Yeah, what he said!

Time To Rip The Players...Again

When the lockout started, following the NFLPA decertification, I ripped the players and really didn’t let up.  Then I took a break from all that CBA stuff and tried to convince myself that there was real Miami Dolphins news out there.  There really wasn’t.  Aside from a Mike Sims-Walker tweet and some talk of the Phins offensive players getting together to train with the new playbook, most of what is out there is simply, draft talk.

And that’s getting a little boring without free agency.  Oh, and by the way, Ryan Mallett has set up a private workout with the Phins in Arkansas and then another in Miami around the 15th of April.  That’s really about it from the Phins front. (But I will be sure to update you as soon as that changes).

I suppose I really am trying to understand the players position in these days of no negotiations and will point out that the NFL hasn’t exactly “reached out” to the players in an effort to get back to the bargaining table.  In part because they don’t want to deal with the players representing lawyers and apparently negotiating the settlement of the litigation is not the same as negotiating the terms of a new CBA.

So while you try and digest the difference, I’m going to jump over to page two and rip on the players some more.  Why?  Because while all players are not idiots (and I know for a fact after speaking with a few that not all share the same opinion of the labor front being postured by Smith), the fact that they are allowing themselves to be represented by buffoons makes them pretty darn close.  I mean what the hell else do they want if not the money?The players say that it’s not about the money, this is a dead horse that’s been beaten over and over again, but I say this…again, for context.  Remember the players want the books opened to justify taking a pay cut from a labor deal they repeatedly say they got the better of in 2006.  Keep that in mind, well keep it in the back of your mind at least.

On the surface the players deny that money is the issue and that they are “looking out for the ex-NFL’ers who have long since retired”.  Stating of course that some day, many of them will be retired players as well.  So they are looking out for their own futures.  Let’s start here for a second.

As it was made very clear about 2 weeks ago, George Martin, the President of the NFL Alumni Association or the rep for “ex-NFL’ers” wanted to meet with then NFLPA Pres De’Maurice Smith.  He was denied.  After much pressure, Martin finally got his chance and while the one on one with Smith never took place, the NFLPA as it represents itself now, chose the opportunity to interrogate Martin about the way the NFLAA handles itself and it’s relationship with the NFL.

In other words, the reps for the players don’t like the fact that the NFLAA won’t take up their efforts and maintain a cordial affair with the league.  The shame.  Yet when Martin tried to discuss what the retired community needs and what future members of the retired group would face, he was faced with harsh criticism and what is being called interrogation.  Apparently some of this “meeting” was filmed and it’s only a matter of time before it’s actually leaked.

I find it pretty pathetic that today’s player reps are spouting about how the NFL needs to take care of the past players but they won’t budge on actually talking to them about it but would rather hold a deposition instead.  Martin voiced his concerns that the NFLPA as it were, never asked a single question regarding the quality of life that the retired veterans had.  In fact, they simply ignored their issues all together, yet it has been a focal point of their arguments since this whole labor thing started.

What I really find funny is it is these same alumni that back in 1987 went on strike and eventually won what used to be the CBA and the money that the current players are getting rich on.  The fact that they fought not only for themselves, but for the players that came before them and after them says something about the case we have today.  It’s also the difference, in my opinion, of the NFLPA being spearheaded by a former player vs. a lawyer.

“Teams pay nothing to former player pensions right now, and it’s been that way since 19…it’s been that way since history,” De’Maurice Smith said in a recent interview regarding the NFL paying into the pension funds of former players. “So I think it’s disgraceful that teams don’t pay anything to the former players who made this game great.”

The NFL has paid 350 million into player pensions in the last two years alone.  EXCLAMATION POINT

If the notion of ex-players being treated like dirt doesn’t bother you then the knowledge that the players are also asking the NFL to put in a more stringent protection system for players to avoid injury won’t likely get you teetering red either.  That however is part of the issue.

The players, again through their representation, want to stay healthier longer and at extend their careers.  And why shouldn’t they?  Despite this fact, and the fact that the last formal proposal gave the players more time off from the game and a shorter mandatory off-season workout structure, the players apparently didn’t see that as enough.  When the NFL began speaking about suspensions instead of fines for blatant unnecessary hits, the players balked and promised to fight it.

So is it any surprise that they now see blood testing for HGH as an issue as well?

The NFL wants HGH testing to be a part of the next CBA.  The players find the testing invasive as there is no urine test for HGH.  However, it doesn’t seem to matter to the NFLPA as it is that players taking HGH will do more long term damage to their bodies and could eventually suffer from far more than knee pain trying to get out of bed in their 40′s.  Roid rage anyone?

The fact that the NFL is willing to pay and allow a 3rd party to oversee the testing should be a sign that they do in fact want to protect both the players and the integrity of the game.  Yet that must not be what the players have in mind.  I’m not really sure what the players have in mind exactly for protection.  Do they simply not want to practice at all?  That will birth more injuries.  The NFL even went so far as to guarantee up to 1 million dollars in salary for the year following an injury should one occur.

With the April 6th deadline approaching for the first hearing on the lockouts legality, fans are hoping that the courts lift the lockout and allow football business to resume.  It’s the one guarantee that the season will continue moving forward.  However, it’s also been made clear that after the determination is initially made that the losing side will immediately appeal and some believe a final resolution may not occur until June 1st.  Which means that while the appeal is being heard, neither side is likely to ask the other to meet and talk things out.

It also basically puts the off-season in a clearer image.  There simply will not be football of any kind until the final resolution is rendered by what will likely be a state Supreme Court verdict.

In the meantime, I will simply have to bite my tongue for another week or so while both sides dream up ways to convince the fans that it’s not their fault.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: DeMaurice Smith George Martin HGH Testing Miami Dolphins Mike Sims-Walker NFL NFL Alumni Association NFL Labor Issues NFLAA NFLPA Ryan Mallett Ryan Mallett To Visit The Dolphins

  • Ranadicus

    The actual issues are meaningless. This is all about DeMaurice Smith setting up a run for congress in 2012 and nothing else. D. Smith doesn’t give a damn about the players current, former or future he just sees an opportunity for himself in this. Unfortunately by the time the players finally decide to see how they’re all being played it will be too late for the offseason. BTW, it is my understanding that judges lack the authority to end a labor stoppage be it a lockout or strike. Put it this way, did the courts stop the NHL lockout? Nope. Why? Because they can’t. This is just that much more posturing and stalling so D. Smith can milk the stoppage for all it’s worth.

  • Brian Miller

    They cant stop a lockout but theyneed to prove the lockout is legal. If the judge rules its illegal due to theunion decert then they have to stop it. If they rule its legit the players are screwed.

  • Studley

    Thank you for being the owners kiss-ass mouthpiece. Those poor billionaires who never risk injury themselves have it tough. And while no owner has gone bankrupt since football became king of TV, I agree with you that we should just believe whatever they tell us. They wouldn’t lie, so they must be really hurting right now. Enjoy those free tickets in the luxury box for being the owners b*tch, you lackey.

    • http://phinphantic joe

      ha studley maybe thowers havent gone bankrupt becouse they know how to hangle and manage there money this lock out is some of there fault also the owners might not risk injury that is true but player dont loose money if the stadiom isnt sold out eather or the sells are down at the stadiom

  • Brian Miller

    You are welcome. Just like smith you failed to provide any shred of argument to support why they shouldnt be tested for hgh nor why an ex player is wrong by saying what he did….hmmm oddly enough i didnt say anything that the owners. You must be a current player as it appears you are blindly following smith as well.

  • litee3000

    exclamation huh???


    You are a village idiot. The NFL is it’s own separate entity from the NFL “Teams”. While the NFL may have paid millions……the TEAMS have not.

  • Brian Miller

    I’m an idiot? Where do you think the NFL gets their money? The owners pay the NFL out of their profits, it’s all shared so it comes out of the owners pockets one way or another. This is the problem with the perception of people. The NFL is not single entities as the law would have you assume, they do not operate for their own profit and gains as there is a revenue sharing process they go through…albeit a piss poor one, but the NFL does not simply generate money from TV contracts. They get percentages of money from what the owners take in at the gate, season tickets, and just about everything else. Don’t think that the owners are not the ones paying into this.

    If you players are going to come in here and criticize me, then at least have the balls to leave your real names.

  • Jimbo111

    I’m quite sure I don’t know what the truth is, but suspect its somewhere in the middle. Don’t think the owners are looking out the best they can for the players, and also suspect they would jump on an ever expanding season if/when they think they can get away with it. Also think the players want more and more and more, and would/will never be satisfied.

    What I don’t want to do is rip anyone. Seems that’s most of everything that happens on the net, and I for one am sick of it.

  • RUKidding

    Thank you for taking the side of the owners. I am sick of these dumb ass players bitching and moaning about only making several million dollars a year. More of them need to be like Carson Palmer who saved and invested his money. Now he only plays if he wants to. But too many players are like Tiki Barber, they piss away their money and need to find more only a couple of years after retiring.
    To any fans that side with the players, where do you thinkk the extra money is going to come from? Are the teams going to go out and get a paper route to pay more for players? Nope, they are going to raise ticket and concession prices.

    Think about this, the salary cap for an NFL team is higher than most baseball teams. Baseball owners have 81 home games to cover the cost of the team. Football owners have 8, plus a couple of pre-season. Yes, they have a much better TV contract and bigger stadiums, but that is still a very small pool to be pulling all that money from.

    The players want to owners to open their books, I say why don’t the players open their own? What are you spending all your money on? The players would never go for that because that would expose all the illegal activity going on(HGH, street drugs, dog fighting, gang banging.)

    The players want a safer league, then stop taking cheap shots to try and end someones career. Stop leading with your head. I think a way to make the league a little safer would be to go back to no helmets or leather helmets. Let’s see how many guys are leading with their heads then.

    If players are worried about risk of injury, fine, don’t play. Where else are you going to that kind of a pay day. The owners don’t risk injury, they risk losing their money. If they don’t want that risk, they can find many places to invest instead and have a better return on their dollar.