The rich get richer as owners win again

by Gary Shelton on March 16, 2020

in general

Bucs have 10 years of labor peace./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

Gentlemen, start your yachts.

The war is over. The rich guys won.


Here in the land with no sports, the guys who run the NFL have won again. They got their 17th game, and they got their extra week of playoffs, and they got a decade's worth of labor peace.They have gone from rich beyond belief to rich beyond imagination.

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The players? They got more money.

Here in the hinterlands, of course, no one cares. The fans just want games on their televisions, and this Collective Bargaining Agreement, for them, means another week of regular season games, the loss of a preseason game, and silence about labor noise for a decade.

Yeah, the players probably could have gotten a little more. So what? They aren't clipping food coupons, are they?

The owners are the biggest dynasty in sports. They are the Patriots and the Steelers and the 49ers and the Mings and the Roman Empire rolled into one.

These labor squabbles, frankly, are the most boring thing about professional sports. I remember the NFL strike of 1987, were players actually tried to get the support of union members in town (garbage men support the NFL. Film at 11.) for their strike. I remember a stocky Dolphin replacement player named Ike Readon, who summed up the entire squabble for all of us. "It ain't no thang," Readon said. And it wasn't.

Look, a 17th game? That's a good thing, right? Especially if your team is in a playoff race. Yes, more players will get hurt, which the NFL has given lip service to trying to avoid. The. best thing is the loss of a week of the preseason, which is painful to watch. Spies should be made to watch preseason football.

Two more teams in the playoffs? That's not bad. Sure, there will be some bad teams who get in, but most of them will be gone quickly. Injuries aside, most coaches could cut down their squad within three decisions going into preseason.

In return, the players get more money, an increased roster (to 55 players), a softer drug policy and an independent decision maker on punishments (I never could figure out why Roger Goodell continued to be the villain).

But make no mistake. The players didn't get anything that the owners really hated to give up.

Except maybe the parking on that fourth preseason game.

So spread the caviar and pop the Dom Perignon. Buy a new Bentley. And toast the billionaires in the comfy seats in the sky.

The owners win.

Don't they always?

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