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As it seems this thing could take months to be worked out in the courts, the worry here is that it will jeopardize training camps and even the start of the season.

NFL Players Union Plays Its Trump Card: Decertification

Riddle me this; riddle me that: what is worse than a game without a bat? The answer is perhaps a game without players. That is the ugly prospect in the National Football League labor dispute with its players, and things took a decidedly ominous turn today when the NFL Players Association made the decision to decertify as a union.

Football fans everywhere may be asking why did they do this, but it makes perfect sense since their negotiations with the NFL are going nowhere. Since a lockout was no doubt imminent, the NFLPA’s choice makes sense because of this: if they are not a union then they can sue the NFL in federal court under antitrust laws.

The prospect of this getting resolved any time soon seems unlikely. The NFL can counter sue the NFLPA in some way, probably noting that the decertification process was only meant to set up this possibility of suing before the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) expired. Either way there looks like no end is in sight and that’s not good news for the players or the fans.

NFLPA Executive Direct DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have been involved in negotiations that have been going nowhere. What is the problem, you may ask? The answer is 750 million of them (dollars, of course). That was the gap between what the players wanted and the owners refused to give.

As it seems this thing could take months to be worked out in the courts, the worry here is that it will jeopardize training camps and even the start of the season. What doesn’t make sense is why either side would want to ruin the good thing that they have going here.

Of all American sports, football has to be the most lucrative one in the nation. The amount of money generated by games, merchandising, and advertising is overwhelmingly more substantial than from any other sport. The grandaddy of all championships is the Super Bowl, a marketing and entertainment juggernaut that is second to none.

So why are these guys spoiling a good thing? The answer is that the owners like their huge piece of the pie and don’t want to share; they also don’t want to disclose the ingredients or the baking process. Will the lawsuit force the lords and ladies of football to pry open the castle vault doors and reveal all the secrets to the recipe? Maybe, or perhaps they will come to an understanding, learn to play nice and share more, and this whole thing will just go away.

At least that’s what I’m hoping for. As a Jets fan, I don’t want my team distracted in any way by all this. Let’s hope this will move things forward and get something resolved soon, or otherwise we’ll be looking at them playing the Super Bowl around Easter next year.

Photo Credit: AP

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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