially even acquire an ownership interest in the league, then why don’t they simply walk away from the talks now, and move forward with their case? Doesn’t the loss of one NFL season pale by comparison to the overwhelming leverage the players would acquire over the owners for themselves and future generations of players? If it were that simple, I would think the players—and those in the sports media who have been sympathetic to their cause—should be encouraging Quinn and Kessler to move forward with the litigation.

  34. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:41 PM

    tashkalucy says:
    So if the players get a stake in the ownership they’ll want to join in helping us fans?

    Really.

    No, not really.

    Where in my post does it say anything about players owning teams?

    Duuuhhhh….

    tashkalucy says:
    The truth is that the players get together and LAUGH at the fans. Think we’re stupid…..and with good reason because there is no cause to worship these people.

    I agree that there’s no cause to worship a player, and that some fans are stupid.

    Some of them are really, really stupid, tashkalucy.

    You’re a parasite and con artist tommyf15, go do something productive.

    Go fist yourself. And thanks for sharing your fascinating views on what the tax laws should be. We care. Really.

  35. jutts says: Jul 2, 2011 2:42 PM

    We all know in this day and age if you don’t have a Mouthpiece working for you in any professional endevor. Your screwed, because the other party has one wheather you need one or not.

  36. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:42 PM

    tommyf15,
    nice try! You still think the rich are the problem, which they are not. You still think they are out to screw the people which they are not. You still think that they need to be regulated heavily taxed and brought down to your level….sound familiar? should the president voted for has said this a million time over. and yes he is a communist/socialist……It takes a village to raise the idiot= socialism/communism defined.

  37. feloniusfarter says: Jul 2, 2011 2:47 PM

    3rd option for these two gents: realize that as lawyers they are a drain on society an do the Hari Kari thing.

  38. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:48 PM

    TurdSandwich says:
    Jeff Fisher to coach Giants. Papers signed. You heard it here first. (since there are no Giants threads currently)

    Are the Giants going to have two head coaches this year?

  39. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jul 2, 2011 2:51 PM

    This is where the PLAYER’s and I mean ALL the PLAYER’s should be emailing , calling, texting, tweeting, and screaming at the top of there lungs to De Smith to keep Kessler ( THE NFL/NBA HATING LAWYER) out of these talks. He has his own agenda and he doesn’t care what his clients the PLAYER’s want.
    Fire him and fire him know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 3:28 PM

    I see now where the “players owning the league” stuff is coming from- it was in the article we’re posting about.

    1. It’s written in the NFL’s bylaws that an owner cannot play or coach in the NFL, as it would be a tremendous conflict of interest. So there goes that.

    2. A judge, jury, or court doesn’t have the authority to order an owner to sell or give part of their ownership stake to the players in an anti-trust case. If any owner doesn’t have the money to pay their debts, they’re likely to sell all or part of their ownership stake in the team. This is something we’ve seen happen many times.

    So everyone relax- the guys playing the game won’t own it. It can’t happen, but it’s interesting to see how a tiny bit of the author’s incorrect speculation can send this place into a frenzy.

  41. bobwhitequail says: Jul 2, 2011 3:30 PM

    Kessler and Quinn win big time if they sue to bring down the NFL and LOSE the suit. From 2006-2010 Kessler has ALREADY made $25 million from the NFLPA according to the New York Times.

    They will win much bigger if they WIN the suit.

    Meanwhile, whether they win or lose, it will likely take years and destroy the entire NFL as we know it. All this time that the suits drag on the players, owners, and local economies will suffer while the lawyers will continue to get rich.

    The only way the lawyers lose is for there to be an agreement. So what do think the lawyers are trying to do? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

  42. tashkalucy says: Jul 2, 2011 3:35 PM

    tommyf15,

    You’re a funny guy!

  43. cylondetector says: Jul 2, 2011 3:54 PM

    Where I might disagree with the points Tommyf15 is making, I find it unsavory that people can’t debate him without labelling him a parasite and a communist.

    That sort of knee-jerk non-thinking nonsense only discredits the individual guilty of using it.

  44. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 4:00 PM

    bobwhitequail says:
    Kessler and Quinn win big time if they sue to bring down the NFL and LOSE the suit. From 2006-2010 Kessler has ALREADY made $25 million from the NFLPA according to the New York Times.

    They will win much bigger if they WIN the suit.

    Well, so will the players they represent.

    The day I heard about the Brees, Brady, Manning, etc anti-trust suit I posted here and elsewhere that the owners should take the best deal the players were offering and stay far, far away from the negative reprocussions it could bring. Not only would a successful suit transfer billions of dollars from the owners to the players, but it would slash the values of the franchises themselves.

    The owners instead opted to gamble by locking the players out.

  45. TIM says: Jul 2, 2011 4:38 PM

    What do you mean if the players rally around Smith and go against the lawyers ???????

    Smith is the main lawyer and the main reason they stopped negotiating and went to court in the first place.
    What are you trying to do,rewrite history and make Smith out to be the good guy,fighting against his own lawyers,who work for him ???

  46. tashkalucy says: Jul 2, 2011 4:40 PM

    Well tommy,

    I guess that billionaire NFL owners decided to listen to their high-priced lawyers, and not you. Their high-priced lawyers that got that way understand the law, and succeeding in court.

    And how soon you forget us FANS that you’e doing such a good deed for.

    Give it up tommy. Take a nap or something.

  47. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 4:42 PM

    you, pro player types, cant argue without using communist cliches and then saying it doesnt really mean that. labeling sports owners as cartel, and meaning it with the negative connotations… Please stop.

  48. TIM says: Jul 2, 2011 5:02 PM

    Tommy:
    What you fail to understand is that the NFL owners didn’t lock their employees out until AFTER the union walked out of the talks (where the owners had just made at least 8 concessions and were waiting for at least 1 counter proposal,that never came),and then decertified and then sued the owners to ruin the game forever !
    Any reasonable employer would ban his employee from his business site if that employee was suing him to try to bring down his business.
    Only a socialist who didn’t understand what it means to invest in and run a business would sound as ignorant as you have sounded at times on this site.

  49. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 5:08 PM

    tashkalucy says:
    I guess that billionaire NFL owners decided to listen to their high-priced lawyers, and not you. Their high-priced lawyers that got that way understand the law, and succeeding in court.

    1. Glad you labeled that a guess, because we don’t KNOW if the owners listened to their lawyers. In 1975 the MLB owners got boiled for listening to their egos instead of their legal counsel.

    2. “Their high-priced lawyers that got that way understand the law, and succeeding in court”- wouldn’t this include Kessler and Quinn? Wait, let me guess- those two are somehow the exception.

    The owners have figured that once the players start missing game checks that they’ll fold, and they could very well be right. That’s what happened the last time the NBA and NHL locked the players out.

    At the same time, it would only take one player out of the ten named as plaintiffs in the anti-trust suit to refuse to drop the lawsuit and potentially take the NFL’s system of salary caps, drafts, etc down, just as Messersmith and McNally sent MLB reeling in 1975.

    I’m not even saying that I’m rooting for such a thing to happen, just pointing out that it could.

  50. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 5:20 PM

    TIM says:
    What you fail to understand is that the NFL owners didn’t lock their employees out until AFTER the union walked out of the talks (where the owners had just made at least 8 concessions and were waiting for at least 1 counter proposal,that never came),and then decertified and then sued the owners to ruin the game forever !

    I love the fatalistic hysteria. “Ruin the game forever!”.

    Tim, tell me what the owners actually conceded. What exactly were they going to give the players that they didn’t already have in 2010?

    And let’s stop with the nonsense that the players decertification caused the lockout. Technically it’s true that the players went first, sort of in the way that one twin is technically older than the other one. But in reality twins are born at the same time, and the decertification and lockout occured within a half an hour of each other.

    The players had a deadling of 5:00 PM on March 11, 2011 to decertify. They filed for it at 4:30.

    Whether or not they decertified, the lockout was coming at 5:00 that day.

    TIM says:
    Only a socialist who didn’t understand what it means to invest in and run a business

    You don’t know what a socialist is, Tim.

    Drafts, salary caps, revenue sharing, franchise and transition tags…those are socialistic in nature.

    I’m the one that wants to see a more free-market, capitalistic system in place.

  51. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 5:41 PM

    TIM,
    they know exactly what they are saying….thats why they are communist/socialist. They want a seat at the table IF and or when the democrat/socialist party gets the program implemented. Of course they will soon realize their very few seats at that table, everybody will be poor and nobody will dare to speak up about it, for fear of their lives.

  52. deadeye says: Jul 2, 2011 5:49 PM

    “Whether or not you realize it, the cartel of owners controlling all sports teams in America hurts you, the consumer. ”

    You don’t understand the definition of “cartel” tommyf15. A cartel is a functional monopoly consisting of entities that would normally be competing with each other economically. NFL franchises are NOT competing economically, they produce a shared product and rely upon each other to produce what they sell. Your inability to grasp this simple concept is unsettling.

    Apply what you are saying about the NFL to the Federal Reserve and you’d be onto something. Our entire economy is going down the tubes because of centralized banking. The FS is the worst cartel in existence today. Please stop trying to equate the NFL to evil institutions like the Federal Reserve.

  53. Deb says: Jul 2, 2011 6:16 PM

    cylondetector says:

    I find it unsavory that people can’t debate him without labelling him a parasite and a communist. That sort of knee-jerk non-thinking nonsense only discredits the individual guilty of using it.
    ——————————————-
    Amen! Thanks for the reality check on the knee-jerk nonsense. Reading through the thread and seeing those posts is like trying to listen to adults talk while a two-year-old constantly tugs at their britches babbling “socialist” because it’s the only word he knows … though he clearly doesn’t understand what it means and it doesn’t apply to the conversation.

  54. voyager6 says: Jul 2, 2011 6:18 PM

    The only way partial ownership of the league could be given to the players is if the owners do it as part of an out of court settlement.

    If there is a 10 billion judgement (or more), the owners will simply declare bankruptcy and avoid it (likely a bunch of new UFL teams come on line the next day).

    With a $9 Billion NFL, I would expect Congress to get involved eventually. The loss of 30 percent of that (or more) in Federal taxes will ensure that. Washington is so hard up for money these days, they may just expand the anti-trust exemption to ensure they get their ‘fair share’ of NFL income.

  55. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 6:31 PM

    deadeye says:
    A cartel is a functional monopoly consisting of entities that would normally be competing with each other economically. NFL franchises are NOT competing economically

    Your definition of a cartel is EXACTLY what the NFL teams are doing.

    The OPEC nations do not compete economically. Does that mean they’re not a cartel?

    Reality- the 32 owners work together and effectively control major league professional football throughout the country. That’s a cartel.

    Going further, in a free market economy the owners would be competing amongst each other for the services of the top players entering the marketplace. Instead, the 32 owners have created a system where a player is drafted by a team that holds the exclusive rights to that player.

    I’m not against the draft per se, but the draft is a mechanism that goes against the concept of a competitive marketplace that the owners should have to adhere to without a CBA. It’s also something stand to lose in an anti-trust suit.

  56. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 6:46 PM

    voyager6 says:
    If there is a 10 billion judgement (or more), the owners will simply declare bankruptcy and avoid it (likely a bunch of new UFL teams come on line the next day).

    That’s not how bankruptcy works, especially a corporate bankruptcy.

    All one has to do to learn more is read up on what’s going on right now with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s not as if Dodger owner Frank McCourt has been suddenly relieved from all of his debts.

  57. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 6:54 PM

    if the lawsuit were taken to settlement, Professional sports, and sports in general is dead in this country with in a week.

  58. toiletking says: Jul 2, 2011 7:32 PM

    I am totally pro Kessler and Quinn on this one. Anything that could cause Dan Snyder to go broke is fine with me…even if it means missing five seasons.

  59. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 7:39 PM

    I am totally pro Kessler and Quinn on this one. Anything that could cause Dan Snyder to go broke is fine with me…even if it means missing five seasons.”

    this is what i fear most “socialist or communist” are really about, not realizing, they will never get a dime of the so called redistribution of wealth.

  60. tommyf15 says: Jul 2, 2011 7:41 PM

    airhead77 says:
    if the lawsuit were taken to settlement, Professional sports, and sports in general is dead in this country with in a week.

    For over 100 years there’s been a notion out there that if the owners don’t get everything they want all of the time, the leagues themselves would fold. And goshdarnit, at the end of the day it’ll be the fans that suffer.

    This was turned up to maximum volume when two baseball players were granted free agency in 1975, with more to follow. “Half the teams in the league will fold!” was the cry. Here we are 36 years later still waiting for the first one to fold, all while baseball has added six new teams.

    The fatalistic fear of a free market in sports has always been nonsense. If the players’ suit were to bury the NFL (which it won’t under any circumstances) a new league, or perhaps more than one, would emerge to take it’s place.

    Heck, I would expect a new, TV network-backed league to form if the lockout wipes out the 2011 season, creating another catastrophe for the NFL owners.

  61. airraid77 says: Jul 2, 2011 8:02 PM

    10 billion lawsuit? what is the league worth now? we are not talking about free agency, we are not talking about a tv deal anymore….280 million dollars the owner of each and every franchise would have to cough up. How many people are going to buy a franchise that has 280 million dollars in debt, and then be told their bottom line is almost zero? the answer is far less than the number owners who would be in serious financial trouble……
    How many players do you think will want a piece of that debt pie? Oh wait they wont.
    their is only two solutions:1.) the league fold up. 2) the federal govt bails them out…..I can tell you which which you would preferr.
    redistribution of wealth for all. Oh and wouldnt the players love the taxes they would pay in that scenario.

  62. mjkelly77 says: Jul 2, 2011 10:23 PM

    I think that Jeffrey Kessler/Jim Quinn are in a “good cop, bad cop” scenario with DeMoron Smith being the good cop. It’s virtually impossible that the 2011 season would not be played. By September, the vast majority of players would be up in arms over not playing. They need the checks for baby and the bling. The owners are bright emough to see through all of this. They’ll sit back and wait and settle on their terms. The flimsy lawsuit of a handful of uber rich players will fall apart once the majority of players realize they’re being used by these few.

  63. biist says: Jul 3, 2011 8:58 AM

    Greedy and self-aggrandizing lawyers representing greedy and somewhat dim-witted players together both making claims of greed against evil and greedy owners. The players claiming anti-trust on a child’s game of entertainment. If you step-back from the poo-flinging this NFL negotiations harkens me back to my youth where I played in a pick-up game of football. “Joey” and “Bobby” get into a fight after Bobby made a perfect tackle of Joey–whom thought a little too roughly. So Joey needing to redeem his rather girly take down started flailing at Bobby. We tried to break it up but Mrs. Gomilinsky told us all to shoo-shoo and get off her lawn if we were going to be noisy and fighting. Joey and Bobby quickly stop fighting and now the entire pick-up team banded together to toilet paper Mrs. Gomilinsky’s house. She needed to be punished for locking out the game. (She did not mind the boys playing at all but was trying to get the boys to stop fighting before ‘some one loses an eye’). Her ‘shoo’ translated to mean ‘get back to playing and stop fighting’ but the we interpreted it as ‘get off my lawn’. I am thinking it was all perspective: We’re watching grown men battle over a fleeting pile of gold that could quickly vanish. The fight now is more important than the gold. This present “labor” battle (Joey, Bobby and Mrs. Gomilinsky) indeed makes me realize what a complete waste of time it is and I have trouble fighting the feeling of shame for watching it.

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