Season of the Witch

The April 6th ruling from Judge Nelson in Minnesota may cause one side of the player vs owner battle to blink a bit, but that ruling will not end the lockout or get the labor talks restarted. The losing side in the matter will simply appeal the decision, the status quo will remain in effect, and we’ll have a new date to circle on our life without professional football calendar.

This journey through the court system will not produce a 2011 football season, no matter how the case unfolds. As with most arguments that end up in court, each side feels it can prevail — either by winning the case (players) or dragging it out past the opponents’ ability to withstand the financial drain being incurred (owners).

The owners are clearly committed to stonewalling the players right on into and perhaps even all the way through the 2011 season. They are not going to buckle. This would seem to indicate we’ll have scab football this year, if we have any football at all. These players won’t tecnically be scabs, since the current NFL players are not tecnically unionized, but scabs is a more pithy term than replacement players and will suffice to describe them.

The players are full of self-righteous power and zeal at the moment, especially those players running the show who are financially secure and wouldn’t have to play another game ever to pay the rent and otherwise carry on their lives. This does not describe the rank and file player in the league, however. A lost season of paychecks will be financially disastrous.

We are not going to see Drew Brees or Tom Brady emulate Joe Montana’s charge across the picket line in 1987. Joe was a football player. Brees and Brady are corporations. Any end to the lockout will have to come from the rank and file players. Whether they have the numbers or clout to overthrow the current players’ leadership is doubtful. Whether they have the nerve to cross the picket line on their own and risk permanent disapproval from their football brethren is also doubtful. For now.

The last trip through the court system dragged along for about four years (1989 – 1993). All it achieved was a pile of dough exchanging hands. A new CBA still had to be negotiated. The league and its players continued to play under the old rules during those four years, so we did not miss any football. That is not going to be the case this time. If four years elapse before the lawsuits are finally settled, hardly any current players would have any value at all by the conclusion of the case. And a whole new generation of scab ballers would have replaced them in the fans’ consciousness.

It’s entirely possible the 2011 Draft Class will not see the playing field any sooner than the 2012 Draft Class. It’s also possible 2012 players will skip the draft and sign scab contracts instead. They could also join the 2011 scabbers and form a new players union and sign a new CBA and the current non-unionized union would be de facto defunct.

It’s unlikely that events will go this far. But it’s also unlikely that the football universe will be open for business any time soon.

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15 comments on “Season of the Witch
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Somebody needs be take control to get this done. Fran Tarkenton’s solution is to get rid of the lawyers and lock both sides in a room. He says the deal would get done in two hours. Like I was telling a friend yesterday, does anybody think the lawyers want to get this done? When that happens their bonanza pay day stops. This is probably their biggest payday ever. What advice do you think they are going to give? Right now both sides are just being bumptious. Get rid of the lawyers and things can get done.

  2. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Here is Tarkenton’s quote:

    “I’m really emotional about this,” Tarkenton said. “With everything going on in the world, we’ve got the tragedy in Japan and what’s happening in all the Middle East when all these people are wanting freedom, and it’s a wonderful thing. And here we have the most successful sports franchise in the world, the National Football League, we don’t want to give this up. And we understand in professional football, teams win, individuals don’t. And it’s time for these owners and time for these players to sit down together, get the lawyers out of the [room], lawyers don’t help things. Lawyers muck up things. Lawyers cause problems, lawyers in divorce suits, they don’t help the people get back together. And we need to get real people, get the lawyers out of the negotiating room, stop the lawsuits, and let’s get real people, owners and players, who are partners in all this, let’s let them get together and get this thing solved now rather than later.”
    So who’s side is Fran on? “I don’t take the owners’ side. I don’t take the players’ side. I take the fans’ side,” Tarkenton said. “This is not a typical labor situation. The players are not impoverished. The players are making the most money of any generation ever. They’re the greatest players we’ve ever had. Every generation has gotten better and this generation has gotten better. The owners, certainly, these are billionaire owners. And they’ve got great egos. There’s a big pot of money here. There’s plenty of money here. Everybody is doing well. Let’s don’t jeopardize what we have. Let’s think of how we can get this together. They’re not that far apart.”

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Tarkenton’s right, of course. Anybody would agree. There are some pretty big egos involved now, though, and once that monster is loosed it is very hard for any of them to back off. The lawyers certainly won’t advise them that way, so who else is there that can get the egos back in the cage?

  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The owners and the players give the verisimilitude that they are genuinely trying to get a deal done, but we know the truth. The real winners are the lawyers.

  5. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Check out these two headlines from PFT:
    George Martin meets with the NFLPA* to discuss retired players
    George Martin describes his meeting with NFLPA* as “defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful”
    George Martin is a retired DE from the NY Giants.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I just watched some Von Miller video. He is incredibly quick. Everybody knows that. He rarely initiates contact and when he does he usually gets nowhere. He frequently overruns plays. Texas was using that predictability to their advantage, he would run past the play and the runner would go to the space he vacated for many big gains. I’m not so sure he is an every down player in the NFL. He is a speed pass rushing specialist. Denver has a guy like him in Elvis Dumerville who led the league in sacks two years ago. He could definitely help, but I’m not so sure I would spend a #7 on him. He does not hold the point at all, which makes him a situational player. At #7 I would rather have an every down type of player.

  7. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    He seems to be wowing everybody else, Berger. Most mocks seem to have AZ taking him. I hope so. Every year there’s some speed rusher guy like Miller who wows everyone and then gets ordinary or worse in the NFL. Quentin Groves and Everette Brown come to mind.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I think Brown will eventually be a good player. He wasn’t a speed guy, he exploded into his opponent to create space and then he maneuvered in traffic with great ease. I think he came out too early and what he needs is to get stronger and develop more physically. This will be his third year, he did have some kind of injury last year, this is the year he needs to show what he’s got or the B word comes out.
    I agree with you about Groves. Add Maybin and Gholdson of the Jets to the list. I thought Dumerville would not be that great and he led the league in sacks two years ago, so sometimes we do get surprised. I think Miller is quicker than all of these other guys we just mentioned so maybe he would be an exception. I wouldn’t take the chance.
    My opinion is if Dareus or Peterson is on the board that is who we take. Next on my list is Fairly but I think Peterson and Dareus are the only two sure things. Although, having said that, Cam Jordon and JJ Watt look like fairly safe picks. (pun intended)
    If Peterson and Dareus are off the board at #7 I would like to see us try to trade down. Maybe about 3-5 spots and then get Jordon or Watt. The extra pick could be used for trading up from #45 to get Ponder or stay put and get NT/Kenrick Ellis in rd 2 or 3.
    One guy to watch is Henery from Nebraska. He is an awesome kicker and we would probably need to get him in rd 3 or 4.

  9. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Dennis pointed out a RB from E Washington who has incredible lateral quickness. I did not catch what his 40 time was but if it around 4.3 he might go late 1st, early 2nd. If he ran a 4.4 we could probably get him in round 3 or 4, if not maybe the RB from Oregon St., Jaquizz Rogers.
    NoFear, I probably spelled a couple names wrong, please help.

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The guy from E Wash is Taiwan Jones. He broke his left foot and did not play in the last 3 games. He also could not run at the combine. He was supposed to run at a recent work out. Has anybody heard anything?

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:


  12. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Berger, EWU RB Taiwan Jones will hold a private workout for all 32 NFL teams on April 14th at 11am at Los Medanos College.
    I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have a red field at the JC.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- No afflatus for a post this morning?

  14. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I swear the WOTD is laughing directly at me. Late night, unresponsive morning brain, working . . . . . . . . . I can pretty much guarantee there will be nothing divine eventually crawling out. Beyond that, working . . . . . Please be patient. Mr. Skeebers is late for work.

  15. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up, Berger. As promised, no afflatus included.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17