De Smith’s anti-lockout stance will make it harder to strike in the future

Several of you have forwarded to us a Wednesday morning interview of NFLPA Executive Director De Smith on WGR 550 in Buffalo, the very first radio station on which yours truly ever polluted the air waves.  (So, basically, blame them.)

Smith appeared on The Howard Simon Show, and he engaged in a lengthy discussion of the labor situation with Howard Simon and Jeremy White.  During the interview, Smith encountered as much resistance as he likely ever has on the subject of the lockout that Smith believes is looming.

At times, Smith seemed a little loud and almost perturbed, even though most of his points were valid, especially as it relates to the critical role of revenue sharing in keeping small-market teams like the Bill viable.

But one point resonated with us more than any other.  In his zeal to curry favor with the fans by warning us that the league is threatening to take away “our game,” Smith is making it virtually impossible to ever stage a strike for as long as he’s working for the union.

“What I’m negotiating the fairness of whether or not a business that is grown by public money should be allowed to shut down,” Smith said.  “So when I know that 40 million union workers have talked to the owners about shutting down a game that shuts down America, that’s our fight, too.

“I know everybody would like to paint this as a battle between millionaires and billionaires.  And you know what?  You can do and say and think anything you want.  But my guess is over the last two years every fan in Buffalo has had to confront the fact that not the owner’s team would leave, not the players’ team would leave, but that their team would leave.  Isn’t it fair then to say, ‘We should be all thinking about what happens when they shut down our game?'”

It sounds good when directed at the party that could be shutting down “our game,” but the last two times “our game” was shut down, it was the players who shut down “our game.”

So the good news is that we won’t be seeing a strike from the players any time soon.  If we do, all the league has to do is play back some of Smith’s quotes.

Though Smith said he’s not trying to get fans to take a side, he surely would like to persuade people to choose his side.  Based on the full body of what he said today and the manner in which the hosts responded to him, the players likely now have less support in Buffalo, not more.

Smith probably didn’t help matters by mentioning near the end of the session that he’s a lifelong Redskins fan and “by the way we got you in the Super Bowl.”  Though he was laughing when he said it, for Bills fans it’s like saying through a chortle, “By the way, too bad about that cancer you have.”

32 responses to “De Smith’s anti-lockout stance will make it harder to strike in the future

  1. I’ll worry when it happens…worry about what you can control, and I can’t control these knuckleheads….

  2. Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt.

  3. Florio, Your haughty contempt for Smith always comes through 100 % of the time. Maybe you will soon be a lawyer for the owners.

  4. remember – they are fighting over OUR money. screw em both. lockout/strike – whatever. i’ll watch hockey and/or baseball.

  5. Just goes to show Smith is just a lawyer type watching games from a suite. Comment about the Redskins would be fighting words in a lot of towns, he probably scurried out before any fans got to the station. Him and his buddies drinking cosmopolitans and apple martinis in their suites would just consider it funny talk.

  6. Is Smith subject to drug testing? If not, he should be. Where does he get this stuff? Fantasy leagues? Because fans pay money to get entertained they deserve ownership rights?
    If he really believes this stuff we are in real trouble, because there is no way rational business arguments can be discussed with someone so devoid of common sense.
    It sounds like he did get push back from the radio hosts. Thankfully. Maybe there’s some hope.

  7. Is it any surprise that this clown worked on Obama’s transition team? His arrogance and general thought process that the people are too dumb to get it goes hand in hand. Bring on SHANE FALCO!

  8. You have a league that makes money by the boatloads and gets more and more popular every year. So lets shut it down, GREAT IDEA !!!

  9. Let the free market reign. Lock the union out and let the players come begging for their jobs back and eliminate the union forever.

  10. Baba-booey! Baba-booey Howard Simon’s penis Baba-b….
    Oh, sorry. Who’s Howard Simon?

  11. The UFL will be sitting pretty good next year. If there’s a lockout can the players go to the UFL? how does that work?

  12. I’m sure I’m over-simplifying it but, wouldn’t it make sense if both sides just agreed to go to arbitration and let a neutral third party sort it all out.
    This of course makes the unlikly assumtion that both sides would agree to give up control of the negotiatation process.

  13. Pack_Attack says:
    “typical liberal, put the fear of some straw man or boogie in the people. This guy is a puke.”
    Is that like when the “liberals” started a useless war In Iraq that has cost hundreds of billions claiming weapons of mass destruction, non-existent links to 9/11, and a looming “mushroom cloud”? Oh, wait, that was the other guys. Turn off the talk radio and go get your GED and learn that both sides play morons like you for a fool.

  14. Florio – The fans in Buffalo do not care about the players, they do not care about the owner — They only care about the Buffalo Bills.
    Buffalo is the one NFL franchise where its not about the name on the back of the jersey, but the one on front.

  15. Obama spent more money on his failed stimulus plan than bush did in iraq…
    Im not sayin im just sayin

  16. If Smith is really worried about keeping “our game” going, perhaps he could stop talking to the media and the AFL-CIO long enough to actually provide some realistic ideas to the owners for the next CBA. How about:
    — A realistic rookie pay scale?
    — Real penalties for violations of PID use and off-field conduct issues (including loss of bonuses if the player is suspended or incarcerated
    — 50 percent revenue share for player salaries
    If “our game” is shut down next year, it will be just as much the fault of a union of millionaires unwillingness to negotiate as it will the club of billionaires unwillingness to the same…

  17. “LOL Pack Attack, your clueless buddy. Keep watching FAUX NEWS.”
    Funny how the butt hurt liberal jumps in to attempt an insult about being clueless, yet forgets it is “you’re” instead of “your”
    Idiot.

  18. @ east
    Again you are a genius… The President cannot authorize war without the support of congress which was supported by several Democrats that were all presented with the same intelligence as Bush. Turn on talk radio, something other than MSNBC and get your middle school certification.

  19. remember – they are fighting over OUR money. screw em both. lockout/strike – whatever. i’ll watch hockey and/or baseball.

    how IRONIC lol

  20. buffaloben77 says:
    September 22, 2010 1:51 PM
    remember – they are fighting over OUR money. screw em both. lockout/strike – whatever. i’ll watch hockey and/or baseball.
    ……or College Football, NBA, etc. And you can be sure the networks will have Sunday/Monday night games of that ilk to replace NFL. Maybe even, shudder, UFL?

  21. well bush isnt conservative. he’s a rino.
    which actually means liberal. war isnt a conservative act.

  22. Some of you guys are so clueless it makes me sick.
    Siding with the owners in this thing? Why? What have they done for the game?
    And the Players got too greedy last time???
    It’s not the players that want to end revenue sharing. Or threw out the old CBA.
    Open your eyes and think, people!

  23. buffaloben77 says:
    September 22, 2010 1:51 PM
    remember – they are fighting over OUR money. screw em both. lockout/strike – whatever. i’ll watch hockey and/or baseball
    I wouldn’t put my money on baseball. They will strike again and thats probably the reason that NFL players want more money. Baseball did it and they already make more than we do

  24. all you lames should play like a denver wr and take yourselves out. the world would be a better place.

  25. DARTH 0BAMA says:
    “Obama spent more money on his failed stimulus plan than bush did in iraq…
    Im not sayin im just sayin”
    Not when you count the continuing health care for our vets. People always forget to add that on, but 1) it’s a huge expense 2) it’s the bare minimum we can do for them. Spend some time at your local VA and you’ll see that WWII vets are still coming in for the care they are entitled to. BTW – Got a whole bunch of highways expanded and repaved around here with that “failed” stimulus. Remind me again what we got from Iraq?

  26. “Got a whole bunch of highways expanded and repaved around here with that “failed” stimulus. Remind me again what we got from Iraq?”
    I think the people of Iraq got freedom and rights they didnt have. Glad to see you are so worried about “we” and not helping out others.

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