It looks more and more obvious that the NFLPA had no intention of reaching an agreement on a new CBA last week. They are happy with the old agreement, the one the owners didn’t like and terminated early. It is that agreement which will continue in force for the next several years if the players succeed this week in getting an injunction to block the owners’ lockout.
This strategy makes them the bad guys in not getting a new CBA signed last Friday. The normal reaction would be to hope they get their faces smeared with cesspool substances as they push the matter into the court system. However, that would not be a good result, selfishly speaking, because it would guarantee a torpedoed 2011 season for football fans everywhere, and particularly here in 49erville.
Everyone from Peter King to the hot dog vendor thinks there will be a ruling on the injunction this week and that the ruling will favor the players. If that turns out to be the case, the lockout would be terminated, the new league year would begin, and we’d have football as usual in a matter of days or a few weeks. The old CBA would then remain in force until the players’ anti-trust lawsuit is settled, and a new CBA gets signed. The last time this happened, it took four years to reach the end of that legal trail.
If the ruling this week goes against the players, the owners’ lockout would continue until there is a new CBA signed, sealed, and delivered. IOW, not until sometime next fall when the players begin to lose paychecks and solidarity. By that time, fans everywhere will be in a world of hurt. 49er fans will be forced to virtually kiss off the season, since there is no way an entire new coaching regime will have a prayer getting the team up to snuff against teams that have identical coaches and systems already in place.
The whole thing seems unreal. Essentially, we have a bunch of players who get to sue their employer and yet force that employer to keep employing them and paying them and funding their lawsuit in the process. That’s having your cake and eating it, too. There was a time in this country where unions were a good thing, and the employers wore the black hats. Now, it’s different. Both sides suck. And the customer is eating shit no matter what happens.
I’m tempted to go on an old fart’s rant here about the obscenity of it all, but I’m acutely aware that what I think doesn’t matter a hill of beans. This dance of the greed heads is a fact of life. It’s not going to go away any time soon. We’re going to spend one more week waiting now, maybe more, hoping for an injunction, so Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke can get down to the business of restoring the 49ers to eminence.