Monday, March 06, 2006

The NFL can't make up its mind

I was going to make a few observations on the conclusion of the NFL labor negotiations, specifically if there was a deal or no deal. Since the deadline was changed three times yesterday and now we are pushed back until Thursday, I'll give my thoughts now because this situation could become never ending.

The NFL just needs to take a step back and look at the big picture. Did they not learn anything from the NHL? True, that this deal is rather meaningless from the standpoint of 2006 but we are protecting 2008 here. If there was ever a labor stoppage in the NFL, the whole country would have a heart attack. Think of all the dollars TV networks such as FOX, CBS and NBC would lose in that case. What would people do on Sundays in the fall? The NFL is not just a sport to us Americans, it is a way of life that is embedded in our culture. You can't just take that away from us.

The reality of the situation now is the NFL and the NFL Players Association haggling over how much revenues the players get in salary. Sound familiar anyone? The NFL team owners should think about all the massive cuts they will have to make without a deal and the players should think about the absence of money on the table without said deal as well. Case in point, both Kerry Collins and Isaac Bruce were cut yesterday and then once the deadline was extended for the third time, the players became un-cut. Makes those two feel real great if they end up staying with their team for 2006. Just something to think about.

Finally, how can you have a purposeful negotiation if there is no firm deadline? The NHL never extended their negotiation deadlines. Not that the NHL should be any sort of example of how to properly handle labor relations, but at least everyone involved knew they meant business. This no real deadline thing is going to allow one party to gain leverage over the other. I'm fine with that as long as they can get a deal done and put this nonsense behind us.