As mediation stalls, propaganda returns to the labor fight

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Well, it was fun while it lasted.  For 10 days or so, the players and the league kept quiet about the ongoing labor dispute, presumably after being told by Judge Susan Nelson that the renewed mediation would be subject to the strictest of confidence.

But the positive vibes were short-lived.  On Sunday, Mike Freeman of reported that the parties aren’t serious about trying to work out their differences.  In what arguably amounts to confirmation of that reality, the league has started throwing logs back onto the propaganda fire.

In the third but most pointed entry since Judge Nelson told the two sides to stifle themselves about the situation, has added a summary of one specific aspect of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s conference call with Chargers season-ticket holders.

In the call, Goodell addressed publicly something about which plenty of management-side sources privately have been grumbling — the NFLPA*-publicized notion that NFL players spend on average fewer than four years in the profession.

There is a little bit of a misrepresentation or a misunderstanding on that,” Goodell said.  “Frequently, it is said that the average career is about 3.5 years.  In fact, if a player makes an opening day roster, his career is very close to six years.  If you are a first-round draft choice, the average career is close to nine years.  That 3.5-year average is really a misrepresentation.   What it adds is a lot of players who don’t make an NFL roster and it brings down the average.”

He’s right.  But what does the NFL gain by trumpeting those words on a league-owned labor propaganda site?

If you’re getting the sense that we’re getting sick of it, your senses aren’t deceiving you.  This has become a protracted political campaign, but with no date set for the election and the silence that inevitably follows.  And so we’ll all be bombarded by this stuff on an indefinite basis, as the league and the players continue to underestimate the extent to which the fans will bite back.

We’ve got a strong feeling it’s coming.  Specifically, we’ve got a feeling that the fans who show up for the draft at Radio City Music Hall (and we suspect that plenty of them won’t, especially on Day Two and Day Three) will be very loud and very angry.  Coupled with the reduction in TV ratings points, the message to all parties will be very clear.

Quit acting like children.  Start acting like adults.  And give us back our game.  Now.

35 responses to “As mediation stalls, propaganda returns to the labor fight

  1. You picked the wrong time to get on your high horse.

    I actually think that is a very valid point. If players are whining about the NFL Owners cooking their books, then why can’t the NFL call out the players when they are exaggerating their numbers?

  2. “And give us back our game. Now”

    you will get your game and worst case scenerio it’ll be with different players. That’s not so bad.

  3. Chairman Mao is resting at home for the moment, as his recent climb of Mount Everest tired him somewhat.

  4. I usually skip articles about the lockout. Glad I didn’t skip this one. Nicely written.

  5. Bunch of tards. Why on earth do they think anybody outside of them (meaning both parties) gives a good GDam about she said, she said? I am a family mediator by profession (that means divorce mediator) and I can tell you that I wouldn’t go near this with a ten foot pole. I deal with a lot of insanity between two genuinely peeved disputants but I also have a great deal of control over the process (despite the fact that it is voluntary and is not arbitration) – this judge needs to get down to brass tacks or call an impasse and send it back to the judge – who will be pissed.

    With every childish press release these morons publish, more fans move away from the sport. I love my football but I am tired of this. If it truly goes on into the season I can’t imagine anything less than the MLB debacle being repeated. So stupid, so sad.

  6. I, as well as others, have been saying the same thing about the 3.5 years issue for a long time. The “propaganda” was put out by the union (long ago) in order to make their plight seem worse than it is. Couple that with the misconception that the (false) 3.5 years longevity issue must be caused by injury and you get a bunch of fans that justify the players’ side with stuff like “they risk life and limb so they deserve to get paid”, etc.

    Why, on this site, are some facts reported as “propaganda” while some outright misrepresentations of truth (blatant lies) are reported as fact or “what’s right” or “how it should be”? PFT has made an effort to try to present both sides but the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle subterfuge slants the stories whether the intent is there or not.

  7. alright that’s it. Unless the Judge lady grants an injunction and free agency starts I am watching the draft and tuning out of all things NFL until September.

  8. PFT should organize a Draft Boycot. Do a PFTLive show with some draft experts and a chatroom and draw ratings away from the television performances in protest. Talk to others in the media and make it a joint effort. The better the alternative, the lower the TV ratings, the louder the message to the NFL and the NFLPA*.

  9. As the owners lose money and the players lose money, I just bought a 2004 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide with the $3500 that i’m going to save by not going to the 2011 games.
    I think I can handle watching the NFL on my 55″ TV next year(if there is football).

    Keep arguing. Next year, I’m going to buy a fishing boat!!

  10. Is it just me, or does Goodell not understand the meaning of the word “average”? An average includes the very low as well as the very high, and then comes out with — wait for it — an AVERAGE. Goodell seems to think that “average” means only people who make opening day rosters or first-round picks. Hundreds of successful NFL players don’t make the opening day roster, but are eventually successful.

    Can someone please teach Mr. Goodell the meaning of statistics?

  11. I believe I heard DSmith a half a dozen times, average years for players 3.5. What’s wrong with presenting the more accurate numbers?

  12. Please MF for the love of God, set your bias aside for at least one article. The NFL isn’t “trumpeting” and or “bombarding” us with propganda. They are just correcting a misleading statistic that has in fact been trumpeted and bombarded to us by the NFLPA.

    And you retorical question as to why they would write that, it is because it is very pertinent to the labor dsipute.

    And last but not least, I love how you call the league’s web site propaganda, but never mention the NFLPA site in the pejorative. Even been to that site? It make a Chinese governement newspaper look amateur in terms of propagnda.

  13. So basically the players can make false statements and the league is suppose to say nothing? Seems like bias toward the players. The truth is the truth regardless who says it. I am glad the league mentioned this. Keep in mind the players cut off negotiations when the league wanted to continue to negotiate.

  14. You say you’re sick of it Mike, yet you keep combing sites looking for info to post on it. Goodell telling Charger Season ticket holders that the average career expectancy is skewed, has nothing to do with the Mediation stalling as your sensationalized headline would indicate. I read so many posters on here telling you they are sick of hearing about this, you say you’re sick of this, there’s really nothing to report and yet you are posting articles like this. Post it or don’t, but at least be consistent with your view on it.

  15. Well, Goodell says fans tell him to be neutral and not pick sides.
    His comments just show he is the pie-hole for the owners and cannot be trusted to be impartial.
    Once again Mr Oil snake salesman makes a case for why he is the worst commissioner ever

  16. “This has become a protracted political campaign, but with no date set for the election and the silence that inevitably follows. And so we’ll all be bombarded by this stuff on an indefinite basis, as the league and the players continue to underestimate the extent to which the fans will bite back.”

    Very true, I think that both sides have completely taken the fans for granted… I’m not renewing my Saint’s season tix because of these clowns… The fans are gonna bite back way worse than the NFL and NFLPA are anticipating… screw em’! they brought it on themselves

  17. “And give us back our game.”

    The NFL has done a great job over the years letting us believe that it is, indeed, “our game.” Anybody still believe that?

  18. And its not your game. You dont have anything to gain with the owners losing….if the owners lose, so does pft.

  19. @lodan60

    It’s not more or less accurate. It’s just different.

    Goodell doesn’t want to count players that get drafted and attend training camp.

    Smith does.

  20. Here are some stats that will amaze you–

    In the AFC ALONE, the East and the North divsions have teams that have 48 players that have between 10-15 years of NFL service–not including kickers. They have about 50 more between 5-9 years.

    In the AFC West, those teams have 64 players who have between 5-9 years service, and another 15 that have between 10-14 years, and 2 that have been in 15 years or longer.

    As I said, these are kickers and punters–they’re QBs, RBs, OGs, OTs, WRs, DEs, LBs, CBs and Ss.

    I didn’t bother going into the other divisions–that should end the fallacy of the average career being 3.5 years.

  21. The cheer from the fans attending the Draft should be:

    Owners Suck! Players Suck!
    Owners Suck! Players Suck!

    Sure, it wouldn’t accomplish much other than showing the fans are unified against both sides but a little embarrassment couldn’t hurt.

  22. The league and the players continue to underestimate the extent to which the fans will fight back. We did it to baseball and we will do it to football. There are die hard fans across the nation prepared to move on and forget about football. You are all losers and greedy. Perhaps someone should be smart enough to leave this to the level headed players and to the owners who were pioneers of the game they love. It is really sad what everyone is doing. If I was the judge on this case, I would throw the book at them both.

  23. PFT Question: “But what does the NFL gain by trumpeting those words on a league-owned labor propaganda site?”

    Answer: Letting NFL fans know a rather insignificant thing called the truth.

    Can you dig it?

  24. question for idiots.
    would you pay somebody who has never worked for you?
    Smith wants the owners to pay players who will NEVER play a meaningful game in the NFL.
    all you have to is look at california and detroit. UNIONS lead to destruction and in this case doin the dirty work of the white house.
    If the union has its way, the owners would be paying players for life who so much as get a 1 day try out….BAD BUISNESS.

  25. The NFLPA (before D. Smith) used it to solidify their position in negotiations. Think about all the pros you have truly enjoyed watching…how many of those guys had a career of 3.5 years or less? Not many. There have been guys that had their careers cut short due to injury but it is not nearly as many as the union would like you to believe. The part they are not telling you is that the guys that get cut in camp are included in that number and drastically effect the average. A rookie who gets cut in preseason accounts for a fraction of a year and that guy is weighted the same as a 10 year all-pro. The rosters are over 80 when they start and get whittled down to 53 at the start of the season. The bottom line is that the union manipulates the numbers and then implies that the 3.5 year average is due to injuries (which equals moral high ground for higher compensation,contract lengths, health benefits, pension triggers, etc.) when in reality that number is impacted much more by the number of “players” that just are not good enough to actually make an NFL team.

  26. That’s because of writers (like you) keep posting these non-information, dis-information that somebody said something but really said nothing. Keep digging and someone might say something they shouldn’t. Judge Nelson ought to be pretty pissed with the media as well as the participants.

    She’s going to have to put a gag order on everyone if she expects these dolts to actually mediate and come to a conclusion.

  27. @ realfann

    it is more accurate. saying an avg career is 3.5 years implies that the ppl had the talent to even have a career and it was shortened by something like an injury. deMoron smith’s big argument from that “fact” is always that money shouldn’t be taken away from these guys because of the short avg length of careers due to injuries. goodell is completely blowing that argument out of the water by showing 1) it’s not due to injuries 2) most of the ppl with the short careers are never going to make significant money off of football in any situation because they simply don’t have enough talent.

  28. With some of the fans asking for replacement players they will get all these players that you are saying don’t count when it comes to determining the average career. Who wants to see that?

  29. As someone who has attended 4 NFL Rookie Symposiums during a previous job, I find it interesting that the League is calling the 3.5 years number a “misrepresentation” for propaganda purposes, yet they have been using that same number, year after year, to get their message across to the incoming draft class. Either it’s a meaningful number or not. They can’t have it both ways.

  30. The idea is obviously to ruin the sport of football. Goodell has done everything he can to change the rules, give fines, and suspend players. My question is who hired him? If he doesn’t like the sport, he should’nt bee in it. Players don’t want to play because its “Unfair”, find other work. But give the game back to the fans. You idiots are going to ruin the game for the fans. The players get paid pretty good. If you don’t like it, become an owner and give your profits to players and see how fast everyones looking for work. Now grow up and get back to work.

  31. Its propaganda. Does it matter if the “average” is 3.5 or “close to six”? Either way the fact remains that many, many NFL players have short careers.

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