Sunday, July 10, 2011

The lockout that will not end

Last week, I thought the NFL and the players were going to all come to their sense and twirl back to the locker room and the playing field and everyone would be training for the fall, cameraderie developing between the players, and the owners taking their appointed places at their cash registers.  Well, wrong and then some because the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St.  Louis ruled that the lockout of the players could continue but they did not rule out the possibility of the NFL being sued for anti-trust violations.

The last part slays me!  I never thought about it but yes, there is just one NFL, there are no other huge major football leagues, and what they have now is a monopoly.  Of course, if they busted it up, would what we think of a pro football exist?  If the NFL is taken to task for being a monopoly what would the break up spawn?  Big, burly bitches standing on freeway off-ramps with signs saying, "Will tackle anything for food," or "I was a Tight End.  Be kind." 

The NFL says July 15 is the last date to get things hammered out before they have to cancel the Hall of Fame game on August 7, which marks the start of the pre-season.  The New York Giants have cancelled their Albany, NY, training camp after 15 years and will instead train at the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands.  The Baltimore Ravens have cancelled their training camp as well.  And so it begins -- the ugly domino effect that goes down to local vendors, store owners, parking lot attendants who look to people making a trek just to see the Giants or Ravens practice and spending their money while they are there.  No, I don't think the players are the greedy ones.  The NFL is a corporation and the corporation wants lots more of the pie.  Cancelling training camp in Bourbonnais, exhibition games, pre-season games, and actual games gets them more pie how exactly?

For those who are really missing their game, a football "Field of Dreams" for you from FunnyorDie.com:  NFL LOCKOUT

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Dancers with the Joffrey Ballet have been locked out and part of their season cancelled.  The ballet company says the dancers' union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, failed to agree on a new contract.  The company was afraid if they proceeded with the season, the union could, at any time, shut down the performances.  The dancers were told to clean out their lockers by last Thursday and turn in their keys by last Thursday.  The main sticking point is the company wanting the dancers to extend rehearsal time from five hours a day to six hours a day.  Sound familiar?  Like the NFL wanting 18 games in a season instead of the present 16?  Like the NFL players, the dancers don't want a full-blown strike and I remind you that ignorance is always just right there.

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It's hard for me to express the admiration I have for Alan Schwartz of the New York Times.  I was going to use this space to write about the death of John Mackey, whose profound dementia was probably caused by football injuries and whose wife, Slyvia, was key in the NFL implementing the Rule of 88, which pays up to $88,000 to the families of retired players with dementia.  But Mr. Schwartz's article is so good, so well written and heartfelt, that I ask that you click on the link below and read it for yourself.   Mrs. Mackey is donating her husband's brain to Boston University's CTE researchers to see if he had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Alan Schwartz on John Mackey

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