Tag:The Daily Shoutout
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:31 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 7:27 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

HUSTLE AND FLOW: So what in the hell happened on Thursday? One minute there is optimism and promise that football is returning and in the next the talks de-evolve into a Stephen King movie. Some of this is the simple ebb and flow of a brutal negotiation to get a new collective bargaining agreement. But to fully understand how talks went from extremely hopeful to negative to hopeful again in the span of 24 hours -- capped off with a monstrous 15-hour negotiation that resumes on Friday -- think Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football.

Based on interviews with several people familiar with the discussions this is what happened. The players thought they had an agreement on the important split of overall revenue. In fact, despite the protestations to players in a conference call, the NFLPA believed a deal was indeed near. Then, the sources stated, owners suddenly reversed course, and offered models that had been previously rejected by the players.

Some players felt bamboozled and were infuriated, I'm told. They felt it was the old rope-a-dope, Lucy and the football. While talks where not in jeopardy of totally collapsing they did then get extremely emotional. This is where Judge Arthur Boylan, who is mediating the talks, truly earned his paycheck. I'm told he basically saved the negotiations from obliterating, calmed the players down, and kept the sides together. They ended up speaking for 15 hours and are scheduled to continue talking on Friday.

The fact both sides continue to talk is obviously key but it does seem the players are more sincere about getting a deal done than the owners. At least for the moment that's the case. The NFLPA isn't playing games; the owners, at least in this one instance, certainly did.

So here we are...again. Hanging on every word and piece of news and hopefully that news will get better in the coming days.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:31 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

HUSTLE AND FLOW: So what in the hell happened on Thursday? One minute there is optimism and promise that football is returning and in the next the talks de-evolve into a Stephen King movie. Some of this is the simple ebb and flow of a brutal negotiation to get a new collective bargaining agreement. But to fully understand how talks went from extremely hopeful to negative to hopeful again in the span of 24 hours -- capped off with a monstrous 15-hour negotiation that resumes on Friday -- think Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football.

Based on interviews with several people familiar with the discussions this is what happened. The players thought they had an agreement on the important split of overall revenue. In fact, despite the protestations to players in a conference call, the NFLPA believed a deal was indeed near. Then, the sources stated, owners suddenly reversed course, and offered models that had been previously rejected by the players.

Some players felt bamboozled and were infuriated, I'm told. They felt it was the old rope-a-dope, Lucy and the football. While talks where not in jeopardy of totally collapsing they did then get extremely emotional. This is where Judge Arthur Boylan, who is mediating the talks, truly earned his paycheck. I'm told he basically saved the negotiations from obliterating, calmed the players down, and kept the sides together. They ended up speaking for 15 hours and are scheduled to continue talking on Friday.

The fact both sides continue to talk is obviously key but it does seem the players are more sincere about getting a deal done than the owners. At least for the moment that's the case. The NFLPA isn't playing games; the owners, at least in this one instance, certainly did.

So here we are...again. Hanging on every word and piece of news and hopefully that news will get better in the coming days.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:03 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

WINDOW OR AISLE SEAT: The most interesting aspect of the labor fight so far happened on Wednesday. DeMaurice Smith invited Roger Goodell to speak at the rookie symposium. This is a big deal. A very big deal and it's less about the relationship between the two men now officially thawing and more about a much larger message.

That message is this. A new deal between the players and owners is extremely close. There's no other explanation. Smith would never invite Goodell to the symposium if he felt a deal wasn't near completion. I've maintained a deal was closer than the two sides wanted to publicly admit anyway and this only adds to that belief.

Think about it. If the two sides were far apart would Smith invite Goodell to speak at the symposium? Hell no. This is a gesture that goes beyond the talks. Smith is telling the rookies you can trust Goodell again. Smith would only do that if if he trusted Goodell again and if an agreement was on the horizon.

I feel like these next three and four days of negotiating are a push to finish an agreement that is already basically in place.

In fact, I think that agreement may have happened late yesterday. Here's my conspiracy theory. I actually inquired with the NFL early Tuesday if anyone from the NFL was going to speak at the symposium. I was told no. Then late in the day came the news that Goodell was indeed going to address the rookies. The reason for the disparity was that Goodell's speaking wasn't yet official. I think it became official when a significant amount of progress was reached.

Smith became so comfortable with the progress he decided: "I think it's safe to invite my new homeboy Roger to the symposium."

So here we are. I think a deal is extremely close. We'll know soon if it is.

See you Thursday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:09 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

BIG FREAKING MOUTH: I personally like Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder. I like a guy who talks. People in my profession, well, we rely on people like Crowder. They make out job more interesting and fun. Yet, saying all of that, people both on the Dolphins and around the league have told me in the past they think Crowder runs his yapper way too much.

The Crowder haters will have more ammunition after something he said this week. Crowder went on his radio show and explained how he sold his college jersey while playing at Florida. Wait. Actually, he said he hypothetically sold his jersey while at Florida which is against not-so-hypothetical NCAA rules.

"I'll say hypothetically I don't have any more of my Florida jerseys," Crowder said. "There were some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play."

First, I love his use of the word hypothetical. Crowder wields it nicely. It's not quite the historical hypothetical of "if you were a tree what kind of tree would you be" but it's a pretty damn good use of the word.

Second, Crowder's hypothetical school, the Gators, must absolutely be tickled about this. Hypothetically tickled, that is. In order to pump up his radio show, Crowder threw his Gators under the hypothetical bus. My guess is NCAA investigators won't be raising a hypothetical eyebrow.

 This is typical Crowder and why I like him but he'd drive me crazy if I was his boss. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 27, 2011 6:19 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

Terrell Owens IS DONE: The first time I met Owens was when he was a young star in San Francisco. He was always an--ahem--confident man. At least, on the surface. I remember he finished up our interview with something like: you'll be hearing a lot more from me. Well, we certainly did, eh? We've heard a lot from Owens over the past decade or so. Off the field, Owens was a jackass. But that shouldn't obscure what he's done on it. There was a time when Owens was the most physically imposing wide receiver threat in football. He terrified defenses and then yapped and yapped and yapped about how he did it. Yes, a jackass, but a damn talented one. A Hall of Fame one.

He also had tremendous heart despite being a clown. Remember how he came back from a broken leg to play in the Super Bowl?

Now comes word Owens recently shattered his ACL and will miss six months. I expect Owens to publicly state his career will go on and there will be no retirement but I can tell you Owens has told several people in the NFL that he has indeed considered retirement. Again, that doesn't mean he will, but he's told people in the sport he's considering it.

Owens, with little question, is done in the NFL as an elite receiver. Owens didn't have a bad last season but look closely at Owens and it's easy to see that burst he once had was gone. Now, at the age of 37, coming off a torn ACL, there's no way Owens can be great again. I doubt he can even be good again.

My guess is Owens will try to come back because it would keep his fat head in the news and he could use a comeback to generate another reality show. Also, Owens is just 25 catches away from being second all-time to only Jerry Rice. That's pretty damn good. 

But no matter. For now, Owens is done. His career, as we knew it, is over.

And despite being one of the great pains in the ass, the Hall of Fame awaits.

LOCKOUT NEWS: Representatives of the owners and players continued discussions via phone over the weekend and are expected to meet this week at an undisclosed location. I can tell you there were no significant breakthroughs but the signs continue to be encouraging.

See you Tuesday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:07 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

PROGRESS: I'm told it continues at a steady pace in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations between representatives of the players and owners. It was the kind of steady plodding that's been happening for weeks. A person familiar with the talks -- which happened in Boston on Wednesday-- explained both sides continue to negotiate and every day that happens we're a day closer to football. The talks are expected to continue on Thursday.

My belief: we remain on the track of a deal reached by the end of the month or early July. Mid-July at the latest. Nothing has happened in talks to derail that belief.

A big issue remains "true ups." Get used to that phrase. You're going to hear it a lot. True ups basically are about projected revenue. They continue to also debate rookie contracts. Both sides agree they need to be controlled.

The bottom line: the two sides keep talking and that's good news.

See you Friday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 22, 2011 6:54 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 9:33 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

THE $500 MILLION SACRIFICE: Under the old collective bargaining agreement, NFL players basically got $4.8 billion of the massive revenue pie. Under the new agreement, they'll receive about $4.3 billion. That's a paycut of $500 million. At least. With the new deal that $500 million could become much larger down the road as revenue is expected to double in a very short period of time.

What these negotiations needed was one side to make a sacrifice. A big one. We now know it was the players. The owners will lose some money, too, but it's the players who took the biggest step. I'm not trying to make the players out to be heroes. They are rich men. Very rich men. At a time when the middle class is shrinking and numbers of the poor are growing. But it's clear what happened to get this deal fast-tracked when it was previously moving with little urgency. The players gave a nice chunk of change back to the owners and that got the owners' attention.

Now, someone from the NFL, that I truly trust and respect, points out that there are no real "sacrifices." No good guys or bad guys. That this was all a business negotiation. That's very fair. I get that. I don't completely agree with it. But I get it. And, again, it's not an unfair thought.

Yet it is the players who sacrifice their bodies. They are paid for it. They make the choice. But it's still a fact they suffer the bodily harm.


VERY QUICKLY: Pat Riley makes no sense. Thank you. Moving along now. 

BOSTON: The NFL owners meet in the place where Paul Revere once warned the British. Beantown. My guess is progress continues to be made. I can't prove this but it's not just that I've previously reported 80-85 percent of the deal is done (and it was) it's that my belief now is that both sides are a lot further along than they want to publicly admit. They want to keep their progress as quiet as possible to minimize distractions. I also think The Hero Syndrome is at play here. Both sides want to emerge as saviors so the less people know, the better chance that can happen.

And did I mention Pat Riley makes no sense?

The gathering of three players who as a group haven't won jack is maybe on par with a 1972 Dolphins team that didn't lose a game? The greatest team accomplishment in history is maybe equal to a team of pompous jerks losing in the Finals? Really, Pat?

Really?

See you Thursday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2011 6:35 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

WHO CALLED WHOM? Or is it whom called who? Or whom called whom. I forget. But we know one thing because both sides agree. Some owners and high profile NFL stars have talked during the lockout and those communications may even be happening currently. One source says owners have contacted high profile stars on their respective teams to complain about the handling of the lockout by NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith. These calls were seen as an attempt to divide the union and degrade the image of Smith among some of the biggest stars in football. Contact between league officials and the players during the lockout has been forbidden by the NFL. 

Another source, however, says these high profile players contacted the owners. These owners then expressed their opinion of Smith when asked by the players.

Who is telling the truth?

Think of it this way. What's more likely: star player calling owner to complain about Smith? Or owner calling player to complain about Smith? Yes, it's likely the latter.

Kenny Britt: Needs an intervention. The Tennessee wide receiver, one of the best young talents at the position, who has had more warrants out for his arrest than Lindsay Lohan and Tupac combined, went to Facebook this week and in the span of a few hours cursed Roger Goodell, retired-unretired, then said his Facebook account was hacked. That's some trifecta. Britt is becoming the new Pacman Jones and unless someone gets to Britt soon his NFL career will be over before it started.
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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