In for a penny, in for a pound.
It’s the new battle-cry of NFL players as they lock horns with owners and dig in for what could be a protracted legal fight over who gets to carve-up the money-pie.
You don’t have to be an NFL insider like John Clayton (ESPN) or Jason La Canfora (NFL Network) to know what motivates owners in this courtroom clash: money, and more of it.
The players are a bit harder to read.
They like money too, which explains their demand for a more equitable revenue-share.
But for the muscle crowd to pooh-pooh a proposed 18-game schedule because of “safety” concerns? That one’s hard to swallow.
Not because two additional regular season games wouldn’t pose significant health risks for the athletes. They would.
Not because 18 games wouldn’t create logistical problems. That’s a given.
Not because everyone’s clamoring for more games. Besides the profiteers, few people are.
And not because 18 games wouldn’t hurt product-quality by rendering the pre-season meaningless, denying players fair chance to showcase themselves and then coaches the time necessary to thoroughly assess talent & strategies. They would do all that as well.
Rather, it’s because safety, integrity or product quality have rarely stood in the way of doing business. At least, not since America incorporated in 1963.
Best guess: the players’ feigned snub of an 18-game schedule is merely a negotiating tactic to encourage movement on the revenue-sharing issue.
When the right figures are on the table, they’ll pull the trial lawyers, end the lockout, re-certify the union and the 2011 NFL money train will be back on track.
Cashing-in, not football nor baseball, has become America’s national pastime.
Keys to Sport
About the Author
Written by Steven Keys
A native of the old Northwest Territory, my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.