There is so much ground to cover in the NFL labor situation from the union’s decertification, to the league locking out players, to the filing of anti-trust law suits and injunctions.

In the first 24 hours of the new NFL, we bookmarked several articles off the web that are either particularly well written, provide a valuable insight or have a healthy dose of explanations for factors in this league vs. players battle. Enjoy!

  • YAHOO! Sports

“Business matter becomes personal for union” by Michael Silver.

Throughout the last few weeks Silver has turned in some very good behind the scenes stories about the negotiations, usually with a view from the players side of the table. That’s true in this case as his sources in the NFL Players Association referenced various moments where the NFL owners stepped on their toes and hurt their pride. Emotion should not be part of the equation in this business situation, but it always has been and always will be when it involves those who play the game with so much passion every Sunday.

  • Sports Illustrated

“Situation shouldn’t be a Surprise” by Don Banks.

This is an opinion piece where Banks indicates very quickly that he’s unhappy that both the league and the players have put the fans in this situation where nobody knows for sure whether there will be pro football in 2011. “Blah, blah, blah. We know none of that is really true. Both sides in this league-versus-players stand-off only did what they wanted to do and what they were willing to do. Nothing more,” Banks wrote. He also goes after Chiefs LG Brian Waters, who is part of the NFLPA’s executive committee. It’s a pretty flimsy premise to go after a guy for, but to each his own.


“It’s a good time to have a proven QB” by John Clayton.

Johnny Football runs through all the situations around the league where teams are trying to find or establish a starting quarterback. That’s become tougher to do thanks to the lockout, because free agency has been postponed. Should a team draft a possible starting QB, they can’t talk to him starting the day after he’s selected because of the rules of the lockout. It’s an unanticipated side bar to the football side of this labor situation.


“With deal, union and optimism gone, so too is civility” by Clark Judge.

When it comes to matters of this nature, Clark Judge is normally very fair and well versed in all sides of a story. He shows that with this piece, with a look at the frustrations both sides went through as the talks gained a healthy dose of he said, she said.

“The NFLPA rejected the offers and did what it threatened to do last week, which was to decertify to allow individual players to file antitrust action against the NFL,” Judge wrote. “Not to be outdone, the league fired back — doing what it threatened to do for weeks, which is to lock out players. Essentially, that means they can’t work out at facilities or contact coaches, trainers, physicians, you name it, any members of the league or its clubs — which seems appropriate since their union and owners aren’t talking anyway.”

It’s well worth a read.

  • Philadelphia Daily News

“Judge Doty: NFL owners’ best incentive to settle” by Paul Domowitch.

There’s no getting around the fact that Judge David Doty out of Minneapolis is a key figure in this passion-power play on the NFL labor front. We’ve written about him before, and here Domowitch provides a nice recap of the situation involving Doty, including quoting the dean of the Indiana University School of Law Gary Roberts:

“Judge Doty has had – and I can’t think of any way to say it without overstating it – he has had a remarkable and extraordinary string of always ruling for the union. He has given them whatever they’ve wanted. Any case that goes to litigation usually has a plausible argument on each side. But I mean it’s almost inconceivable that an objective, neutral judge would rule, in every single case – case after case after case – for the same side when both sides have plausible arguments.”

It’s gone beyond just the days where you must have a program to tell the players apart. Now, you need a program to keep track of the lawyers and judges.

3 Responses to “NFL LABOR GRAB BAG”

  • March 13, 2011  - RW says:

    I’ve been wary of any deal reached from the jump but Michael Silver’s reports have caused me to stop and re-think my position more than once over the past few weeks. He’s always worth the time to read.

  • March 13, 2011  - KC_Guy says:

    Ok, so now it’s up to Judge Doty again. Wonder whether the losing party will accept his ruling or take it to the next level. Guess the owners will be ready to go that way.
    But whatsoever: If in the end there is a ruling the question will be: who will the owners/League talk to? IF the NFLPA TRULY did decertify it will take a while to re-establish a players’ union up to collective bargaining. If the NFLPA jumps into that role again they prove the whole decertification thing was bogus.

  • March 14, 2011  - jim says:

    Why would any one negotiate in good faith with a group that changes the rules (decertify) to get what they want, then re-certify back to the same old rules.

    Who wants to negotiate with someone who changes the rules to get their way, then changes them to get their way, again. I damn sure wouldn’t sit at a blackjack table when the rules were constantly changing so the dealer would always win.

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