This summer has been a complete mess! The lockout has depressed the sports world and has left many football fans very bitter. If there is one thing football fans can agree on, it’s that we all want this lockout to end. During these rough times, tons of information has been put out there BUT there is also a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on that only NFL insiders know about. That being said, I went out and got an interview with NFL Network lockout specialist Albert Breer (@albertbreer). Here is everything Albert informed me about the lockout and a few things you might not be aware of.
1) What are a few things the fans know the least about in this whole lockout process?
I think the one thing that’s been glossed over, at times, is the magnitude of this negotiation. Since 1993, the parties have basically been renewing the previous CBA, and so this kind of change in the way the deal is structured really is a once-in-a-generation thing. Or at least you’d hope it is. The owners are looking for a deal that can work for a couple decades going forward, and the players are looking, under new leadership, to set a tone for the future of this relationship. Some very long-term interests are at stake here, and the end result could be another long period of labor peace. All things considered, if this thing gets done soon, I’d say getting that would be worth the pains of the last few months.
2) How would you describe Goodell and De Smith’s relationship?
I don’t think it was bad before, so much as it was non-existent. The advantage that Gene Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue had in knowing each other was important in past talks, and I think that’s something that Smith and Goodell have had to develop, and I do think it’s getting there. Ultimately, it won’t be what gets a deal done – Deadlines and threat of losing money do that nicely. But having the leadership of each side understand where his counterpart is coming from, and having a common goal (a lucrative future for everyone) certainly helps with the pace of talks, and helps each side ride out the inevitable bumps of negotiation. The progress of the last few weeks is due to the looming scheduled start of training camps. But I think having Goodell and Smith build a rapport is certainly a contributing factor to things moving along.no comments