NFL Lockout Update: Owners Ratify Proposal, Players Wonder What Just Happened

It’s 11 p.m. central time on Thursday night and I’m going to watch some Japanese wrestling and go to bed. Before doing that, however, I thought I would provide a quick summary on the NFL labor front for those of you that were smarter than me and chose to not pay attention to the kerfuffle that developed Thursday evening.

If you’re reading this in the morning, there’s a decent chance something else could have occurred overnight. You probably should check out Profootballtalk.com or follow Aaron Nagler on Twitter for the latest. Both of those guys will likely spend the night monitoring the situation instead of watching Japanese wrestling.

Here’s what went down:

  • The owners voted 31-0 to approve a 10-year labor deal and gave the players until Tuesday to reform as a union and accept it. The Oakland Raiders abstained from voting because they probably realize they will go 6-10 and could care less if there is a season or not.
  • The players said they never had a chance to review the proposal and accused the owners of trying to force a deal. Many people were expecting the players to vote on some sort of proposal Thursday, but they didn’t because the players claimed to not know for sure what exactly the owner’s passed.
  • ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported around 10:45 p.m. that the players eventually received all the details of the owners proposal and a vote could come as early as Friday. Will a vote actually happen? Who knows.
  • My take: I think one of two things happened. 1) The owner’s got sick of the player’s dilly dallying around about re-certifying as a union and other less-significant issues delaying the process and decided to approve a proposal and force the players to act in a more timely fashion. 2) The owners made a last-minute power play.
  • My other take: I’m fairly confident this thing wraps up soon. Once the players calm down and actually review what the owners proposed, I can’t imagine it being so incredibly bad that it would derail the entire process. Sure the players are probably offended that the owner’s publicly put the ball in their court, but they’ll get over it (I hope).


NFL Lockout Rant: Players Must Present a Fan-Centric Deal

Smith should put a fan-centric proposal on the table if he still cares about winning the PR war.

The 8th Circuit Court granted a permanent stay of the NFL’s lockout of players Monday.  There were also conflicting reports of progress being made in mediated negations for a new CBA.

Personally, I would not consider Carl Eller a very reliable source on CBA talks. And even if Eller was right, do we really think the owners are going to submit a fair deal now that they finally came out on the winning side in a courtroom decision?

I doubt it. Owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder likely view this ruling as a chance to tighten the screws on the players and pressure them to accept an owner-friendly deal. Players representative DeMaurice Smith will do everything he can to keep all the players in line and continue pursuing a player-friendly deal.

In other words, a lot happened on Monday, but not much changed. There’s still no football and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.

Even though it annoys me, both the owners and the players continue trying to win over the fans during this whole mess. I am anything but a labor expert and I only pretend to know what I’m talking about regarding the NFL lockout, but if I were Smith, and I felt that winning the PR battle would somehow help get a deal done, here is what I would do:

I would immediately submit a proposal with financial concessions favorable to the owners. I don’t know what the exact numbers would be, but it would be obvious to most fair-minded observers that the players made significant concessions and the raw financial numbers favor the owners. It wouldn’t be completely lopsided like the owner’s original proposal, but it would be a win for the owners nonetheless. However, those concessions would come with some fan-centric provisions.

  • Owners would have to lock in season ticket prices for the next three years;
  • All teams must offer at least 1,000 tickets to every home game at $10 apiece;
  • Any team-owned parking facilities may not charge more than $25 to park on gameday;
  • If teams charge fans money to tailgate, they must forfeit two games that season. If they charge money and limit the hours that fans can tailgate, the franchise is contracted and the owner is arrested;


Happy Mothers Day to the Professional Football Players Mothers Association

First, a very Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there. I hope everyone will take the time to show their appreciation to their Moms in some way today or honor their memories if no longer with us.

Looking for a connection between football and Mothers day, I discovered an organization called the Professional Football Players Mothers Association (PFPMA). Headed by Wilma McNabb, mother of Donovan McNabb, it’s a service organization that seeks to counsel and educate mothers of new NFL players and coordinate community service programs.

From their Web site:

PFPMA is a service organization dedicated to educating and informing moms about the business of professional football as well as supporting charitable causes and the communities where our sons have come from and where they now live.

Our Mission: To identify and implement programs that advance the organizations vision by providing yearly educational seminars and programs designed to inform and assist players and their mothers in their transition to the NFL. To provide financial and moral support to charities for at-risk-youth and disadvantaged communities with revenue generated yearly in fund-raising events and organizational sponsorships and to also provide volunteer representation in events in local communities to promote education by sharing the success of our sons and PFPMA.

Our Vision: The Professional Footballs Players Mothers Associations purpose is to educate and inform Mothers about the business of professional football; enhance the public image of professional football players, promote respect and fair play on and off the field, assist our sons in their charitable efforts in the communities from which they came and in which they work, and to support each other.

The group was deeply involved with helping Hurricane katrina victims and has assisted various other charities, including:

Education is Freedom
Habitat for Humanity
Feed the Children
Sheridan House
Bright Beginnings
Aspira of Illinois Alternative High School Program
Harvey Colts “Pop Warner” Football Organization
St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital
America Heart Association
American Red Cross – Haiti Relief
Read Across America
Arizona Cardinals Christmas Charity

Looks like they are doing a lot of worthwhile work, so I just wanted to give them some special recognition on Mothers Day. Keep up the good work, Moms!


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.