NFL lockout will end soon because money trumps stupidity

It's no surprise that Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are closely guarding their pockets. (AP photo)

It's no surprise that Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are closely guarding their pockets.

Not much has changed in 8,000 years.

Long before collective bargaining Armageddon, back when the tribes of Mesopotamia were looking for a good deal in about 6000 B.C., humans didn’t have shekels to spend. So they bartered. Among the things available for trade: cattle, services, sometimes even skulls. In 2011, as NFL owners and players fight over how to divide $9.3 billion a year – a problem we certainly all can relate to – it’s pretty much the same things that are on the table: cattle, services, sometimes even skulls.

This really is just a glorified swap of goods and services. Players offer their talents. Owners offer salaries, uniforms and a stage for players to try to impress sponsors and woo beauty queens into marrying them. (Unfortunately, this is where things fell apart for Dallas wide receiver Roy Williams. He mailed former Miss Texas a $76,000 engagement ring, expecting to wow her, but didn’t realize that she had once drafted him for her Fantasy League team and soon came to realize he was a waste of space.)

Back to the NFL lockout: There are indications it is going to end soon. This conclusion isn’t based merely on the sudden marathon bargaining sessions or the lack of public bombast so much as it is pure logic: Money trumps stupidity seven days a week — and twice on Sunday.

Owners and players are getting to a dangerous point, the relative forbidden zone for CEOs: blather and rhetoric are going to start costing them real dollars.

As the long-time respected agent Pat Dye Jr. said Friday, “It serves as a real impetus in negotiations when there’s a chance you’re going to start losing money. There’s a golden goose out there. They have to figure a way out of this.”

They will. As soon as in five minutes. As late as in a week to 10 days. Football economics mandate it.

If NFL officials speak the truth, preseason games, for all of our disdain of them, generate $200 million per week. Even $9 billion empires don’t take hits like that lightly. Jerry Jones might have to switch to cheaper olives in one of his stadium’s three martini bars. Should the lockout extend beyond next weekend, preserving four weeks of exhibitions becomes problematic.

There needs to be time for front offices to learn the parameters of the new CBA, which likely will include a rookie wage scale and an adjusted salary cap. There needs to be a scrambled period for free agency. There may need to be a tweaking of training camp schedules and cutdown dates, given that owners and players have spent the entire offseason throwing their Mont Blancs at each other.

In the end, what we’re likely going to be left with are rushed signings, several pulled hamstrings early in training camp and a slightly dinged NFL brand.

Eventually, games will start. This will fade into the background, like the Redskins. As Dye said, “There will be some fallout, but it’s going to be a little like labor, no pun intended. It’s horrible when you’re going through it but when the baby comes out you forget all about it.”

Except that the birth of  a child is a blessed event. This has been a pie fight that never should’ve happened. It was a buzz-kill that wrecked the atmosphere of the draft and smothered the usual storylines of free agency.

NFL owners have whined throughout about lost revenue when the fact is that they’re just upset local governments won’t pay for their stadiums any more. Roger Goodell, the commissioner, pushed the ridiculous idea of an 18-game regular season when he already has rosters of players who struggle to walk and think clearly after 16. DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, never has seemed to be in a great hurry to get a deal done. Fans never should have been put through this.

The NFL was coming off a great season with the most viewed Super Bowl in history (an average of 111 million viewers in the U.S., eclipsing the previous record by 4.5 million). This was a dumb way to follow it up.

But expect the lockout to end soon. If another week passes, owners and players realize the value of their stock drops. And nobody is that stupid.

By Jeff Schultz

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Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC


59 comments Add your comment

beauvighn

July 9th, 2011
2:13 pm

Oh yes…they are that stupid…whatever agreement they reach could have been reached weeks or months ago…

chalkdawg4

July 9th, 2011
2:23 pm

Let the strike go on another couple of weeks. Skip the preseason.

P-Man

July 9th, 2011
2:35 pm

I’ll believe it when I see it…

1eyedJack

July 9th, 2011
2:38 pm

Well, Ol’ Judge Greenteeth kicked the leg out from under the player’s stool. That probable took some wind out of the player’s sails.

I like the idea of a rookie wage scale, but the owners need to cough up more money to insure and take care of these gladiators in their “golden” years.

On the other hand these guys should know what the deals is and save some dough. That job is no more dangerous than the guy who has to ride a bucket up into the wires in a thunderstorm.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Festus

July 9th, 2011
3:26 pm

Well said Jeff. If this thing does mess up the season, I might have to spend time with my family on Sundays this Fall… or perhaps work in the yard or clean the bathroom… it is getting scary.

2 Saints Fans, 1 Cup

July 9th, 2011
3:35 pm

Rats!

I was hoping I would NEVER have to watch or read about another NFL or NBA game again.

2 Saints Fans, 1 Cup

July 9th, 2011
3:37 pm

How many more times will Hines Ward, former UGA “star,” be put in handcuffs by police during the NFL Lockout?

2 Saints Fans, 1 Cup

July 9th, 2011
3:40 pm

Some parents are so cruel.

Honestly, who in their collective right mind names their child “DeMaurice?”

collegeballfan

July 9th, 2011
4:35 pm

“NFL lockout will end soon because money trumps stupidity”

Since when?

2 Saints Fans, 1 Cup

July 9th, 2011
4:43 pm

Didn’t all of Hines Ward’s MONEY just get trumped by his STUPIDITY for DUI?

Joshua

July 9th, 2011
5:31 pm

NFL is huge, But It cannot take a 9 billion dollars revenue hit in the mouth. The Networks like cbs or NBC will just not allow it. They make way to much money from commericals sponsors other things. This isnt about the players right now its not even about the owners at this point, they had their time now its getting serious. If no deal is made within the next week, Huge impacts start to take tole on companys that have put their trust in the NFL and have deals to be done. People are forgiving we will watch the day it ends. Business’ are not so easily pursuaded. This will be done in five days exactly mark my words no sooner no later on the 14th the will suddenly come to an agreement because it will impact the preseason if they dont, which brings in more money then the whole hockey season! LMAO. Fans hold strong its almost over then we can argue once again on who is the team to beat and where all these free agents are goin ! Five DAYS CANT WAIT!

bass stringerfish

July 9th, 2011
5:45 pm

Can we some clauses in the new cba that says it’s illegal for a player to hold out after they (and their agent) signs a contract? Can we get it to say stop acting like European soccer players when a TD is scored? Can we get owners off the sidelines? Can we ask players to refrain from thanking God for the win as if the other team are athiests? Can we ask that no one says they are disrespected because their offer was 7 million and not 9? Can we set aside money to pay former players that weren’t part of all this silliness?
Can we just play the game already?

extremus

July 9th, 2011
5:50 pm

Never underestimate man’s capacity for greed…or stupidity, Mr. Schultz. And this is a case where the two are feeding off of each other.

2 Saints Fans, 1 Cup

July 9th, 2011
6:04 pm

Do locked out NBA players collectively have lower a IQ than the locked out NFL players, or do LeBron James interviews just skew that perception?

Delbert D.

July 9th, 2011
7:22 pm

Let them both lose.

Howard

July 9th, 2011
7:33 pm

Jeff…speaking of Jerry Jones, did you read in the ESPN magazine where parking at Texas Stadium in their lot costs $75 for three hours? Jerry must make a fortune off that one, I’d bet.

slydog

July 9th, 2011
7:39 pm

in the end, the owners win like always. the players give up some money up front and the rookies get a wage scale. the owners have save millions and possibly billions by not having to pay salary, bonuses, and other incentives during the offseason ( sean weatherspoon missed a 3.5 million dollar payment). players who just made it into free agency are now restricted, until further notice, and unable to test the market. whether it starts on time or next year, the owners have won and will always win until the players write their own checks.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

July 9th, 2011
7:46 pm

CHOKE is 26 going on 30 and still no playoff wins………..

What’s up with that Jeffrey? :)

SBC Pastor

July 9th, 2011
7:51 pm

Money trumps Stupidity? Oh, were that always so!

Don’t get me wrong, I hope you are right and that this lockout ends soon. However, if the real conflict is about who is in charge (as opposed to who gets how much money) then this could last a while.

"Chef" Tim Dix

July 9th, 2011
8:14 pm

As constructed, players have the right to cash one check. The better news, the owners don’t care.

About each other.

Why not get rid of the cap and follow the baseball model?

Tide Rising

July 9th, 2011
8:42 pm

NFL lockout will end soon because money trumps stupidity- Jeff

If that were true then none of the previous strikes/lockouts would have happened.

Sportaree

July 9th, 2011
9:06 pm

This kinda reminds me of the kid who sticks his hand into the candy jar, grabs a handful of candy, only to find out he can’t get his hand out of the jar without letting some of it go.

The Spirit of UGA VII

July 9th, 2011
9:09 pm

Oh yes…they are that stupid. . .

See picture above. I rest my case. Nothing but flab between the ears of either gentleman.

Remarkable

July 9th, 2011
9:39 pm

It will end soon, and YES money will be the motivator, but they are THAT stupid. You are going to have lots to write about with all the free agents moving teams. We are going to have lots to suggest as to where to spend money and on who. The fun will start this year before the first pre-season game even kicks off. Who knows how it will shake out, but I for one think blogs like this one are going to be very interesting over the next few weeks. I was beginning to think that all we hat to look forward to was the Braves and college football.

Vain Jangling

July 9th, 2011
9:55 pm

You’re right, Jeffro. Stupid is as stupid does, but money changes everything.

Sportaree

July 9th, 2011
10:08 pm

Remarkable
You are correct, the fun will start soon and it will be interesting to see how things shake out.

Coach Grohbo

July 9th, 2011
10:26 pm

Stupidity trumps all at UGA.

But not in the NFL.

You are right, Jeff. This will end soon.

Saban

July 9th, 2011
10:27 pm

All unions should cease to exist! They all are that stupid!!

kollij games is gooder anywae

July 9th, 2011
10:39 pm

Da proze in both sports, baskitball and futball is spoled chilren. I cante wate for tha Tide to rowl.
Sabun is tha best koache in sports

Money trumps stupid...ego trumps all

July 9th, 2011
10:44 pm

The owners are determined, I think, to ’show ‘em who’s boss’. It’ll go on longer than it should, and the league will pay for it for a few years, ala MLB after we lost the World Series to a bunch of egomaniacs.
The owners have convinced themselves, mostly, that inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars means you are a genius. The players have convinced themselves, mostly, that being born with an ability to run fast, catch a ball or simply tip the scales at 350 makes them more important than the league.
The league was here before any of them, and it’ll be here after all of them.
So, in the immortal words of Senator Blutarksy, ‘Have a brew, it don’t cost nothin’ ‘

afan

July 9th, 2011
11:26 pm

U right Jeff. Now Play ball!

Ole Smoky

July 9th, 2011
11:40 pm

I just wish they could fix “stupid”….

PTC DAWG

July 10th, 2011
12:11 am

If I was an owner, I would be in favor of firing them all.

Stinger2

July 10th, 2011
5:46 am

Jeff, I agree with your statement about money over stupidity. However, there may be another factor to consider: Who has the greatest “staying power”?
Collectively, I waould guess the owners. They have more options some of which may not be good but the players have fewer. So I say the owners. What are your thoughts on this point?
The owners c

Ted Striker

July 10th, 2011
7:04 am

1) You mentioned the barter of cattle, services, and skulls. I assume that includes the “world’s oldest profession.”

2) Pat Dye, Jr. is indeed long respected. His daddy? Not so much.

Paddy

July 10th, 2011
7:24 am

Bass stringerfish….you hit it out of the park son with your post. I really like the idea of owners not being on the field. Still have nightmares of Mr Blank pushing Mike Vick in that wheelchair!

Big Dawg Cobb

July 10th, 2011
8:03 am

Never underestimate the stupidity of just about everyone I say…

JackDennis

July 10th, 2011
8:13 am

Feed’em all fish.

Larry

July 10th, 2011
8:17 am

Yes, as a STH, nothing would be better than to have this last just long enough for me to not pay full price for my four tickets ($600.00) and $50.00 parking for each of two practice games.

Yep, that’s $1300.00 for tickets and parking for two practice games plus however many $4.00 cokes with heavy ice we all four drink!

Just typing this now is a sudden realization–I’m feeling kind of like a stupid sucker!

dallas cowboys

July 10th, 2011
12:44 pm

the falcons are praying that the lockout continue after that beat down in the dome last season matty ice sucks roddy white sucks mike turner sucks arthur blanks fakes jerry jones sucks

JASon

July 10th, 2011
1:56 pm

“nobody is that stupid.”

I think you may be giving them too much credit.

5150 UOAD

July 10th, 2011
2:20 pm

NFL lockout will end soon because money trumps stupidity?????
Money and the NFL is STUPIDITY magnified.
Cam Newton
Sam Bradford
Matt Stafford
JaMarcus Russell
Alex Smith
Carson Palmer
David Carr
Mike Vick
Look at the Money spent on Stupid #1 picks. The NFL is ALL about stupidity and money.

Douglas

July 10th, 2011
2:53 pm

Give me college FB anytime…who cares about NFL!

heartofdarkness

July 10th, 2011
3:34 pm

I wonder if Mrs. Dye, Jr. endorses that comment about forgetting about labor during childbirth.

Joe Tess Fish House

July 10th, 2011
4:21 pm

I am sooooo tried of these cry baby players. they are maling millions and they go on strike 4 more. I say good ridance I say.

spider

July 10th, 2011
4:27 pm

There are people that stupid Jeff. They are the one’s dumb enough too buy tickets to support pro sports
.

Aquagirl

July 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

Glad I spent the afternoon watching women’s soccer. No lockouts, no pouting, no arrest reports, players staying after to sign autographs for service members. I guess that’s why it’s not a real sport.

5150 UOAD

July 10th, 2011
5:08 pm

First day back after the NFL lockout ALL the players should have to pee in the cup.

BirdDawg24

July 10th, 2011
5:33 pm

if everyone will stop watching the games,stop buying tickets to the games, stop buying any kind of nfl merchandise.stop supporting the nfl., but it has to be everyone to get the message across ,like thats gonna happen…….everyone is mad now, but as soon as the season starts. it will be whoo hoo the birds are going to the superbowl,,,,, same ole same ole,we all get to run out and buy a new ryan jersey…. now how much was his contract?