Return of the NFL Lockout

posted at 12:40 pm on May 2, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Friday started out looking like a pretty good day for the NFL and football fans around the country. On Monday the lockout had ended when U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued an injunction deeming it illegal. And by the end of the week the player draft was in full swing. A sense of normalcy seemed to be returning and fans began looking forward to training camp.

Well, that lasted for about four more hours.

The NFL lockout is back.

The league announced the news late Friday, hours after an appeals court victory. League spokesman Greg Aiello tells The Associated Press that teams “have been told that the prior lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately.”

Earlier Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the NFL’s request for a temporary stay of the injunction lifting the 45-day lockout. Arguments will be heard on whether that order from a federal judge in Minnesota should be overturned altogether.

The three member panel from the 8th Circuit Court issued an “emergency stay” of the injunction, but it included a strongly worded dissent from one of the members, Judge Kermit Bye, (a Clinton appointee) who felt that the situation hardly qualified as an emergency.

”The NFL has not persuaded me this is the type of emergency situation which justifies the grant of a temporary stay of the district court’s order pending our decision on a motion for a stay itself,” Bye wrote. ”If we ultimately grant the motion for a stay, the NFL can easily re-establish its lockout.”

”The NFL claimed such operations would be ‘a complex process that requires time to coordinate,”’ Bye wrote. ”This contention is severely undermined by the fact that the NFL had, within a day of the district court’s order denying a stay, already planned post-injunction operations which would allow the players to have access to club and workout facilities, receive playbooks, meet with coaches and so forth.”

It may seem like football season is still a long way off, but in a typical year the newly drafted rookies are already reporting and putting in long days, studying playbooks, meeting with the coaching staff and just trying to get up to speed with their new team and the realities of being in the big leagues. Every week of delay impacts training schedules, conditioning and all the preparations that go into getting the teams ready for the pre-season games.

I’m still not hopeful of a permanent solution, and if we do get one it looks like it will come in the worst possible way – having the federal government step in and hold everyone’s hands. Much like many of the previous opinions you’ve seen in this space, I find it difficult to get overly emotional about the financial woes of millionaires fighting against billionaires, but I do want to see a little more indication that both the owners and players are taking the considerations of the fans into account here.


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Its my understanding that the last stay was not an emergency stay, but a temporary stay. If such a stay can be granted for gay marriage I dont see why it can’t be granted here. Bye was just making a case for a promotion.

Zaggs on May 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Well, the players have officially killed the NFL for me. Normally, hubby and I take time off and watch the draft. Not this year.

If the owners manage to prevail and field scab teams, I’ll gladly watch those. Otherwise, I’m not interested.

Y-not on May 2, 2011 at 12:43 PM

so like nobody cares about the NFL..

OBAMA KILLED OSAMA!!! 4 MORE YEARS!!!

gatorboy on May 2, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Garishly bought five sets of kneepads

andy85719 on May 2, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Of course this means that more NFL players will be available to participate in the full fall season of Dancing With The Stars, without fear of a conflict with their regular player schedule.

pilamaye on May 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM

I’ve got some different heroes today. Screw the pampered NFL players.

hawkdriver on May 2, 2011 at 12:53 PM

so like nobody cares about the NFL..

OBAMA KILLED OSAMA!!! 4 MORE YEARS!!!

gatorboy on May 2, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Uh, Obama did two things here: Jack and Sh*t, with Jack being out of town.

The SEALS did in bin Laden, not The Empty Suit.

pilamaye on May 2, 2011 at 12:53 PM

ZZzzzz

Lawrence on May 2, 2011 at 12:58 PM

The NFL was bound to lose ratings anyway, now that the Cornhuskers are in the Big Ten.

a capella on May 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Fan consideration should address outrageous prices on tickets, hot dogs, beer, and other concessions. That is where the fans get screwed. If the stadium was built with tax dollars, there should be reasonable price controls.

DAT60A3 on May 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM

If they can put together a scab team like thisI’M THERE!

catmman on May 2, 2011 at 1:07 PM

This kind of market correction: profesional athletes’ slaraies & ticket/concessions prices, was long over due.

Hunt035 on May 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Another awesome thing about watching European soccer is that AFAIK, they never go on strike and many are not unionized.

Apologetic California on May 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I doubt that all twentysomething members of Seal Team 6 combined equals the min. salary in the NFL. Those sailors are worth much more.

Now to football…
I’m very excited about the Houston Texans draft. Our new Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips made it happen. We need help in free agency, tho’ and this lockout is not helping. I’m more sympathetic to the owners, but their main disagreement, needing more money off the top, is their own making in the last CBA. So I don’t really care who wins, just get this thing started!

cartooner on May 2, 2011 at 1:13 PM

I’m still not hopeful of a permanent solution, and if we do get one it looks like it will come in the worst possible way – having the federal government step in and hold everyone’s hands. Much like many of the previous opinions you’ve seen in this space, I find it difficult to get overly emotional about the financial woes of millionaires fighting against billionaires, but I do want to see a little more indication that both the owners and players are taking the considerations of the fans into account here.

My main concern is that whatever agreement comes out preserves the revenue sharing aspects of the NFL’s television and other joint revenue streams that has been in place since 1961. You can argue that the deal is socialistic in nature, but that deal makes sure that the Green Bays, Pittsburghs and Indianapolises of the NFL have roughly the same amount of money to spend on their players as the New Yorks, Chicagos and Dallases.

Judge Nelson seems hell-bent on simply imposing a settlement most favorable to the players on the NFL, but a “most favorable” settlement would also be the most likely one to create a system closer in line to the way Major League Baseball is set up. And while that would probably be fine with certain owners like Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones, having the Packers and the Steelers perennially down at the levels of the Brewers and the Pirates because they’re always being outspent would at best turn the NFL yearly grind into something closer to the Big 10 or the SEC, where you always know teams A, B and C are going to at least be competing for the title every year while teams X, Y and Z are simply hoping for that once-in-a-generation miracle season.

jon1979 on May 2, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Who cares about the NFL?

Billionaires fighting with millionaires on how to divide billions…

Sorry, too busy washing my hair to pay attention…

Khun Joe on May 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Let’s find players in Mexico, Europe and elsewhere. We need immigrants to do the job that Americans just won’t do any more.

MJBrutus on May 2, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Let’s find players in Mexico, Europe and elsewhere. We need immigrants to do the job that Americans just won’t do any more.

MJBrutus on May 2, 2011 at 1:34 PM

+1

Hootie on May 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Every NFL town has a University that would more than willing to have their games televised and no competition.
Good idea, leave town so your competition can make the millions…

right2bright on May 2, 2011 at 2:07 PM

I generally take no sides between two sets of people who make hugh amounts of money but I have to say that I went from mild support of the Union because it does help the journeyman player to slightly negative because like a medeival guild the Union sought to restict payments to rookies.

jerryofva on May 2, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Care not, do I.

Over-paid under-worked self-important ‘roided out multimillionaires playing a childhood game and the billionaire’s who get mad and take their ball and go home, matters not at all.

Read books and take kids fishing or to the beach, shall I. Hmmmmm.

FlatFoot on May 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Well, the players have officially killed the NFL for me. Normally, hubby and I take time off and watch the draft. Not this year.
If the owners manage to prevail and field scab teams, I’ll gladly watch those. Otherwise, I’m not interested.
Y-not on May 2, 2011 at 12:43 PM

You’ve got it bass ackwards: it’s not a strike it’s a lockout. Among other things, the owners want the players to play two more game per season, and not get their salaries pro-rated accordingly.

The owners want more money. how they pulled this off I can’t imagine, but they get paid for their TV contracts whether there’s a season or not.

The players have done nothing to deserve or generate this, at least so far as I have heard. If anyone can inform my ignorance, please do.

Akzed on May 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

They are ALL losers, the owners, the players the fans.

Its a game…sport and they all act like the world will end or begin around them. Screw them all.

I don’t follow any sports except high school games, even though I don’t have kids in school any more.

The professional athletes never grew up, the owners and the fans are trying to vicariously through the athletes.

I think the fans are the worst though, they will do anything to have that rush on game day. The thrill of going to the game, fighting the traffic to and from the game, the smell of the parking lot barbecues cooking that secret home recipe of the tailgaters takes them home to some pseudo nostalgic memory, that never existed except in their minds. Oh, and the drunken fights that break out when rivals get too much in their bellies and too close to one another, even when they are friends during the week.

Losers one and all, and I hope the lockout never ends and the fans have to go Cold Turkey and finally grow up and figure out different ways of getting entertainment because professional sports has long since been an economical family outing or way to spend quality time with the kids.

belad on May 2, 2011 at 5:28 PM

If I sat right down and tried, I could not care any less than I do right now.

abcurtis on May 2, 2011 at 5:49 PM