On Friday March 11th, the NFL and NFLPA did exactly what we all afraid of. They took the CBA negotiations and blew them up. The NFLPA came with some last-minute horse crap demand for 10 years of financial records, the NFL said nope, and the NFL decertified. Later that night the NFL owners locked out the players. But its okay, both sides main concern is the fans, and they assure us that will still be football this year! I know I believe them.
Now the gloves have come off, the negotiations are headed to the courts and more lawyers are getting involved. Yay! I tried my best to keep up with everything that took place just this weekend, and it gave me a migraine. I’m so done with both sides. I have no sympathy for either of them anymore. The way the players negotiated the final week shows they wanted to decertify the whole time. DeMaurice Smith has been itching for this fight since the owners announced they were ending the CBA two years ago.
With the federal mediator no longer involved and no deadline to compel an agreement, both sides have started the finger-pointing and the PR war has gone to DEFCON 1. The blame game is already out of hand and disgusting. Listening to billionaires and millionaires act like children and call each other names is disgusting and disheartening. The most heinous offense committed by both sides is saying that they are working for the fans. It’s a fallacy that insults every die-hard football fan and we can see through it.
Listen players, I understand that you decertified because the owners were handing you a crap deal. I understand it was the biggest weapon in your arsenal, and you felt you had to use it. Fine. But stop acting like you did this for us. You did it for yourselves and that’s okay. Own up to it. Nothing you are doing right now is “for the fans.” Nada.
I’ve read your list of demands, and there’s nothing for us in them. If you were trying to do something for the fans, how about lifting the blackout rule? Or getting the NFL Ticket off DirecTV exclusively? Or stop charging full price for pre-season games? Haven’t heard anyone from your
union trade group mention any of those items.
As for the owners, I’ve seen letters from Roger Goodell and Jeffrey Lurie. Goodell was nice enough to tell me that it’s my “passion for the game that drives us all,” and by passion, he means money. Lurie’s letter is actually more honest and less pandering. There’s really no BS to it. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the “Gold Standard” of owners.
But what kind of rubes is Goodell’s letter and all his blathering about caring about the fan directed towards? Are there really fans out there who read that and say, “Well, at least that Goodell fella’s in my corner!”? (If there are, they are probably Mike & Mike fans too.)
It’s barely been 72 hours since the NFL and NFLPA turned their keys and unleashed Armageddon. I’m already exhausted from the name calling, finger-pointing, legal maneuvers, motions, petitions, et al. I honestly don’t know how much of this I can take. At least I can take comfort in the fact that they are doing this all for me and the rest of the NFL fans. When this finally ends and we have a deal in place, it warms the cockles of my heart that the owners and players are fighting over how to split a billion dollars…for the fans.