Thursday, March 3, 2011

NFL Lockout Lurks as Clock Trickles to Midnight: Football in for Eternal Fight?

In this case, if ever there was a time that the NFL was sort of coincidental to an overwrought fairy tale, the labor war happens to be the parallel of a Cinderella sequel as the clock perpetually dwindles towards midnight when the 10 owners on the NFL management council executive committee and the NFL Players Association are not expected to reach a deal before the 11:59 ET deadline Thursday night.

When the clock strikes midnight, with a potential work stoppage looming to delay an entire season by next fall if the two parties cannot compromise and settle an ongoing fight, fans could be deprived of the most popular sport in America, uncertifies and litigates would be allowed to file an injunction to inhibit the owners from locking them out, as well as impel players to file an anti-trust suit against owners.

From the grand scheme of things, it's a real shame that the NFL is battered in a travesty, probably the worst disaster since the 1987 labor stoppage, probably the worst holocaust in sports when two parties ignites an apocalypse, an ordeal rarely beheld within the richest industry in sports. It would figure, for a major sports association after its survival through poor economic times and political wars, that the NFL was considerable enough to save itself from doomsday and recommence next season.

If so, before midnight, consider it a rebound to save a popular sport everybody raves about dearly in our nation, but from the way it stands, the NFL is close to a heinous lockout with the rhetoric of collective bargaining contract uproars. The sad thing is, as a nation watches worried and perplexed with the odds that a season might not exist this upcoming September, when the athletic men are ready and fidgety to return onto the turf, that this rift is over money.

Yes, the two sides are so silly, in which they are wrangling over money. It doesn't take long, hearing disgruntled players and sensitive owners argue over revenue, before it makes me cringe or sick to my stomach as we all should shake our heads in disbelief with the idiocy brainwashing the minds of petulant owners and even the lethargic NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. It's fair for the masses to point fingers at the commish, when he seemingly doesn't care enough to resolve a heart shattering juncture, undermining the spotless image of the NFL.

The nonsense has a large impact on the status of professional football in the near future, killing the heart and soul of advocates in support of the watchful event each season. It's never compelling when a lockout is impending, but it's very mind-blowing that owners are requesting more money than players, athletes the chairmen employ to enrich their organizations.

The latest tableau exposes just how bad the priorities are in the NFL, just how bad the league merely desires the earnings, besides satisfying a large fan base globally. It happens so often that the NFL is suddenly such a powerless business, a testament for which the league no longer has a standard for, unwilling to reshape expediency over money issues. That certainly won't happen really soon in the NFL, not until the two sides approach the matter, be more pragmatic to put a fight to rest and decide to orchestrate a convenient deal.

It seems that simple, right?

Well, apparently not for the owners or the NFL Players Association.

All of this week, thus seven current sessions brought little progress to end a level of distress in a period hardly anybody anticipated to arrive, there has been plenty of meetings with a federal mediator.

The worst-case scenario is, if there is a lockout on the way to threatening the players, that offseason workouts and minicamps will be withheld for an immeasurable standstill. For that matter, meanwhile, if this stoppage last longer than usual or forever, maybe just forever, at the rate of two sides unable to solve their disagreements before deadline, it jeopardizes training camp and preseason. All of this petrifies America, I would assume, being that football is the primary symbol in our sports society, the one sport event culturally adored with scenes of extreme action, drama, emotion and upsets.

Say Goodbye, football. Say adios, football. That is, only if there's not an agreement before midnight.


Seems we are witnessing a fairy tale, without the glass slipper, pumpkin, mice and fairy godmother. On this particular subject, we are observing a hogwash story and it's comprised of owners and the NFL Players Association, the biggest complication disclosed publicly in ages. The farce has reached the point of which it can no longer be dismissed with the NFL being pulled in different directions, a flustering upheaval from week to week and it has led to a tragedy on the prelude for what can become a distasteful impasse.

What's next? Nobody knows.

It's just too much suspense for a situation that resembles a couple of hit drama shows, such as CSI or Criminal Minds, with the unknown of an unsettled, unsure status for a league that has yet found aspiration and the remedy to rescue the NFL from flaws. Hours away from a standoff, and all we hear on airwaves or iPods, when it relates to sports, is that the NFL has approached the dreaded likelihood of corruption.

That is, if the current collective bargaining agreement expires by midnight Eastern time without an extension, but prior to the deadline, the NFL Players Association plans on decertifying as a strategic effort to block a petulant lockout from owners. This is a risky thought for the NFL, even if we can watch reruns of Seinfeld or the Simpsons or tune in to see classic games on NFL Network. The unwillingness to pursue a new CBA deal is tellingly that the NFL alone could lose out on much profit, endure a painful season financially, from limited activities at venues to non-ticket sales to largely a lot of many jobs.

That's an issue that should speak far more than money, at least for owners already pocketing decent amount of money, while the economy gradually seeks a recovery and fans awaits other 16-game season to take our minds off the annoyance of Charlie Sheen or Lindsey Lohan, as football is a cure to humanity. Even DeMaurice Smith, who as the NFLPA director in these crucial times, has done fairly a terrific job negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with NFL owners, but no one has compromised.

Today, on the final day that is, both sides attempt to save the league, now on the verge of serious trouble. If nothing is settled before midnight, Drew Brees can stand up for the union and be a quarterback even away from the field, an intelligent voice for the players' union. Or else, he'll probably end up on the golf course during a stoppage, depending on the length and infamous deal. He was the emotional leader many of nights on the field, and called for solidarity in a game against the Vikings last season when he and Saints players stepped onto the field and pointed their fingers skyward.

Right now, though, the NFL is nearly close to a lockout. The talk of NFL owners unwilling to deal with federal judge David Doty is what each party tends to agree on, following Doty's ruling Tuesday that rejected the owners capacity to receive "lockout insurance" for advanced payments on the NFL television contracts. In the end, of course, if owners refuse to order that current players won't be able to appear on NFL Network's airwaves during a work stoppage, the union will try it's very best to halt interviews from materializing. As for broadcast partners, it's likely that the union will urge players from appearing on television, but in reality, it may not happen.

No later than 5 p.m., the NFLPA is expected to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board in an attempt to decertify the union, which seems like a sham to the NFL after filing paperwork with the NLRB.

If there's a nightmarish ending to a fairy tale by midnight, Goodell will be accused of fallacies and inadequacies, described as the meanest villain.