Union, NFL should start trying to do smaller deals

During my three-hour tour as guest host on The Dan Patrick Show (I still have no idea how it happened, and I’m not nearly delusional enough to think I was actually any good), NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith joined the discussion in the second hour for an interview that focused on the ongoing labor drama between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

As I scrapped questions from the outline while trying to listen to answers from Smith in the hopes of coming up with brilliant follow-up questions (it’s sort of like trying to juggle a tennis ball, a bowling ball, and a rotten egg . . . while riding a unicycle . . . through a minefield . . . covered in ice), I had to throw overboard what would have been a pretty good question, at least in comparison to my other questions.

Why don’t the NFL and the union try to work out agreements on smaller issues, in the hopes of building some momentum by establishing common ground?

It would make sense.  Like the U.S. and the Soviets during the Cold War, the bigger issues couldn’t be solved absent the progress made by reaching a series of smaller agreements.

It’s possible that the union wants to avoid eventually being backed into a corner, with a consensus reached on every secondary issue and only the money dilemma remaining.  Also, it’s possible that the union wants to tie its position on the other issues to the total compensation paid to the players.  Striking deals on hGH testing and the rookie wage scale and the 18-game season would make it impossible for the NFLPA to use those issues as a way to get a better financial deal.

Still, any progress would be welcome at this point, especially with Smith convinced that a lockout is coming.

We used to be optimistic that it won’t happen.  But as I told Cris Collinsworth during his visit to the show, there’s a good chance that the only NFL football being played come September 2011 will involve analysis from Collinsworth, play-by-play from Gus Johnson, and computer-generated men wearing NFL uniforms.

4 responses to “Union, NFL should start trying to do smaller deals

  1. Union, NFL should start trying to do smaller deals
    Smith: “Okay how about this, we will all have the Chicken for lunch on Tuesday like you want BUT we get a Mr. Pibb along with a fresh baked cookie.”
    Owners: “…………..Ummmmmm well…”
    Smith: “Fine, how about a water and a fig newton.”
    Owners: “Okay you have a deal.
    They are getting somewhere now.

  2. I’m not an attorney turned sportswriter, but my basic understanding of Labor Negotiations 101 suggests that Unions tend not to like to divide up issues.
    Sure, they might agree that simple HGH testing is an area where compromise is possible. But they’re not about to throw away negotiating chips and leverage for nothing. They’ll make the smallest issue seem like it’s the most dramatic concession, and do their darndest to get something major “in return.”
    Ultimately they link everything to everything else for maximum leverage.
    They might truly already know where most of the areas of agreement will eventually be – for now it’s all posturing.

  3. Sorry Florio, I love you but you are right. You weren’t that good on the show. You are a 10/10 on short segments. Stick to that.

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