Friday, March 11, 2011
There has been a lot of posturing and spin in the few hours since the NFLPA decided to decertify and send the CBA negotiations to court, primarily by the NFL owners, who have assumed that we've all forgotten that they are entirely responsible for this situation in the first place.
Leaving the numbers out of it for a moment, here's the rough timeline of events leading up to today's decertification:
2006 - NFL and NFLPA agree to six-year extension of CBA through 2012 season
2008 - NFL owners say, "fuck this, we hate the CBA we just signed two years ago" and announce their intentions to opt out of the deal after the 2010 season
2011 - NFL owners tell players to give back $1 billion or they'll lock them out
Today - NFL owners - "We are disappointed the players didn't agree to unilaterally revert back to pre-2007 terms and we're hoping you don't see how completely full of shit we are."
To put it bluntly, the owners ripped the CBA to shreds, and are upset that players aren't caving in to their ludicrous demands over shared revenue.
As far as I'm concerned, the owners are absolutely profiting less today than they were in 2006. However, the reason for that has nothing to do with what the percentage of revenue being shared with the players, and everything to with the revenue that ISN'T, which includes local sponsorships, stadium advertising/naming rights, PSL/ticket/suite sales, etc. The players don't see even one cent of that cash.
Now, the struggling economy has undoubtedly hurt the owners financially in those areas. However, I fail to see how it's the players' responsibility to give money back because of it, particularly since, by all accounts, the NFL brought in about $9 billion this year and just held the most-watched Super Bowl of all time. The way I see it, the owners feel entitled to a certain level of income, and since they apparently haven't reached it, they want to take money back from the very people who make that income possible.
I'm sorry, I refuse to believe that the owners aren't completely to blame for this situation. They can talk all they want about "splitting the difference" with the NFLPA, but all that means to me is that their offer is 50% less shitty than their initial one.
This entire ordeal was initiated by the owners, and their security blanket (in the form of guaranteed TV money) was shot down in court. Now they're trying to paint the players as the greedy party, which requires an absurd leap of faith and is the best example of the "pot calling the kettle black" I can possibly imagine.
Just to drive that point home, let me tell you about the weekly emails I get from the New York Giants, offering me the "once in a lifetime" opportunity to buy a $10,000 PSL to watch them play in a stadium none of their fans ever wanted in the first place.