Mike Florio of PFT reported that Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reported that Jerry Jones opened the March 2nd CBA meeting with the following words to the NFLPA representatives:
“I don’t think we’ve got your attention. You clearly don’t understand what we’re saying, and we’re not hearing what you’re saying. So I guess we’re going to have to show you to get your attention.” Jones then tapped his fists together. [ominous music in background]
That sounds very much like a modern version of any one of several lethal scenes from The Godfather. One way or another, the owners appear determined to break the union’s back. If the new judge in Minnesota denies the players’ injunction request on April 6, and by all rights she should, the union’s big shot legal effort will suffer a crippling blow.
Without help from the judiciary to operate both as a union and not as a union, the players are stuck with either being a union and signing a new CBA or going on strike, or choosing not to be a union and seeking to destroy the NFL’s anti-trust status in the courts. Which would open up a brand new world of pro football. One which the players may not like nearly as much as the gravy train they are riding on now.
If they choose to remain a union and go on strike, and Jerry Jones can be believed, we will see some scab football this coming year. Bizarrely enough, scab football would be good news for the 49ers. They would be on an equal footing with every other team in the league. I’m tempted to believe fans are fed up enough with the players’ bloated salaries and sense of entitlement that there would not be an outcry against scab games. In fact, they might be kind of fun.
When you hear a guy like Adrian Peterson compare his situation to being enslaved, it’s clear the players are disconnected from reality. No slave ever belonged to a group where the minimum wage was $350,000 or so a year and some star slaves like Peterson were paid ten million dollars a year to perform his chores. Nor did any slaves have the option of ceasing to be enslaved and instead becoming a high school football coach.
If the players choose not to be a union, their law suit will take several years to be settled. During that time, star players will continue to get big money, but non-stars, the vast majority of the league’s entities, will get severely reduced salaries. These players, who will be gone from the league by the time the law suit is settled, are not going to be happy campers. In fact, by choosing not to be a union, perhaps it would be difficult to win a law suit that complains about a situation that the plaintiffs willingly accepted and colluded with for many, many years.
It may be noted by some readers that I’m not a lawyer and it’s entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that the above scenarios will be seen as complete horse crap. If so, please set me straight, guys. What am I missing here?
The only thing clear at this point is that the owners are pissed, the players are pissed, and the fans are pissed. Needless to say, the coming months will be one hellava pissing contest.