Art Rooney assails union’s tactics, expects initial court ruling as soon as this week

AP

One of the hallmarks of nearly 80 years of ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers by the Rooney family has been the genuine affection the Rooneys have for their players.  To the extent that their players are part of the league’s players generally, Art Rooney, II, isn’t feeling all that affectionate right now.

In an exclusive interview with the team’s website (which makes it sort of an interview of Rooney by Rooney), Rooney pulls few punches when sharing his feelings regarding the manner in which the union handled the collective bargaining process.  Like most other owners who have spoken publicly on the topic, Rooney believes that the NFLPA* had one goal — pushing the matter to decertification and litigation.

“The players never really moved off their position, and looking back at the whole mediation, while there may have been a couple of points where there was progress, overall we really never made any progress,” Rooney said.  “In my mind, they never really used the process to get a deal done.”

Rooney acknowledged that the process was stressful at time.  “It was emotional,” he said.  “There wasn’t a lot of yelling and finger-pointing, but there was some.  More than anything, it was frustrating in that there just wasn’t a lot of movement.  There just didn’t seem to be a lot of interest on their side in getting something done and we just came away from it with the impression that this was their plan all along — to decertify and take this thing into the courts.”

For Rooney, the best evidence of the union’s strategy came from the union’s reaction to the league’s willingness to crack the books open.

“That was one of the strange things in the negotiations, because the previous week when that subject came up, we said — after a long time of not being willing to provide anything and really feeling like it was one of those things that wasn’t going to lead to anything — then we felt like, OK, maybe if we agree to give them something and try to provide them some insight into what has happened to the teams, maybe that would lead to a breakthrough,” Rooney said.  “So we offered to provide them some financial information through an auditor, we offered to go through a third party and have a third party look at the information.

“It was a very strange reaction.  They didn’t take the information, after asking for it.  They said it wasn’t good enough.  I don’t even know how you can make that judgment without accepting what was offered.  Certainly we would not have been surprised if they came back after they had seen it and had questions.  But they never even looked at it.  To me, that was a little bit of a tip-off as to where they were really headed with this thing.”

He also emphasized the significance of the league’s willingness to table the 18-game discussion for two years, requiring joint approval of a shift in the regular season after 2012, at the earliest.

“[W]e offered to take the 18-game season off the table for now, and that it would be something we would re-visit in two years, and then it would have to be agreed to by both sides,” Rooney said.  “That 18-game season seemed to be one of the biggest issues, as far as we knew, that the players were concerned about.  So taking that off the table, we felt, was a major move on our part.  But it really got zero reaction.  Again, they seemed to not really want to continue negotiations, and rather to get into their litigation strategy. . . .  [U]nder the current agreement, the one that just expired, we had the right to change the season without the players’ approval.  This we felt was a major concession, a major step toward their side in terms of trying to address something that they had expressed a lot of concern about.  Again, for them to not even really respond to that was very disappointing.”

As to the lawsuit filed Friday, Rooney echoed our assessment that things could move quickly.  “[W]e expect there will be some kind of hearing and ruling on that within the next week,” Rooney said.  “Then we’ll just have to react to that.  Whatever the ruling is that comes down from the judge, we’ll have to decide whether to appeal it or whether it’s in our favor.  We’ll have to see.”

So, basically, instead of watching guys in casual business attire parade in and out of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, the next development will entail a parade of suits-and-ties into federal court in Minneapolis.

80 responses to “Art Rooney assails union’s tactics, expects initial court ruling as soon as this week

  1. Was there ever an autopsy or investgation how a guy just finds out he has cancer and suddenly then dies days later?

    c/p

    Gene Upshaw, NFL Hall of Famer and the executive director of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) since 1983, recently died of pancreatic cancer at his vacation home in Lake Tahoe, CA. He was 63.

    Upshaw had been diagnosed just days earlier with the illness. His wife Terri and sons Eugene Jr., Justin and Daniel were by his side when he passed away

  2. Get the Rooney, Hunt, al davis, madden, art blank, Irsay, r wilson and kraft in there and leave the rest of em out…

    take out de smith and put in actual players like manning, brady, waters, brees and t richardson

    betcha a deal would be done over lunch…

    and im sure al davis would pay

  3. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on since non-binding mediation ended – just some basic common sense with our eyes and ears open.

    The same party that wanted an extra billion of the top, have been the ones whining like stuck pigs.

    Now they know, as Jerry Richardson inadvertently admitted, the owners will have to negotiate, not dictate. Nor do the owners like their chances in Court.

    Just suck it up and get the deal done boys. The writing is on the wall what you must do, It’s inevitable, so just get it over with.

  4. Sorry Artie, the court can’t look at this the same was as they did when your QB basicly raped a girl and payed her off to shut her up.

  5. Charlie Batch was in that room–does he have a response? So far I’m seeing a lot of comments from owners but few from players.

  6. I think former players, not lawyers, should serve as the head of the union (Troy Vincent, anyone?) and as commissioner. I think that would create better communication if the owners could share their concerns with the players. The lawyers (on both sides) always play the victim, poor pitiful me card. How ’bout we get some people that actually care about football to sit down and come up with a deal that really works for everybody?

  7. So sick of these baby owners conplaining about this being the players fault. If judge Doty didn’t rule against the owners on the tv contract case the owners would have locked out the players two weeks ago.

  8. Oh pls I thought it was his father who spoke. If this was coming from his Dad, even though I support the players. I’ll probably just shut up and listen.

    But Art Rooney II? Give me a break.

  9. the union sucks and thanks for your efforts Mr. Rooney. i agree they never wanted to do a deal.

    they try to make it sound like they are not all about the money BUT they really are.

    i hope the owners screw the union over

    if i didnt say it already i will say it again

    this NFLPA union sucks

  10. As more and more information filters out I have to side with ownership more and more. Here is “the boss” letting “the worker” peek at things they’ve never sniffed before (are not not at all entitled to divulge) and as was stated, without even reviewing what was provided they want more? De Smith needs to realize that Oliver Twist was a fictional character.

  11. The players may screw around and get nothing! The owners may say “we will pay you $1,000 a week, no benefits nor guarantee’s and you may not be here tomorrow”. The players are to damn greedy! The $9 billion belongs to the owners, if not for the owners these greedy a-holes might have to find a real job.

  12. so the Players
    – turned down a look at statements and a tabling of 18 games for 2 years with right of refusal when it was picked back up
    – walked out and decertified

    and it’s the Owners fault for not negotiating?

    whose fault?
    thumbs up : Players…
    thumbs down: Owners

  13. It tears I’m Art, Too! up to see the enterprise his family built on fixed horse races dragged through the muck like this.

  14. to those of you who think unions and workers rights are destroying our country i say:

  15. I was on the side of the players….until now. The Rooney family is the most respected football family in the business. If Art says it, it happened that way.

  16. These comments by Rooney are a clear example of word choice and rhetoric masking what is truth.
    Rooney says that the benevolent owners are agreeable to shelving their 18 game proposal.
    Well nobody with half a brain thought that was a fair or good idea in the first place, so they basically gave back something false that they created that had zero value, except as a me first benefit to the owners only.
    Then he says that they were willing to give some financial info, but the union wouldn’t look at it.
    This labor fight is what every business fight is; money.
    However, this money is either going to players who are physically impaired after their careers, or to wealthy businessman who suffer no physical effects.
    I don’t understand my some wealthy entrepeneurs don’t step up and create a new pro football league and leave Rooney with his horse racing tracks and gambling machines and no NFL income.
    I am personally wealthy, and these wealthy miser owners give wealthy a bad name.

  17. Goes to show you what D. Smith had in mind all along…string along the owners and get the public favor then pull the plug on things and do what you had planned to do in the first place, decertify and sue. So much for mediation. Smith is nothing but a glorified gasbag who’s getting his 15 minutes in the spotlight. Owners are about the greed, yes, but the players are out to get the most they can, fans be damned, but they’re as greedy as the owners.

  18. So the league gives them audited financial information and the NFLPA doesn’t been look at it? Even if it wasn’t everything they wanted it was a starting point and gave them insight into the financial condition of the league and its teams. From what I can gather, the owners moved quite a bit during the mediation — providing concessions on the 18-game season’ offseason workouts, money for retired players, even the set aside for stadiums and other capital costs — yet the players didn’t move on anything, except the rookie salary cap that benefits the current players. In a time in our country’s history when so many Americans have lost their jobs, it’s hard to feel sorry for players who receive enormous salaries for playing a game and aren’t willing to meet owners even halfway. I hope the judge throws out their decertification as a sham, because that’s what it is.

  19. I hate the steelers, utterly hate them … But I must admit I have respect for the Rooneys and now even more so after reading this. This is one reason i will hate them a little less I guess. Still hate them though, damn condescending Hines Ward!

  20. First: I’m totally on the owner’s side as of now and I feel like Rooney right now.

    Second: Does anyone really think the players have a chance to win this battle against some of the most powerful people in this countrey?

  21. It is very clear the owners offered some insight into the finances of the clubs. Everything the players wanted to know? Maybe not…it was a starting point which could have been built upon and might have been the basis for gaining agreement between both parties. In the end, the owners and players will “win” financially. The Fans end up on the short end with months of wealthy owners and overpaid players bickering over more revenue than either deserve.

  22. I read in several articles where the players didn’t look at the finances offered. But De Smith on Friday claimed that it wasn’t good enough. How would you know if its good enough if you don’t look at it? I believe the players wanted to go this route the entire time. Why prolong it? Why extend the talks just to decertify immediately? So irritated by the NLFPA

  23. They’re all scumbags, just appears DeMaurice and the Union are bigger ones. This is just another corporate pissing contest. They all know the season will be played as normal this year, just messing up the free agency etc. and pushing things back . Let me know when it all ends. I want to punch my tv. every time I see Demaurice or Goodell in front of the camera.

  24. The more info that’s leaked about negotiations the worse it makes the Union and De Smith look. Even when the Union releases info and their side, they nip pick on these little points and don’t move off them. We are in this situation because if De Smith.

  25. Per the 2/21/11 Sports Illustrated article by Jim Trotter, De Smith started as a community organizer…what could go wrong?

    When DeMaurice was 14, Maryland’s Prince George’s County was splitting along racial lines over the trial of Terrence Johnson, a 16-year-old African-American accused of shooting and killing two white police officers. The county’s school system had been integrated five years earlier by federal mandate; Johnson’s trial reopened the wound.

    Smith was struck not only by the polarization within the community but also by the lawyers’ efforts to make their cases before the public. After watching them on television one day, he thought to himself: This, I can do. At that time he joined Common Cause, a grassroots community organizing and government watchdog group. Though surrounded by much older colleagues and working on issues of little interest to most teenagers, Smith did not feel out of place. “I remember walking in thinking, This is where you’re supposed to be,” he says.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1182007/3/index.htm#ixzz1GW9nt4H0

  26. Rooney is absolutely right, Bravo. The players will look back at the selection of D. Smith to lead the former NFLPA (now a sham trade association) as a day that will live in infamy.

  27. Sham union tactics is exactly right.
    The players get 59.6 % of ALL revenue the league takes in. What other employer gives such a generous package. The league rakes in 9 Billion minus 1 billion off the top. Now the players cut is over 4 billion, PLUS their percentage of jersey sales and etc with their names on them(which the union/league/and Reebok agree to prices).
    So the players already have their slice of the pie already.
    Now the league and owners have to start paying out health insurance for the players and their families with ZERO premiums charged to players.
    Insurance on stadiums, equipment, etc. then has to be paid.
    Ooops, Uncle Sam still needs to be paid.
    Other team and league employees still need to be played.
    And so on and so on.

    Yea, the players are treated SOOOOOOO badly. They get paid their majority percentage guarenteed. If the team loses money, other team personnel takes a paycut, gets laid off. Do you think the players will help out and pitch in to help those employees? Yea right.

    The players are going to the courts because they are counting on Doty to keep protecting them. They know without the courts in their corner the owners will crush them

  28. Thats what is wrong with sports today. OVERPAID prima donna’s.
    Paying mega millions to the likes of Jarmarcus and Verne. Paying 15 million annual to a .500 pitcher that plays only every 5 days.
    Basketball players that get paid 10 million a year whether they play or not.
    Yea, players are sooooooooo mistreated and owners are soooooooooo evil.
    Gimme a break.
    GTF outta here!

  29. This is one of the more insightful pieces of information I’ve gained in trying to understand the entire lockout ordeal.

    I have generally tilted toward favoring the players in this argument – after all, it is the owners that opted out of the old agreement – BUT it really does seem like the players idea all along was to litigate and not bargain.

    If this whole deal goes into the regular season, when players will begin to miss game checks, they are going to regret the litigation decision.

  30. Art Rooney II, yet another one of the respected owners of the NFL, repeats what far too many people now view as De Smith’s only strategy – decertification and litigation.

    It’s time for the players to realize that De Smith is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of obtaining labor peace. His unspeakable arrogance, along with his shocking immaturity and Napoleon complex, have led the “negotiating” process down the wrong path.

    Any reasonable person, with any powers of observation, can easily see that De Smith has done absolutely no negotiating at all. This I think can be attested to because of no reported counter offers on his part. Please players – fire De Smith immediately and return to the negotiating table and obtain labor peace.

  31. I’m hoping for the drama of a good old fashioned blood feud with the union telling the owners: “EFF YOU!”, and the owners shouting back: “EFF YOU TOO!”, and then see it escalate into a nuclear power plant like meltdown!

    Jerry Jones and Dean Spanos are both jackass owners who I’d love nothing better than to see the union jam a court order up their arse forcing them to open their books and make them public!

    I have NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that the owners are hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, and with the way they’ve risen ticket, concession and parking prices over the past 5 years or so I hope that they get screwed over by the union when all is said and done.

    Hey, no players, no games. No games? No revenues. Duh-uh!!!

  32. This problem was in the pipeline the minute that the players started to think of themselves as ‘partners’ rather than employee’s.

    Due to the total saturation of immediate media alot of people are over-reacting – this will get sorted out once all the posturing and ego-stroking is finished with.

  33. For all you fans, players come and go, but owners and coaches are the key to stable and winning franchises.

    I’m backing the owners.

  34. Seems Rooney just bumped the owners approval rating by a few more points.

  35. I don’t get why so many here put much stock in what Rooney Jr. has to say. All he is is a member of the “lucky sperm club”, who likely has never worked an honest days work in his entire life (it’s the old “born with a platinum spoon in the mouth” syndrome). Dumbarse Dean Spanos of the Chargers is the same, but dumbarse Dean got dropped on his head at birth too.

    It’s too bad that the NFL hasn’t released the schedules for next season. I would love nothing more than to see the gasbag Patriots lose a couple (or more), early scheduled “cushy” teams on their schedule once the league officially loses 1/4 or so of the regular season schedule before the pissing contest finally ends, but we have no way of knowing right now what the strength of schedules looks like.

  36. Sorry Art, but with all due respect, I’m on the players side on this one. To the best of my knowledge, the players have not “flat-out refused” to give back $1 billion (or any portion thereof), they just want to know why. Considering the amount being asked, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.

    Regardless, I find it sadly ironic that the owners are now lamenting the lockout, considering that was your plan all along, hoping to outlast the players by starving them out. That is, before Judge Doty took away your war chest. Don’t think we fans didn’t notice you showed up to “start” negotiating the very next day…

  37. Thankfully these pro-NFLPA union comments aren’t the majority, but when did Americans become so anti-American?

    What has led to people thinking selfishness trumps hard work and normal business activity?

    Why are owners vilified for wanting to run their operations profitably? Mind you, I think many owners have giving way too much over the years to player whims and tantrums.

    Get rid of all of them and start over!

    As for you, sir:

    vikinghooper says: Mar 13, 2011 4:26 PM

    I am personally wealthy, and these wealthy miser owners give wealthy a bad name.

    I seriously doubt you are wealthy, judging by your comments. By the small chance that you are, it is not due to owning a business and dealing with unions. Sorry.

  38. Yep, if the players were REALLY serious, they would have taken whatever the owners gave them and then been satisfied or would say we need more, but they would have taken it.

    The union jerked us all along.

    They suck. The owners are trying. The players are not.

  39. Maybe the Rooneys will make up the monry they lose in football through their gambling interests. Oh, yeah, the NFL owners are allow each other to have an interest in gambling – just not the players.

  40. Dan Rooney played a major role in negotiating the previous CBA, and the majority of owners made clear from the get-go they intended to exercise the out clause to dump the agreement before it expired.

    The owners have been funneling money into a lockout fund for a couple of years. The owners hired a lockout specialist to head their negotiating team. So with all due respect to Art II, it’s somewhat disingenuous to now say the players always intended to go through the courts. The owners clearly always intended to impose a lockout and the only possible recourse for the players was to decertify before the deadline.

    I’m tired of hearing spoiled little boys pissed at the world because they’re not good enough to be high-profile athletes wail about the players being overpaid. You are the same people who champion a free-market economy … when it suits you. These athletes are paid commensurate with the revenue they generate. Capitalism 101. And their percentage of the NFL budget is no more than the budget percentage human resources commands from any labor-intensive organization.

    The owners suddenly demanded the players shave nearly $1 billion off the top before dividing up the percentages but wouldn’t provide any supporting documentation. Then they agreed to provide partial documentation within hours of the lockout deadline. The players decided to take the matter to court where it could be decided by judges who might be objective–unlike the fools who despise labor in the ridiculous belief that wealthy CEOs, bankers, and Wall Streeters have their backs and can’t wait to trickle down the wealth if only those nasty unions would get out of the way 🙄 Unions may have their issues, but in this case, the union didn’t come in asking for the moon–the owners did.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-plaschke-20110313,0,5359904.column

    I love the Steelers and have tremendous respect for the Rooneys. But they don’t walk on water. I appreciate the Art II kept his message calm and civil, and do believe he’s among the more reasonable owners who can be counted on to help resolve this issue when everyone again sits down at the negotiating table. I hope that will be after the court rules the owners were wrong to shut down the league.

  41. There is no doubt that when the NFLPA decided to hire a lawyer as CE as opose to an ex-player that they intended to take this to court.

    Troy Vincent or Trace Armstrong should have been CE of the NFLPA.

    I’m not seeing anything cuurently that makes me side with the players at all. I keep hearing the 3 year average NFL career, but that doesn’t stop them working for the rest of their lives.

    The players are well paid. An average 3 year career will pay a player in excess of $1.18m. Not bad for 3 years work.

  42. The facts are, the owners made four major concessions to the players union:

    -Tabled the 18 game season
    -Offered up 5 years of financial documents
    -Offered to meet half-way on compensation gap
    -Agreed to put all savings from rookie cap into veteran health plan.

    The players union made no concessions.

    It’s not a negotiation if only one side is willing to give any ground.

  43. Why are owners vilified for wanting to run their operations profitably? Mind you, I think many owners have giving way too much over the years to player whims and tantrums.

    You like most here don’ t know the issues. The owners are making a substantial profits. The owners offered less than full financial information because the clock was ticking on the time that the union could decertify. The only hammer that would have been left, the lockout, belongs to the owners. The owners started negotiations planning for a lockout. Unbelievably those words are contained in the minutes of the owners meetings over a year ago. Television money is part of the revenues that owners and players share but the owners took less money in order to gain payment in case of a lockout, which they were already planning. Judge Doty addressed this in the temporary restraining order: (the SSA is the Reggie White case)

    “The record shows that the NFL undertook contract renegotiations to advance its own interests and harm the interests of the players. The NFL argues that the SSA does not require it to act in good faith in 2011 or subsequent seasons, that lockouts are recognized bargaining tools and that it is entitled to maximize its post-SSA leverage”

    The league IS entitled to lock the players out and Judge Doty acknowledges that but:

    “The court agrees. However, under the terms of the SSA, the NFL is not entitled to obtain leverage by renegotiating shared revenue contracts, during the SSA, to generate post-SSA leverage and revenue to advance its own interests and harm the interests of the Players. Here, the NFL renegotiated the broadcast contracts to benefit its exclusive interest at the expense of, and contrary to, the joint interests of the NFL and the Players.”

    There’s a word in here that all of the NFL lawyers in the Marriott Hotel in Minneapolis are afraid of
    “collusive”

    And here is the entire issue:
    “Typical work stoppage provisions anticipate a strike by players, not a work stoppage created by the NFL itself”

    Capitalism doesn’t require people to tell employees “I own you” Businesses have been telling people “You take this or we ship everything to China” China is a Communist dictatorship you guys and now we’re in debt to them and YES it is the same issue.

    0700 in Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis is when this begins to get straightened out. Doesn’t matter how nice of a guy Art Rooney is THE LAW IS THE LAW.

  44. I’m starting to take the owners side… Guy’s like this Rooney the (what is he, the 5th?), took all the risks being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Heck, he coulda choked!

    Hey sonny, STFU and let your old man negotiate. Geez, he should thank his lucky stars everyday he was born to that family, otherwise he’d be unemployable.

  45. The fact that the union has been silent since Friday just basically tells you all you need to know..As Mr Rooney said, this was all pre-planned for litigation..

    The owners have been upfront with the media,and most importantly the fans by laying out specific proposals that they have made to the players…

    Those proposals were not small concessions,they were all geared to improving player safety,retirement benefits,improving financial compensation after injury,taking the 18 game schedule off the table , improvements in the rookie wage scale,etc….All of these legitimate concerns that players have raised in the past 2 years..

    While we have been given specifics by the owners,,,we have nothing from the union…except tough guy rhetoric from De Smith,and basically saying ” we will see you in court”

    .Art Rooney is a brilliant man ,he now oversees the day to day operations of the Steelers,on and off the field….Many feared when Dan Rooney went to France the Steelers would see a drop-off from an organizational standpoint

    …Well,as I think we can all see from the teams recent drafts,and an 8th trip to the big dance….this guy assumes his role not because of his name,but on merit,because he is very smart,very shrewd,and very involved in all aspects of his team and the league in general.

    He is known for his patience,fairness,and telling it like it is when the time comes to speak…This is not Gerry Richardson spouting off his mouth and making an ass of himself….I hope he along with Bob Craft and some of the other owners can take the forefront and get something done…This whole thing sucks for everyone involved

  46. So what happened with the Rooneys, a bloodless coup? Now Art Too! is looting the family treasury while little Dan is exiled to the land of the leprechauns.

  47. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 13, 2011 5:48 PM

    Sham union tactics is exactly right.
    The players get 59.6 % of ALL revenue the league takes in. What other employer gives such a generous package. The league rakes in 9 Billion minus 1 billion off the top. Now the players cut is over 4 billion, PLUS their percentage of jersey sales and etc with their names on them(which the union/league/and Reebok agree to prices).
    So the players already have their slice of the pie already.
    Now the league and owners have to start paying out health insurance for the players and their families with ZERO premiums charged to players.
    Insurance on stadiums, equipment, etc. then has to be paid.
    Ooops, Uncle Sam still needs to be paid.
    Other team and league employees still need to be played.
    And so on and so on.

    Yea, the players are treated SOOOOOOO badly. They get paid their majority percentage guarenteed. If the team loses money, other team personnel takes a paycut, gets laid off. Do you think the players will help out and pitch in to help those employees? Yea right.

    The players are going to the courts because they are counting on Doty to keep protecting them. They know without the courts in their corner the owners will crush them,

    Sorry, but you so obviously do not know about football.
    The players so not get 59.6% of all revenue.
    In fact if you actually read up on the subject you’ll see that in 2009 they received 50.06% of the generated NFL revenue.

    Anyway, back to the point – and I’m not pro-player – Just because the Rooneys and other NFL owners have come out together very quickly to make a point that the players didn’t want to negotiate doesn’t mean it is true. In fact, I think the owners feared litigation and made last minute offers to stop this going to court. At the same time, the NFLPA under D.Smith think that being under the jurisdiction of Judge Doty will be beneficial. Sorry, but the NFL will just attempt to send every ruling he makes to a higher court. Doty has been clearly on the side of the players and so the owners will contest his judgements.

    This could last and last.

  48. Judging from the thumbs-up, thumbs-down on the comments, it seems a lot of people here are starting to side with the owners. It’s kind of depressing at how easily a lot of you are being manipulated by comments from the ownership side.

    The 18-game season was NEVER legitimately in play, rather it was a cunning bargaining tactic that the owners knew they could use to manipulate public opinion and make it seem like they really made a concession. And just because Art Rooney Jr. says that the players didn’t look at the financial information makes it true? How do you know? Do you realize that the OWNERS definitely know that the Rooney family is the most respected in the league and strategically had Rooney Jr. release this statement for maximum effectiveness? It’s not a coincidence that this statement came from this specific ownership.

    People don’t become billionaires because they’re nice guys. They get to that level of wealth because they’re cunning and ruthless. Don’t ever forget that.

  49. People don’t become billionaires because they’re nice guys. They get to that level of wealth because they’re cunning and ruthless. Don’t ever forget that.

    “Behind every great fortune there’s a crime”
    Balzac

  50. n fact, I think the owners feared litigation and made last minute offers to stop this going to court. At the same time, the NFLPA under D.Smith think that being under the jurisdiction of Judge Doty will be beneficial. Sorry, but the NFL will just attempt to send every ruling he makes to a higher court. Doty has been clearly on the side of the players and so the owners will contest his judgements.
    ——————-
    Judge Doty is famous for anti-union sentiment. Being said he’s certainly not on the side of monopolies. His rulings on the NFL have been upheld on appeal. It’s obvious that the league is trying to publicly pressure the court (judge shopping) which will infuriate other judges. The NFL tried to win immunity from anti – trust scrutiny in American Needle Inc. v. National Football League. They lost in the Supreme Court 9-0. The league will argue that anticompetitive benefits outweigh anticompetitive harm. In other words…it’s on!

  51. goombar2 says: Mar 13, 2011 8:41 PM

    I’m starting to take the owners side… Guy’s like this Rooney the (what is he, the 5th?), took all the risks being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Heck, he coulda choked!

    Hey sonny, STFU and let your old man negotiate. Geez, he should thank his lucky stars everyday he was born to that family, otherwise he’d be unemployable.

    My God, this class jealousy from Goombah (yes, purposely misspelled) is appalling. Listen, it is not a crime to become wealthy and remain that way. Nor is it a crime to be born into wealth, though not many owners are the latter.

    If it was so easy to become wealthy and stay that way, then we’d be up to our eyeballs in multi-generational wealthy athletes. We all know that is not the case, so try to maintain whatever little dignity you may have and allow owners their hard work to become wealthy and their heirs to maintain it.

  52. Deb you certainly dont know the facts. Your posts are full of errors

  53. dontcallmepete says: Mar 13, 2011 8:32 PM

    You like most here don’ t know the issues. The owners are making a substantial profits. The owners offered less than full financial information because the clock was ticking on the time that the union could decertify. The only hammer that would have been left, the lockout, belongs to the owners. The owners started negotiations planning for a lockout. Unbelievably those words are contained in the minutes of the owners meetings over a year ago. Television money is part of the revenues that owners and players share but the owners took less money in order to gain payment in case of a lockout, which they were already planning.

    So Pete, which part of that is either unethical or illegal? They said they were going to do that when the last CBA was agreed to due to the one-sided nature of the agreement. It makes good business sense. What does not make good business sense is for the owners to cave in, like they did pre-decertification and for the union to simply lie through their disgusting and greedy teeth.

    Don’t assume you know anything about me when I ask rhetorical questions either, PETE.

  54. dontcallmepete says: Mar 13, 2011 9:07 PM

    People don’t become billionaires because they’re nice guys. They get to that level of wealth because they’re cunning and ruthless. Don’t ever forget that.

    That is called a non-sequitur, Pete. I hear the late Sam Walton was one of the nicest men you’d ever like to meet. John D Rockefeller was known to give out dimes on the street to passersby which amounted to over 1 million dollars in that time. He gave out over 500 million during his lifetime as did his son, totaling over 1 billion dollars in two generations.

    Yes Pete, billionaires are such “ruthless and evil” people that they themselves keep societies moving through their ingenuity and philanthropic gestures. Sheesh!

    Maybe if you and Goombah would actually work hard, you wouldn’t be so envious of people that do.

  55. The men of the family always called the younger Rooney, “Art Too”, but his prim and proper mother preferred the more grammatically correct designation, “Art Also”.

  56. All teams should have ownership like the Packers, it would save everyone alot of trouble

  57. The NFL does not have anti-trust protection from congress like MLB does. That means they are just like any other business in the US. They cannot price fix (salary cap), and they cannot practice restraint of trade (Free Agency and the Draft). These things, among others are completely illegal without Anti-trust protection.

    The NFL (the owners) can run the league the way they do because of an agreement with the NFPLA. The NFLPA allows the NFL to practice illegal acts and in return, the NFLPA receives an agreed upon level of compensation. When the NFLPA agrees to allow these illegal acts in return for compensation, the two parties are now partners. They are no longer employers/employees. Each partner must act in the best interest of the other. The NFL has violated that obligation. You don’t have to take my word for it. The courts have ruled in favor of the NFLPA almost every time. The Supreme Court, hardly a liberal group, has ruled against the owners, 9-0.

    The players like the current agreement. The owners opted out. This is all, all of it, on them. This is a lockout, not a strike. THE PLAYERS WANT TO PLAY!!!!

  58. @blitzburgh10 …

    The fact that the union has been silent since Friday tells you that the union has been silent since Friday.

    The fact that the owners were funneling money into a lockout fund for two years and hired a lockout specialist to head their “negotiating” team and walked away from the negotiating table for weeks until the lockout deadline was looming then rushed back in and offered what seems to the ignorant masses to be a super swell deal that didn’t address the additonal monies they’re demanding tells you they intended to lock out players all along. The only hope the players had to keep the owners from tanking the season was to decertify.

    But God forbid we let the facts get in the way of another good story about helpless billionaires being set upon by rabid workers hell-bent on destroying the fabric of American society. 🙄

  59. @Marv …

    ROFL … first, you’re totally on the owners’ side … and second, does anyone think the players could win against some of the most powerful people in the country?

    Wow … you’ve really hitched your cart to the right horse, haven’t you? Some of the most powerful people in the country–woo-hoo! Bet you’re one of those fellas championing the Rich and Powerful so they’ll trickle the good stuff down to you.

    Hon, the odor you’re picking up is not the smell of dripping wealth.

  60. So Pete, which part of that is either unethical or illegal? They said they were going to do that when the last CBA was agreed to due to the one-sided nature of the agreement. It makes good business sense. What does not make good business sense is for the owners to cave in, like they did pre-decertification and for the union to simply lie through their disgusting and greedy teeth.
    ——————————————
    You’re telling me that the owners voluntarily entered into an agreement that was “one-sided”? Whose word are you taking on that? The owners? If I signed an agreement with you and came back and told you I wanted to tear it up because it was one sided what would you tell me? How did these guys who’re so brilliant to become billionaires willingly sign this? It’s not EVEN ABOUT THE PLAYERS! Jerry Jones told us himself. Remember why he was fined? Here’s what he said about the stadium situation in Minneapolis and why the taxpayers should pony up.

    “Right now, we are subsidizing this market,” Jones said. “It’s unthinkable to think that the market you’ve got here, with 3.5 million people, and have teams like Kansas City and Green Bay subsidizing this market. That will stop. That’s going to stop. That’s called revenue sharing. That’s on its way out.”

    Hello? Revenue sharing BUILT this league and the newer owners are more businessmen out for themselves not for the game. This is the last year of the game as we know it. That’s the reason behind the push for the new stadiums. Georgia Dome obsolete already? It’s owners who move teams from city to city. The small market owners want the lockout to force the players to make the case for them. What kind of league are you going to have when the ownership is more like that of baseball? Fans, like voters have an obligation to educate themselves.

    The NFLPA is crucial to the owners continuing to have the limited antitrust protections that they own. The NFLPA is why the league was able to prevail in the lawsuit by Maurice Clarett when he challenged the NFL draft. It’s why there’s drug testing. The courts in this country don’t exist to protect only 1600 players or 32 owners.

    There are some cases that the NFL lawyers will try and argue against this week but history is against them. Radovich vs. National Football League is one. It set the precedent that the NFL couldn’t enjoy the same antitrust protections afforded Major League Baseball.

    There used to be 12 teams and three TV networks and people suing the NFL (including some current owners) helped to change the game. That’s just the facts. I’m going to tell you something. Charging $200 to watch the Super Bowl for people not even in the stadium is the precursor to moving the Super Bowl to PPV. That was the test run. Jerry Jones and the owners aren’t stupid. There’s a plan to this thing man.

    These are the guys who take a home game away from fans in the U.S. to move to Europe. The Atlanta Falcons are talking about the “need” to replace a 20 yr. old stadium in nearly pristine condition. The Panthers have started talking about “planning” for the next stadium. Hell they just got in he damned league! Jerry Richardson, master of the PSL has been taking money and putting what on the field?

    Mike Brown and the Bengals should be guaranteed a profit simply because they exist? I’m not against profit, I run my firm for profit but we deliver. If we lose a bunch of cases clients go elsewhere. Isn’t that how America should be run?

  61. @locutus says:
    Mar 13, 2011 9:52 PM
    dontcallmepete says: Mar 13, 2011 9:07 PM

    People don’t become billionaires because they’re nice guys. They get to that level of wealth because they’re cunning and ruthless. Don’t ever forget that.

    Not that being inaccurate bothers you but I didn’t write that. undeadjesus wrote that and I was responding to him/her/them.

  62. Gee……….an OWNER taking the OWNER’S side?

    I’m SHOCKED!

    SHOCKED, I say!

    The NFL would NEVER think, “Hey, why don’t we put our ‘most trusted ‘ owner Rooney out there to tell it like it is?”

    “Yea, the fans may hate his team, but they respect the hell out of him. It’s perfect!”

  63. I like how locutus inserted “evil” into my comments about billionaires being ruthless and cunning. And also assuming that I’m not a hard worker and that I’m envious of such vast wealth….all I gotta say is that you and I obviously have very different perspectives on life and the world. Money is not the end-all be-all goal for everyone in the world, and if you don’t realize that then you are a fool.

    Assuming that I’m jealous of a billionaire’s wealth when you know nothing about me and start twisting my words sheds more light on YOUR personality than anything else.

    Please reevaluate your programming. You may find that what has been installed isn’t always the best.

  64. Now that Art Rooney has explained things I’m less inclined to support the players in this. There was no attempt by the players to actually bargain with the owners.

  65. So you think Queen Elizabeth should be running America? She would have inherited it if it wasn’t for those pesky founding fathers and their hatred for others’ wealth?

    If you guys could only fathom how your inbred owners got owned you’d be so angry you’d pick up pitch forks and feel robbed…

    What a brilliant trap… Too bad nobody’s paying much attention.

  66. marjones –

    The NFL (the owners) can run the league the way they do because of an agreement with the NFPLA. The NFLPA allows the NFL to practice illegal acts and in return, the NFLPA receives an agreed upon level of compensation. When the NFLPA agrees to allow these illegal acts in return for compensation, the two parties are now partners. They are no longer employers/employees. Each partner must act in the best interest of the other.

    The truth is the NFLPA agrees with the salary cap (really a window since there is a floor as well) free agency and the draft is because it realizes it’s in it’s best interest as well. Without it teams such as Dallas and Washington could pluck most of the best players, leaving the league top heavy in talent. The inbalance of talent creates an inbalance of success ultimately leading certain teams to fold, meaning more players on the streets looking for 9-5 jobs. TV contracts would decrease as they lose markets, and merchandise profits would plunge with fewer teams to peddle, leaving less profit to share with the players. Older players would be discarded even faster than they are now as younger, cheaper talent would be even more willing to take less than be on the streets. Teams would be top heavy in their salaries as they would pay the less talented players far less than they do now, in an effort to compensate for the big contracts.

    Competitive balance and restricted player movement actually works best for the entire membership of the NFLPA. They know it, so they agree to it. This doesn’t make them partners, it makes them good representatives of all of the players, not just the super stars.

    The players make no investment in the teams. They pay for nothing. They pay nobody. They take no financial risks. While your case for them being partners has some merit, it is in coming to a CBA only. Otherwise, they are employees in every other sense of the word.

  67. dontcallmepete –

    The recent CBA was widely considered one-sided by most everbody, not just the owners. While it has been openly questioned as to why they would agree to it, most figured it was to avoid a work stopage at the time; in large part to spare the proverbial goose. It made good business sense then but really just postponed the inevitable battle. They put the opt-out clause in for just two years later because they knew the agreement was one-sided.

    The NFLPA had very little to do with the Maurice Clarett case. A judge in the case even came out after the decision and said many companies have age, experience and education requirements for employment and it’s not considered illegal (even if the requirements have little to do with the actual job that is available) so it shouldn’t be for the NFL either.

    Also, I’m not sure I know what you mean by your last statement, how it pertains to the NFL anyways –

    ” If we lose a bunch of cases clients go elsewhere. Isn’t that how America should be run?”

  68. Sorry, but whether it’s a jackal like Jerry Jones or a generally considered nice guy like Rooney, I can’t sympathize with ownership. The league was a massive success under the previous agreement. Don’t sit there a tell me how bad you’ve got it.

  69. Re: goombar2 says: Mar 14, 2011 3:33 AM

    Now he is comparing royalty to entrepreneurs who go on to billionaire status. LOL

    No Goombah, it is not the same thing because royalty usually remained loyalty until the masses were so mistreated they had an uprising. They were the government and controlled all aspects of one’s life. Not the same with billionaires who may have significant impact in one’s life depending on their business, but do not have the luxury to do as they wish and expect their wealth to remain in their generation, let alone future ones.

    Let’s ignore the fact that many give vast amounts of their fortunes to charity or other causes.

  70. So undeadjesus says: Mar 13, 2011 11:30 PM, not that I directed my comments at you specifically, but since you felt the need to respond, there must be some guilt somewhere.

    To me, I find it ignorant and hypocritical to vilify people who make fortunes and sympathize with others who make fortunes. So it isn’t wealth per se that people have an issue with, because players are wealthy and can remain so, if smart about it. It seems to be the degree of wealth? You don’t like people to make too much money? Does that make any sense?

    Owners operate the machine and players are mere cogs. They are interchangeable and they should realize that.

  71. Read the comment by truthserum4u says: Mar 14, 2011 6:24 AM, Pete. Then you will be able to make an informed response.

  72. purdueman says: Mar 13, 2011 6:19 PM

    Hey, no players, no games. No games? No revenues. Duh-uh!!!

    ——————————

    Which side do you suppose is better equipped to go without revenues?

    My bet is – and always has been – on the owners which is why they were always going to win this battle…

  73. @goldsteel …

    With all due respect to Art II, that’s just not true. In the first place, the players didn’t come into this demanding an extra billion dollars be sliced off the top before the agreed-upon percentages were divvied up. The owners did that. The players simply asked the owners to demonstrate why they had that need since all public indicators are that the league is doing better than ever. The financials offered by the league didn’t come close to meeting the request, and the players were operating against a deadline. If they wasted time pouring over those incomplete financials and the owners went to lockout before they decertified, there’d be no way to fight them.

    Second, the owners made a great show of sitting at the negotiating table at the ninth hour. But during the weeks prior when the owners walked away from the table, the players dropped their request for financials in exchange for a straight-up split that would have put their cut back to pre-2002 levels. The owners refused.

    The owners have a powerful propaganda machine. The Big Guys usually do.

  74. This is turning into the biggest running blog in the history of mankind; JOMO, but I think it’s time to kill this thread and move on! None of us really know what really went down during the negotiations before they were finally broken off; we only know what carefully controlled sound bites each side lets out.

    I just wish both sides would get put on one of the former isolated Survivor locations with no media coverage not to be heard from again until they have struck an agreement and are ready to tell us all about it!

  75. purdueman, this isn’t even on PFT’s top 10 most commented. It doesn’t even have 80 responses. We once had a thread with 1,000. 🙄

  76. Deb –

    The one issue you don’t seem to address is the fact the owners agreed to the recently expired CBA to avoid a work stopage, even though they knew it was a one-sided deal in favor of the union. That’s the reason they put in an opt-out provision.

    The owners were willing to give in financially for a period of years in exchange for labor peace while the league thrived. They knew at the time it wasn’t a sustainable model, thus the op-out clause they knew they would invoke. In their eyes they gave up more than they should have for about 5 years and now want to bring it back to workable numbers.

    The union, not the rank & file, but the team reps, and most certainly Gene Upshaw had to know the previos CBA was largley in their favor and the league would one day come calling for a more equitable deal. They had to realize that because of the opt-out clause the owners insisted on including. Why have an opt-out clause unless you think there is/will be a need for it?

    The surpirse by the union that the owners wanted things rolled back some is laughable. The union made statements how they were willing to keep things as they are. Of courrse they were, they knew they had a sweatheart deal. (It’s a good indication a deal is one-sided when it’s time for negotiations and that side doesn’t have any demands or issues. ) Yet the union acts like it doesn’t understand where the league is coming from and they need to see the books. They knew how & why the previous CBA was done, but are now going to play dumb.

    You also have been throwing out some figures for the typical breakdown of profits between a union and owners for other businesses. Where did you obtain those facts? I am truly the worlds worst Googler.

    I am also curious as to where you got the following info:

    “But during the weeks prior when the owners walked away from the table, the players dropped their request for financials in exchange for a straight-up split that would have put their cut back to pre-2002 levels. The owners refused.”

    I’ve read in numerous places the NFLPA never made any counter offers. In fact, I read about the union griping that the league’s offers would roll back the split to pre 2002 levels.

    In any case, nothing will be accomplished until both sides stop posturing, start listening and negotiate in good faith.

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