Archive for December, 2010
NFLPA executive committee members Brian Dawkins and Mike Vrabel hosted a conference call with national media to discuss the ongoing labor negotiations between the players union and NFL. Here are some of the highlights from the call:
Let Us Play
Vrabel: “We want a deal because we obviously want to play football. We don’t know how – what else to do. You know, since we were 7, 8 years old, that’s all we do is we play football.
“And now we’re just lucky enough to be in the NFL doing it. And watching our kids grow up and want to do the same thing. But we can’t go back to 1985. We’re not going to give everything back.”
Dawkins: “The fans are watching this game. They love this game just like we, as players, love this game. We love to play – do what we do.”
Success of the Game
Dawkins: “Let me give you a couple of reasons to be optimistic (a deal will be made) — just a couple. Number one, the revenues are at an all time high. The ratings are at an all time high. Sponsorship is at an all time high.”
18 Regular Season Games
Vrabel: “[Players] want to share with us that their bodies couldn’t take another two games — couldn’t take another two regular season games, that they don’t think there’s enough return on that investment for their bodies. Those are the type of questions I’m getting. And I’m sure Brian’s getting the same ones in Denver.”
Vrabel: “Right now there’s just not enough return on our investment to play another two games. If it made sense, we could go back to our players and say, guys this is what can get for it and this is what we can give you. But I don’t think anybody, starting with De [Smith] in good conscience can go back into those locker rooms and say, guys this is all I can get for you for 18 games. Go out there, strap it up and I hope you make it through.”
Dawkins: “The safety of the players should be number one. And I don’t think adding two more games to a season that’s already a physical game as it, is something that’s going to adhere to guys, you know, being able to have prolonged careers and guys being able to play for a long time. The average career is short as it is. And for us who are able play as long as Mike and myself have, those will be – these types of careers will be rarities.”
During a media conference call, NFLPA Executive Committee members Brian Dawkins (Broncos) and Mike Vrabel (Chiefs) express optimism and frustration with the NFL’s proposals. Both players say that CBA talks have sense of urgency. Read excerpts of the story here via Associated Press:
NEW YORK — Union executive committee member Brian Dawkins says he believes NFL owners and players have a sense of urgency to avoid a lockout because they don’t want to alienate fans.
“I would think common sense would say at the end of the day, after all the fighting and after all the words are said, we understand who butters our bread,” the veteran Denver Broncos safety said Tuesday. “That’s where the urgency comes in at.”
Dawkins and fellow NFL Players Association executive committee member Mike Vrabel alternated between optimism and expressing frustration with the league’s proposals during a conference call about negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The current deal expires March 4, raising fears of a lockout. One major sticking point is the NFL’s desire to go from 16 regular-season and four preseason games to 18 and two.
Dawkins and Vrabel said the league hadn’t offered enough in return for what they believe will be shorter careers — and therefore less money made — with the longer regular season resulting in more punishment for players’ bodies.
“I don’t think with good conscience we could say, ‘Guys, this is all we could get for you for 18 games. Go out there and strap it up and hope you make it through,’ ” said Vrabel, a veteran linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs.
To read the full story, click here.
The Huffington Post ran a column today questioning why CBS’ 60 Minutes failed to televise comments made by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones regarding an NFL lockout.
Brian Frederick, the executive director of Sports Fans Coalition wrote, “His [Jones’] comments during the 60 Minutes interview on the looming NFL lockout should have garnered more attention. Problem is, CBS didn’t air them. Rather, CBS included them in its online “Overtime” feature, which was likely seen by only a tiny fraction of fans.”
Frederick points out that the first thing NFL fans want to know is whether or not there is going to be football in 2011.
“Jones’ comments about whether there would be football — again, what every fan wants to know — were cut for content reasons,” wrote Frederick.
The column highlights several lockout-related comments made by Jones to CBS reporter Scott Pelley:
“Basically, the model that we have does not work,” Jones told Pelley. “The economic model of the NFL that we have, relative to the players does. Not. Work.”
Frederick explains that Jones emphasized those last words “as if he was hoping to single-handedly change the (true) perception that the league is the most profitable in the world and has never been more popular.”
During the interview with Jones, the outspoken NFL owner was also asked: “Do you think [a lockout] would be disastrous for the game?”
Jones: “No. I do not. But I know that the sentiment is not to have a lockout.”
In response to Jones’ comments that a lockout would not be disastrous, Frederick wrote:
“How is that not news? At the very least, it would be totally disastrous for the fans.”
For the complete Huffington Post column, click here.
NFLPA’s George Atallah conducted a Twitter chat last night during the first half of the Monday Night Football game. Using the hashtag #LockoutChat, Atallah took questions from fans, NFL bloggers, and media. The following is a wrap-up of the chat. Stay tuned for more Twitter chats on @NFLLockout in the near future.
Read the rest of this entry »
During a recent press conference for Governor Deval Patrick, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was asked directly by a reporter if he would commit to no lockout next year.
Kraft told the Dorchester Reporter, “We’re here to celebrate the governor today, thank you,” and walked away.
Kraft’s response and the stance taken by other NFL owners of refusing to take a lockout off the table is another sign of what is to come once the current CBA expires in March.
NFL players know that a lockout would be a disaster for the fans, the game and those who support the game. A lockout would cost the average NFL city $160 million through lost jobs and revenue.
Speaking on behalf of the players, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has said several times that the players will not strike. The players want to play.
In addition, players have asked the NFL many times to extend the current CBA to avoid the economic problems that would be caused by an owner-imposed lockout. Each time, the NFL has refused.
With each refusal by the NFL owners, it becomes clearer each day that a lockout is coming.
For the complete Dorchester Reporter article, click here.
The numbers don’t lie. According to the New York Times, among the 20 highest-rated telecasts of any kind so far this television season, 18 have been NFL games on CBS, NBC or Fox. And of the 50 highest-rated programs during the calendar year, 27 have been NFL games, including eight of the top 10.
The through-the-roof value of the NFL’s television packages has even “surprised” those who supposedly know the business inside and out, such as Sean McManus, president of CBS Sports.
So why would owners shut down the game when they are doing so well?
When the lockout occurs, players won’t be able to play the game they love—the game that entertains millions of fans each fall and winter. The league’s broadcast partners are currently enjoying the dominance that NFL games are providing in the form of television ratings.
While very few other programs on TV are able to increase their audience sizes, the NFL continues to deliver its mass-appeal product to new viewers (customers.) Some have said the NFL is akin to reality television or a major motion picture. The truth is, even those comparisons fall short.
A media titan who runs one of the league’s top broadcast partners told the New York Times that the NFL is simply in a league of its own.
“I don’t think football is remotely comparable; it’s much bigger than a movie,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports.
The league’s television money amounts to roughly $4 billion in rights fees. As the undisputed most popular form of programming on American television, NFL football is a juggernaut that can’t be stopped—except by the owners who are prepared to lock out the players and fans when the current CBA expires in March.
For the complete New York Times article, click here.
NFL Lockout Petition
- BOSTON GLOBE | Game day jitters
- KANSAS CITY STAR | Christian Okoye: Don’t deny the fans football
- NBC SPORTS | Goodell tells fans lockout is for them, too
- INDYSTAR | NFL considering 8-game regular season if lockout lingers?
- ESPN | Faces of lockout: Jets' seafood star
- INDY STAR - Held in limbo by NFL owners' fight for more money
- YAHOO SPORTS! - Undrafted players left just waiting around
- BUFFALO NEWS | NFL should end lockout while negotiations continue
- YAHOO! SPORTS | Players’ battle with owners not a lost cause
- FORBES | NFLPA Memo Details Chronology Of CBA Negotiations Over Past Four Years
- BOSTON HERALD | Poll: Owners ones to blame
- CHICAGO BREAKING SPORTS | Lance Briggs on workout bonus, lockout
- SPORTS ILLUSTRATED | Doty Leaves NFL, Players Waiting for Awarding of Damages in TV Case
- SEATTLE TIMES | Owners' greed is at the heart of the NFL lockout
- WASHINGTON POST | NFL owners are wrong, and don’t get it
- Associated Press | Return of lockout punctuates wild week in NFL
- USA TODAY | Scott Fujita: Credit DeMaurice Smith for helping to save NFL in 2011
- JOE POSNANSKI | Goodell to the Last Drop
- USA TODAY | Tom Brady: Putting name on suit is being 'part of the solution'
- ESPN | Judge's NFL lockout rulings: impressive
- YAHOO! SPORTS | Personalized training valuable during lockout
- CHRON | The most painful NFL labor update you will ever see
- NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST | NFLPA reacts to NFL Press Release
- WASHINGTON POST | For the lucky 32, the NFL is a league of their own
- CHARLOTTE OBSERVER | NFL lockout would be a home-field disadvantage
- ESPN | Federal judge rules NFL violated deal
- SPORTS ILLUSTRATED | Federal judge sides with players union in TV revenue dispute
- WASHINGTON POST | NFL owners should open their books to players
- SPORTS ILLUSTRATED | Ruling in TV revenues hearing may hold key to NFL labor dispute
- BOSTON HERALD | Fab Four of agents come out in support of DeMaurice Smith and players union
- BOSTON HERALD | NFL owner’s scorn bodes ill
- HUFFINGTON POST | NFL Lockout Would Slash Small Business Profits
- WASHINGTON POST | After a bloated Super Bowl in Dallas, it's time to rein in big game
- NEW YORK TIMES | What’s at Stake in the N.F.L. Labor Talks
- NEW YORK TIMES | For N.F.L., Lockout Would Be a Risky Strategy
- AMERICAN RIGHTS AT WORK | It all started with clean socks and jocks
- ESQUIRE | The NFL Lockout's Health-Care Data, Revealed
- TIME | Game Over: Should the NFL Show Players the Money?
- NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION | Top 10 CBA Articles During Super Bowl Week
- Forbes | More Numbers Show Labor Issue in NFL Far From Cut and Dry
- SB Nation | NFL Lockout Awareness At Center Of NFLPA's 'Let Us Play' Campaign
- Fox Business News on NFLPA Capitol Hill Day (1-19-11)
- Sports Business Digest | The NFLPA gets fans involved with #LETUSPLAY Day
- Awful: Roger Goodell Asks Fans to Side Against NFL Players
- Rep Shaun O'Hara prepares for lockout
- NFL Players Whistle Goldman in Labor Dispute
- The scorched earth of an NFL-less life
- Union: Talks have sense of urgency
- Why Did CBS Cut Jerry Jones' 60 Minutes Comments on the NFL Lockout?
- Reporter’s Notebook: Legislators home in on NFL-players labor skirmish
- CBS News (60 Minutes) | Jerry Jones: Will There Be an NFL Lockout?
- CBS News (60 Minutes) | Jerry Jones: Will There Be an NFL Lockout?
- The Columbus Dispatch | Gov. Strickland Asks NFL, Players to Strike a Deal
- Philadelphia Daily | News Disposable NFL players deserve their income
- ESPN | NFL, Players Can’t Agree On Impact
- Business Insider | Players Union Uses NFL's Own Numbers Against It in Labor Fight
- FanHouse | NFL Issues Ticket-Refund Policy in Case of 2011 Lockout
- WLUK-TV, FOX 11, Green Bay: NFLPA Reaches out to Political Leaders
- ArrowheadPride.com, Kansas City: NFLPA Sends Letters To Gov. Nixon, Mayor Funkhouser Regarding NFL Lockout
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: NFL union: City revenue may shrink
- POLITICO: NFL union warns cities, states of lockout
- NFLPA's George Atallah on 106.7 the Fan Sports Junkies
- MSNBC l The Number One Problem Is The Books Are Closed
- USA TODAY l Kevin Mawae's Last NFL Fight: Keeping Players United in Labor
- WASHINGTON POST l Players Waging Battle Against Lockout Island
- STAR TRIBUNE l NFLPA Head: A Lockout Of This Game Is A Lockout Of America
- ESPN l Union: Health Care Would Stop In March
- CHARLOTTE OBSERVER l Panthers’ Kasay Gears Up For Possible Lockout