The scenario for the next couple of months of the NFL lockout was forecast Monday by Dan Kaplan of Sports Business Journal. Sadly, although Kaplan doesn’t specifically say so, if it plays out, it means the dumbest work stoppage in modern labor history — sports or otherwise — is likely to continue at least into July.
What Kaplan writes is what I think too. That the current case filed by the players before Judge Susan Nelson will be decided in their favor and that the NFL will then appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which it thinks will rule in its favor. It will not be decided until July forestalling any serious negotiations until then.
This, of course, overrides the “mediation’’ currently going on, which will resume again on Tuesday. And it means that the information I picked up casually more than a year ago is playing out exactly as it was forecast then.
It came as I was waiting for a plane to return from the Super Bowl — the one between the Saints and Colts, not the one between the Packers and Steelers. Jeff Pash, the league counsel and lead negotiator was there with his family and we were chatting about the game and other harmless information. When talk got around to the negotiations, Jeff simply said “we’ll get it done.’’
A week or so later, I was chatting with another senior NFL official and mentioned that to him. “Yeah,’’ this guy said. “But Jeff didn’t say when.’’
“Think summer’’ is what he eventually said and I’m thinking summer now. Hopefully.
Everyone is making money. The league says it wants to fix the “economic model.’’ I don’t know much about economic models and neither do most fans. When everyone is making money, you can adjust things without tearing them down. A lot of the owners think small — the ones most in favor of the lockout tend to have losing teams (and that includes you, Mr. Jerry “America’s Team’’ Jones).
The players aren’t blameless either — there remains evidence that they were fairly close to an agreement during the talks in Washington until Jeff Kessler the lawyer, who gains most if the game is in court rather than on the field, essentially vetoed the work of DeMaurice Smith.
As I said ....
Dumbest work stoppage in labor history.
Dave spent 41 years with the AP, the first part of of career covering politics, including the 1972, 1976 and 1980 presidential elections before switching to sports in 1982. From 1984 until he retired in 2009, Ihe was the main pro football writer. He has covered the last 27 Super Bowls and recently spent 1 1/2 years as a senior football writer for AOL Fanhouse. Follow Dave on twitter at @davegoldberg84.