Senior writer jclombardi reviews NFL lockout and McCarthy news.
We apologize for being away. Big international events are happening with the Western states calling us to comeback and stay for a long visit. Meanwhile, Packers news is pretty trivialized stuff, until the NFL lockout is settled. Yet, we decided to put in our two cents worth for fans asking, “How did it come to this?”, again? For these past months after Packers won the Super Bowl into the offseason, fans and pundits asked that saner, smarter & cooler heads prevail to end the lockout hoping to prevent another short strike season like the 1982 season. We can remember that memorial Starr-led Packer season. Now, the lockout legal battle has reached the 8th circuit appeal court, while we await its decision. The historical and legal background details about the current NFL lockout are documented on various sources including ESPN: NFL Lockout:
The 8th Circuit put District Judge Nelson’s ruling on hold favoring the players while they consider the appeal. The judges urged both sides to get back to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal. Judge Bye told attorneys on Friday that if no deal is done before the panel comes to a conclusion, they will likely offer up a decision that will be “probably something both sides aren’t going to like.” The owners argue, among other things, that Nelson did not have the jurisdiction to lift the lockout while the National Labor Relations Board is considering an unfair labor charge brought by the league against the players. The two sides are engaged in a sometimes bitter dispute over how to divide $9 billion in revenue, a fight that has already caused some minicamps and offseason programs to be lost, free agency and trades to be delayed and resulted in employees for teams having their paychecks cut. The start of training camp is less than two months away. Teams are already making contingency plans if the lockout drags on.
In addition, the bigger legal issue being played out in the court system involves the NFL’s right to nonstatutory labor exemption and the future implications. We can see that Bye’s remarks have merit for both sides to consider ending the lockout. Meanwhile, PFT reports that teams are making contingency plans planning to go as short as an eight game season:
At a time when signs of real optimism finally are beginning to emerge regarding a labor deal that would allow the season to start on time, Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL is planning for a season that would be as short as eight games. In 1982, the NFL played only nine games due to a strike, and no one ever questions the legitimacy of the Redskins’ Super Bowl trophy.
Meanwhile, some legal analysts say that the owners will fold when either the NLRB or the federal courts inform the NFLPA about a date that they can legally decertify. The thinking is that the NFLPA will be allowed to decertify. Then the NFL will have to go back to paying the players, while the big anti-trust lawsuit continues to proceed in the legal system. We shall see, but this sad Greek black sports theater continues, while Packers fans and the sports world wonder how it reached this point again!
Finally, Coach McCarthy had some interesting amusing news at the annual Mike McCarthy Celebrity Open at Green Bay Country Club stating he missed the players and hoped to see an end to the lockout. As good news, the Packers got exemptions to the lockout rules for the annual Tailgate Tour and for June 16th during a Packers private ceremony when players and staff get their Super Bowl rings.