Enjoy football in 2010, because 2011 is REALLY in doubt

By ericschmidt

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PHTFAACVF3JK NFL football fans, you better get your fill this year. Put off raking the leaves, painting the house, waterproofing the deck. Watch NFL football. If your wife or girlfriend complains, tell her that you were advised by a factory trained professional to get your fix THIS year. 2011 is looking more and more questionable each and every day.

NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith appeared on 980 in Washington DC to speak about just where the talks stand and what the players are doing to prepare for the lockout.Smith was asked a battery of questions and you can listen to the entire interview right here.

Whether he thinks there will be a lockout, Smith responded that the players are preparing for it to happen.

On how the dialogue has evolved between the two sides and the affect on the fans (as transcribed by sportsradiointerviews.com)

“We’ve had over 15 negotiation sessions and I’m happy that we continue to talk. I think it’s important for both sides to understand each other’s position. The reality of it is this, they have asked the players to give them back a billion dollars. That would be in addition to the billion dollars that they take off the top right now. They put a proposal on the table for the players to play two extra regular season games. Doc, you and I chatted a little bit on that hot field a few hours ago, I don’t really know what an enhanced season is, but I know what two extra games are and our players know what two extra games mean to their bodies. Our players understand that it takes them three seasons of playing time in order to get any post career health care. While our fans may think that if our players hurt their hand on the first play of the first game of their career, they may think that a player gets health care for the rest of their life. The reality is it takes you three seasons just to get any post career health care. If you play less than three seasons you get no post career health care. If you play more than three seasons you only get five years of post career health care. Our players are looking at a situation where they know that the league generated nine billion dollars in revenue last year. That’s one billion dollars more than they generated the year before. Our players are asking questions how come were not moving forward on issues like healthcare instead of talking about moving backwards by giving the owners a billion dollars back?”

“Let me answer it this way. I think there is a fourth group as well as the fans. I think that the businesses and business people who rely on football as a part of their income I think they’re equally in the mix. I can only tell you what we have done on our side Coach. I have met with every labor union leader in the country to talk about the economic impact of no football. We’re fighting our way out of the worst recession of our lives. I know for a fact that when I read that the city of Buffalo estimated that they would lose 140 million dollars in revenue if the Bills left Buffalo, I would have to believe that 140 million dollar impact is on the low side when you look at cities like Green Bay, St Louis, Jacksonville, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and cities that continue to fight their way out. I have heard from those folks more than you can know. When I talked to the labor leaders and they tell me De, you gotta realize there are over 100,000 people that work in and around our stadiums. While those may have been second or third jobs five years ago, for a lot of those folks today it’s their sixth and seventh jobs just to make ends meet. I know that the owners have looked at the TV contracts as a lockout fund for them. I know that they negotiated those contracts so they get four billion dollars even if the games aren’t played. While they may be okay, the bars, the restaurants, the people who work in those stadiums don’t have a four billion dollar fund to take care of themselves.”

This should be concerning news to all fans of the greatest game on earth. As the season rolls along, I expect the rhetoric to be ratcheted up several notches as the players and their union try to take every shot available to hit the owners. I agree with some issues on both sides of this issue, especially with the owners wanting a rookie salary cap. Sam Bradford just received 50 million in guaranteed money without ever taking a snap in the NFL and Tom Brady is playing for 3 million this season. Is something upside down in that picture?

I remember the player strike of 1987 and it was ugly. A 9 game season, piss poor replacement players. It was a very nasty affair. That strike is when the NFL viewing world was exposed to Canadian football. We really don’t want that again do we? These two sides need to come to an agreement.

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