Well, last night things got crazy as far as the CBA and the NFL labor negotiations go, however in the greater scheme of things the NFL just looks petty and ridiculous. As the world watched in horror while the Japanese took stock of a natural disaster, looked for survivors and tried to fend of a nuclear meltdown, a bunch of rich guys in the US hurt their own business interests because they couldn’t decide how to divide up nine billion dollars.
As was widely reported, the players seemed intent on decertifying and filing an antitrust lawsuit since Thursday. Yesterday was little more than lip-service and theatre as DeMaurice Smith responded to a new NFL-backed proposal by demanding full financials for the past ten years in fifteen minutes or the players association would go to the courts. I doubt that engendered much good will from the owners, who hours after learning of the players association’s decision to disband and the news a suit had already been filed, opted to lock out the players starting at midnight of last night.
Now we will have weeks and weeks of litigation, and generally a pain in our rear ends any time we think about the NFL. Both sides deserve plenty of blame for this, it isn’t one-sided and it’s isn’t black and white. Yes, the owners did force this by opting out earlier and at face they did pretty much ask the players to play more games for less money. But the NFLPA hasn’t been part of the solution either, opting to rely on their ace in the hole, the pro-player Minneapolis judge David Doty. This probably won’t be over for months, the draft will have a weird air to it and the summer is going to be split between baseball and this garbage. At least there’s still college football.