I just finished reading a piece in the Wall Street Journal posted by none other then NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell is obviously not happy with yesterday's ruling yet once again the whole intent of this faux outrage is to mislead the public about what is at the core of the CBA impasse:
To be sure, their approach would benefit some star players and their agents (and, of course, the lawyers themselves). But virtually everyone else—including the vast majority of players as well as the fans—would suffer.
Really? So their offer to extend the previous CBA would cause all of us to suffer? He must really think we are all idiots. Goodell then goes on to paint this really scary picture of pro football without a CBA. Since when has anyone pressed for no CBA period? Sure the players complaint to the court is going to list all of the ills that would result from a lack of a CBA in a non-Anti Trust Exempted market. Does that mean they really want no CBA? Of course not.
Oh and don't you love the swipe at the players lawyers? Everybody hates lawyers so let's through them under the bus. Maybe we can photo shop a picture of lawyer bashing a baby seal while we are at it. As if the NFL doesn't have lawyers of their own that I'm sure are also making a pretty penny off of this. I'm sure it was the NFL's lawyers who sculpted this master plan to break the union to begin with through a designed-to-be-lengthy appeals process.
More rant on Goodell after the jump...
The fact is its the owners that made the decision to involve the courts even if its now the players listed as the plaintiff in the case.
Here's more doomsday prediction from Goodell so be prepared to be scared:
Rather than address the challenge of improving the collective-bargaining agreement for the benefit of the game, the union-financed lawsuit attacks virtually every aspect of the current system including the draft, the salary cap and free-agency rules, which collectively have been responsible for the quality and popularity of the game for nearly two decades. A union victory threatens to overturn the carefully constructed system of competitive balance that makes NFL games and championship races so unpredictable and exciting.
So the owners offer was based only on improving the game? It had nothing to do with making more money right? Notice he gives no credit to the players for their role in making the game the popular sport in America.
This next one got a good 'What!' out of me too:
Is this the NFL that players want? A league where elite players attract enormous compensation and benefits while other players—those lacking the glamour and bargaining power of the stars—play for less money, fewer benefits and shorter careers than they have today? A league where the competitive ability of teams in smaller communities (Buffalo, New Orleans, Green Bay and others) is forever cast into doubt by blind adherence to free-market principles that favor teams in larger, better-situated markets?
Blind adherence to free market principles? Big Cat had to bristle his fur on that one. I think everyone agrees that pro sports need anti-trust exemptions to create a level playing field both on and off the field. What in the world does he think he has to gain by standing up this strawman 'No CBA will be bad' argument? This impasse will be settled by a real court and a real court only, not the court of public opinion.
Finally, his closing argument that again misleads the public as far as the owners intent:
These outcomes are inevitable under any approach other than a comprehensive collective-bargaining agreement. That is especially true of an approach that depends on litigation settlements negotiated by lawyers. But that is what the players' attorneys are fighting for in court. And that is what will be at stake as the NFL appeals Judge Nelson's ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
So if you want to avoid getting your nuts cut off in court through 'litigation settlement' Goodell simply go back to the old CBA as the starting point and negotiate from there. The players simply wanted the lock out lifted with no 'stay' so free agency can begin but no one is fighting for a non-CBA NFL. When is this guy going to stop with this BS and start negotiating in good faith? Oh that's right, as soon as the 'union' is forced to accept whatever the league thinks they deserve 'for the good of the game'. Funny I thought we had a pretty good arrangement in 2010.