Did you read this past Sunday’s NY Times article written by Sridhar Pappu titled, ‘Quarterback for a Team of 1,900’?
The article profiles both the life of the head of the NFL Players Union, DeMaurice Smith and the current state of labor affairs between the NFLPA and the League Owners. What a depressing state of affairs. The NFL Owners and NFL Players Association can’t agree on anything! The two sides can’t even agree on the amount of revenue they are fighting over, much less how it should be distributed.
Talks between the Union and the league are at an impasse. The union has pledged that its members will not strike, but the owners appear ready to lock out their players, as the players fight the owners’ demands for among other things, more regular-season games and against the players’ giving up 18 percent of the revenue — $1 billion — that the N.F.L. shares with them.
Mr. Smith, who grew up in Washington, played high school football, but has no professional sporting experience. He began his law career in Washington prosecuting criminals for the United States attorney and he’s ready to fight.
Listen to some of the the language he uses.
“WE are at war!”
“Nobody gets strong without fighting."
"Nobody stays strong without fighting.”
“Nobody negotiates their way to strength.”
“Nobody talks their way to a good deal.”
“Nobody sits down and just has miraculous things happen.”
The guy’s idol is Jimmy Hoffa for Christ sake!
If you think that there will be some sort of compromise to save the day, think again. When NFL Owners asked Smith, ‘What can you sell to the players?’ Smith’s response was, “Sell to them? I work for them!”
Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the Super Bowl because it appears that there will not be an NFL season as we know it next year. I’m not taking sides or suggesting what should happened here, just bringing to your attention that unless there is a divine intervention, you should not expect Week 1 of the 2011-12 NFL Season to go off as planned. The Hatfield’s & McCoy have dug in and it doesn’t appear that this issue will be resolved anytime soon. It would not surprise me in the least if the entire NFL season next year went up in smoke.
Keith A. Baker is a sports agent in Stamford, Connecticut. His goal is to offer a unique insight to the world of sports. Comments in his columns are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect the views and opinions of his firm or his clients. You may email Keith directly @ [email protected]
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