Today is the deadline for the NFL and the NFLPA to either reach another extension or actually hammer out a CBA agreement. Things don’t look positive for either option right now though after talks broke down last night and both sides resorted to blasting the other in the media. Negotiations have now gone on for nearly three full weeks with both sides meeting George Cohen for hours at a time independently, trying to work through numerous obstacles and objections stemming from both sides.
Still in the way are issues of a rookie wage scale, an extended season, retirement and pension benefits, judge David Doty and most importantly how to divide nearly nine billion dollars of revenue. Neither side met face to face yesterday, which makes it all the more remarkable that they would publicly trash each other having not even been in the same room. This is actually standard practice when it comes to mediation, but it hardly seems like the most effective tact.
Essentially, to those of us not seated at the table it looks like today will be the end of the NFL’s golden era. A time when unrivaled growth and parity built the league into a major American industry. And then someday history will look back at how a bunch of out-of-touch, spoiled egomaniacs couldn’t decide how to split up 9 BILLION dollars in revenues and decided the best option was to pull the plug on their product. And the real loser in this? The fans. The people who shell out top dollars for an entertainment industry that openly doesn’t care about them (beyond some empty lip-service they’re willing to give to the camera). Today, probably isn’t going to be a good day to be a fan of the NFL.