NFL Players Invoke Nuclear Option

No matter how the owners and players resolve their squabble, the fans are likely to get screwed.

The NFLPA decertifies:

After two weeks of mediation with the league, the NFL Players Assn. resorted to its most extreme measure Friday, decertifying as a union and becoming a trade association….

Owners are still expected to attempt to lock out players, and last month they filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that the anticipated decertification was a sham.

This Golden Goose has generated rivers of cash. The owners and the players alike have become so fixated on the green flowing by, they’ve forgotten (again) where it comes from: Fans. I don’t doubt there will still be an NFL season next year–I don’t think either side is that stupid–but the quality of the product will be lessened if there are no offseason program and/or training camp is foreshortened. So no matter how they resolve their squabble, the fans are likely to get screwed.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports,
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.

Comments

  1. John Burgess says:

    It’s easy enough to fix. Just convince a sufficient number of fans to become erstwhile fans.

    Don’t buy tickets to games; don’t watch on TV; don’t listen on the radio. Imagine if they held an NFL season and no fans came. The NFL, owners, unions, and players might realize they need a business model that includes something for the fans. What a wonder that would be!




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  2. Franklin says:

    Don’t buy tickets to games; don’t watch on TV; don’t listen on the radio.

    By geography, I’m a Lions fan so this hasn’t really been much of a problem. Unfortunately, they ended the season with four straight wins even without their best quarterback. Things were looking up … and now this shit.




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  3. James Joyner says:

    @John Burgess,

    The NFL owners have immunized themselves in the short run with long-term TV deal, season tickets, and PSLs. The last of these are my favorite: Fans take out a 30-year mortgage for a right to pay whatever the owners decide to charge for tickets. If you don’t pay, you lose your license and the owners can sell another.




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  4. michael reynolds says:

    Head injuries, steroids, scandals, thuggery, strikes and a general contempt for fans: my lifelong indifference to what people do with balls looks smarter every year.




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  5. I prefer college football anyways, so maybe they can just move some of those games to Sunday.




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  6. Andyman says:

    @James,

    Those TV deals might not be as lucrative as the owners were hoping. Judge Doty has been signaling that he’s not a fan of the way they were negotiated, and that *if* the payouts are even allowed in a lockout year, the players might be entitled to a healthy cut of the money.

    Which would be a fantastic way to bring everyone back to the table.

    @Dodd,

    Congratulations on making it through an entire post without trying to be a priggish, sarcastic ass. It’s a shame you’re so interested in politics because it clearly brings out the worst in you.




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  7. John Burgess says:

    Hey, I can live with a multi-year boycott! As it is, I almost never watch the NFL, seeing maybe two games a season, on TV. It’s easily been 15 years since I’ve gone to a pro game. I don’t miss it in the least.




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  8. Tlaloc says:

    People who expend so much time and money in order to watch other people play a game deserve to be fleeced.

    If you like sports go play sports, don’t pay outrageous sums to subsidize someone else getting fun and exercise.




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  9. People who expend so much time and money in order to watch other people play a game deserve to be fleeced.

    Um… what? Just because you enjoy watching a particular form of entertainment doesn’t mean you should be trying to produce it. You can enjoy movies without being a director. You can enjoy reading books without being an author.

    And you can enjoy watching sports without being an athelete.




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