Last night sportscaster Frank Cusumano from KSDK in St. Louis led off his appearance by decrying the now-decertified NFLPA. Apparently he had gotten wind of Adam Schefter’s ESPN report that potential draft picks were being encouraged by player reps to stay away from the TV production of the NFL draft. Mr. Cusumano stated that the NFLPA has already denigrated themselves by being party to the current work stoppage and have demonstrated even less couth by denying these kids a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What he failed to recognize is that the original story was supplied by “league sources”. This means the NFL, which operates in the interest of the owners. It is a well-calculated propaganda move on their behalf intended to sway public opinion in their favor.
Also, the owners are the party responsible for the work stoppage. That’s why the dispute is termed a lockout and not a strike. The players would have agreed to extend the old CBA, which undeniably made all sides profitable and grew the business while it was in effect.
I have a hard time sympathizing with the owners. The only issue they are passionately fighting for is a greater share of revenue. Their profit is guaranteed to be in the millions annually, simply because there is no competition and their employees on the field are the best in their profession (not counting the Redskins).
The 18-game schedule is a smoke screen. In open letters to fans no owners say we didn’t want to lock out the players, but we just feel getting those two extra games for the fans is just that important; or we’d sacrifice some profits if we could just get those two extra games for you – our fans. They only apologize for not getting a deal done.
If they want to increase revenue, then they should hope that they are in violation of anti-trust law. Competition would require them to improve and innovate their product or else go bankrupt. This would lead to a better fan experience. The team that does the best job for its fans would ultimately be the most profitable.