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Peace in our time

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  July 25, 2011 04:21 PM

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It appears as though we all have to get ready in a hurry now to talk about dime packages and two-gaps for the next five-and-a-half months, and the legions of unsheared sheep who inexplicably throng to training camps in order to watch guys sweat and fall on each other -- Bob Guccione did the same thing with Caligula and got excoriated for his trouble -- are warming up the ol' RV's. And Albert Breer gets to ice his head for a month.

The NFL is back.

If we're looking for winners in this whole interminable exercise, we might as well accept the fact that management "won" this thing at the start simply by kicking the previous CBA to the curb and locking the players out. It looks as though they've clawed back as big a percentage of the revenues as they reasonably could have expected to get. As for the players, they managed to fend off the idiocy of the 18-game season and won a change in free agency, which isn't bad considering they were playing the whole hand with a low pair.

This Blog is a little distressed by the ease with which the NFLPA threw future rookies overboard, not that every players association with a chance to do so hasn't done so for the past 10 years. The NFL is different. There's no guaranteed money in any contracts. (There should be, but that's a whole 'nother argument.) The shelf-life of a player is comparatively very short. The unavoidable physical damage inherent to the sport is massive and self-evident. Given all that, for many players, their rookie deal was the only real chance they had for a big payday. Now, they're going to have to wait until their fifth year in the league to cash in, and then only at a "tender offer," whatever that may be. Too many NFL careers don't last that long. This Blog wishes that both sides could have taken into account even more than they did how different an NFL player's career is from that of almost every other professional athlete.

And This Blog is going to be very interested in seeing what the league and the reconstituted NFLPA comes up with as regards worker safety rules.


But NFL football is back. Give This Blog a call when they start playing games that count.

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