The news that Judge Susan Nelson granted the injunction by the players to lift the NFL lockout is not as surprising as made out to be. I would say congratulations are in order, however I’ve never been someone to play the rah-rah role about anything. I do commend Judge Nelson for examining the facts, being firm, and making a logical decision based on what she was presented with. For those of you that have seen “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Randolph and Mortimer Duke bet one dollar they could turn a common criminal into a successful businessman while in turn destroying Louis to see if he resorts to crime once out of his rich environment. I am not sure who the individual was Commissioner Goodell bet his one dollar salary with that the NFL and owners would have the lockout remain in place, but it is clear he is upset and is in jeopardy of losing his one dollar salary. The lockout is bad for everyone, owners, players, and the fans. There is no reason it should have gotten to this point. No one that I know wants the 2011 NFL season to be missed. What I find interesting is the hypocrisy he displays in his letters and interviews, for example.
Hypocritical Statement 1: “For many years, the collective bargained system-which has given the players union enhanced free agency and capped the amount that owners spend on salaries-has worked enormously well for the NFL, for NFL players, and for NFL fans.” Yep,worked so well that you and your yuppy band of brothers decided to put everyone on the streets because another billion dollars is what you guys need. There are people in this country that can’t even eat and I’m sure some of the season ticket holders took out second or third mortgages on their homes to come watch their teams play. While you fight over all this money, think of that instead of being insensitive thinking of your own pockets. You, Commissioner Goodell, destroyed what was good, for the league and for the people.
Hypocritical Statement 2: Under this vision, players and fans would have none of the protections or benefits that only a union (through a collective-bargaining agreement) can deliver. What are the potential ramifications for players, teams, and fans ? Some of the examples listed are no draft, players signing wherever they wanted out of college, no minimum payroll, no guarantee for injured players, no benefits players funneled to same teams, etc. First and foremost that is all a lie. For those of you that work for corporations no matter how enormous or how minute, federal law requires insurance, workers comp, 401 k’s etc especially with companies as large or larger than the NFL. No draft ? Last I checked, the NFL was in a lockout up until yesterday and the draft was still scheduled for thursday evening. So that is a moot point as well. Although I am not in favor of players making deals like Lebron, Wade, and Bosh did, I did enjoy the years that teams like the 49ers, Cowboys, and Giants, were dynasties of the NFL, and with players deciding to play where they want it could present itself again.
Hypocritical Statement 3: “Is this the NFL that fans want ? A league where carefully constructed rules proven to generate competitive balance-close and exciting games every Sunday and close and exciting divisional and championship contests-are cast aside ? Do the players and their lawyer have so little regard for the fans that they think this really serves their interests ? The only thing the fans have wanted this entire time is for you, the commissioner, to do your job and bring the to sides together and work out a deal. Period. Instead commissioner, you decide to take favor to one side. Could it be because your under the table pay-offs, or your salary, which was 11 million last year, has a chance to increase substantially more if the owners get another billion on top of the other billion they already receive ? Making that last statement honestly caused me to dry heave just now. Sometimes the mind of a conspiracy theorists does not work in our favor. Remember, this was all started by the owners and Goodell jumped on board. What the fans want is not a thought of you nor the owners, mainly because the importance of the sport is known by both parties. And it is known the fans will return to watch the great game of football despite whats happened.
Although the 9 billion dollar pie is not completely ironed out, at least allow the players and coaches to go back to work. Be able to have OTA’s, off-season workouts, film study in the facility, and free agent signings. I propose that because 9 billion seems to be the only real problem with the entire negotiation process. Meeting on that issue alone gives you 4-5 months to hammer out a deal. This is not rocket science people, this is a case of greed and of businessmen over-thinking themselves and the system in place. (Which according to Goodell has worked so so well) In the ending of Trading Places, Louis and Billy Ray come together and win over the Winthorpe’s, fittingly over one dollar. I would like to thank the commissioner for being sympathetic and reducing his 11 million dollar salary down to a dollar.I am confident that was an easy decision to make, considering he most likely received the other 10,999,999 dollars in some form of a bonus that does not count towards the books. But for his one dollar , it seems he still may have lost.