Dolphins message to season-ticket holders hints at coordination by league

It’s obvious by now that the NFL has launched a massive, team-by-team P.R. effort aimed at trying to persuade fans that the league’s current mess should be blamed on the players.

The message sent by the Miami Dolphins hints at something that was surely part of the process — the dissemination of coordinated talking points by the league.

Consider this excerpt from the letter sent by Dolphins CEO Mike Dee:  “We are fully aware that fans don’t care how owners and player manage their business and that this temporary stoppage only distracts and detracts from what is most important to us all:  the game.”

Next, consider the following passage from the letter sent to fans by Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch:  “We know people frankly don’t care how owners and players manage their business.  These negotiations distract and detract from what is most important to all of us:  the game.”

It could be a coincidence, but it would be quite a coincidence.

There’s nothing wrong with coordination of message.  But the overriding goal of coordination is (or, at a minimum, should be) to ensure that coordination isn’t obvious.  The similarity between the two statements suggests that someone at 280 Park Avenue sent at some point in the past couple of days a suggested list of things to say, in order to hammer home the message that:  (1) we regret the situation; and (2) you should blame the players, not us.

As each team echoes that same message, fans will be more likely to accept that the message is accurate.

Especially when respected owners like Art Rooney, II, are delivering it.

So, yes, we’re now the guinea pigs in a broader P.R. fight.  Actually, calling it a “fight” implies that the battle has been joined.

It hasn’t.  The players have done little to get their message to the masses.

Perhaps that’s why so many people are indeed blaming the players for the current situation, even though as Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly capably explains it the owners bear the brunt of the blame for wanting to shift the status quo during a time of unprecedented popularity and prosperity, without proving that a shift is needed.

Few are articulating that thought because we’re currently being bombarded by a one-sided view that the players caused this mess by refusing to bargain and pushing the situation to litigation.

“We reached this impasse because the NFLPA chose to abandon the collective bargaining process late on Friday afternoon and instead pursue their interests in the court room,” Dee writes to Dolphins fans, reiterating the NFL’s official belief that the players “forced” the lockout by shutting down the union and going to court.

The players didn’t force the lockout by going to court.  They forced the lockout by refusing to make financial concessions without justification.  By using a lockout, the owners hope to compel the players to eventually cry, “Uncle” and take a deal worse than the deal they currently have.

That’s why the owners are upset.  The players have, at least for now, prevented the owners from grabbing the players’ arms and twisting them behind the players’ backs.

Unfortunately for the players, they’re now so focused on avoiding that outcome that they’ve failed to make it known to the public that they’re merely exercising rights available to them under the law, just like the owners are trying to do.

36 responses to “Dolphins message to season-ticket holders hints at coordination by league

  1. Not sure that the players look like jackasses for not saying anything now. I think they look like jackasses for trying to do the PR thing earlier instead of just working to resolve the issues.

  2. Fans, by definition are stupid people who are emotionally attached to something that is not attached to them. And this lockout is the result of capatalism. You know, like when someone smart and weathy feasts on the poor and uneducated.

    Plus the world is supposed to end in 2012 should’nt they be out buying up all the batteries and toilet paper? I’m just saying

    So kudos to the NFL for coordinating, it’s their job to treat suckers like suckers.

  3. This site is so biased it’s absurd. Of course, it’s an arm of NBC so we shouldn’t be surprised.

  4. You say coordination of message like it’s some kind of conspiracy. Coordination of message is a good business practice…..something the players and ex-union officials would know little about.

  5. It’s to bad the players cannot accept the fact that they play football of their own free will, no one forces them to risk injury now or in the future. the unrealistic money and benefits are what pushes them to perform on the field.
    why should the owners who take the financial risk building stadiums ,providing all things needed to put a game on the field not make whatever profits they can. players are not partners they are employees, would players take some financial hit if the team lost money like a business partner would I think not?? If you are afraid of injury then find another line of work, if you play football YOU assume the injury risk for the paycheck….

  6. ajtexans says: Mar 13, 2011 6:24 PM

    “I received an email from the Texans earlier today and it contained no such language.”

    Probably because it was in Texas’ official language, Spanish.

  7. Considering your comments throughout the day, I find it hard to see the impartial, unbiased perspective you claim to be your position.

  8. This is similar to story you ran in the past and tried to stir up rumors of collusion.

    Are the clubs not supposed to speak to each? If one has a good idea, it can’t be shared?


    although my efforts to call you out are wasted. Nothing I’ve posted in the last 3 days makes it to the messages. Then you have idiots like pervy and deb insulting and slurring people. THEIR posts make it, but mine don’t.

  9. could you be any more pro union?
    Tell me do you pay your employees 60 pct of all income? some how I dont think so.

  10. “It’s obvious by now that the NFL has launched a massive, team-by-team P.R. effort aimed at trying to persuade fans that the league’s current mess should be blamed on the players.”

    First I don’t need anybody to convince me it’s the players fault , I made that determination when they refused to concede 1 single thing and wasted the fans time by leading us to believe a deal could be reached through mediation.

    I hold Dsmith responsible a politician/lawyer had no business in the position he held he only cared about making a name for himself and the players foolishly followed. The whole thing makes me sick.

  11. @northeastern82,
    so then how do the owners know what to bargain for? By that same measure, then shouldnt their bea rule in their for the employees?

  12. Someone get Randy Lerner and Mike Holmgren on this coordination. My 2011 season tix are paid for and not a word from the Browns! I was expecting Randy or Mike at my door offering to wash my car since it’s obvious they have nothing else to occupy their time currently.

  13. I got a letter from the Bengals today. It said:

    “Sorry we suck. But we promise we’ll be back to suck harder next year.”

  14. If you hate the players so much stop watching the NFL! This fight has nothing to do with any fans. It’s their game. Their business. No games have been missed have they?Any practices missed? All of you guys complaining are trying to get as much money as you can aren’t you? The players don’t have to try and B.S. the fans. They win in court and that’s binding. Hell, Al Davis won against the NFL in court.
    Talk about shooting your wad early….

  15. I hold Dsmith responsible a politician/lawyer had no business in the position he held he only cared about making a name for himself and the players foolishly followed.
    DeMaurice Smith doesn’t need the NFLPA to make a name for himself. He already is well known where it counts as is Roger Goodell who is also an attorney. That’s why they were chosen to their positions because the issues, contrary to what most of the people here believe, are extremely complicated.

  16. The NFL teams are showing discipline by staying on point with a consistent message. That’s just good business.

    The NFLPA message is shown by the embarrassing arrests of players acting like “gangstas”. The hoodlum mentality perfectly illustrates what this “union” is all about.

    As someone smarter than me said earlier today, “no wonder the players want to litigate. They’re right at home in a court room.”

  17. I can’t wait untill the NFL, players, owners find that this crap will end up just like Baseball has. Baseball is stilll tring to get fans back into the parks! Men playing a childs game for kings pay, get me a break! i wish they would lock them out for ever, and i’m a season ticket holder!

  18. Ok, so can we at least agree that 59% of 8 Billion dollars is not 59% of 9 Billion?

    Since I see it time and time again, I just want to make sure that some of you actually understand that the OWNERS get 1 Billion off the top without having to share. They are asking for another 500 million (at least) now (they started at 1 billion).

    So that would be 59% of 7.5 Billion, or 4.5 billion. OR 50 % of 9 Billion.

    And the REASON they get 50% is because they NEGOTIATED for it and they agreed not to force the Anti-trust issue in the 80’s. YOU get what YOU negotiate for your salary. They get what THEY negotiate. With the system in place, you get competition and parity. Without it, you get MLB.

    Don’t hate on the Players or the Owners. As Mike has suggested, they are BOTH in it for the money (DUH!) and playing a “game” that generates 9 billion in revenue and franchises that are ALL worth 750 million each and rising, well, THAT is a BUSINESS. It is not a “game” anymore, boys and girls. What they do on Sundays is called PRODUCT and what you buy is said PRODUCT.

    So Players: Get what you can. Owners: Get what you can. THAT IS THE AMERICAN WAY. Not this “you players should take a pay cut ’cause I live a sad little life and you guys don’t.” crap. Rich guys get rich by sticking it to the other guy (mostly) and if you think either side is not doing this right now, your living in some OTHER world.

  19. Someone who calls himself 3octaveFart says:

    “Probably because it was in Texas’ official language, Spanish.”

    Ladies and gentleman … I’ve got an announcement to make. We got Jerry Lewis going to camp with us this year…

    Now get on the bus.

  20. Men playing a childs game for kings pay, get me a break! i wish they would lock them out for ever, and i’m a season ticket holder!

    No, your child plays a child’s game. There is nothing, repeat NOTHING childish about the game played in the NFL. They’re not going into elementary schools looking to study brains of children after death so that they can better understand the dementia, depression or suicide causes of children.

    Yeah, nobody is making players play the game but to declare that they’re stealing the owners hard earned money is wrong. It’s a dangerous game and the more violent it is the more the public likes it. I don’t see any owners taking that risk.

  21. last time i checked i am going to a game each week! if iam purching a product then i should be able to return it if it’s defective for a refund! Right! Not going to happen! And yes i know i don’t have to go, but i love football and do want to go. But as i said and you said i think it’S OUT OF CONTROL! The player’s get more than ever! owner’s get more than ever, and the NFL is too! Why make this a goverment thing, they can’t run things as it is!

  22. Tell me do you pay your employees 60 pct of all income? some how I dont think so.

    Who agreed to give the players that? The owners that’s who and why? Because with the new stadiums (every one of which has some of our tax money in it) create tons of revenue. You guys go nuts if a player backs out of a contract but if all of the owners, who wouldn’t cross the street to spit on us if our hair was afire, do it and you call the players greedy! Amazing.

  23. @tiredofthestupid –

    According to every report I’ve seen so far the league offered to come down to an extra 325 million.

    And naturally, without all this BS going on right now the pie would likely be much closer to 10 billion next year when this was actually the case.

    So 10 billion to start. 8.675 million after the owners take 1.325 off top. 59.6% of that is still approximately 5.17 billion dollars. That leaves 3.5 for the owners, plus their 1.325 for a total of 4.8 billion before business expenses. Let’s be generous and say only 1.2 billion goes out the door. That’s 3.6 left over, or roughly 70% of what the players get for their cut.

    Doesn’t sound terribly unreasonable to me.

  24. Don’t worry Billsfan we’ll send u some more player that suck too, and you will love them lol, Bengals will be ok, and Chad Johnson will be available too! Need him?

  25. The player are make a killing, and they should, but come on man they walked away! you’ll see we’ll get tried and not come out to games! it’s around $300.00 a game and some pay alot more! it’s not just going to the owners!

  26. It’s simple. You side with owners, you are a Republican and should be sent to a re-education camp. You are an idiot asking for your own enslavement by the minority rich whose boots you lick.

  27. A “battle of millionaires vs billionaires” EXCEPT – the millionaires can’t make their money anywhere else and the billionaires could probably make MORE money investing in something more profitable.

  28. its called collective bargaining. both sides could have backed out. ONE side did. One side decided it was going to to takes its ball home and not play. sounds like one particuliar who now whaling about losing the election but didnt have any problem complaining about the previous results. One side has all the risk. One side has no risk. and its not the players with the risk.
    No other buisness pays its employees anywhere close to 60 pct of revenue. not even 50-50

    those of you who are parents….the owners have every to ask for a new deal, just as the players did in every strike.

    NO judge, can force a buisness to stay open… guess how this is going to end.

  29. Good Lord – please stop with the “They don’t pay the Pizza delivery guys 59.6% of the profits! No business gives their employees that share!”

    The NFL is an entertainment business – LOTS of entertainers get a huge share of the profit to perform…..Leno, Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, Tom Cruise, U2 all get a huge chunk of the profits from their shows or events.

    And also stop with the “Well, my boss at the Cement Works wouldn’t show me HIS books!” If YOU were the reason he was making millions AND he was trying to cut your pay……he probably would.

  30. dontcallmepete says:
    Mar 13, 2011 8:52 PM

    You guys go nuts if a player backs out of a contract but if all of the owners, who wouldn’t cross the street to spit on us if our hair was afire, do it and you call the players greedy! Amazing.
    I doubt any player has ever had the right to hold-out written into the contract. It is just something those particular players have done. The last extension was extremely pro union and the owners had the early out clause written into the extension. The players OK’d that clause. In essence, they allowed the owners to renegotiate now instead of later…but the players chose to go to court rather than negotiate in good faith. The owners weren’t playing fair until the recent court ruling, but the simple fact is the league made concessions and the players did not. The last offer was a very good deal but the players chose to be obstinate. The owners seem to be think about the future while these players are only thinking about what actually effects them personally…NOW. They do not care if the league folds in 20 years as long as they get their money now. Strategic thinking vs. tactical thinking.

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