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Connect the Doty

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  March 2, 2011 04:18 PM

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The problem with the way NFL management looks at itself, the game it is supposed to be managing, and the ambulatory "assets" whose physical destruction the owners are perennially attempting to achieve on the cheap is that, removed from the massed sycophancy that dominates much of the NFL media corps, nobody in their right mind looks at the game that way. Hence, we have U.S. District Judge David Doty, who yesterday told the owners that, no, you don't get to fund your long-planned lockout with the TV cash you promised to share with the hired help. Most immediately, this is a fine kick in the head to hard-workin' Roger Goodell and the plutocrats for whom he works so hard. But, between the lines, Doty's decision says much more than that. It says that, at least by the lights of a federal judge, NFL management has not acted in good faith for at least a year, and is not likely to act in good faith in the future. This, of course, makes NFL management no different from practically any management in any industry in America, but it's nice to see it spelled out now and again.

There are some folks that are hopeful that the above kick in the head will be enough to avert the lockout that management has been plotting for four or five years. However, as much as This Blog wishes it could agree, the fact is that the Masters Of The Universe in 21st century America do not believe in doing things halfway. In all their other industries, the NFL owners are used to decreasingly unionized  -- and, therefore, increasingly vulnerable -- work forces. The habits of bullying are ingrained in them. Why should they approach the people who work for their football teams any differently than the people who work for their auto dealerships or fast-food empires? Indeed, look at the quote from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

"As we have frequently said, our clubs are prepared for any contingency, this decision included. Today's ruling will have no effect on our efforts to negotiate a new, balanced labor agreement."

In other words, if we want to lock you guys out, we still have the wherewithal to do it and you all can sit at home and listen to the beta-amyloid pile up in your brains.

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