Watching the drama unfold that was the negotiations of the NFL owners and NFLPA, I was reminded of the clock on the show 24...tick...tick...tick...you get it. With all of Jack Bowers bad days in the over dramatized fantasy world of Hollywood, today was a bad day, perhaps the worst for NFL fans. Today billionaire owners could not agree to open their books far enough for millionaire players. In the end it is the fans of the NFL that will suffer.
The owners are said to have given some concessions, more time off for players, fewer off season workouts etc... none of it met what the NFLPA ultimately wanted, a justification of the owners wanting an additional 1 billion dollars in their pockets. Perhaps the NFLPA has a point, if you are going to take away a billion dollars from the players, that's fine, just show us why you claim to need it. I find that hard to comprehend though. Logic would say the NFL owners are the employers and the NFL players are the employees. The owners sign the checks so if they claim to need more money, well it's their ship to sail not the players. If I asked my boss to open up the companies books, he would tell me to go pound sand and don't let the door hit me in the rear.
I know the entire point of a union is to bind together to negotiate a better deal for all employees involved. In a big business like professional sports, it makes sense. I think sometimes, as in this matter, unions can over step their bounds and think they are more powerful then they are. What did the NFLPA gain from this? Their players will not get paid, the injured players can' rehab, free agents are with out a job for the near future and the rookies coming into the league have no guarantees of employment. Doesn't sound like a great deal to me.
NFL owners still hold the upper hand in my eyes. They have more money and teams of lawyers. They can litigate this until the cows come home and the owners won't suffer to much financially. The owners also have control of the stadiums and facilities. NFL owners make a ton of money each year off of concerts, festivals, etc...If there is no season or a shortened season, the NFL owners will take somewhat of a hit, but in the end they are more prepared and able to outlast the NFL players.
I don't think this will come to a shortened season or worse, no season. I think all of this gets sorted out by the draft in late April. Football is the number one sport in America, a strike shortened season would tumble the popularity of the NFL and therefore the pockets of both the players and the owners. It's just plain dumb to let it go that far.
The owners and players now know where they stand, as for us fans we have nothing but baseball season to look forward to. Usually the NFL had it set up perfect, the season never ended for fans, training camps in July, preseason in August, regular season September through December, playoffs in January, Super Bowl and combine in February, free agency in March, draft in April, OTA's in May and June. Now, fans that would normally log onto the Internet hourly for free agency updates or trade rumors, will have to be satisfied with the everyday stories of Charlie Sheen. Although Mr. Sheen's collapse from stardom is comical to some, I would rather know who the Eagles were signing and who might be in the market for Kevin Kolb, but I guess that will have to wait for lawyers to litigate and and rack up billable hours before the game us working class folk love comes back to life.