First day of mediation includes “tough” talks, “fence-mending”

AP

Thursday was the first day of court-ordered mediation, a continuation of the process that failed on March 11, resulting in decertification of the players’ union, the filing of an antitrust class-action lawsuit, and eventually a lockout.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the situation, that the 9.5 hours of talks were “tough,” and that the two sides have a lot of “fence-mending” to do.

That’s actually good news, in our view.  To the extent that fences need to be mended, the only way to mend them is to (drum roll, please) mend them.

That said, it’s disappointing that both sides allowed business to become personal.  They all remain stewards of the game that so many of us love, and permitting themselves to get their noses out of joint to the point that it impacts the negotiations amounts to a failure to take care of the best interests of the sport.

Meanwhile, we’re surprised that someone with knowledge of the talks talked to the media.  Though we appreciate the fact that Breer is doing his job and doing it well, the two sides have been ordered to zip it.  And zipping it isn’t a discretionary exercise, with folks deciding on their own the things that are suitable for being repeated.

Besides, once the process of sharing information on an anonymous basis begins, where does it end?

Quite possibly, with the judge instructing the reporter(s) to disclose their sources.  And all that that implies.

26 responses to “First day of mediation includes “tough” talks, “fence-mending”

  1. I don’t think anyone has let business become personal.

    I think they are all money-grubbing little bitches. They definitely aren’t whiny little bitches (except when they are whining about money).

    I really am getting turned off to the NFL. I have been for awhile, with their constant money grabs….but this is getting really repugnant.

  2. They all remain stewards of the game that so many of us love, and permitting themselves to get their noses out of joint to the point that it impacts the negotiations amounts to a failure to take care of the best interests of the sport.
    —————–
    It seems that the players are being stewards of themselves rather than of the game. The owners have also acted like belligerent morons at times. Nobody knows how either set of circumstances would ultimately play out but, all things being equal, if the anti-trust suit gets settled by the courts and one side “wins”, it looks like the owners’ stance would better guarantee the future of the game as we know it.

  3. “tough” and “fence mending” blah blah blah

    Mediation isn’t going to get a deal done. NOTHING will get done until after Judge Nelso sides with the players and orders an end to the lockout, at which point the owners are already prepared to appeal their way to St. Louis. THEN, after the appeals court sides with the owners, will any serious talks happen.

    I mean let the “players”, “partners”, “association” members, whatever they want to be called today have their fun. Which will more than likely mean a few more will get arrested AGAIN. the players actually consider themselves partners….. how ridiculous does that sound.

    Can you imagine Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Stephen Ross, and Bob McNair heading to a meeting to iron out a multi billion dollar deal with Dez “pants on the ground” Bryant, Adrian “they are slavemasters” Peterson, and Chris “dreadlocks and gold grill” Johnson??????
    Those three remind me of that commercial of the mice and car…
    Those three on the corner chanting ” you can get with this…or you can get with dat…you can get with this….or you can get with dat… as Jones, Snyder, Kraft, Richardson, Ross, and Goodell walk by

  4. I hope all NFL fans do the same as me, don’t watch any football this year. First was the superbowl debacle, next we have the owners at fault for the lockout. They want that extra $1 billion. Goddell is a tool for the owners as well, it’s pretty clear based on his actions. It’s rediculous that fans still support the NFL despite how blatantly they disrepect the fans. Let’s hit the owners where it hurts, their wallets!

  5. Breer is actually pretty stupid for reporting this. He may end up in jail when he doesn’t reveal his source. Or…he could give up his source causing problems for him.

  6. I can’t believe how many people here are taking sides in this mess. Whatever your politics or personal preferences, these guys just don’t live in the same world that the rest of us do. Not all of us here are stupid though it is clear they believe that we are. I’m tired of hearing the company lines from these guys, always using the fans as a prophylactic to drive their point home.

  7. “Though we appreciate the fact that Breer is doing his job and doing it well, the two sides have been ordered to zip it. ”

    I don’t think Breer is doing his job by becoming complicit with ‘leaks.’. The media should respect the wishes of the court, and police itself by refusing to to leak any inside information to the public. Whatever the media becomes aware of off the record, they should keep it off the record. Breer works for the league office ( NFL Network), and anything he leaks should be considered contempt by Judge Nelson.

  8. I”m real tired of all this crap but I’m more tired of all these great insiders with their ” unnamed source” information. They throw stuff against the wall and the press picks it up. I cannot believe that anyone in these session would have the guts to speak to a reporter about what is going on. All these insiders from you people, ESPN, NFL Network etc can say and print anything and back it up with the famous “unnamed sources”.

  9. No news is good news – ha! Judge Nelson is going to be very unhappy. Mending fences? Boylan should kick all of their asses and give them a 2 hour time limit to settle this mess. Then they might know what tough talk is really like.

  10. Just what does “fence-mending” mean?

    Does it mean that things got personal? Does it mean that one or both sides had to explain to the other side what they meant when they said something? Does it mean that one or both sides had to explain to the other side why they took the action(s) that they took?

    All it really means is that both sides need to get on the same page and try to reach an agreement. The reporter actually reported nothing and no one gained any knowledge of what happened today.

  11. justthepeanutgallery says:Apr 14, 2011 10:31 PM

    I can’t believe how many people here are taking sides in this mess. Whatever your politics or personal preferences, these guys just don’t live in the same world that the rest of us do. Not all of us here are stupid though it is clear they believe that we are. I’m tired of hearing the company lines from these guys, always using the fans as a prophylactic to drive their point home.
    ———————————————————-

    The single most brillant comment I have ever read. You simply can’t choose sides in this thing!

  12. Things got off on the wrong foot when ownership asked the players group if they wouldn’t mind setting their Gargoyle outside on one of the stone abuttments of the building. It’s grimace was giving them the creeps. Players responded that DeMaurice had every right to be there as he was now part of the legal team.

  13. This story may be entirely fabricated. It certainly is not out of the ordinary for this site to invent news.

    Maybe Vrabel’s true intentions will be revealed. He was just stocking up on beers for the meeting!

  14. I really don’t get where all of the soap box self-righteousness comes from when it comes to the NFL. Did football fans not realize that all of the purty wordstuff John Facenda growled over stirring brass was just quality marketing?

    Football isn’t any sacred proving ground of American mythaepoetics, its an entertainment product, like any other reality program, and we’re its consumers. That’s the entirety of the transaction: they provide an entertaining program, we provide viewership for advertising.

    I don’t understand this idea that the owners or players owe us anything more than quality product they deliver. As far as I’m concerned, getting the NFL in return for simply sitting on my butt for 7 hours on 17 Sundays out of the year is the better bang for the buck than just about anything else you could spend your entertainment dollar on. End of transaction.

    If I want a jersey, I give them money, they give me the jersey. End of transaction. When I go to a game, I buy a ticket, they let me in. I pay for parking, my car’s there when the game’s over. I want a beer, I pay the concession guy money, and drink my beer. End of transaction. At no point do I wax poetic about the concession guy’s noble stewardship of my $6 Budweiser in a plastic bottle.

    If the players and owners can’t work their issues out and get the product out the door in time for the ’11 season, I’ll be disappointed, for sure, maybe even a little frustrated. Probably not half as much as the players and owners. At no point does self-righteous indignation get involved, because I don’t think that I am entitled, as a consumer, to tell anybody how to handle their lives and livelihood, owner or player alike.

    If they can get their product out the door this fall, great: I will put my ass on the couch on Sundays. End of transaction.

  15. Let’s not descend into silly season here. I read Breer’s report, and there’s nothing even remotely resembling a material disclosure about the substance of the negotiations. The public is not brain dead and can reasonably infer that these negotiations are indeed “tough,” and that “fence-mending” is needed. That hardly rises to the level of a confidentiality breach.

  16. the owners came in way to strong with Jeryjerk and RICHERson demanding to start much too high in negotiations and armed to give some, but they missed the mark and only got a you’ve got to be kiddin response you want to roll us not cut a deal. the players were no way going to start there and said so and did not stay long’
    the good thing is the owners sent this time some of their best and then Richardson again. Rooney, Kraft and Hunt are smart good owners and will do well as long if they can keep the Jerry’s out of it. good luck and get it done!

  17. Albert Breer has no ethics, he has broken a bunch if rules. He’s been kicked out of practices, he’s ignored getting responsible sources and then not even asking for a comment for the other side. Oh well, he is good covering the NFL as a large macro view. Keep him away from my team though.

  18. I hope the judges come down on the leakers. They were ordered to zip it, and they didn’t. Since Breer works for the NFL Network, ya think the players are gonna leak to him?

    C’mon Judge Nelson. Give ’em a good slap up side the head.

  19. Albert Breer is one of the BIGGEST MEDIA CLOWNS..out there…if not the biggest.

    His reporting is irresponsible, and his sources often a creation of his own.

    Everywhere he’s been…he’s been applauded on departure…and universally despised outside his peers. Cheap , sneaky, dirty…are his best traits.

    So…do not believe one effing word he says. M Lombardi…yes, Breer, no.

  20. Why is ‘fence mending’ required?

    The only reason I can see is if the ‘entities’ mending fences are doing so because they were involved in the negotiations between the now defunct NFLPA and the League where the fences were – allegedly – broken. Which implies that the the players (and their lawyers) are now performing the same labor negotiations representing all the players that the NFLPA was doing and that, since they require ‘fence mending’ , they consider themselves to have been part of the now defunct NFLPA. If they weren’t part of the negotiations, and these negotiations aren’t an extension of those talks (the players and their lawyers are not claiming to represent the other players are they?) there should be no need for ‘fence mending’ as a prelude to conducting talks with the players in the lawsuit.

    Kafka anyone?

  21. i believe the fans can send a message to the nfl by boycotting the draft. if everyone turned off there tv , refused to watch the nfl channel, refused to watch the draft , or attend draft parties, the league will get scared and get this thing settled its up to us as fans to shut there money revenue off. then see how fast the two sides can get things done , i know it sucks but i can wait 12 hours to get a news paper that will tell me who my team drafted.

  22. I don’t think anyone has let business become personal.

    I DO…..because the almighty dollar is so important to all concerned !! Sure, this is just another form of entertainment that many of us can live without, if need be, BUT…..The fact is, the NFL has become so big that it affects tens of thousands of people and businesses who depend upon it for their livelyhood. These people are all caught up in the middle of something they have no control over and Greed is fast taking all of them as a casualties in this needless battle for money !!

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