Pilgrim’s Progress

The NFL and the players seem to be making progress.  Seem is the operative word here.  They continue to have “meetings” but little actual progress is made.  They keep talking, but little is resolved and the lockout continues.  Time inches ever closer to the scheduled start of training camp and there are only a few short weeks until the first scheduled preseason game.  Hope grows thin.

The owners and players representatives continued their meetings in Boston this week.  There are those who report from the talks, though I give little credence to these second-hand, heresay words, that the talks are making progress.  That they are heading in the right direction.  That they are “close” to a deal.  I tend to hold a more pessimistic view of things given the way things have gone so far.  History is generally a very good predictor of future behavior.

It is good that they are talking, but there are still major issues to be worked out.  Word has come out now that there is actual “in-fighting” between owners or a type of class warfare if you will.  The money rich owners versus the money poor ones.  The big market owners versus the smaller market ones.  The fish at the top of the food chain versus the plankton at the bottom.

Everybody wants their piece of the 9 billion dollar pie, but it seems that how the pie is divided among the big and little fishes is now becoming another issue  to be worked out.  Given all the issues that have to be worked out ahead of this latest revelation, it stands to reason that adding another one to the pile just makes the working out all that much more difficult.

The “spread the wealth” views of the NFL owners looks to be coming to a close.  Big market, big money owners want the smaller market, less money owners to be forced to spend nearly 100%  of whatever the maximum annual salary cap figure is.  Much like in baseball where the big spending Red Sox and Yankees were perturbed about the lesser spending Pirates, et al talking the revenue sharing but spending far less on their product at hand.  They were for all intents and purposes pocketing the money.  The lower NFL spending teams are doing much the same and the big spenders want it stopped.  The big money, market teams don’t want to be on the hook for revenue sharing to build new stadiums, foot bills, pay debt, etc. for the smaller market teams if they aren’t investing in their own product but instead keeping the “shared wealth.”

Socialism in the NFL has reached its end.

Roger Goodell needs 24 owners to approve any deal.  However, any deal that gets made could still be overturned in an ownership board room.  There is still much to work out.  Despite all the flowery words being slipped out second hand and in some cases made up in the media, the lockout continues and time is ticking away.

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