NEW YORKThe extension came and passed like a driving wind and the NFL has decided to lock out its players. The NFL Players Union has decided to decertify and take the owners to court. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didnt want to take things to that level. He, in speaking on behalf of the owners, said, Id like to have handled this in the negotiations, not in litigation. So now that that isnt the case, let the mudslinging begin. And has it ever, in earnest, too. Both sides will not only fight it out in a court of law, but both sides will also use the media to spew propaganda.
Either way its really unfortunate. When the average Joe, whether he is a fan of sports or not, sees how millionaires and billionaires cant come to an agreement over billions of dollars, it leaves a lot to be desired.
With the climate of this economy and the nature of mankind, sports are used as a form of therapy to get away from lifes pressures. So when most people look at their personal bank accounts only to see how their lives arent in comparison to the Millionaires Boys Club, resentment could set in.
With it being March and the season of NCAA March Madness and with the NBA season drawing to a close and the Playoffs looming, a lot of attention may not be paid to the NFL. But when the focus is on the sport of football and a resolution for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement isnt reached, it could get ugly.
Theres no doubt about it: players have their rights to fairness and owners have their reasons for wanting to make more money on their investment. Football from high school to the pros can be a dangerous sport. Its a violent sport that is commercialized as well as glamorized. But make no mistake: there are players – past and present – that are suffering from events that have taken place on the field. And to think, most NFL players contracts arent fully guaranteed like in baseball and basketball. In those sports, if a player signed a contract for 5 years and 36 million, that player is getting that money. Or at worse, he would get 85 percent of it paid to him. In football, most players make their true money off of signing bonuses at the start of the lucrative contract. This way if an injury or severe drop in play occurs, the team can cut the player outright.
The injury that is most common is the concussion syndrome. Thats one of the more common problems that plague even ex-players. That is much more daunting as a good many of them are broke or are struggling to make ends meet with what little pension theyre receiving. Some of the stories are horrifying.
The players have a gripe in that the owners are looking to, among other things, expand the season from 16 to 18 games. With the addition of the two extra games, it takes away training camp time for rookies and free agents looking for teams to latch on with. It also doesnt allow veteran players to work their way into proper shape.
Still in all, if there is no peace-accord so that the players and all involved can get back to the billion dollar business of football, it isnt going to make any new friends from the average Joe.
Follow Jerald on Twitter @JerryHoover65