Saturday, March 12, 2011
So it begins
Let me just check, see if they've fixed the whole CBA thing yet.... .... nope. Far from it. With the CBA due to expire in about 3 hours (from when I write this), the two sides have packed it in and the NFLPA has formerly decertified. At this point I would just like to call bullshit on DeMaurice Smith, who has spent the last six months banging on about a lockout and how the players should prepare for it etc, knowing full well that the Union was planning to shut itself down and prevent a lockout, just like I've been saying for the last six months that it would. Now the fun begins. Ten players have filed an anti-trust law suit against the NFL. Those ten are; Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Ben Leber, Logan Mankins, Brian Robison, Osi Umenyiora, Mike Vrabel and Von Miller. Wait, what? Von Miller? He doesn't even fucking play for a team! He hasn't even been drafted yet! How the hell can he file suit? What's this horse shit? Ah well. What now follows is a ton of legal rambling and junk which I kinda have my head around, but really can't be bothered to explain. It's all speculation anyway. Until we hear anything from the courts, then all the networks can say with any certainty is about as much as you or I can. E.G. Jack shit. Free agency should begin at 1 minute past midnight, which is a pain in the arse because I still haven't got round to previewing the AFC West or North. Ah well. Just because it begins, doesn't mean anyone is gonna move. The owners might be sitting in a room right now deciding that they'll all agree not to do any deals until this thing sorts itself out. As for the anti-trust lawsuit? Again, I'm not sure how Von Miller fits into all of this. What catches my eye though is that the players technically filed their suit before the CBA expired. Now God knows I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure you can't file a lawsuit against someone because of something they might do. I wonder if that might invalidate it? Of course the biggest losers here are the fans, as always. I had a brief look over some of the comments made by people on the various articles over at ProFootballTalk.com and here are some of the my favourites. "Eat sh*t, DeMaurice." (over 125 thumbs up) "I’m kind of tired of hearing about the $1B figure. The league has 32 owners. Splitting that is only a little over $31 million more a year per team. If the owners came down, then it is obviously less than that. In the grand scheme of things, that is close to what Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will make this next year. Using one big figure makes it sound worse than it actually is. I don’t feel sympathy toward either side, but the union and players are a little less sympathetic to me know [sic] with this stunt today." "I saw his statement on TV, and Smith kept suggesting the NFLPA represented the players as well as the fans against the greedy Scrooge ownership. I would have found that more convincing if he said even one thing about making the game more AFFORDABLE for the fans. All these billions of dollars getting tossed around, and not a word about cutting ticket prices? Food? Parking?" (112 thumbs up, 6 down) "Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams. They are the ones who have made this league this profitable. Now due to the economy and all the expenses that they have their profits have taken a hit and they want a piece of the pie back. Now the players mostly have not even graduated from college yet get a minimum pay of 400K a year, while players with larger roles on teams usually make millions. How much would these players be making in the outside world with no NFL that the owners created. The players are the greedy ones, not even listening to the owners offers." "The question I have is Why are the owners under any obligation whatsoever to show that they are in less advantageous financial position now than they were before the current (now expired) CBA as a basis for this renegotiation? I think the basis for terminating the CBA early was the Owners decided it was not fair to them, not that they were having financial trouble, just htat it was not fair to them. I think a 50/50 split of revenue (revenue, not profit) IS unfair given that the players don’t incur any of the costs associated with running an NFL franchise (team facilities, stadiums, training camps, medical costs, etc etc) why should they get 50% of revenue? I think it would be fair if the players union assumed 50% of the costs of running a franchise if they insist they should get 50% of revenue. The current model probably is unsustainable." "Public opinion has shifted to the Owners. Seeing the deal that the owners were willing to go with just confirms that the Players have no argument when it comes to the fight of who is more greedy. Give me replacements. Every player we like today will be gone in a few years anyway. I’ll get over it. F them. Go work at walmart." "I hope the owners win the injunction or whatever and can lock these bums out and show them what hard times are." "With all this action from the union happening so quickly it’s hard not to believe the owners when they say that the Union never intended on negotiating. Seems like the union had everything in place and lined up to go." "And thus begins the one week of “We are UNITED!” and then the “Oh Sh#T i’m not getting paid…lets do this.”" "So the ink wasn’t even dry on the statement and these guys file suit??? Yeah, the union really wanted to negotiate–not. And Von Miller, you’re a fool–you’re not even in the NFL yet and are already a part of this suit?? If you were hoping to go in the 1st round, I think you’ll be waiting in round 3–if you’re lucky." For those that might accuse me o being one sided with the comments, the reality is that the fans (at least those that read PFT) are overwhelmingly against the players. There are a few pro player comments, but they nearly all have way more thumbs down than up. I guess the fans have chosen their side. And lastly, for those that are interested, here is a summary by PFT.com of the alleged final offer that the owners put on the table for the players.