Behind closed doors, on the increasingly rare occasions when the two sides meet, the rhetoric doesn’t make its way into the room. Still, genuine progress won’t be made until the parties focus their efforts not on scoring points with the public but on working out their differences as partners, not enemies.
Millionaires vs. billionaires
Efforts to win over the fans won’t matter because nothing either side says or does will change the fact that this labor dispute represents a protracted tug-o-war between millionaires and billionaires.
Regardless of the manner in which this squabble resolves, the paying customers realize that the rich will continue to get richer and that the only open question is whether one side will get richer at a faster rate than the other.
So give it up, guys. As you fight over who’ll get the larger stream from the increasingly expanding money fountain, you’re taking a chance that, eventually, the fans will decide to start shutting off the faucet.
The role of retired players
For the first time in years, the NFL and the union genuinely care about retired players. So what has caused the parties to embrace the notion of doing the right thing?
Both sides realize that winning over the retired players could result in winning over the fans.
And the retired players realize what’s going on, so they’re wisely holding each side’s feet to the fire as they try to leverage the best possible deal. If, in the end, this labor mess results in meaningful changes to the manner in which retired players are treated, it’ll arguably be worth every ounce of worry and stress that it caused.
The union pushed for a supplemental revenue sharing plan in 2006 due to the realization that no effort to devise a player compensation formula based on total football revenue would succeed absent some mechanism for funneling more money to the lower-earning clubs.
The system adopted by the league doesn’t amount to a permanent fix. Though the owners have done a great job of keeping the issue under wraps, it continues to loom over the entire process.
No sense of urgency
Apart from all of the various problems, issues, and/or factors, the biggest challenge facing the parties comes from the fact that, with less than a year until the current labor deal expires, neither side seems to be sufficiently interested in working out a new agreement.
As mentioned above, no sense of urgency will arise until they agree on when the deadline arises.
So, basically, we’re right back where we started. And that tail-chasing vibe seems to best characterize the current status of the efforts to solve the labor issues that threaten to disrupt the game in 2011, for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century.
PFT: Jets RB Mike Goodson was charged with five gun and drug counts Friday morning, after New Jersey State Police found the car he was riding in parked in the middle of Route 80 in Denville, N.J.
Manti Te'o showed up to Maxim's party celebrating their Hot 100 list, which included Te'o's fake girlfriend.
2013 SNF Schedule
Check out the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule.
Latest from ProFootballTalk
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Chudzinski: 'Too early' to name a QB
Following Thursday's OTA, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski speaks to the media about his team’s brewing quarterback controversy. He feels the competition will aid in each QB’s progression as a passer, but he isn’t ready to name a starter for Week 1.
Check out some of the NFL cheerleaders from across the league.