One month ago, the NFL and NFLPA extended the CBA negotiation window….3 weeks ago, after negotiating to a stalemate, the two sides slammed the window shut. They not only slammed it shut, but they nailed it closed and then covered the window with sheet rock. Fans across the NFL were outraged that the players decertified and the owners subsequently locked them out. So what have we been doing since then? The NFL Fan Strike supporters have been continuing our boycott of NFL Licensed Merchandise. We’ll continue to do so until Mr. Goodell and Mr. Smith get their acts together and get the new CBA hammered out.
In a rather obscure note in his mailbag article, John Clayton says that the former NFLPA negotiators tried to set up talks last week with the NFL Owners. Clayton says that the Owners said no to the negotiations. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Roger Goodell fist pounding that the Owners wanted to return to negotiations as soon as possible? Nonsense! Get back to the negotiating table and start working on a deal.
Pet Peeve Alert! – Whenever I hear John Clayton talking about contract or CBA negotiaTions, he always pronounces it “Negosiacions”…It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Sorry, we digress.
What NFL Fans have lost
- It may be the offseason, but for a majority of NFL cities, the offseason is often the most exciting time of the NFL season. Fans of teams with 2 wins, 3 wins, etc. can wake up everyday hoping that their favorite team goes out and signs a marquee free agent to help improve their roster. With no CBA in place, that cannot happen. Free Agency cannot start until the league and (former) union agree to the rules by which the 2011 season will be played. I remember waiting up until 12am on March 4th in previous years, to see what players would sign immediately after the deadline..It’s like taking Christmas away from a child….very disappointing.
- With no CBA, we have also missed out on all trades involving players. Kevin Kolb is still a member of the Philadelphia Eagles….Donovan McNabb is still a member of the Washington Redskins. No veteran has been traded for draft picks. Quite frankly, the Football Hot Stove is as cold as the Grinch’s heart (before it grew 3 sizes that day!).
- With no CBA, we’ve had to talk about the fact that there’s no CBA. And let’s face it, this stuff is boring. I’d literally rather watch looped coverage of an Eskimo ice fishing at 3am with Chris Collinsworth doing the play by play.
- There is nothing to report about OTAs or spring practices by the teams. Teams with new coaches and coordinators have not had the time to adequately install their philosophies and strategies.
What we can still lose
- The NFL Draft is just about 3 weeks away and with no CBA there will be less buzz about the event. One of the most fun things about the draft is how teams move up and down the draft board by trading picks for players.
- None of the players drafted will be able to sign a contract until the CBA is done. No team will be able to sign an undrafted free agent rookie until a deal is done.
- With no end in sight, there will likely be NOTHING going on in the NFL after the draft. What will be on NFL Live on ESPN? Court Hearings? They will have nothing to talk about!!!!
- Most importantly, there is a very real possibility that NFL games could be lost in August and September.
What’s Next for NFL Fan Strike
The NFL Fan Strike started the day after the Super Bowl and continues to this day. Since the Fan Strike started, we’ve gained a number of great supporters, gotten assistance from a number of athletes and media members, done interviews with ESPN radio. We’re continuing the boycott and impolore you to do the same. Additionally, we invite you to continue to spread the word on the NFL Fan Strike….let’s hit the NFL where it hurts…..they’re wallets.
On that note, we would invite ANYONE that plans to attend the NFL Draft in NYC to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are kicking around some ideas that might help spread the word and let the NFL/NFLPA know that fans are unhappy and just want football back. If anyone is interested in protesting outside of Radio City Music Hall, please contact us as well. We’ll direct you to the appropriate people. We’re going to let the NFL know that this Lockout is NOT acceptable. NFL Fans are the greatest in all of sports and are what make the NFL great. Keep fighting, keep boycotting, and keep spreading the word.