Blog Entry

Feely: Doty ruling 'gave us a chance'

Posted on: March 8, 2011 10:46 am
Posted by Mike Freeman

One of the smartest guys in this entire labor battle between the NFL and players is Arizona kicker Jay Feely. Few people on either side are capable of succinctly breaking down the issues with clarity as Feely.

He's a member of the union's executive committee and while there is little Feely can say about the negotiations now because of the sensitivity of the talks he did take time to explain in detail why the recent Judge David Doty ruling regarding the league's network TV deals -- which amounted to a $4 billion lockout slush fund for the owners -- was so critical.

Feely had just arrived in Washington on Tuesday morning when he spoke with

"With that lockout fund the owners basically had $4 billion in the bank and we had zero," said Feely. "They had such a massive financial advantage over us. The Doty ruling gave us a chance.

NFL Labor

"I've told people that basically it was like the real estate market. One person trying to buy a house has a lot of cash on hand and someone else doesn't. The other part of the ruling was the language Doty used. He stated the actions of the owners was egregious and an attempt to defraud the players.

"I think the next big thing is what the penalty will be. Doty hasn't decided yet."

That is critical and hasn't been talked about enough in the media. Doty could put that $4 billion pool in an escrow account for an entire year, give the players 59.6 percent of it or hold it until a deal is done. None of those options are good for certain owners like Danny Snyder who have gigantic stadium mortgage payments.

"I get what the NFL was trying to do from a business perspective," Feely said. "But it was still wrong and Doty's ruling showed it was wrong. Now we just want to get a deal done. Hopefully that can happen."

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:06 pm

Feely: Doty ruling 'gave us a chance'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 7:16 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:52 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 8:25 pm

Feely: Doty ruling 'gave us a chance'

Gorgeous clever story. Do not deemed it had been this kind of straightforward. Extolment to your place!

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2011 6:16 pm

Feely: Doty ruling 'gave us a chance'

It doesn't matter a bit whether or not this judge is an 'activist' or not in this case. The LAW is crystal clear. Their contract with the NFLPA made them PARTNERS in the sharing of (among other things) the revenues from any TV deals. The league chose to bargain in BAD FAITH by (presumably) leaving money on the table in exchange for the networks fronting them the money during a lockout (or strike.) The networks would never have given them such a deal absent a quid pro quo. The logical assumption is that that quid pro quo was lower rights fees for their broadcasts. Now, the NFL has actually put themselves in a VERY precarious situation. They cannot EVER recover the money that was traded for that bad faith clause. If the NFL were to sign a contract with the NFLPA without a clause precluding the players from thereafter suing to recover the money thereby lost them in revenue sharing, the league would inevitably LOSE. BIG TIME. 
What the judge has done is refuse to overlook the fact that the NFL baldly STOLE money from the players by (essentially) colluding with the networks to the players' disadvantage. If I were Bill Gates, I would strongly consider indemnifying the players in return for a share of any future judgments. It would effectively bankrupt most of the owners before the deepest pockets had to make up all damages and penalties. (It's hard to imagine that the league's anti-trust exemption wouldn't be thrown out for gross abuse of contract and collusion against the public interest. That would mean triple damages.)
"All" that the players would need would be enough money to weather the storm. Everybody's payday would come and the criminal conspiracy that is the league's ownership would be put paid to a fare-the-well.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2011 12:23 pm

Feely: Doty ruling 'gave us a chance'

I don't think I like this entire affair being partly decided by an activist judge trying to get his way.  But, if it saves the season, I might be able to stomach it.

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