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League, union now squabbling over balls

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There’s a seemingly endless supply of topics about which the NFL and NFLPA disagree.  The latest point of contention comes from the use of balls with synthetic laces.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the new balls have been distributed for use in Week Two of the preseason.  Though use of the balls isn’t mandatory, Breer writes that some “Pro Bowl-caliber” quarterbacks have complained to the NFLPA about the synthetic laces, claiming that they potentially cause “micro-cuts” and possibly alter the throwing motion.

The league has downplayed the development, explaining that it’s merely a test — and pointing out that college and high school teams uses balls with synthetic laces, not leather laces.

Still, the union is concerned that the use of synthetic laces could be the first step toward allowing Nike to challenge Wilson for the official football contract.

That wouldn’t be a surprise.  The league has tremendous bargaining power, and the best way to use it is to have two or more options when the time comes to do business.  Even if Nike merely drives up the price Wilson pays for the privilege of having its balls show up in NFL games, the league wins.

Again.

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22 Responses to “League, union now squabbling over balls”
  1. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Aug 15, 2012 1:19 PM

    Oh my god can everyone just shut the hell up for ONE WEEK? That’s all I ask, one week. The game is starting to suck, there’s more suits than uniforms in it now.

  2. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Aug 15, 2012 1:21 PM

    Also the Pro Bowls QBs are crying about “microcuts”? From footballs??! My carpenter buddy put a nail through his hand last week and he’s back at work today and you’re telling me that “microcuts” are an insurmountable challenge? I need a drink now.

  3. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 15, 2012 1:21 PM

    I hope Nike doesn’t ruin the balls like they ruined the uniforms.

  4. Vegas Guy says: Aug 15, 2012 1:23 PM

    Where there’s money.. there will always be conflict.

  5. t8ertot says: Aug 15, 2012 1:27 PM

    Micro-cuts? Do you want some cheese with that whine?

  6. hulkhogansays says: Aug 15, 2012 1:29 PM

    Neither have any brother. Especially Roger Goodell.

  7. dexterismyhero says: Aug 15, 2012 1:32 PM

    League, union now squabbling over balls……..

    Did Favre sext somebody again?

  8. Davo says: Aug 15, 2012 1:36 PM

    Is this a Billion dollar industry, or what? Seriously? Between this, and the referee situation, why are the league screwing with a high premium product by skimping on pennies? (relatively speaking, that is).

  9. niners816 says: Aug 15, 2012 1:38 PM

    Squabbling over balls? That’s what she said.

  10. doublenicklejl55 says: Aug 15, 2012 1:55 PM

    I feel like there would be pitchers complaining if they changed the laces on baseballs. I feel like this is being marginalized just to poke fun at something that as a collective fanbase will never understand. I know most if the posters and readers will never be good enough to truly appreciate the difference between laces

  11. schrutebeetfarms says: Aug 15, 2012 2:04 PM

    If it would indeed cause QBs to change their throwing motion, that could lead to decreased performance or injury issues. I can’t believe the NFL would win again if some of their premier stars were off their game or on the IR.

  12. mark0226 says: Aug 15, 2012 2:04 PM

    Tony Romo needs an explanation.

  13. blackfoot11 says: Aug 15, 2012 2:08 PM

    Who cares what the football components are made of, or who manufactures the ball. As long as 32 teams take the field each week, the fans are happy. Both sides need to have a Coke and a smile, and shut the #$%@ up. We had enough of this B.S fighting last summer.

  14. raiderrawnes says: Aug 15, 2012 2:20 PM

    Whatta bunch of ball squabblers….

  15. daysend564 says: Aug 15, 2012 2:23 PM

    Drew Brees still trying to get back at Goodell.

  16. nmking26 says: Aug 15, 2012 2:51 PM

    doublenicklejl55 says: Aug 15, 2012 1:55 PM

    I feel like there would be pitchers complaining if they changed the laces on baseballs. I feel like this is being marginalized just to poke fun at something that as a collective fanbase will never understand. I know most if the posters and readers will never be good enough to truly appreciate the difference between laces

    ____________

    Yup. Most people don’t understand how small changes like these can affect a lot. The NBA went through it a couple years ago when they tried to change balls. Players complained about microcuts and how the balls didn’t give them the control they needed. Scoring went down. In the end, they went back to the old balls.

    Same thing should happen here. A QB NEEDS to have the best feel of the ball possible. If synthetic laces are making them uncomfortable, the league should listen to them and go back to leather.

    Elite NFL QBs didn’t get to where they are today by ignoring small details such as the material of footballs and things like that. Such things are important and should be kept as consistent as possible.

  17. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 15, 2012 3:15 PM

    Micro-cuts? Seriously?
    Not that I’m in favor of Nike taking over the NFL but….
    Put on your big boy skirt!!!!

  18. jimmylions says: Aug 15, 2012 3:25 PM

    “Even if Nike merely drives up the price Wilson pays for the privilege of having its balls show up in NFL games, the league wins.”

    And when there’s a cost increase with no real benefit, the fans lose.

  19. pigskin28 says: Aug 15, 2012 3:27 PM

    Listen, these gentlemen are models. They can’t go out there with calloused hands pitching products and holding their poodles with rough micro cut hands. The beautician would just be so disappointed if they ever showed up with anything but tender roni palms.

  20. szwhtsup123 says: Aug 15, 2012 3:42 PM

    Why is it that once the word “Nike” gets into a conversation suddenly everything revolves around money and greed, and everything turns into a mess? Oh yeah and the fans lose too.

  21. mike83ri says: Aug 15, 2012 5:12 PM

    Wouldn’t that contract with Wilson/Nike/whoever then result in higher net profits that the players now get an even larger portion of? So isn’t the NFLPA essentially arguing against something that will result in a cut into their own wallets?

    JFC, they’d cut off their nose to spite their face.

  22. joethelacer says: Aug 15, 2012 5:28 PM

    I work at Wilson Sporting Goods and lace the game balls everyday. We also manufacture the game balls for a very high percentage of division 1 college programs as well as the lower divisions and high school balls as well. These are the same laces these guys used in college.

    The other point is we made very few of these and shipped them out to be used on a trial basis only. If the league and its players liked them better, great, if not that’s fine too. It appears the players don’t like them as well so they probably will remain the same.

    To those of you who say who cares who produces these balls I’d like to give you a little background of the shop… We are located in a small rural town called Ada, Ohio. The plant employs probably 100 employees.

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