Point a finger by casting a ballot


Now that the lockout has arrived, hours after the NFLPA became a trade association instead of a union, a lot of you are upset.  So are we.

It’s inexplicable that the men involved in this process were unable to find a way to divvy up more than $9 billion per year.  We all have challenges in our lives, and we’d all prefer that our biggest challenge be taking a knife to a nearly 11-figure pie.

So who do you blame for killing a deal?  Cast your vote below.

75 responses to “Point a finger by casting a ballot

  1. The owners have yet to agree to negotiation. That was a only non-binding mediation that just ended.

    Look, it’s the owners who are asking for more, not the players. Name ANY business in which you can demand a villion dollars a year more from your revenue-sharing partner without showing them the books. Duuh!

    You can be absolutely certain of one thing: The owners lawyers are advising them they would be waaaay better off negotiating a settlement than risk have the Courts rule against them – which they will do – and rightfully so, as they have every time.

  2. This may be a dumb question or previously explained on here, but how does a lockout work for the Packers? Are the players allowed in the facilities since they are owned by the city? If anyone has an article that explains this I’d appreciate a link.

  3. Demaurice Smith I do not DIG you!!!! Thanks for taking away my offseason you and fatso Jeff Saturday and Kevin Mawai who has hated the owners for 2 years now. I feel for the familes who will lose paychecks cause of these greedy players.

  4. I blame both sides but I think I blame the owners more.

    What I am hung up on is that I don’t understand why the owners wouldn’t back up their claim that they need some financial relief.

    I’m thinking there must be something I’m missing but I just don’t understand what the big deal is about proving their claim that they are going broke.

    Now would be a good time for some pro-owners small business owner to explain to me why the owners shouldn’t’ open their books.

  5. The owners could have opened their books to extend the deadline but they chose not to. They forced the players to exercise their only form of leverage, decertification.

    If the two side can’t agree on a new CBA, then they should go back to the terms of the previous one. The players would agree to that.

  6. Can we get the SEC to move its game to Sundays in the fall?? Thats the next closest thing to NFL….

  7. DE Smith is going to eventually go down as the biggest buffoon in history.

    And since when does a business owner have to divide his or her profits equally with the workers? Why would the owner of a business want to bother with it if he was going to make the same amount of money as his secretary and the guy who empties his garbage? This is freaking America. We work for success and it is rewarded.

  8. How can you not blame the owners? Their poor decisions to build all these stadiums and dole out so much money to #1 picks put them in this situation. The players haven’t asked for any more money. The owners want to add 2 more games while taking more money. How is that fair? We want you to work MORE for LESS!

  9. I blame both.

    But, I think the players were less willing to really negotiate.

    The fact that they asked for 10 years of audited financial records to sign another extension and the timeline to provide those audited results being so unreasonably short really underlined that for me.

    It seems the players felt their best leverage was to go to court and this was their game plan all along.


  10. And now we (the fans )get ready for a huge ticket price increase.since the last work stoppage my NY Giants tickets went from $29 each for 8 games to $120 each for 10 games that’s more than 400% in 20 years

  11. What if the owners simply let all the current players go and reform teams out of the draft? If there is no union why would rookies be prevented from playing? Every current player would be screwed and labor costs would be dramatically decreased. Even if revenue dropped significantly, so would costs. The bottom line for the owners might be much better and, after all, it is their capital. Additionally the mood of the public is currently very anti-union. People are sick of them. Just a thought, not a recommendation.

  12. Actually the fighting is over how to divvy up about $1 billion, since the players want 50% and are likely being offered in excess of 40%.

  13. The baseball strike pushed this baseball nut towards being a football nut. I think I’m gonna re-visit my old love. I despise greed.

  14. How about blaming the media for pretending like this is “the end of the NFL as we know it!!!”

  15. My opinion is that DeMo Smith wanted to go to court from day 1. The owners made most of the efforts during the negotiations. Do employees have the right to demand to see audited financial statements for the last 10 years? Really??? If the players are that concerned about their health and future they would invest in retirement and insurance versus big houses, flashy cars, and jewlery. Also, the owners are taking all the financial risk in a very shaky economy. I fully understand that the players risk their bodies on a daily basis on the field. However, members of the U.S. Military take much greater physical risk on a daily basis for a LOT LESS and they do not demand to see financial statements to do so.
    DeMaurice Smith will go down as the guy that killed the golden goose that used to be professional football. I will not be renewing my NFL Sunday ticket, buying any game tickets or appearal any time soon either. On the brighter side, I will have more time to spend with my family on Sundays, and I think others should do the same.
    The fools on both sides of this arguement would benefit from a season without football to get better in touch with their fan base, the ones that really pay the bills.

  16. when you work for a company, you do not go to your boss and say how much are you making, and then say i want 59% of that. if you did, they would show you the door.
    show the players the door.
    bring on the replacements.

  17. Very interesting that the ‘silent majority’, ie, the folks who don’t post here BUT do read, are siding with no one and blaming both parties.

  18. The owners last offer that you posted here last night and that I saw expounded on by the NFL channel was fabulous. I can’t think of any group of people who “work” under such wonderful conditions and terms. I can only imagine how any other group of “workers” would feel about getting an offer like that.

    And I used quotes on “work” because this is a game these people play. 16 times a year for 60 minutes each time. Brutal.

  19. Interesting how the public opinion shifts so dramatically based on half truths and writers’ analysis of the half truths. Anyone who truely believes that Jeff Pash and De Smith are telling the whole story is crazy. The public’s ridicule has shifted to the players for leaving a deal described by someone with the sole interest of making people believe that the players left a fair deal on the table in order to litigate. Does anyone (on this site or any other) really know how the negotiation went?

    Finally, the analysis on this site that the owners came down from 1 billion to 325 million as a sign of compromise is a little faulty if you consider that this is 325 milllion more than what they took off the top previously. The players wouldnt only lose 59.6% of 325 million, they lose the whole amount, then you apply the 59.6 to what’s left over.That is still a significant amount of money to take without tranparently showing the need.

  20. Sorry, but you have to look the opt-out from a business perspective…Either party had the option to opt out. Had it gone the other way, the union would have opted out and with good reason.

    As it turns out the union won big after an unprecedented revenue growth in the NFL in such a short period of time. Thus the NFL lost 100’s of millions of dollars, while being the partner that grew the business to begin with.

    The basics:
    NFL gets $1B off top then 42% of remainder

    In 2006 when the CBA was signed, (I am going from memory not exactly sure the amount) the league i believe was at $5.4B revenue.

    In 2010 they are dividing $9.3B in revenue.


    Players; $2.552B -$296M
    Owners; $2.848B +$296M

    Players; $4.814B + $328M
    Owners; $4.486B – $328M

    Players revenue grew over the owners by $624,000,000

    That is not quite $1B that the owners were asking for, but consider the growth rate, the players will once again be in the lead in short order.

    That is the business side…

    Also consider out of the owners cut, they pay for EVERYTHING.

    The Players cut goes to salaries and about $20M per year to benefits(roughly)

    So the players get to keep IN THEIR POCKETS about 87% before taxes.

    The owners cut must pay every other conceivable bill and salary known to the NFL, including the NFL offices that run the league, all referees and so on and so forth. The only money they get to use to help with the cost is luxury suites and concessions. So the next time you complain that you are in the rafters while the rich are in the boxes and the $8.00 beer, remember that the players don’t have to use any of their money to pay the costs of the league.

    Yet, there cut is raising at an alarmingly steeper rate than the owners…

    That said, we are still arguing over $9.3B…They should all cash their multi-million checks with a smile and continue to rake us over the coals and be happy. Especially since the owners gave retired players their due in the proposal. Their medical would be taken care of for life.

  21. All sides are guilty as hell because no one wanted to concede a thing. $9 billion just isn’t enough, and it’s disgusting beyond words. Screw ’em all

  22. I don’t understand why the majority of people readingbthis site blame the players? The owners illegally made a lockout insurance deal and ignored the players till they got caught! If they were serious about a deal from day 1 this wouldn’t have happened

  23. The players are the real idiots in this thing. They work FOR the owners, get paid BY the owners, play in stadiums built and managed by the owners. They are simply employees. They need to get real.

    The bigger issue at play again is that another worthless union is at the heart of this.


  24. The union has no right to see the financial documents. Employees (the players) have no right to see their owners (NFL owners) financial information. Think about it like this: in the “real world” when you go to work (privately held company) the employee cannot go and tell his boss to let him look at the company’s financial information. If the employee doesn’t like, they can quit and go do something else. The fact is the Union is in the wrong and they are completely to blame. Billionaire businessmen (the owners) know what they are doing when it comes to business. Smith and his liberal academia lawyers don’t have a clue.

  25. Not only an I angered by this lockout. I am pissed off at the fact that DeMaurice Smith has the audacity to stand in front of those microphones and cameras yesterday evening and call the players “heros” and saying they “sacrifice everything everyday”. That made me absolutely sick. First of all DeMaurice, get a clue, and stop using all these war references. The players are not “heros” for being selfish and not accepting a perfectly good deal and they do not “sacrificing everything everyday”. As a veteran I can speak to this. DeMaurice, how about you step outside of your cozy little office and realize that there actually are real heros out there and we do, quite literally, sacrifice everything everyday. Be a man and issue an apology. Your comments yesterday made me absolutely sick, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  26. Really hard to blame the NFLPA when the owners opted out of the CBA to begin with and then asked for money back.

    The battle started there …

    Getting the deal done now is on both parties though. They should still be negotiating regardless of litigation.

    Let’s play some ball!

  27. No Union and we have football. This is all part of the socialist spread the wealth around deal. If I had a business, The Union could go to H–l before Id open my books to them. They are employees and that is a fact. Players don’t like it? Guess what ? don’t play. Go get a job. Isn’t that why you went to college for in the first place?

  28. hockey did this to me…I still have not and will NOT forgive them. But this is weird in that it seems like the owners gave them the best deal possible. What is the NFLPA’s problem? Bad Leadership! I trust Goodell.

  29. How about another choice like the ‘union’ or just Smith specifically? Why do we get the feeling that he’s speaking for ‘the players’ but in fact is doing so for a small group of players. He didn’t want to deal and reminds me if a dictator of a small country, using the players ‘best interests’ as his weapon to get what HE wants. The players need to dump him, elect someone new, continue the talks which obviously had been making progress in the players favor and get a deal done.

    All this has done is leave a bitter taste in fans mouth and side more and more with the owners. I for one am getting to the point where I hope the players realize that the fans are the ones getting screwed as we spend our hard earned money to see them and buy their merchandise. You won’t be getting more from me thanks to Mr. Smith the overblown, self righteous, self promoting, pompous, arrogant, short minded individual that he is. The players will have him to thank if they now get totally screwed due to his lack of willingness to actually get a deal done. Bravo Mr. Smith, bravo.

  30. Only one side was asking for more money – the owners.

    I can only imagine that people are willfully ignoring this so that they can pretend the union (who they have been told to hate by talk show personalities) and athletes (who they are jealous of) is to blame.

    These people are delusional.

  31. “They are employees and that is a fact. ”

    They aren’t – they’re partners. Legally. Contractually.

    You are so stupid you can’t even read a 2 paragraph synopsis of the labor agreement. Too busy not succeeding in life I guess, and hating those that do.

  32. It seems like everyone was against the owners until the last few days, when word of them trying to negotiate leaked out. That, with reports that DeSmith put his fingers in his ears and started humming ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU’ essentially, has turned the public against the union and especially the union leadership.

    Great PR by the league to leak this stuff, bad PR by the Union to not have anything to counter.

  33. Unless all media coverage is terribly skewed in favor of the owners, the majority of blame rests with the NFLPA. It seems like De Smith was gonna decertify no matter what.

  34. It boggles me that the players are being blamed here. They have brief careers that often end in permanent injury. Most have no qualifications outside of what they do on the field, either. Making the best paycheck they can during the short time they can actually earn a paycheck from this career is imperative. The players often give up their health to this sport and they should be fairly compensated. Not just for right now, today, but for the earning potential they’re sacrificing in the future to bring you this game.

    I also feel like the owners should be fairly compensated, but I don’t think that they were looking for ‘fair.’ After the last CBA (which the owners opted out of, mind you), it felt like the owners were looking to exact some financial and/or PR retribution. And you meatheads who are blaming the players for this situation are giving them exactly what they want.

  35. If I demanded to see my employers books they would lock me out too….. Right after they fired me.

    Owners, draw a line, they players that cross it can play and make millions the players that don’t can try life in the ufl.

    Greedy b@stards!

  36. The media is spinning this story hard in one direction. We don’t live in a fair and balanced world with fair and balanced media so this is hardly news. What I would like to see is the media reporting on the fact that the owners don’t want to open their books because if taxpayers found out how bad they were getting hammered on stadium construction legislation, the jig would be up.

  37. If some of you think the NFL owners are like the employers that you work for, you’re just plain wrong. The owners take all the business risks? Google “who paid for Texas stadium”. The taxpayers that rent hotels,use taxis,buy tickets, the residents of the city of Arlington with a sales tax…they actually paid for Jerry Jones new stadium. The Lerner family in Cleveland didn’t build the new stadium for the Browns, the taxpayers in the city of Cleveland did. How many businesses have someone else build their factories,warehouses, and stores for them, and beg them to occupy them?

  38. First line out of the NFLPA’s response to the NFL:

    “The NFL demanded a multi-billion dollar giveback and refused to provide any legitimate financial information to justify it.”

    Like it or not, that is, and always was, what this entire fight has been about.
    From day one until yesterday.

  39. The Union did not negotiate in good faith. That is all there is to it. Now I hope they get screwed.

  40. jbaxt says: Mar 12, 2011 10:18 AM

    “Greedy b@stards!”
    The owners are trying to take $1 billion+ away from the players without justification, and this makes the players greedy?

    Sound reasoning.

  41. I hope the owners bury the players. The owners made HUGE moves to try and get a deal done while the players were just killing time as their plan was to always go this route.

    I would make sure what ever deal the owners offered the players at the end was cut in half on any deal that is ever completed.

  42. Some of you people are idiots. The players are not demanding more money the owners are thats why its a lockout and not a strike. The owners are demanding up to a billion dollars back without wanting to show the financial records. This isnt like a normal job this is a collective bargaining where the two sides are supposed to be partners. If your partner came to you saying just trust me I need to take back 1 billion from you but wont show you why you wouldnt accept it either. This is 100% the owners fault and anyone who thinks otherwise is uneducated. The players dont want more they want things to stay the same.

  43. If you don’t blame both sides in this clusterfark you are being naive as hell. Neither side needs anything but our scorn for working towards denying us football this year and they both are working towards that goal right now.

  44. When the players share is determined by how much money is made -they certainly have a right to verify those numbers. That is simple – it is what the contract is based upon. SO all of the arguments that they have no right to look at the books are ridiculous. It has to happen. I love the spin – “We only got 41% AFTER you take a billion off the top” There is no risk for the owners – their team value alone is going up at an astronomical rate. The NFL is more popular than ever, they share revenue – the only people that can screw this up for the owners are the owners themselves.

  45. snnyjcbs says: Mar 12, 2011 10:45 AM

    “I hope the owners bury the players. The owners made HUGE moves to try and get a deal done while the players were just killing time as their plan was to always go this route. ”

    Initially, the owners asked for a billion dollars back with no justification. Now they’re asking for half that, still with no justification. Huge moves huh?

    And if memory serves, it was the owners, who until the Doty ruling, were content to NOT negotiate, but merely watch the clock while they planned a lockout, hoping to starve the players out.

  46. northeastern31 says:
    hockey did this to me…I still have not and will NOT forgive them. But this is weird in that it seems like the owners gave them the best deal possible. What is the NFLPA’s problem? Bad Leadership! I trust Goodell.

    You had me right up until that last line.

  47. I blame the stupid, greedy FANS!

    Who do they think they are, wanting to watch games and buy merchandise and follow the NFL?? The hard-working owners and players just want to live in peace, but nooooooooo… the fans had to pressure them into this situation.

    Lame, yeah. For the record I voted “both.”

  48. It’s funny how we claim to love democracy so much, but are totally against the most democratic form of an employee/employer relationship.

    The union allows the workers to become partners. Those of you who know anything about administration probably understand how important it is to for the “employees” to be respected an part of the negotiations.

    If the owners say there’s a financial crunch, prove it. The owners claim the need an extra large slice of the pie to pay for infrastructure on the stadiums. This is bullcrap. The stadiums are usually public infrastructure, maintained by the taxpayers.

    So the claim is totally bogus. But if I actually had financial problems, I would just open my books.

    But ain’t it just like a businessman–socialize the burden; privatize the profits.

  49. I blame both sides, but the players are the ones being completely unreasonable IMO. They play an effing game for a living. Is it a violent game? Yes. Still better than 98% of the other jobs in the US? Yes.

    Why is it accepted as a foregone conclusion that the players are entitled to their exorbitant salaries? If I were an owner, I’d tell them to take a hike when they demanded that we open our books.

  50. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 12, 2011 10:30 AM

    “The Union did not negotiate in good faith.”

    Oh, and the owners did?
    The guys who agreed to the current CBA, then in the middle of it, changed their minds?
    The guys who went behind the players backs and attempted to secure “lockout insurance” in the hopes they could just declare a lockout and starve the players out?
    The guys who are demanding the return of $1 billion, but won’t say why?

  51. Your poll has been hijacked,

    Several Right Wing anti-union sites are driving their members here to game this poll.

    Sorry, it means even less than these types of polls usually do.

  52. Would the losers that are pro-union just STFU for all our sakes.

    Of course both sides are at fault BUT, the players union is pathetic. Unions are nothing but parasites and parasites are known to kill their hosts. The players are employees that receive much more than they really should. If they are too stupid to take care of themselves with the money they receive, we have to do it for them?? LOL

    I say fire all of them and start from scratch. We’ll see who will regret it.

  53. @philly1313-

    “The players wouldnt only lose 59.6% of 325 million, they lose the whole amount, then you apply the 59.6 to what’s left over.”

    Let me use small numbers to show why your point is inaccurate. If the NFL made 1000 dollars a year and the split was 60/40(yes, I rounded). That’s 600 for players and 400 for owners. But the owners want 325 off top. So now it’s 675 to be split 60/40. The players 60% would equal 405. That’s a drop of only $195 dollars because part of what “comes off the top” would have gone to the owners regardless.

    Now that that’s cleared up, after last night, I blame both parties. Even if the deal reportedly offered by the league isn’t 100% truthful, where was the counter proposal by the union? And don’t tell me the counter was for “10 years of statements” as that’s not a counter proposal for the CBA but instead a demand to be met in order to accept the current offer. The players officially chose to not extend the deadline and keep trying. So realistically, the owners ended the CBA making them the initiators of the mess, and the players chose to stop negotiating the new deal, making them the catalyst.

    I’m inches away from being an AFL and college football fan.

  54. @fooziegrooler –

    “Oh, and the owners did?
    The guys who agreed to the current CBA, then in the middle of it, changed their minds?”


    The players knew the owners were going to do this when they signed the last CBA considering it contained language that permitted the owners to do so. Why else would owners demand that language be included in the agreement if they planned to see the deal through?

    Also, as far as health concerns from playing in the NFL…. Cops, fire fighters, miners, soldiers, and more DIE every day in the call of duty. When was the last time the NFL saw a fatality on the field?

    How much more do NFL players make than cops, fire fighters, miners, and soldiers? Thought so.

  55. I think we all need to stop with the Opt-Out excuse to blame the owners.


    If they had not opted out, the players very well could have in order to get the retired issues resolved that they want included in the new CBA(and by the way the last offer included).

    The opt-out was going to be implemented either way, but the owners are the ones that put the paperwork through.

    If the union did not do that, they could not take care of the retired players the way they claim they have been trying to.

  56. Are you letting NFL Players vote in this thing. On the Street of every 20 or so people I talk to maybe 1 blames the owners.

    The owners were the only ones giving at the Mediation. What does that clown running the NFLPA think we are slow. He was well aware the “we want 10 years of audited Financials” to extend was never going to happen.

    They never intended a deal only to try and get the public on their side acting like they were trying. And they wonder why if they cannot play ball they end up Bagging Groceries or worse.

    Ronald Reagan brought the Air Traffic Controllers to their knees, I hope these owners do the same. Players come and go, but the game always goes on. It has always been about the game and it is the grunt players that the Bradys and Manning’s rob from that have always made the game.

    Owners bring these GREEDY PLAYERS to their knees and I will back you with my money as I always have. Let them win and I and my family and my money are gone for good.

  57. “I think De Smith should be a few blocks down in DC selling crack on the corner. That is where most of “his” players will be in a few years.”

    Why, because their black?

    Hmmm. Your a Seattle fan.

    Go to Seattle, or Portland OR. Or anywhere in the midwest.

    Half of the people who liver there a meth addicts, 90% of them white.

    PS – your racism is another reason you are a nobody with no leverage and thus get mad at people in the NFLPA who can influence their situation.

  58. “I think De Smith should be a few blocks down in DC selling crack on the corner. That is where most of “his” players will be in a few years.”

    Why, because their black?

    No, because they are stupid and poor money managers. We go by history and not by prejudice.

  59. The way I see this whole thing is simple. The side that is protecting the truth from being revealed is the side that’s caused the situation to get to this point. Successful negotiations have one dynamic in common, they are all conducted with transparency, so the truth is out in the open.

  60. If you want to blame both sides, that is fine. But for anyone to blame the players more than the owners or to think the players are more responsible for this, that is just absurd. The owners and the league have been talking lockout for years. They wanted this. They tried to cut a tv deal to allow them to do this. The owners, despite the fact none of them are losing money and despite the fact that tv revenue and advertising, etc are all at all-time highs, want MORE money. They want the players to take less money and they want the players to play two more games. The owners and the league have lied repeatedly about public support for 18 games and have continued to tell the same lie over and over that 18 regular season games will be no more taxing on the players than 16 games since they will cut two preseason games. That any one can say that with a straight face is just absurd. Let’s also remember, the NFL players are the only athletes in professional sports that allow for non-binding contracts. For years, the NFL players union has done whatever the league has wanted. They finally are saying enough is enough. And the owners are content to just wait this out because they all have plenty of money anyway. The owners won’t agree to full disclosure of their financial assets – why not? This lockout is almost entirely league/owner driven. The only area where the owners have a leg to stand on is rookie wage scale. Other than that, it is out of control greed, pure and simple.

  61. Its the players fault, anyone who thinks they actually deserve 100M contracts are fools. You play football, your not a teacher or ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD PAST 5 YEARS.

  62. Exactly who are the socialists? The owners control production, share revenues, share expenses and let the worst team have first choice of incoming talent. What could possibly be more socialist than that? And these socialist principals have made it the most successful sports league in the world.

    If the owners were capitalists then there would be multiple, competing leagues. Then, if a player didn’t like how he was being treated in one league then he would be free to change leagues when his contract expired.

  63. i blame the guy who represents the players all alogn hes been saying he wants the lock out because of his sutpid political asperations. i say noone ever votes for that guy.

  64. NFL owners are the only people I know that actually have contracts that aren’t contracts. Players can get cut and not paid unlike any of the other professional sports. So, I suppose it’s only natural for them to opt out of a collectively bargained contract with the players association. But, honestly, if they don’t opt out, there’s no lockout/decertification. I blame the owners.

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