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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    The NFLPA received the order it was hoping for from the District Court of Minnesota yesterday. Judge Nelson accepted that the Union legitimately disbanded (a claim I find to be highly suspect), thereby taking the matter outside of normal collective bargaining law, and into the realm of antitrust.

    The legal technicalities (set forth in Judge Nelson's 89 page order) are not important. The bottom line is the that the NFLPA, at least pending the appeal, has gained the upper hand.

    But, make no mistake, NEITHER THE NFL NOR THE NFLPA CAN SURVIVE IF THE PARTIES ON THE PATH THEY ARE NOW ON.

    If the NFLPA does not once again become a union and work out a collective bargaining agreement with the league then, just as Roger Goodell stated in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, chaos would reign. There would be no salary floor or cap. No free agency rules. No leaguewide drug testing. No draft.

    Anyone who tells you this would be acceptable is either an agent with a stable of superstar clients, or an outright liar.

    So the NFLPA played it "nuclear option"/"doomsday scenario" card and (again, for the time being) has won leverage.

    Now they must get back to the table and stop all this nonsense. The only way this league can survive is if the basic concepts of the old CBA (FA, salary floor and cap, draft) are maintained so that fans in every NFL city can look at each season with hope that their team might contend.

    If the "powers that be" on both sides fail to see this, and allow the antitrust rulings to become final, the league will never be the same.


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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Both sides seem to me, as a layman, to be playing some pretty legally & ethically dubious "nuclear chicken". Hopefully you were right in the thread about Breer's misinformed newsflash on the Nelson ruling that the spectre of football Armageddon will get both sides back to the table before one or the other goes "Crazy Ivan" one too many times & we all lose.

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    You know what this reminds me of? When the local Olin plant shut down because the owners went to the Union and said "if you don't take a pay cut we have to close the plant" and the union thought they were calling their bluff.

    Well, now we've lost one of the major employers in the area.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    I frankly don't care who comes away "the winner." Both sides are greedy pigs, as far as I'm concerned. They need to get their egos in check, go to the table, and cooperate until an agreement is reached.

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    I agree with AV for the most part, though I see where the owners are coming from and also believe that they way things were going was not sustainable in the long term. Unfortunately the courts seem inclined to always rule in favor of the players and if the NFL loses all of its leverage we may end up with something *worse* than what was already in place.

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Both sides are greedy pigs, as far as I'm concerned
    If that's your opinion so be it, but can you explain why you think the players are being greedy? Its not like they started any of this. The owners feel like they have a bad deal, they want out, they locked out the players. Its not like the NFLPA went on strike for more money or anything like that. The players deserve the best deal possible, they're the ones we as fans care about. They're the ones with health problems once their day is done.

    If my boss told me to take a pay cut without explaining why, while also locking me out of work until my union agrees to said pay cut, would you call me greedy?

    The owners were planning this lockout since they opted out of the current agreement. Now, that plan is backfiring. Good.

    I keep hearing this thing called "The billionaires vs. the millionaire's". Its really not. "Billionaires vs. some millionaires and guys with a few hundred thousand dollars" is more like it.

    As for Goodell's piece in USA Today, its disingenuous bullcrap propaganda. The players aren't trying to get rid of the draft and free agency rules. But if the NFL can get you to believe they are, then more power for them.
    Last edited by Fettmaster; -04-26-2011 at 09:44 PM.

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Nobody has been asked to take a pay cut. Players have their contracts, and there has never been any suggestion that the league would not honor them.

    I'm tired of players who make a ton of money for playing a game, fail to manage their money, and then act as though they should be set for life when they retire in their 30s.

    As for Goodell's piece, you're missing the point. The NFLPA is the disingenuous one, as they have "decertified" their union purely as a tactic. In the long run, if they don't act as a union, and there is no CBA, there would be no draft or free agency rules. Obviously, no rational person could want that, so they are, in essence, using a legal fiction to gain an advantage. Lawful? So far, yes. Admirable? Not in my book.

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    Fettmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Sure, players have their contracts. Maybe "taking a pay cut" isn't the best way to put it, but it is the owners who are wanting more money. They say they can't continue to operate with the amount of money they are receiving, but they cannot or do not want to explain why.

    And absolutely there are some players who make millions playing in the NFL and are broke just a few years later. But this is not the norm, especially when you consider the average playing career in the NFL is 3.5 years. The majority of players that come into the NFL spend time being bounced around from team to team for a couple years before GM's stop calling. You know, the guys who only see a salary if they make the final roster. The guys who are used as punching bags for an offseason, cut, and then called back the next year to do it again. You're kind of grouping these guys with another very small group of players.

    The NFLPA is the disingenuous one? What about the deal the NFL made in 2009 with FOX and CBS that would pay the NFL for games even if they weren't played? I haven't gone to law school, but that sounds like collusion to me. Then there's the NFL's rejection the NFLPA’s proposal in 2010 to continue the current capped system for an additional year which would have allowed the parties enough time to complete work on a long-term deal. They obviously wanted this lockout.

    The NFLPA has decertified before, and like before they will eventually be a union again. The draft and free agency restrictions aren't going anywhere, as this is not their intent despite what Roger Goodell says.
    Last edited by Fettmaster; -04-26-2011 at 11:16 PM.

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    If you go back to my original statement, I said that both the NFL and the NFLPA are "greedy pigs," so I'm not justifying the league's tactics in any way.

    The decertification/antitrust tactic is like a nuclear doomsday device. You can gain leverage by threatening it but, at the end of the day, you can't really pull the trigger, as everyone would then lose.

    This needs to go back to the collective bargaining table. Unfortuntely, nothing will get accomplished before the respective sides check their egos at the door. D.Smith --- stop going on the air and crowing about winning legal battles while pretending to be doing this for the fans. R.Goodell/owners --- accept the fact that the players have leverage in this game and you can't simply win a war of attrition.

  10. #10
    KCRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    I have a question that hopefully some of you may have an answer for:

    If the league is forced to open its doors and start with free agency, I have read that the players want the league to come up with new rules for free agency. Doesn't that open the league up to more anti-trust lawsuits? Doesn't the NFLPA need to agree to those rules before they can be put in place?

    From ESPN: "You have to react to the judgment and make sure it's done in an orderly process," Goodell said Wednesday during a predraft event in New York.

    The players dismissed the NFL's argument that it risks either violating antitrust laws by coming up with new league rules without a collective bargaining system in place or harming the league's competitive balance with a potential free agency free-for-all.

    "If the NFL defendants are faced with a dilemma, they put themselves in that position by repeatedly imposing rules and restrictions that violate the antitrust laws," the attorneys wrote. "Any alleged predicament is of their own making."

    The solution, the players argued, is to simply implement a system that does not violate antitrust laws.

    "There is no reason why the NFL defendants cannot devise a lawful player system, and their complaints about potential antitrust scrutiny are not well-founded where such scrutiny is a reality of doing business," they wrote.

  11. #11
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Quote Originally Posted by KCRamFan View Post
    I
    If the league is forced to open its doors and start with free agency, I have read that the players want the league to come up with new rules for free agency. Doesn't that open the league up to more anti-trust lawsuits? Doesn't the NFLPA need to agree to those rules before they can be put in place?
    Potentially, it does. At this point, anything the league does collectively that the players don't like could be thrown back at them as "illegal collusion."


    "There is no reason why the NFL defendants cannot devise a lawful player system, and their complaints about potential antitrust scrutiny are not well-founded where such scrutiny is a reality of doing business," they wrote.
    That's a load of BS. The only reason there is antitrust scutiny is that the NFLPA decertified and filed a lawsuit.

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    I was under the impression that if the league year is started, it will most likely be with the 2010 CBA rules.

  13. #13
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fettmaster View Post
    I was under the impression that if the league year is started, it will most likely be with the 2010 CBA rules.
    Only if everyone agrees to that. Otherwise, much like Thunder Road in Grease, "the rules are there ain't no rules!"

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Thanks for clearing that up AV. Oh and I loved the Grease reference!

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    Re: Dear NFLPA: Be careful what you wish for.

    Honestly, last week when the ruling came down to lift the lockout, I was shocked that the NFL seemed surprised at the ruling. The judge was in a pro labor court, and was pro labor herself. I can't fathom that the owners didn't seem to even discuss the possibility of losing the case for the injuction.

    To me, it seems foolish to not at least plan for the possibility at having to lift the lockout and be under antitrust laws. From American Needle, the Supreme Court provided that the NFL has the right as 32 businesses to create competative balance as a sports league, which means to me that a loosely based set of rules should be able to get by in court and can be used by the league as it's "nuclear option" against the players. "Ok, you want to play the antitrust game, this is what you get.."

    Since the players no longer are partners in creating the game, owners can do whatever the hell they want, really.
    • 18 game schedule? Starts this season. Nothing the players can do to stop them.
    • Lower payroll, league wide? Absolutely, with no CBA there is no salary floor, and so every team cuts expenses using "good business sense" as it's defense. Every other industry slashed payrolls the last few years, why not the NFL now?
    • Completely open free agency. This is where the league has to give in. They can't restrict any player movement outside of contracts, but if teams are cutting payroll to make more profit, do the players benefit with good contracts? Nope. Too bad there's no CBA to make the owners spend more on salaries.
    • HGH testing. Every team individually introduces their own drug policy, including mandatory blood testing.
    • A lot of benefits now currently provided to players according to the CBA, just taken away and the money can be shifted back to retired players, making them happy and on the owners' side. Nothing wrong with buying support from the old timers.
    • To me it gets a little tricky when it comes to suspensions and fines, but maybe the league could fine the team who then fines the player according to new policy? I dunno.
    • As for the college draft, I'm not sure what to do with that, but I think I saw something in the American Needle decision that actually mentioned a draft. If so, then according to precident, it can survive.
    And this is just some things that could happen, and I don't know why they aren't. The league should have been ready for this eventuality, and should have been prepared to actually use it to their advantage. Yes, we all know that the decertification is a sham, but that doesn't mean that the judges are going to rule that way. If the owners want to have their leverage, they need to make a "nuclear option" themselves, where they could have a very real shot at winning an antitrust lawsuit(we know they're colluding, but it's the same thing as the NFLPA*, an unprovable sham) and make it that much harder on the players. Not having a CBA in place hurts because of lawsuit possibilities, but at the same time, I don't see why the owners haven't seen they can use it to their advantage as well...
    I believe!

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