Players, owners get what they wanted

Players, owners get what they wanted

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 03/14/2011 - 00:59
After three days of reading and listening to the NFL players and owners weigh in on the first work stoppage in 24 years, I have come to a few conclusions: *They both got what they wanted. The players wanted to decertify as a union because they have believed all along that they could get a better labor deal through litigation than through negotiation. They were led down this path by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who seems more intent on furthering his own career and making a name for himself than getting a deal done. The owners wanted to lock out the players from the get-go, as far back as 2006 when they realized they agreed to a deal that paid the players nearly 60 percent of the $9 million in revenue after they took their $1 billion off the top. They wanted a lockout because they know that when players start missing game checks in September, they will start to crumble. There are nearly 500 free agents who essentially are men without teams until a settlement is reached. Not only do many of these players not know how much they will be making in the future, they don’t know who they’ll be playing for, where they’ll be living or where their kids will go to school. *There is now way that this work stoppage will be over soon because there is no sense of urgency on either side. The players don’t get paid until September, when they get the first of their 17 checks when the regular-season games start, although a lot of them are missing out on workout bonuses and roster bonuses. The owners aren’t missing out on much either, until the preseason starts, but they will be collecting season-ticket money well before then. *Neither side gives a rat’s rear end about the fans, and it’s infuriating to listen to their phony sympathy for the plight of the people who pay their inflated salaries and buy their overpriced tickets, nachos, beer and foam fingers. If anyone on either side thought for a moment about the fans, they would realize that many of them have taken pay cuts, been furloughed, laid off, downsized or fired from their jobs in an economy that has been a nightmare for a lot of average people. But that’s something they know nothing about. *Neither side trusts the other, and it’s easy to see why. Each side has, at best, misrepresented the other’s bargaining position and, at worst, outright lied about what was being offered.
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