Biting Off More Than He Could Chew ……
I am not so sure what to make of the upcoming NFL season with so much being on the line for a number of teams and specifically their head coaches . But if anything the person said to be most under the pressure may well be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . With the ongoing scandal that has embroiled the New Orleans Saints and further tarnish the image of the sport as a whole . Unfortunately , there’s said to be great deal of apathy among a number of fans who feel that while the game remains as popular as ever they would rather simply look at what takes place on the field of play.
Slide-show for your perusal .
The NFL this season has a great deal going for it with many of the fans simply looking to see if the rookies taken in the first round of the NFL Draft will matriculate into something special . Cam Newton had a spectacular season in 2011 while leading the Carolina Panthers to an extraordinary season . Granted, the Panthers failed to win the NFC South or make the postseason but quite obviously the front office were extremely pleased that the top pick from the 2011 NFL Draft exceeded their own expectations .
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will have something to prove along with their peers taken in the Draft. And most notably the quarterbacks chosen will be under the greatest scrutiny of all. Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden might not be starters in week one for their respective teams the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. Those two teams in question are now at a crossroads in terms of the paths taken . Both aspire to be forces within the AFC and they each have a long way to if they are to surpass the peaks scaled by the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts . The quartet of teams between them have 11 Superbowl titles collectively .
Before the season gets underway the league could be facing a another major dilemma as the NFL hierarchy are in protracted negotiations with the NFLRA (union) [referees’ union] as the league sets about renegotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the union . Roger Goodell , simply thinks that with one perceived victory in overturning appeals of the four suspended New Orleans Saints’ players at the center of the team’s bounty scandal . The NFLRA are adamant that they will not acquiesce to any deal that would see them having to take a cut in their salaries as well as reduced benefits. If this is Goodell’s idea of a joke , then it is not a very good one considering issues he had with the NFLPA and their hard-fought battle that went before the FMCS and then before a Federal Court appointed mediator. The commissioner’s inter-actions with his counterpart , DeMaurice Smith , left a great deal to be desired . The biggest joke about those deliberations was the very fact within months an agreement the two sides are once again adversaries , as Smith seeks to protect his members at what he believes to be a witch hunt . At the center of this all is whether or not the evidence gathered and used to prove the league’s case against Johnathan Vilma , Anthony Hargrove , Scott Fujita and Will Smith . Vilma has filed a civil suit against the commissioner and the NFL , claiming defamation of character , libel and slander . That case , should it go to trial , would place Goodell , on the witness stand having to recollect how the league’s investigators went about conducting their investigation and collecting evidence . It should be noted that Vilma when asked to attend the NFL headquarters for questioning , even though the union would be providing him with a player rep and lawyer to represent his interests while being questioned . It should be noted , that the player (Vilma) chose not attend , stating it came under advisement from his legal counsel . That , in of-itself doesn’t preclude us from coming to a decision as to Vilma’s guilt or innocence but I firmly believe the player has done himself no favors with his actions. And that is also further substantiated by the coaches who were embroiled in this mess with their admission of guilt but less than contrite apologies . Personally, for the idiots out there rallying behind the commissioner , coming to his support , without fully comprehending the intricacies of an agreement between the league and union that simply wasn’t worth the paper it was written on ! Only an asshole would believe that the two sides tried to suggest what was a binding an arbitrary agreement is one that resolved their divisions . It was simply nothing more than one big cluster fuck and a complete charade ! The union has reneged on the testing for HGH and steroids of their members, while trying to suggest that the league’s testing protocols and regimen are not in line with that of the USOC or that of WADA . As asinine as it sounds , somehow Goodell has relented and once again he cowers from steering down the NFLPA and forcing them to abide by their agreement , that was ratified by the NFLPA’s Executive Committee Does anyone now truly believe that the NFL is currently on a great footing in terms of its overall image ?
Goodell may well be over-reaching his boundaries in now seeking another out another adversary in the NFLRA , as he can ill-afford to have a possible delay to the start of the NFL season, this year . But it could very well come down to that, should things become contentious between the two parties . As of now , it would appear that calmer heads are prevailing . My question however , but for how long ? Your thoughts ?
Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports
By Barry Wilner , The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) The NFL Referees Association is disputing a claim by the league that the officials threatened to take a strike vote after their contract expired.
Mike Arnold , counsel for the officials, says Tuesday that claim is ”patently false.”
”The NFLRA has never threatened to strike,” Arnold said. ”After repeated references by the NFL during negotiations regarding its plans to obtain replacement officials, the NFLRA briefed its members at its annual meeting on April 21, 2012. No strike vote was taken at the meeting.
”In fact the NFLRA’s directive to its membership was to prepare for the season and to perform each and every task assigned to them both before and after CBA expiration. This continues to be the position of the NFLRA.”
The collective bargaining agreement ended after the 2011 season. The sides had been meeting since October, but mediation lasted only two sessions and talks broke off Sunday.
On Monday, the league said it will begin hiring and training replacement officials.
The officials say that the NFL offered salary increases lower than those obtained in the 2006 agreement.
”They heard about the increases that team and league employees receive, far less than the increases we proposed for the game officials, even without considering the improved offer made on Sunday,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ”Do the officials get the same kind of raises in their other jobs as they did in 2006?”
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Roger Goodell may well be happy with the fact that the league was able to add an additional $2.65 billion in additional revenues by extending and renewing a number of television contracts that were set to expire . The commissioner’s gleeful joy over this paints a rather grim picture when you take into account that he , the union and the team owners have been less than forthright when dealing with the issue of player safety as it relates to severe blunt force head trauma , concussions Grade II and above , as well as the issue as to how the NFL has dealt with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The latter malady is often seen as a precursor to long-term memory loss , Alzheimer’s Disease and other maladies not normally associated with the game , until later on , long after many of these players have retired and left the game. Consider the untimely death of Junior Seau , due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound , and the very fact that he sought out medical help in terms of a therapist but failed to attend the prescribed meetings . Neither the league or the union provides any help to the players under such circumstances but the commissioner has the temerity to suggest that hierarchy does its best to assist the players in their times of utmost need. That has never been the case , if truth be known , as they only provide assistance to players when they break the league’s the drug (substance abuse) policy as it relates to their mandated edicts . Beyond that , the league’s scope and assistance has been minuscule as they have chosen to keep the seasoned veterans at arm’s length . What might now be inconceivable , in the aftermath of the agreement presided over by the arbitrator the league and union saw fit to set aside $1 billion in a sealed document , which we are told will be disbursed to assist the veterans in paying for medical benefits. However , with the NFL being defendants in seven separate legal civil suits filed in US Federal and US District Court as well as the case that may well set the precedence , and that is the civil suit filed by the family of the late Dave Duerson in Cook County Court , Chicago , Illinois,. Should the family prevail in their suit and a judgment is rendered in their favor , then it is highly likely that the jury could seek to compensate the Duersons with punitive and compensatory damages in their wrongful death suit . The very fact that as the defendants in this case , the legal ramifications for the NFL could be disastrous should they be on the losing side of this suit . The fact that the league sought to have all of the cases conjoined in the US Federal Court in the 4th Circuit should be enough of an indication as to how serious the league views this situation . The NFL’s Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash and their head of Labor Negotiations Adolphus Birch III are providing Goodell with legal insight , as both of these legal minds will be tested as to how they will ultimately address this issue for the NFL , as a matter of jurisprudence .
September 5th may well bring about a sensational season , with all 32 teams vying for the Superbowl but if anything it has and will be the off the field problems that for now will provide the fans with a great deal of intrigue. And how this is all addressed by the NFL will give us something of an indication as to how we should perceive the league . Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy faces an uphill battle as they seek to rebuild the NFL’s image especially in light of these controversies . The NFL commissioner like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue may well be two of the poorest executives in all professional sports during which their tenures can best described , as being mediocre ! That last premise is with due respect to both David Stern , Bud Selig and Gary Bettman . And given the ineptitude shown by each in recent season as they have repeatedly used an acute economic crisis for the woes that their respective brands have faced and continue to face , even when it is abundantly clear that their issues have not been properly dealt with . Greed , and dare one say corruption , if nothing else has been the opportune word that could best describe why these sports now find themselves engulfed with a litany of issues of one form or another . Your thoughts on the matter ?
In your judgment do you believe that the NFL and union have been culpable in their mistreatment of the NFL veterans ? Also Roger Goodell’s scope as NFL commissioner do you believe him to be adroit enough to be considered a good enough chief executive or is he simply an individual who does not have a complete grasp as to what is needed , as required for the NFL’s highest ranking position where authority and very good communicative skills are needed ? By all means chime on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers , right, talks with wide receiver Johnny Knox during NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, June 6, 2012. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….
(2) Tennessee Titans quarterbacks Jake Locker (10) and Rusty Smith (11) pass during a workout at the team’s NFL football training facility on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …
(3) DAVIE, FL – MAY 4: Ryan Tannehill (17) of the Miami Dolphins talks to the media after the rookie mini-camp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images …
(4) Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) and Thaddeus Lewis (9) watch Colt McCoy (12) during practice at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Tuesday, June 5, 2012. AP Photo/Mark Duncan …
(5) Executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington July 25, 2011. The NFL and players have agreed to terms to end their four-month lockout and ensure America’s most professional sport will go ahead as planned next season. The commissioner is now taking aim at the NFLRA (National Football League Referees’ Association [union]) as he seeks to weaken their stance . The union’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2012-13 season , however , they sought to obtain an extension of the agreement but the league hierarchy is said to be seeking sweeping concessions from the NFLRA , while at the same time setting out they believe to be are scurrilous claims made by the union concerning their demands . For the moment the NFLRA states that they have no intentions of going on strike and delaying the start of the 2012-13 season . But the commissioner is said to be already contemplating the use of replacement officials should the union cal an all-out strike . “The more things change the more they remain the same” . Goodell at his best but most notably , at his worst ! REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque ….