So a lot has happened since the last time I wrote. When I last posted, there was still a slim-chance that a new Collective Bargaining Argeement iwould be negotiates, and football would go on unphased.
But, as you all know, that was not the turnout.
On Friday, March March 11th, 2011, at 4:55 p.m., I got the ESPN Alert that the NFL Players Association was decertifying, meaning that they were no longer representing the players, and now the players could file anti-trust lawsuits against the NFL.
But of course, I still hung on to that last thread, hoping that this bold move would force the owners to settle.
Instead, on that same day, at 9:36 p.m., I got another ESPN Alert reporting the NFL planned to announce a lockout, starting at midnight.
At that point, I knew it was going to be a long couple of months (as a football fan).
One of the big reasons the owners and the NFLPA couldn’t agree to terms was a trust issue. The NFL wanted to turn over a lot of financial records from the past couple of years, more than what they usualyl give the the owners of the 32 teams. The NFLPA wanted more paperwork, and felt that the NFL wasn’t fully transparent with all the financials of the league.
With today being the first business day since the lockout was implimented, court dates are starting to be released, and new information is starting to come out from both sides. As ESPN is reporting, the courts will hear the players lockout injunction against the NFL next month, April 6th.
The players are hoping that the courts grant the injunction, and the players can go back to work, under the rules of last year. If that is the case, the NFL will play the 2011 season under the same rules as last year. There will be no salary cap, and it will restrict where players can go, classifying only certain players who have played more than six years could be classified as unrestricted free agents.
The NFL is also taking the NFLPA to court, saying that the decertification is illegal, and that the Players Association is still helping the players, just not formally. The NFL is also looking to overturn the ruling of Judge David Doty’s, and get the $4 billion in television broadcasting money that the owners have been trying to get, in the case of a lockout.
Adam Schefter is also reporting that NFL players are trying to convince college athletes to boycott the draft, and not attend. The NFLPA is planning different way to expose college draft picks, and give them the attention they deserve.
So as you can see, things are getting pretty messy in the NFL. There is a lot of finger-pointing, ‘he said this and that,’ and no trust on either side. With all these lawsuits, it may look like this might not get resolved for a while, and fans might be missing out on some football. But I have trust that this will get done, and football, the most popular sport in America, will continue on, and move past this lockout to have another successful, and exciting, NFL season.
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