Even in defeat, De Smith rolls out the rhetoric

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In response to the recent remarks of NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith comparing the labor dispute to a mob war, we suggested that Smith dial back the rhetoric.  But now, even with his effort to lift the lockout on the verge of sleeping with the fishes, Smith continues to talk tough.

“It’s a disappointment obviously that as far as we can tell this is the first sports league in history who sued to not plays its game,” Smith told reporters after Monday’s ruling.  “Congratulations.”

We’re not sure what that means.

The league hasn’t sued anyone.  The league wants to impose economic pressure on the players via a lockout, and the players decertified and filed an antitrust lawsuit in the hopes of blocking the lockout.  Today’s ruling that the lockout won’t be lifted pending resolution of the appeal by the Eighth Circuit hardly represents the NFL suing to not plays its game.

With a reversal of Judge Nelson’s ruling now looming, Smith’s comments likely have less to do with shaping public opinion and more to do with scrambling to keep the players unified, even if doing so requires Smith to distort the facts in the hopes of playing to the players’ emotions.

The problem is that, while such comments may be help keep the players on the same page, they’ll make it harder for the players and the league to ever make it into the same library again.

107 responses to “Even in defeat, De Smith rolls out the rhetoric

  1. De Smith… it’s like clockwork with this tool. I really really hope the players turn on him.

    This would also be a good chance for this blog to turn on him… I think you’re starting to lose some readers’ support with the regular stance

  2. “DeFeat?!!!” sputtered DeFudd, “Your days are numbered you wascally weepowta!”.

  3. He has to have political aspirations after this job. He is a spin artist that even Democrats or Republicans could only dream of.

  4. Even though I think the owners are being greedy b@stards. This smith guy is real tool and will single handily turn the fans against the players.

  5. How can anyone take this guy seriously? They’re not suing to prevent games from being played… they’re trying to uphold their legal right to lock players out if the current conditions are not profitable for their business.

    If the players had gotten a bad deal on the last negotiations, they would be the ones striking right now and not wanting to play football (as they did in 1987). That’s not what happened though… the owners got the bad deal, and a lock-out gives them the best avenue to get a better contract while still upholding all the things we love about the NFL (draft, salary caps, etc).

  6. What’s wrong DeMo? Can’t win anywhere except in the Loserville courts with Judge Duty and Judge Judy presiding?

    I like that. Duty and Judy the liberal commies from Loserville.

  7. Can’t wait for this guy to go away, what a loser!

    As much as it pains me, I’m for canceling the season just to see De Smith look worse.

  8. At this point, De is pathetic, ala the Iraqi Information Minister claiming that the Hussein regime remains in total control as US tanks are rolling into Baghdad behind him. You blew it De, it is over.

  9. As long as the players are rolling in dough we wont have a solution. So D Smith in all likelyhood is gonna continue to step in quick sand and sooner then later the mess will be solved until then this lockout will continue.

  10. Distorting the facts in hopes of playing to the players’ emotions… sounds about right.

    This would normally be the point in the fight where the NFLPA would realize they’ve been dealt a blow and get back to the bargaining table to hammer out a deal. Instead, this knucklehead wants to drag the fight out until the bitter end by getting the players to ignore the reality of the situation and keep the pissing match going.

    At what point do the players wise up and realize that De’s strategy of taking things personal and slogging it out in the court system is not in their best interest?

  11. Seriously, the more this man talks, the bigger fool he makes of himself, shut up and get a deal done!

  12. Why is this guy even in charge of a players union? He’s never touched a football and has no clue what would be best for a football player their, family or for the league that puts food on their table. The head of the union representing football players should be someone who has actually played football.

  13. So on the threat of losing this appeal case, and the NFL players likely beginning to realize how incompetent D Smith is, he starts whining like a child. Got it

  14. De lives in his own little world. He is God and everyone else he created to serve him.

    Must be hard to rationalize the truth with his dimentia.

  15. This guy us a world class idiot. D. Smith has set the tone, his idiot remarks has given a Collection of idiot players the false confidence to take cheap shots at the league, Goodell and the owners

  16. Mike – I can tell by the tone of your reports that little by little D-Smith is turning your stomach too. As long as this weasel is in the middle of things, I do not like the chances of anything getting done. He has his own agenda and fixing this mess is not on it.

  17. Wow, what a spectacular turn of reasoning there for you Mike. You were strongly pro players before

  18. Players need to figure out what has become more and more glaringly obvious – DeMaurice Smith, the trial lawyer and Obamabot, wants to stay in belligerent ignorance and denial of the reality of the league’s economics. The league wants to change the economic deal because the deal they signed with the NFLPA turned out to be a deceit (does it really need repetition that Kevin Mawae and Richie Incognito have admitted the players tricked the owners into signing that CBA?) and the cost of doing business has changed and thus requires changing the deal, so the lockout is here; the PA decertified and filed an antitrust lawsuit and was emboldened because a judge issued a ruling on a TV network loan to the league, a ruling that did nothing positive for anyone; Smith has consistently lost the argument on facts and now is losing in court, so he acts out what he is – a charlatain who has poisoned what was once the best league-PA relationship in sports.

    Congradulations, DeMaurice.

  19. Gene Upshaw would have gotten a fair deal for the players and got a CBA done by now.

    De Smith has assumed a total adversarial posture with the league ever since he got the job.

  20. De Smith can’t even put a good spin on the potential ruling, so he resorts to harsh words and metaphors. Someone should put that little twerp over a knee and give him the spanking he deserves.
    De Maurice Smith is not a good rep for the *NFLPA, I can’t believe he a licensed attorney.

  21. The problem is that, while such comments may be help keep the players on the same page, they’ll make it harder for the players and the league to ever make it into the same library again.

    No, the problem is DeMaurice Smith , trying to make a name for himself.

  22. Smith is done. He knows it. No matter who you side with on this issue, I think we can all agree that he needs to go and we all “dig it”.

  23. It really never ceases to amaze me that this guy heads the union* of players of the biggest juggernaut of a sport on the planet (continued juggernaut status pending because of these idiots). Any of us would love to get paid the kind of money that he makes to fail so much at what he’s getting paid to do.

    Just imagine how this would be going if there was a union head who cared even a little bit at trying to get a deal done rather than taking this to court.

  24. Thank you for calling this moron out. The league is merely responding to the players decertification, they aren’t suing the players to not play football. I, too, have no idea what that even means

  25. Are you kidding me?? He actually now says that the league is suing the players?? Is this guy so high on crack that he is actually believing that or thinks anyone who has paid attention to this mess thinks that??

    I am sure he has lost the players already. The problem is that once you squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube, you can’t put it back in. And that’s where the players are at right now. You can’t undo this whole law suit mess without seriously conceding defeat and basically take whatever scrap the owners wnat to throw at them.

  26. De Smith is an unmitigated disaster. how is behaving like a hysterical school girl in the skill set of a negotiator on this level?

  27. De Smith is a trial lawyer – he’s not a labor attorney – he has no qualifications to lead the *NFLPA and it’s starting to show – owners like Arthur Blank Bob Craft and Jerry Jones, for right or wrong, probably have several guys with the qualifications of De Smith on their personal payrolls. He is out of his league and it is starting to show. As a result he is resulting to desperate rhetoric in what will prove to be an ill fated attempt to play on people’s emotions when logical defense is beyond his reach.

  28. I think “De” Smith is referring to the NFL’s appeal of Judge Nelson’s order to enjoin the lockout when he reportedly said, “…the first sports league in history who sued… .” Technically speaking, I think he’s correct, but what’s far more relevant here is that his unfortunate rhetoric undermines any effort to reach a mediated solution. At this critical juncture, I think he may even be starting to turn off some fans that have been sympathetic to the players. NFL fans want this to end NOW! If Gene Upshaw—rest his soul—could step out of the grave, I think he would.

  29. Gene Upshaw looks down from above and wonders?

    How do we have a lawyer who NEVER PLAYED FOOTBALL thats represents the players? Is there NOT a Lawyer and high level NFL player who can run this? Executive Directors run NON-PROFITS not the Greatest Players in the world!

    Run this Fraud!

    Go Raiders!

  30. Please, make this moron go away so intelligent adults can get a deal done like real men do. Then we won;t be subjected to this pathetic monument to little man syndrome coupled with a Peter Principled “leader”.

    Regardless of what happens in June, De Idiot will always be a loser.

  31. Both sides have taken some hard knocks in court to date. Hopefully this scares both the owners and players enough to abandon litigation and realize the only place they have some semblance of control over the outcome is at the negotiating table. But I’m not holding my breath as long as D Smith holds the podium for the players.

  32. This isn’t about football it’s about labor and the beginning of a big labor battle in this country and D Smith is the setting the table for labor. This sucks for sports/football fans because the sports are now a part of the countries bs politics.

  33. Well De Smith you wanted to take it to court and you lost and most likely will lose the hearing on June 3rd. So a word to the wise I would consider this proposal very strongly by the owners because you’re not going as much of a player friendly cba as before. There might be a few minor details you could work out but watch yourself with what you do before players really start turning on you.

  34. “The players are not that stupid.”

    I hope not. But have you seen this Chester Pitts character? Certainly not the shapest knife in the drawer. In fact, he’s more like a soup spoon.

  35. If I was a player, I wouldn’t want a guy like this fighting for me. He doesn’t even understand that an appeal isn’t a law suit. Maybe they should look elsewhere for representation. They should hire O.J.’s dream team.

    How many players that didn’t get millions for the last few years are going to start feeling the strain of a prolonged lockout? Instead of getting right to mediation De Smith is looking to continue to put the league on blast and rake in the money (even though he says he took a pay cut.. yeah right). He continues to benefit, the players continue to suffer, and the fans most of all are getting screwed.

  36. Many posters have accused Mr. Smith of not being very flexible. He has certainly proved that theory to be wrong as he has managed to insert his foot into his mouth while also having his head up his own butt.

  37. He is employing sales 101 tactics while trying to keep the players unified…”don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

  38. omg….i think we are looking at football gone for 2011. i am very sad. i am disabled and my pathetic life has a love for pro ball and its not going to happen this year. what else you want to do to me god? sorry to cry like a baby but i love football.

  39. De Smith is a moron. He says he wants fairness yet he won’t take any of this serious, he mocks the owners consistently…he, in my mind is the little piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t fit and keeps this lock-out going.

  40. D Smith needs to be kicked out before this whole extravaganza collapses on the players head. You can’t get a CBA done in court. If the players lawrers are given the chance in the antitrust suit, there will be no footbal as we know it. No draft, no free agency, no nothing–only 32 independent teams trying to operate in an anything goes “league.” Enough of this lawrer nonsense, get rid of D. Smith, and then get back to the bargaining table and hammer out a CBA in less than two weeks. We, the fans, need to get the new season up and running before its too late.

  41. For god’s sake, I hope somebody in the players camp is starting to realize that De Smith is leading them down the path to ruin just to make himself famous. The man is just a huge pile of excrement. He has done NOTHING to work toward settling this dispute. All he wants is to play hardball every step of the way and get as much face time in front of cameras as he can. The NFL labor dispute isn’t about the players vs the owners at all. It is about a bunch of stupid players being conned by De Smith the snake-oil salesman to ruin their relationship with the owners and the teams.

  42. One of these days the smarter players are going to wake up and realize that deSmith and Kessler are not working for them, but rather for themselves.

    They would rather blow up the entire NFL rules and system and fight in the courts than to negotiate a fair agreement. From day one DeSmith has said this is a war and had no intention to negotiate, only to sue IMO.

    Well, now he has the outcome of the lawsuit track and he still won’t move off of this sue first mentality. The players need to dump these sue-first, me-first guys and get someone in there that can sit down and work out a deal.

    Just the other day he said they were forced into a war. Well guess what, that infamous quote “this is war!” was before the mitigation even began. The players are getting played by these guys.

  43. Wow….this guy must have been hand picked by the owners and planted inside the NFLPA.

    He clearly doesn’t think about the players before he talks.

  44. Lol, 29 Comments and not a single voice of support for De Smith. Thats pretty bad considering how easy it should be for the players to play the victim card.

  45. Im pro players for this simple fact. I JUST WANT FOOTBALL.The owners are making minimal attempts to negotiate with the players at this point. Here is the problem i have with this.

    A. Owners demand that taxpayers contribute to their businesses which is basically a bail out since they are private enterprises. Ex stadium upgrades,Building new stadiums, Keeping teams in citys..

    Jacksonville is an example
    When awarded the expansion franchise the taxpayers have paid 180 million to date on stadium renovations.
    the city withdrew from taking their cut of sponsorship for the stadium at a cost of 10 million i believe. Just to make the owners happy after the threat of relocation.

    B. Owners simply arent losing money.. EX Wayne Huizenga sold the dolphins to Stevan Ross a few years ago for an undisclosed amount. Huizenga purchased the team for 138 million. Forbes Magazine last year valued the franchise at $942 million dollars. Stevan Ross somehow Leapfrogged to the 27th richest man in the world from number 68 this past year.

    Obviously the rookie wage scale to veteran wage scale needs to be fixed the rate of increase is ridiculous, but how is locking out business and not attempting to negotiate beneficial to business long term and short term? Your going to piss off fans who have made the NFL successful, It will take a while to win back.

  46. “De lives in his own little world. He is God and everyone else he created to serve him.”

    What do you expect? The guy worked under Eric Holder in the Justice Department.

  47. All DeMaurice Smith has ever thought is get them in court because I’m the best attorney, well De you were wrong again…I feel really bad for the players this guy has just killed them. He just likes to bad mouth everyone. Could the players fire him now?

  48. I’ve been thinking this way for a while:

    To me, there is greed in the owners wanting a bigger piece of the $9 Billion pie that they probably could live without, but not for the reasons most people think:

    As most people are well aware by now, The Los Angeles Dodgers have been dealing with all kinds of financial issues ever since owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie began the process of what is now becoming a very bitter divorce, one that has seriously sapped the finances of the Dodgers to the point where Major League Baseball is now running the Dodgers. The finances of the Dodgers are apparently so bad that there is now a possibility that the Dodgers will be unable to meet payroll at the end of this month, further straining and tainting what has been one of the signature franchises in all of baseball.

    What does this have to do with the NFL Lockout? My suspicions are that there is least one, if not more owners who have spouses that basically demand they be given a certain lifestyle, and if so it may be that such owners are aware that if the owners don’t get a certain amount from the players, it could cramp the lifestyle the spouse demands to the point where that spouse decides to do the same thing Jamie McCourt currently is doing that is largely considered responsible for the problems the Dodgers currently are having. This, more than anything else to me is driving the owners to get as much as they can out of the players.

  49. seahawkhuskyfan says: May 16, 2011 11:32 PM

    I think De Smith is “diggin” his own grave. The players are not that stupid.


    Agreed on your first point…

    Not so sure about your second point though! If the majority of the players really understand the negotiation plan and strategy, then why would the NFLPA* be talking about doing things that are clearly detrimental to the that group? Think no salary cap or no draft and then who wins – the average player? Don’t think so…

  50. ive been saying the whole time that the reason we dont have football is because of SMITH. players need to find themselves a new leader before they end up on the street. this guy is a joke.every player should vote, majority rules. simple as that. get it done. very tired of this lockout bs.

  51. D Smith = FIRED TOOLSHED

    How long do you think the players are going to keep you around when you convinced them to go to court instead of negotiating and LOST! Not long I hope, this issue is going to end the same way it always does, the players will come running back begging for money cause they have no other choice. In the battle of billionaires vs. millionaires, the ones with the most resources will always win. Your little plot has failed miserably Smith, good luck in politics, your gonnna need it… Big Time!

  52. It’s always about the ego with the representatives of unions in a media covered situation. There is plenty of ego on the owners side also. The owners just look better now because they have more political clout making the legal decisions.

  53. The guy is an idiot, but aside from the difference between a lawsuit and a labor relations proceeding (and there isn’t a whole lot of difference since lawsuits often involve formal settlement negotiations and mediation), you have to admit he nailed the situation except it applies to both sides. They both seem to be doing everything they can to destroy the season.

  54. Screw the owners & their lackey judges. Couldn’t care less about Smith’s rhetoric but I would like to see some judges who aren’t supporting their financial sponsors for a change.

  55. Although it was nice to see you criticize DeMaurice Smith, that was very mild, imo, to what you would’ve posted if the owners had done the same thing. Still, it is nice to see a criticism of the NFLPA every once in awhile.

  56. I don’t understand the need for De Smith to continue to “poke the bear” after he losses a huge decision in court. Why? Do you think insulting the owners and the Commisioner is the best way to get a deal done? Arrogant. De Smith is ARROGANT and BAD FOR THE NFL.

  57. This guy is just like his clients celebrating a hit 20 yards down field on a 3rd and 10

  58. “It’s a disappointment obviously that as far as we can tell this is the first sports league in history who sued to not plays its game,”

    Seriously? did he just say that? Hey DeMouth time to close your yap and go back to school and learn proper grammar. He really is as dumb as he looks.

  59. I am starting to think that players were instructed to use the rhetoric that they have used in the last 2 months. This guy may be the dumbest leader of any organized union in the history of all unions. If he actually cared for his members as opposed to some type of political career that he doesn’t deserve, he would simply state that things didn’t go their way and the time to make a deal is now. By making a deal, players go back to work, FA begins and the fans are happy.

  60. david7590 says: May 16, 2011 11:33 PM

    Why is this guy even in charge of a players union? He’s never touched a football and has no clue what would be best for a football player their, family or for the league that puts food on their table. The head of the union representing football players should be someone who has actually played football.
    Because the players elected him? Just a guess.

    The players chose poorly, it would seem.

  61. Bottom line? I’m more concerned with Brady, Manning, and the ever growing crowd of other Great Emancipators making the league MLB-style untenable.

  62. Negotiator?


    Agitator? Instigator? Manipulator?


    The Jamarcus Russell of union leaders.

    Big arm.

    No brains.

  63. D. Smith is a graduate of the Howard Dean Institute of Diplomacy and Public Relations.

  64. And yet, still not the best spin master I’ve heard.

    If DeMaurice Smith spent even 5 minutes with Dave Spadaro, he’d feel like the honest, up front man alive.

  65. De Smith makes me want to eat a plate full of glass. That way, I don’t have to see his nasty face or hear the load of BS that spews from his mouth every time he speaks.

  66. Normally, I would have a comment about Smith, but with the exception of a few….See all of the above.

  67. I’m glad I don’t play in the NFL. Having a guy like this do my negotiating. ouch.

  68. Is it just me, or is this a$$hat Smith starting to sound less like someone interested in resolving this matter and more like the esteemed revs. Jackass and Simpleton?

    Just saying…

  69. Is being delusional a prerequisite before becoming involved in any pro sports league?

  70. De Smith is the kind of guy that makes it easy to understand why so many people don’t like or don’t trust lawyers. Wake up players. This guy is leading you into oblivion.

  71. I am most happy about this ruling because, for the first time ever, this writer is finally saying the things his readers have been saying about de Smith for months. Way to come around mike!!

  72. When are the players going to realize that this guy is joke. One of the reason that I am leaning towards the owners is becuase of him. It’s like all he wants to do is drag this out and make his mark in football history. In the words of Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous from The Sandlot De Smith is a “L 7 Weenie”

  73. I hope Deplayers sh@tcan this clown after the new CBA is reached. All of his hyperbole is the reason for this mess.

  74. D Smith is such a poor negotiatitor. He is going to make a deal when the players have lost leverage. That’s smart. He could have worked toward a deal when the players looked poised to win these court rulings and got soem things done. Now the the league can’t stand him. The fans can’t stand him and I would bet he has lost a ton of players. The players have been sitting back thinking that the have this thinged locked up and now it looks like it is going to start swinging the other way.

  75. If only that other guy won out as the NFLPA Director originally instead of Smith, the one who proposed that idea of shares. Sorry, forgot his name.

  76. Yeah this guy is pure legal-ese…he’s not for players rights…but making a name for himself…wearing a pricey suit…mob war?…really?…have the owners been sending him players ears and fingers and putting horse heads in his bed?…DeDork…

  77. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think DeMo is going to be employed by the NFLPA when, and if, it comes back into existence. This country loves putting people in positions of power no matter how far over their head it may be.. as proven once again. Take whatever deal the owners are offering, because the next one will be significantly lower, and should be. Way to leverage yourselves into NOTHING. Thank god ownership still carries at least SOME power within their own businesses..

  78. “Even though I think the owners are being greedy b@stards. This smith guy is real tool and will single handily turn the fans against the players.”

    Quick Question:

    Should the Green Bay Packers organization make as much money as their overrated, underperforming, second string middle linebacker?

    …Just a thought

  79. In keeping with the Mob theme:

    The Family (Players) will come to realize that Consigliere DeSmith has out lived his usefulness. Nuttin’ personal…just business.

  80. One thing that jumps out at me, I have never seen a clean, easy to read and understand breakdown (outline) of the final offer the owners proposed.

    I wish Sports Illustrated, or someone would break it down, and publish it.

    I can only speculate, but I suspect that productive players would continue to make single and double digit millions. I suspect the big difference is probably where they won’t be making significant gains in their salaries as they did in this past agreement. (The one that everybody concedes was very favorable to the union and players.)

    Just because I, as a public school teacher, had to take a paycut this year, doesn’t mean that players should. But, are we even talking about them taking an actual paycut?

    Are we?

    Are there any facts out there about the owners beginning proposal? The starting point of negoitiations.

    I realize they do not want the owners taking care of the retirees. They would rather control the crumbs that are tossed out.

    As I said a few weeks ago, although it was not well received, until the time that the players take what the owners proposed, and start negoitiating from there, nothing real is going to happen.

    I believe that is reality.

  81. wigwam101 says: May 17, 2011 2:10 AM

    “De lives in his own little world. He is God and everyone else he created to serve him.”

    “What do you expect? The guy worked under Eric Holder in the Justice Department.”

    If the above 2nd statement is true this explains not only a lot but everything. WTF.

  82. This guy is way too arrogant for his own good. Rumor has it he yells his own name while pleasuring himself to a 8 x 10 picture of himself all while wearing only a fedora and a matching gold feather boa. Someone told me De played the lead or did the voice overs in that Pootietang movie that came out a few years back? Anyways can’t wait to see some football this year.

  83. goawayeverybody says:
    May 17, 2011 12:41 AM
    Why are Republicans such braindead morons?

    Wow, way to elevate the debate, you brain dead moron.

  84. MF is so far from objective in his “coverage” it’s not even funny.

  85. To “goawayeverybody”…….WTF??!! what kind of idiotic post is that? Wait, are you really De Mo Smith posting on here? Sure sounds like the same kind of dribble he spouts off.

  86. DeMaurice Smith initially struck me as somebody who is impressed with himself and needs to feed his own ego. Now I can see with every time he opens his mouth he confirms my initial perception.

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