Blog Entry

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

Posted on: July 21, 2011 9:40 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:40 pm
Goodell, SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

ATLANTA -- After the vote was tallied and a new CBA had been passed by the owners, a cheer went up inside the Marriott ballroom where the owners had spent the last nine hours of their day. After months of negotiating and another long day of discussing, arguing and compromising, the owners let off a little bit of steam that could be heard outside in the hallway.

A few minutes later, Roger Goodell, flanked by NFL attorney Jeff Pash, Carolina’s Jerry Richardson, Kansas City’s Clark Hunt, New York Giants’ John Mara and Pittsburgh’s Art Rooney, entered the press conference room.

The mood, though, wasn’t quite as cheery.

There were no balloons -- or champagne corks -- popping. It didn’t feel like a day of celebration. It didn’t feel like things would be all right and that life would be good again. It felt a little apprehensive.

And for good reason. The NFLPA hasn’t signed off on the new CBA, and at first glance, the NFLPA doesn’t seem altogether happy with the new document. We might continue to find out just how unhappy the players actually are.

So, yeah, there weren’t a ton of smiles from the Gang of Six who stood behind the podium in front of the assembled media. If they thought this labor negotiation was completely finished, they might not be (probably aren’t) correct.

“They have a real incentive (to ratify)," Richardson said after the presser. "I can’t imagine why they’ve negotiated so hard, and they have received so many things they thought were important, I can’t imagine why they would not. Of course, there is (apprehension). But we’ve done what we’re supposed to do. We’ve done our half. It’s their choice now.”

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Those first two sentences from Richardson was a point made repeatedly Thursday. How, the owners reasoned, could the players NOT accept this deal?

“There are very substantial incentives to do so and to ratify and conclude the agreement,” Pash said. “It is a good agreement. It is a fair agreement. It is an agreement that will be very positive for players in many, many ways. … We would expect that those incentives would be responded to.

“I can’t imagine DeMaurice Smith is electing to pay all of those hours for his attorneys to negotiate an agreement that he and his members then decide not to ratify.”

Well, it looks like the decision to ratify might be rejected. If that occurs, we have another, perhaps larger set of problems that could jeopardize part -- or all -- of the 2011 season. Then, money is lost, paychecks aren’t cashed, fans aren’t happy.

Maybe, on Thursday after the owners voted 31-0 to pass the agreement, they knew the fight wasn’t over, and that’s why there were no fist pumps or fist bumps on display. Maybe, as Goodell said, the owners were simply exhausted from the negotiations.

Or maybe they knew something the players and the rest of us didn’t. The thing we’re only beginning to find out. That the hard part isn’t over yet; that there really was no reason to celebrate at all.

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Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:25 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

The owners are trying to pressure the players to take THEIR deal. They are the ones that approved this mess. Until the players ratify this or any other deal it most certainly isn't a "Done Deal".

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:25 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

Rich vs Richer.  Just get it over with.  Us poor folks (who are shelling out all of the cash theyre fighting over) want our football.

Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:24 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

Enough already...  Would you guys just ratify the contract and move on.  I want football back and am getting sick & tired of hearing about these long drawn out negotiations that have led to nothing.  The money spent on attorneys could have been split between the 2 sides and we wouldn't have to continue this ridiculous battler.   Just get football back in everyone's lives.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:23 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

I knew when those bastards voted 31-0, that was a troubling sign.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:22 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

All I gotta say is the players are gonna have a tough time saving face on this one.  We all thought they were close....the owners approved it, and now it looks like its all falling apart.  Its going to be hard to blame the owners now...but of course, many will.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:22 pm

Atmosphere anything but festive at owners meeting

Warning the players to re-certify or else? Goodell must really not like money, because trying to make people join or not join a union is VERY, VERY much against labor law. The Anti-Trust laws are still in play!

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