NFL locks out players after union decertifies

posted at 2:00 pm on March 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last night I got an e-mail from Roger Goodell that I picked up after watching Battle: Los Angeles.  I wondered what my old friend the NFL Commissioner wanted to tell me, presumably on the QT.  The message was both personal and shocking:

Dear NFL Fan,

Well, OK, it wasn’t personal at all.  Doesn’t the NFL know how to mail-merge their e-mail messages to personalize a greeting?  What is this, 1998?

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players’ union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players’ union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs.

I checked this allegation from Dear NFL Commissioner when I got home, and sure enough:

NFL star Tom Brady and several other players filed an antitrust class action against the league Friday in Minnesota, only hours after the NFL Players Association decertified itself amid failed negotiations.

Exercising the so-called nuclear option, the NFLPA renounced its status as the collective bargaining representative of NFL players, a move that allows players to sue the league under antitrust laws.

Within hours, MVP quarterback Brady and several other players sued the league for running an allegedly illegal price-fixing scheme — in the form of the league salary cap — and other purported antitrust violations.

And now the league has rebutted the charges of a price-fixing trust by, er, all agreeing to lock out the employees:

The NFL officially announced a lockout of players by team owners following the move by the players’ union to dissolve themselves and pursue action against the league in the courts, the league said in a statement on Saturday.

A lockout effectively closes down the league’s activities and will halt any trade activities and any other dealings between players and clubs.

It’s well worth noting that the NFLPA didn’t seem to have a problem with price-fixing trusts when they got paid handsomely from the proceeds in the last collective bargaining agreement.  Closed-shop unions that demand minimum salaries with fixed steps can also be described as a “price-fixing trust,” at least in a literal sense.  And it’s also well worth noting that the league has threatened a “nuclear option” of their own for months with a lockout if players didn’t meet their demands for more off-the-top money for facilities and a longer schedule for an already grueling football season.

So now we have billionaires locking out multimillionaires who refuse to play a game that generates fortunes for all involved … and both sides want the courts and the fans to blame the other side for the problem and solve issues that even the people who have the most at stake can’t resolve.  Don’t expect much sympathy from the fans who shell out the money that wealthy athletes and owners want to tear from each others’ bank accounts.  If the NFL fumbles away the 2011 season, fans will simply find other places to spend that money, and more grateful recipients for those entertainment dollars.

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Does this mean that Rothlesberger can go back to sexually harrassing 20 year olds and not worry about getting reprimanded by the league? Does the NFL have any jurisdiction over these matters anymore? Who’s gonna keep these guys in line???? ;-)

joejm65 on March 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM

All anyone needs to do is look at Green Bay’s financials (since they’re the only publicly traded team) and they can clearly see why the owners are right at this particular time.

With overall revenues increasing, GreenBay’s operating profits have been declining while player salaries have been growing.

“despite a $10.1 million increase in overall revenue, was a $22.1 million jump in player costs”

ButterflyDragon on March 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Id rather support Conservative lawmakers and Japanese releif efforts than go to a professional sporting event anyways.

William Amos on March 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM

If the NFL fumbles away the 2011 season, fans will simply find other places to spend that money, and more grateful recipients for those entertainment dollars.

I can’t imagine they’d allow the entire season to be lost. The NHL never recovered from that. Granted, their popularity was nosediving before that year, but it sure didn’t help matters. And MLB needed the juiced up frauds, Sosa and McGwire, to cheat their way past Maris’ HR record to get the nation interested in baseball again.

Doughboy on March 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

From the Onion

NFLPA And Owners Reach Agreement That Would Only Hurt Fans

lowandslow on March 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Christien on March 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Heh.

lowandslow on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

As a Redskins fan, I say “bring on the scabs!”

Maybe we’ll win another Super Bowl.

Y-not on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

BTW there is another group that also has a financial interest in this. That is the MSM networks who stand to lose revenue dollars in advertisements. Be interesting to see which side they back.

William Amos on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

lowandtooslow on March 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

;p

Christien on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

This is why I watch college football.

John the Libertarian on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I can’t wait to see the “Law of Unintended Consequences” for this one…

Seven Percent Solution on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I hope they both lose.

They were running ads all season about their ticket trade system where a guy chooses between his pregnant wife or his tickets. Perhaps both sides should understand that their prices have become ridiculous and it shouldn’t cost a few hundred to watch a game with your family.

Chubbs65 on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

William Amos on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Not really

darwin-t on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Spoiled millionaire player out in the real world:

“What’cha mean I’m not qualified! I got me a sports science degree from West Virginia goddammit!”

BacaDog on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

America’s National Pasttime, NFLMLB?

knob on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

It’s well worth noting that the NFLPA didn’t seem to have a problem with price-fixing trusts when they got paid handsomely from the proceeds in the last collective bargaining agreement.

Parties aren’t required to enforce those agreements but the DOJ could have gone after them. The salary cap agreement as a price fixing scheme doesn’t really fly if you have a union, though – I’m assuming that’s why they decertified.

Closed-shop unions that demand minimum salaries with fixed steps can also be described as a “price-fixing trust,” at least in a literal sense.

Labor unions have an antitrust exemption. All unions are restraints on trade, without the exemption they wouldn’t exist, period (probably).

FWIW the lockout itself is a pretty blatant example of collusion – that actually seems like a pretty legitimate complaint to me.

Not a huge NFL fan nor have I read up on this particularly closely but looks to me like the owners are the ones who want to change things here – everyone’s making mone and they want to change things so they can make more money/buy new stadiums.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I’m overcome with apathy.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

This is why I watch college football hoops.

John the Libertarian on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

fify ;)

omg, march madness!

knob on March 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

This is starting to remind me of the baseball strike..baseball never was the same after that.

Terrye on March 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

As a Redskins fan, I say “bring on the scabs!”

Maybe we’ll win another Super Bowl.

Y-not on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I can assure you that Snyder will find the most famous, aging scab that is over the hill relative to the other scabs, and then pay him $100m, and then Mike Shanahan will not play him or bench him for the scab equivalent of Rex Grossman (which is Rex Grossman, oddly enough). Not that I’m bitter about it.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM

and they will never win. That’s my point.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM

…looks to me like the owners are the ones who want to change things here – everyone’s making mone and they want to change things so they can make more money/buy new stadiums.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

What’s wrong with that? The owners risk their capital; they should reap the rewards if it works. But, any good leader knows you have to share the fruits of success with those who helped achieve it.

Honestly, I put the players in the same bucket with anyone who works for a living. Do a good job, earn your pay, and if you don’t think you’re appreciated or earn enough find something else to do.

BacaDog on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

This is why I watch college football.

John the Libertarian on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Same here. I’ve still got hard feelings from their last work stoppage.

Hiya Ciska on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I guess these over paid prima donna’s learned nothing from the MLB strike in 1994/1995 which then created cheating and steroid use to try and fill the empty seats.

Locking them out for the entire year works for me. One full year of pure, uninterrupted playoff’s and World Series for baseball sure does work for me.

Let’s play ball!

Knucklehead on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

This is why I watch college football.

John the Libertarian on March 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Oh yes, because the corrupting influence of the almighty dollar has yet to reach that pillar of the sports world. /

At least this should put the kibosh on talk of using any of my state tax money to build the Vikings a new stadium for awhile.

This won’t kill the NFL. The only thing that will kill the NFL is a death on the field. It’s coming sooner than most people would like to admit.

AScott on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

everyone’s making money and they want to change things so they can make more money/buy new stadiums.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I wish they would buy their own stadiums, rather than try to push the cost off on me.

Hiya Ciska on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Someone’s being a bully!

SouthernGent on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Suddenly, all Steelers pics unavailable. Fortunately, no.

Christien on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Er, I think Rog may be pulling our legs a bit here.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-disrespectedunion031111

a capella on March 12, 2011 at 2:19 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

Because it’s fun?

Besides it’s not like these guys are actually spoiled anyway – I don’t know if I’d call the guys who play through injuries and sustain concussions on a regular basis that often lead to debilitating lifelong health issues “spoiled,” and with the owners who’ve worked hard and accumulated their own fortune to make their own teams – they don’t really seem all that spoiled either.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:19 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

This. Not to mention all this involves a child’s game…

ladyingray on March 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Locking them out for the entire year works for me. One full year of pure, uninterrupted playoff’s and World Series for baseball sure does work for me.

Let’s play ball!

Knucklehead on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

That’s my girl!!

darwin-t on March 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Locking them out for the entire year works for me. One full year of pure, uninterrupted playoff’s and World Series for baseball sure does work for me.

Let’s play ball!

Knucklehead on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I hear ya. Now, we have to put a babysitter on Zack Grienke to keep him off the basketball court.

a capella on March 12, 2011 at 2:22 PM

What’s wrong with that?

BacaDog on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Nothing in itself but they’re looking to make money at the expense of the players, which I have more of a problem with since it’s not like many of these franchises are losing money like basketball teams are these days.

They have a right to do it, but my point is that they’re upsetting the status quo and if we lose an NFL season, blame the owners. This isn’t like the 87 strike, which was mostly the players’ fault.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:19 PM

LOL.

a capella on March 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Oh yes, because the corrupting influence of the almighty dollar has yet to reach that pillar of the sports world. /

AScott on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Spoken like a true capitalist? Most college players play for the love of the game and have no illusions they’re going to make it to the pros.

John the Libertarian on March 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

Sorry, Ed, this is silly. When we watch the NFL, we’re not “supporting” the NFL, we’re watching football. We watch football because it’s awesome, and 99% of fans are going to plop right down and watch as soon as it’s back on.

If it doesn’t affect the product, and there’s no reason to think that it will, people will flock right back.

DrZin on March 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Wait a minute – trying hard to work up some “give a cr*p” concern for either side. Nope, still stuck on “lock em out, shut the whole season down.”

katiejane on March 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Oh yes, because the corrupting influence of the almighty dollar has yet to reach that pillar of the sports world. /

AScott on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I choose to believe college sports are the last area of American life that is totally untainted by corruption, regardless of whether or not that’s true.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Why go back two seasons for the picture? ;p

Christien on March 12, 2011 at 2:27 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

No kidding. I have no sympathy for any of them. This is all about greed. Which side is the greediest I can’t decide, but if it were up to me every one of them would take a pay cut. A huge one.

scalleywag on March 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I choose to believe college sports are the last area of American life that is totally untainted by corruption, regardless of whether or not that’s true.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

You seem to do this a lot.

darwin-t on March 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I choose to believe college sports are the last area of American life that is totally untainted by corruption, regardless of whether or not that’s true.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

A beautiful piece of bait tossed gently onto the lake’s rippling surface.

a capella on March 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

It’s a joke. Sheesh.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Wait a minute – trying hard to work up some “give a cr*p” concern for either side. Nope, still stuck on “lock em out, shut the whole season down.”

katiejane on March 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Quite similar to choosing a favorite in Libya.

a capella on March 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM

As a Redskins fan, I say “bring on the scabs!”

Maybe we’ll win another Super Bowl.

Y-not on March 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

The New Orleans Saints had never had a winning season until the year when 3 games were played by replacement players. And that year they ended up in the playoffs.

Del Dolemonte on March 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Soiled NFL millionaires…

How many “W’s” in sammitch?

Roy Rogers on March 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Meant “spolied”…

Sammitch eaters…

Roy Rogers on March 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM

This is starting to remind me of the baseball strike..baseball never was the same after that.

Terrye on March 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Yes, BS like this is why I stopped watching baseball. I’m sure I can learn to live without football just as easily.

SKYFOX on March 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Meant “spoiled”

Like my appetite to listen to millionaires paid to PLAY a game…

Remember when they played because it was a “sport”?

Roy Rogers on March 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM

But, but, what about the CHILDREN Morons?

esnap on March 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Hey, when Michael Moore was busy running his big fat mouth off last week on how the money of the wealthy was a “natural resource” we should all be able to draw from, maybe he was refering to these NFL guys, ya think?

pilamaye on March 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

everyone’s making money and they want to change things so they can make more money/buy new stadiums.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I wish they would buy their own stadiums, rather than try to push the cost off on me.

Hiya Ciska on March 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

It can be done privately-the Kraft family did it here in New England, and their complex is now a huge year-round money maker. Beside the stadium (which they book concerts and soccer games into whenever the Pats aren’t playing) they have constructed a huge complex with a world-class concert venue, 4 star hotel, an outpatient health care center for Mass. General, a dozen assorted restaurants, and many shops. Even after the Pats season is over the place is always hopping.

On the other hand, Jerry Jones got a lot of government help to build his new stadium in Texas.

Del Dolemonte on March 12, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Never happen.

That being said, college football on Sundays will be fine.

We still have the Lingerie football and the UFL.

They can’t be that stupid. MLB is already toying with the idea of adding playoff teams and/or post season games.

If the players don’t like it, they can go out and get a real job, I suppose. The NFL can suck it, too, with their exclusive TV deals, overpriced merchandise, etc…

If they miss an entire season, they won’t recover for a while.

The NHL never really recovered from their lockout. People just don’t have the cash to overpay for all things NFL.

reaganaut on March 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

The idea of NFL players as pitiful Dickensian “labour” who are able to work only 3.5 years on average because of the toll on their bodies is laughable beyond belief.

DaydreamBeliever on March 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

..regardless of whether or not that’s true.Proud Rino

Yep-a careless Freudian slip of your guiding principles.
Thanks.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Yep-a careless Freudian slip of your guiding principles.
Thanks.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

It’s a joke. Sheesh.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Don’t let what I meant get in the way of what you wish I meant.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

More entertaining than any pro football game.

As Krauthammer noted, now we can look forward to a World Series unmolested by the NFL.

Socratease on March 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Socratease on March 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Thank God for tender mercies!

Roy Rogers on March 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

That’s my girl!!

darwin-t on March 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Always!

Knucklehead on March 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I’m siding with the players on this. An 18 game season would only wind up getting more people injured. It would also slightly diminish the importance of individual regular season games.

WisCon on March 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

WisCon on March 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Didn’t they take 18 games off the table a couple days ago?

I honestly have a hard time paying attentions to this, I can only go by what I hear on my drive in to work listening to the sports station.

Since it has found it’s way to HotAir, this is the first I’ve really read about it.

reaganaut on March 12, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Nothing in itself but they’re looking to make money at the expense of the players, which I have more of a problem with since it’s not like many of these franchises are losing money like basketball teams are these days.
***
Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I’ll tell you, I am getting pretty sick of professional sports as a whole. These teams pad their balance sheets with hundreds of millions in government largesse each year, between stadium subsidies, tax breaks, and (for MLB) antitrust exemptions. And all that money goes to line the pockets of the greedy owners & greedy players. Taxpayers certainly don’t see any benefit to it: NFL tickets frequently cost over $100 each, and now you have to buy the NFL channel to catch many of the games on TV.

A pox on both their houses, I say. It’s time to end the gravy train. We’ll see if the NFL can sustain a $128 million per-team salary cap if they actually have to internalize all of their operating and capital costs.

Outlander on March 12, 2011 at 3:12 PM

The Houston Texans never amounted to much anyway, so I’m looking forward to rooting for Cougars, Owls, BearKats, Bears, Longhorns, Horned Frogs, Aggies, Red Raiders……

cartooner on March 12, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Come on, Ed. You NFLtards will NEVER stop shovelling cash to pro sports. I understand all the reasons why (diversion from harsh reality of the world, comraderie, excuse to eat and drink to excess every weekend, etc.), but just stop with the ridiculous empty threats already. How long does it take after a baseball or football strikes for the faithful to return to doling out their cash? Days? Weeks?

These big palookas and billionaire owners have you all by the short hairs and it will NEVER change… in exactly the same way that you all ostensibly hate Hollywood but still belong to Netflix.

I can’t help but see an analogy here between voters who whine about government without taking real action and those who whine about the NFL.

PD Quig on March 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

let it burn let it all burn screw the NFL and screw the players

unseen on March 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I have little sympathy (none?) for the owners, but it appears the NFLPA wasn’t going to budge until the teams opened their books to the union. From what I’ve read, the NFL put a lot of concessions on the table; that 2nd Billion off the top became about 1/3 of a billion, they would keep a 16 game season for 2 years and would only go to 18 after negotiating with the union…the union insisted they show each teams books. Sorry, an owner’s books are none of the employees business.

cartooner on March 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM

let it burn let it all burn screw the NFL and screw the players

unseen on March 12, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Agreed!

cartooner on March 12, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Does this mean that Rothlesberger can go back to sexually harrassing 20 year olds and not worry about getting reprimanded by the league? Does the NFL have any jurisdiction over these matters anymore? Who’s gonna keep these guys in line???? ;-)

joejm65 on March 12, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I’m actually wondering what authority the Commissioner had over Rothlesberger in the first place. As I understand it, the NFL walked away from the CBA in ’08. Wouldn’t that have pretty much revoked Goodell’s authority over personnel issues?

The NFLPA may have viewed it as politically expedient to look the other way while Goodell laid the hammer down on various miscreants. But I’m wondering if the individual players may have a case against both organizations for misuse of power.

I don’t really care about this. But I am kinda curious if I’m reading this right. Anyone have any information that may shed some light on the subject?

nukemhill on March 12, 2011 at 3:23 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

And some of us are not wondering at all. The NFL hasn’t gotten a moment of attention or a red cent from me since they went on strike.

It’s always the fans that end up paying for this kind of thing. How much is a season ticket in the cheap seats now by the way? Whatever it is, the price is about to go up, as well as NFL merchandise, NFL video games, NFL cable packages, NFL parking, NFL concession stand products.

That’s why I haven’t been a fan for a couple of decades, and I’m happeir for it.

Hog Wild on March 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Didn’t Congress give the NFL an anti-trust exemption back during the Nixon Administration ?

J_Crater on March 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

PD Quig on March 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

How long? This year was the first time I spent money on professional baseball since their strike in the 90s. I went to a spring training game ($7 ticket) and my son got about $15 worth of merchandise.

Kelligan on March 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Come on, Ed. You NFLtards will NEVER stop shovelling cash to pro sports. I understand all the reasons why (diversion from harsh reality of the world, comraderie, excuse to eat and drink to excess every weekend, etc.), but just stop with the ridiculous empty threats already. How long does it take after a baseball or football strikes for the faithful to return to doling out their cash? Days? Weeks?
***
PD Quig on March 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I like your way of thinking (see my 3:12pm comment)–but as an empirical matter, there is proof that the 1994 MLB strike had a lasting impact on baseball. Fan attendance in 1995-1997 was significantly reduced, and it led to the eventual bankruptcy of one team (the Montreal Expos).

That said, I think NFL fans are more die-hard than MLB fans, so the impact may be less. Take my city (Cleveland). The Browns have sucked for an entire decade, yet they continue to sell the stadium out. The Indians have sucked too (although less so than the Browns), and yet their fan attendance has fallen by 50% and the team is teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Outlander on March 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

#$@%*^*$@^@#$!@!!!!!!!!

That’s all I have to say.

Gaddammit!

JetBoy on March 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM

As a Redskins fan, I say “bring on the scabs!”

Maybe we’ll win another Super Bowl.

on March 12, 2011 at PM

I can assure you that Snyder will find the most famous, aging scab that is over the hill relative to the other scabs, and then pay him $100m, and then Mike Shanahan will not play him or bench him for the scab equivalent of Rex Grossman (which is Rex Grossman, oddly enough). Not that I’m bitter about it.

on March 12, 2011 at PM

Not to get in a pizzing contest, just to illustrate the accepted use of the word “scab” when referring to people willing to risk bodily harm or death to work, when unions shut down a business. I grew up around the United Mine Workers and they were not known for playing nicely.

I figured that the word scab was chosen to denigrate the people. The more I thought about it, I realized that a scab is a sign that the body is working as designed and is healing a wound.

For that reason, I’ve since chosen to think of union workers that wield the word “scab” as a weapon, as festering, puss filled gashes.

As for the NFL, I wrote them off after the last strike. Kind of ironic that they want a union, which operates on a seniority system, but think that guys right out of college should make the most money.

As for the owners, the cities that paid for their stadiums should pull their tax breaks and demand payment or lock them out.

TugboatPhil on March 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

F*ck professional athletes. They are worse than the government employee union vermin that we just watched puking all over the Capitol building in Wisconsin.

And they’re almost as bad as professional sports team owners.

Jaibones on March 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Viva Los Scabs

faraway on March 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

One full year of pure, uninterrupted playoff’s and World Series for baseball sure does work for me.

Let’s play ball!

Knucklehead on March 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Right. Until they have their next strike/lockout and it’s back to football.

Jaibones on March 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Not a huge NFL fan nor have I read up on this particularly closely but looks to me like the owners are the ones who want to change things here – everyone’s making mone and they want to change things so they can make more money/buy new stadiums.

Proud Rino on March 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Then why comment on it if you don’t know much about it?

Vince on March 12, 2011 at 3:46 PM

The whole situation is a total joke. Anti trust lawsuit?!? yeah, right.

Once again, Unions have gone beyond any original good purpose to become vehicles where “labor” can coerce and extort more and more $$$$ ONLY in the name of greed, NOT need.

Oh, and the owners? I have no love for them and their extortion of taxpayers to provide them stadiums lest they leave.

I’m done with it.

BierManVA on March 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

That being said, college football on Sundays will be fine

Yep!

Vince on March 12, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I fail to see what this has to do with professional hockey and am therefore utterly unfazed.

illustro on March 12, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I don’t care about the NFL or any other sports team. I am no longer going to support a major league franchise what so ever.

hawkman on March 12, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Oddly I feel the same about this as I do about Tiki Barber’s attempt to come out of retirement. Idiots.

Cindy Munford on March 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Take my city (Cleveland).

No, no. You keep it.

Vince on March 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.

– Bartholomew/Rollerball

Limerick on March 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

an already grueling football season.

Meh, football may be a physical sport, but 16 games is hardly “grueling”. Taking two of the ridiculous pre-season games where nobody plays and no one cares and moving them into the regular season should be done, if Brady and the rest of the primadonnas can’t handle that then screw ‘em.

clearbluesky on March 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

The Houston Texans never amounted to much anyway, so I’m looking forward to rooting for Cougars, Owls, BearKats, Bears, Longhorns, Horned Frogs, Aggies, Red Raiders……

cartooner on March 12, 2011 at 3:15 PM

The traditions, the rivalries, the fans, the fun. College football rocks!

redridinghood on March 12, 2011 at 4:08 PM

This. Not to mention all this involves a child’s game…

ladyingray on March 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Eh. Football is not a child’s game. It’s an adult game that can be played by children. Same with baseball and basketball. Child’s games are hopscotch and dodge ball.

joejm65 on March 12, 2011 at 4:12 PM

You know Obama is going to insert himself into this one. On the player’s side. Ergo, they’re doomed.

TexasDan on March 12, 2011 at 4:15 PM

The idea of NFL players as pitiful Dickensian “labour” who are able to work only 3.5 years on average because of the toll on their bodies is laughable beyond belief.

DaydreamBeliever on March 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I always love this stat. The Union always cites this number to show why they shoould get full medical coverage for life, or why they need so much money. The average player only lasts 3.5 years because the talent pool out of College is so deep any scrub can be replaced by a rookie out of college at the league minnimum with no loss in talent level. Why should a team re-sign a player at $leaguemin+ when they can get the same talent for $leaguemin. The other question is how many players try out make the practice squad and quite after one season?

cobrakai99 on March 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Lingerie Football League – the girls play hard and uniform costs are minimal.

bw222 on March 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

I think the NFL should disband, reform as a single entity then the players are really screwed. I know the NFL union backed a lawsuit against MLS and lost.

I also thought the NFLs new tv deal they get paid even if there is a strike.

Patricksp on March 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Regardless of how it finally turns out, there’s going to be long lasting bad blood between the owners and players. Once you file criminal anit-trust charges against your employer, things will never be the same. Watch and see how many of the signatories to the lawsuit ultimately get treated after this whole thing is settled, especially the Brady’s and Manning’s.

Big John on March 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I’m with Jazz Shaw here (God forgive me). The NFL is now dead to me, for every reason you posted here, Ed. Long live CFL and college football. Maybe some smarty with lots of money will start an alternative league, and I don’t mean XFL style.

simkeith on March 12, 2011 at 4:38 PM

I also thought the NFLs new tv deal they get paid even if there is a strike.

Patricksp on March 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I may be mistaken, but I think a judge in Minnesota overturned this two or three weeks ago. Of course, I may simply be confusing court cases.

nukemhill on March 12, 2011 at 5:02 PM

And that experience may have some of us wondering why we bothered to support spoiled multimillionaires and billionaires in the first place.

That is why God invented NASCAR ED!!! It is a sport strictly done with a free enterprise model. The drivers get signed if they have talent. They negotiate their own deal with their car owner (typically they get about 50% of the race winnings, some drivers get paid extra over and above that and make money on merchandising licenses). A team owner that can find a sponsor can enter the sport, and many get into the race on a shoestring budget. All of the tracks are privately funded.

So does this mean we get NASCAR sprint cup race day threads here are HotAir instead of NFL threads? Hope so :)

karenhasfreedom on March 12, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Yep.

From then until Friday, Doty oversaw what became known as the Reggie White settlement and the N.F.L. labor agreements that followed. Much of that oversight dealt with appeals of decisions made by a special master. He has upheld some of the special master’s rulings in favor of the league. But this month, he reversed one, saying that the league acted against players’ interests in failing to maximize revenue from networks when it renegotiated its current television deals. He could thus prevent the league from using $4 billion in television revenue during the lockout.

nukemhill on March 12, 2011 at 5:07 PM

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