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fordfixer
07-24-2011, 03:27 AM
Players should let owners twist in wind
The Big Squeeze
Jason Whitlock
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Jaso ... ind-072111 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Jason-Whitlock-NFL-lockout-players-should-let-owners-twist-in-wind-072111)

Updated Jul 22, 2011 5:31 PM ET

The owners blinked.

All it took was the potential cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game to force Roger Goodell and NFL ownership to reveal their bluff Thursday.

It’s not 1987. They’re not dumb enough to sacrifice one of their 16 regular-season games to fix a non-existent problem. The NFL is far from broken. It’s one of the few products America still produces far better than the rest of the world.

The lockout has been one long, poorly executed bluff.

Goodell and his bosses have been pretending they’d rather blow up the league than honor the partnership and deal Gene Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue forged.

For years, Upshaw was portrayed as an ownership lapdog and a bumbling idiot not competent enough to land NFL players guaranteed contracts. The narrative changed once Upshaw died and greedy owners saw his death as an opportunity to fleece what was perceived to be a weakened union.

The new narrative is Upshaw cut a deal that was too sweet for the players. The previous collective bargaining agreement -- the one ownership opted out of two years early -- was so heavily weighted in favor of the players that ownership was allegedly willing to skip regular-season games to break the union.

Do you believe that now?

Seventeen days before the ceremonial Hall of Fame Game, the owners and Goodell hatched a Hail Mary public-relations ploy trying to bully the players into agreeing to a deal the players had yet to read. Goodell held a news conference proclaiming the lockout over.

“We have crafted a long-term agreement that is good for the game of football,” Goodell told the media in Atlanta. “We are anxious to get back to football. It is time to get back to football. That is what everybody here wants to do.”

The players hadn’t agreed to anything.

And if the players want to be daring, they shouldn’t agree to a new deal for a few more weeks. I’m serious.

Upshaw did not cut a deal that was too good to be true. He cut a fair deal. The players take all of the real risks. There is no reason to roll back the money players earn.

Most important from a negotiating standpoint, it’s clear now the owners are more desperate for a new collective bargaining agreement than the players. Peter King wrote the NFL’s boring-as-televised-poker exhibition season is worth $800 million.

The NFL’s lone problem is greedy owners. There’s nothing else significantly wrong with the game. This lockout was a bogus waste of time.

My contention for the past year was there was no way NFL owners were going to derail the greatest reality TV show in the world (the NFL regular season). It took 30 years of rules-massaging to turn NFL quarterbacks into the biggest brands on the small screen. Charlie Sheen wishes he could drive the TV ratings Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Michael Vick generate week to week.

You don’t damage that momentum to satisfy a couple of small-market owners.

I’ve never for one minute believed there was a remote possibility of the lockout impacting the 16 regular-season games. If it does, Roger Goodell will go down as the worst commissioner in sports history. It would be an inexplicable error.

Goodell’s job is to ride Manning and Brady until their wheels fall off.

This whole lockout was a gigantic mistake. It should’ve never happened. It was unnecessary. It’s not surprising that the owners' new deal would run 10 years and there would be no opt-out clause.

No one wants to go through this again anytime soon. The owners are acknowledging that whatever they’ve gained from the lockout will probably be offset by the TV-ratings momentum they’ve sacrificed by sabotaging their offseason.

The executives at ESPN and the NFL Network must be livid about this aborted offseason. Without free agency and mini camps, there’s been little to nothing to talk about beyond labor meetings and private emails. Meetings and emails don’t drive ratings.

Now, I must admit I was wrong, too. I made the same mistake the owners did. I underestimated DeMaurice Smith and the players. I figured they’d fold and allow ownership to dictate the terms of a new deal.

I’m glad Smith and the players stayed together. I wish they’d hold out a little longer. Yes, they would run the risk of getting attacked by the media lapdogs who are as desperate for a deal as the owners. It would be worth the risks.

Now that the owners have been exposed, it would be nice to see their puppets exposed, too.

papillon
07-24-2011, 07:42 AM
The owners may have bluffed, but each and everyone of them is a successful businessman. I don't see it being in the best interests of the players to delay much getting the deal signed. Less OTAs, less contact, huge addition of cash to benefits for retired players, rookie wage scale, UFA after 4 years, and still 48% of the revenue. The owners were fair as far as I'm concerned.

Actually, I think the product we will see won't be as good due to the OTA and full contact reduction. You don't get better as a football team playing in shorts and you the chemistry won't be as good with less OTAs. The fans are going to be the losers (as usual).

The owners should have put a time limit on the players to sign the deal; just like you do when put an offer in to buy a house. This offer is good for 48 hours and becomes null and void if not signed or counter offered. If the players Smith and the players think the deal is bad then they should have had a counter proposal ready. What have they been doing for the last 130 days? They should have had a counter proposal in hand and ready to go if they believed this deal was bad.

I Just don't think it's in the players best interest to let this drag on in an attempt to posture as if they are standing up to the bully. They got most everything they wanted except the revenue sharing and 48% isn't that horrible. They're fools, IMO, to try and call the bluff at this stage of the game.

Pappy

feltdizz
07-24-2011, 03:15 PM
The product won't be as good at the start of the season but this is due to both sides playing hardball.

Players can't counter until they read the proposal.... putting a time limit on the proposal makes zero sense IMO. When you are selling your house the time limit is put in place because you are letting the buyer know you have other interested parties...

The owners don't have any other interested parties so a time limit serves no purpose. It sounds nice but the owners need the preseason more than the players.

ikestops85
07-25-2011, 10:11 AM
The product won't be as good at the start of the season but this is due to both sides playing hardball.

Players can't counter until they read the proposal.... putting a time limit on the proposal makes zero sense IMO. When you are selling your house the time limit is put in place because you are letting the buyer know you have other interested parties...

The owners don't have any other interested parties so a time limit serves no purpose. It sounds nice but the owners need the preseason more than the players.

How come the owners have had time to read the proposal but the players have not? This just doesn't make any sense.

feltdizz
07-25-2011, 12:52 PM
The product won't be as good at the start of the season but this is due to both sides playing hardball.

Players can't counter until they read the proposal.... putting a time limit on the proposal makes zero sense IMO. When you are selling your house the time limit is put in place because you are letting the buyer know you have other interested parties...

The owners don't have any other interested parties so a time limit serves no purpose. It sounds nice but the owners need the preseason more than the players.

How come the owners have had time to read the proposal but the players have not? This just doesn't make any sense.

My interpretation:



it's much easier to write a proposal and sign off on it and then give it to the other party instead of going back and forth before they both put ink on the paper. IMO sending an agreement with your sig let's the other party know you are ready to deal. If the owners didn't sign off on it before sending it both parties would comb over it multiple times making sure nothing new was in it before it was signed.

The owners going on TV made it seem like the players were dragging their feet... all they wanted/needed was a chance to read it to make sure nothing new was put into it.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-25-2011, 02:17 PM
The product won't be as good at the start of the season but this is due to both sides playing hardball.

Players can't counter until they read the proposal.... putting a time limit on the proposal makes zero sense IMO. When you are selling your house the time limit is put in place because you are letting the buyer know you have other interested parties...

The owners don't have any other interested parties so a time limit serves no purpose. It sounds nice but the owners need the preseason more than the players.

How come the owners have had time to read the proposal but the players have not? This just doesn't make any sense.

Because the owners crafted the proposal.