At this point, it is becoming clear that whether or not the NFL and the Player’s Union strike a deal before early March and prevent a lockout, neither side of the argument cares at all about the fans. We are used as cannon fodder as one side tries to turn the fans against the other. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell goes on NBC Sunday Night Football Pregame show to tell the owner’s side and emails all fans directly to get the same message out further. The commissioner is attempting to bring the fans on to the side of the owners against the players.
The NFLPA rolled out their “Let Us Play” campaign to attempt to win the hearts and minds of the fans which included their lame #letusplay twitter campaign. Again, the players were attempting to turn the fans against the owners.
This is so obviously like divorced parents using the children to attempt to get more money out of the divorce settlement. Both sides of the negotiation care about the fans, they only care about their money and how they are going to get more money. They each say they have our interest in mind as fans, but neither of them really does.
The only person who has come out and said they want a deal quickly is Antonio Cromartie, who has 8 children from 8 different mothers and obviously needs to keep his paychecks coming in. No one thinks that he is thinking about anyone but himself. We should not think differently about the owners and the NFL Players Association as a whole.
The real story is not 18 game seasons or helping fans, but it is about how much money each sides receive in the deal. The owners currently get $1 billion off the top of all revenues (that’s $31+ million per team per year) before splitting the rest with players. The owners want more than $1 billion off the top in this new deal “for all they do” with regards to stadiums and communities and etc. Because the owners refuse to open their books, we have no idea what the total revenues are above the $9 billion/year TV rights.
The most important part of the new CBA for me is longer health insurance for retired players. These players shorten their lives for our enjoyment and the least their employers could provide them is health insurance for 10 years after they retire. That just makes sense.
I’m not on either side in these negotiations as they become more and more contentious. I do not try to talk too much about the labor negotiations here because it basically makes me sick. Both sides are millionaires or billionaires and are fighting over more money than any of their fans can even conceptualize. The NFL has never been more popular, so the owners and players need to stop using the fans as leverage or human meat shields in their war on one another, shut up and get a deal done.