D-Day Is Here For NFL … Thursday Cup O’Labor

The clock is ticking in the NFL. What we do not know is whether that ticking is the audible march of time, or the bomb that’s about to explode in America’s past-time.

In the world of professional football, Thursday, March 3 is going to be an interesting and memorable day before the clock strikes midnight. Mediation, decertification, injunction, stalemate, lockout – those words are all in play as the league and its players seem intent on hurtling towards a confrontation that will disappoint their fans, make their lawyers rich and put the future of the game in doubt.



Take a moment and post comments whether your support falls with the league, or whether it lands with the players. Tell us why and then we’ll total them up and see what the readers of bobgretz.com think.


There was a lot of activity on Wednesday on the NFL labor front, but there didn’t seem to be anything in the way of movement towards a new agreement. In Washington, there was another negotiating session held between the league and players with federal mediation in the room. Afterwards, the NFL owners gathered in a Virginia hotel to discuss the situation. It was not a meeting that lasted very long or accomplished much that we know.

On Thursday, the parties will get together again first thing in the morning. Unless one side moves off what has been an entrenched position, then that meeting will end and the NFL Players Association will head to court where they will decertify their union. The league will follow in another court room, where they will attempt to file an injunction against the decertification.

Then at 11 p.m. CST, the current agreement will expire and the NFL will lock out the players and what happens next is anybody’s guess. The league has faced work stoppages due to labor problems before – 1970, 1974, 1982 and 1987 – but none of those previous disagreements came with a combination of the off-season, decertification and lockout.

We already know that NFL teams like the Chiefs are going to slash payroll with the lockout, not only with the assistant coaches, but with executives, secretaries and janitors.

So as usual, the little people are the ones taking the financial shot because the ultra-rich owners and rich players can’t settle their differences.

I hate to keep repeating one theme, but it dominates the landscape of what’s going on in the NFL – this is all about money. There are really no other factors at play here. If there are issues, they all lead back to money. The NFL generates $9 billion in revenue and this is all about dividing up the pie so that each side is happy. Rather, it’s about dividing up the pie so that no side is unhappy.

What’s holding things up are entrenched arguments on both sides. The players are intent on not giving back what they already have gotten through negotiating in previous years. There is a large segment of owners that wants to crush the union because they fell like the players have gotten too much of the pie.

Those entrenched sides need to be isolated for an agreement to be made. There’s no way either side can get rid of those opinions, but they must handle them so that they do not stand in the way of agreement.

What happens then is the remaining owners and those on the players side have to be willing to compromise. A deal will not get done without compromise – that’s a fact of life. For that to happen there must be something driving the intent. In this disagreement, the driving force is one thing – money.

Yes, back to that word. Until the owners and especially the players are put in a position where they are going to lose money they can’t get back, that’s when there will be motivation to get something done.

As Thursday goes on, we’ll be around keeping you up to date on what happens and what’s next.


  • BRONCOS – released TE Daniel Graham.
  • EAGLES – QB Mike Vick signed his franchise player tender offer
  • GIANTS – signed RB Danny Ware to a 2-year contract extension.
  • PACKERS – released LB A.J. Hawk, TE Donald Lee and S Derrick Martin.
  • RAVENS – DT Haloti Ngata signed his franchise player tender offer of $12,476,000.

2 Responses to “D-Day Is Here For NFL … Thursday Cup O’Labor”

  • March 3, 2011  - Justin D says:

    I may have to root for Al Queda. Both sides are greedy and give only lipservice to those who actully matter – the fans.

  • March 3, 2011  - Todd says:

    I understand the owners expenses in keeping a stadium running. There’s also the medical expense of keeping the players healthy. There are lots of expenses that I could list and some that I probably haven’t though of.

    If I was king of the world and could make the rules, I’d first take all expenses off the negotiating table on both sides.

    Then, I’d take the remaining money and divide it appropriately between players, coaches, employees, and owners.

    And anyone who clears more than a million per year as take home pay would not be allowed to complain about their salary. If someone is pulling down a million per year, they are pretty much set for life, unless they are foolish with their investments.

    There are exceptions: The player who gets his big contract, and gets a career ending injury before amassing enough to be “set for life”, although he could buy insurance for such a eventuality. (and insurance would be an expense). There’s also the occasional roof collapse or hurricane that adds repair expense to the owners, but again.. a good insurance policy would handle that…

    Let’s face it.. most of this is NOT about money, it’s about who scores the most “rich” points. Whoever has the most, wins.

    The real losers in this battle are the employees and the fans. It seems to me that both the players and the owners need to get a sense of economic perspective. They certainly aren’t living in the same world as the rest of us.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News