I agree with the owners wholeheartedly regarding the lockout situation. While I don’t like their millionaire/billionaire status and the NFL’s let’s make the rich get richer approach at the expense of the fans, I find the position of the players to be even more selfish and arrogant.
Does DeMaurice Smith really expect the fans to believe the NFLPA made a best effort to negotiate? It just wasn’t true according to the unbiased reports that have come out of the meetings.
The hollow sounding press releases of the NFLPA smacks of someone doing their best to cast blame in an effort to disguise his own failures.
I find it silly that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have made the decision to attach their names to litigation. The NFLPA used three big names in an effort to gain public support for their cause. Too bad for them most people aren't sympathetic to lawsuits by rich athletes seeking more money. The real issue is the selfishness of the NFLPA.
As for the Raiders, I find it interesting that Al Davis has remained completely quiet on the issues thus far - other than having images of current players removed where possible from the raiders.com web site. I didn’t check every other NFL team page but it seems that at least most of the other NFL franchises have a statement on their web site addressing the lockout and pending issues at hand. The Raiders web site talks about Raiderettes auditions, the Heidi Game and the 3-4 defenses of years past (as of right now when I last checked).
Raiders HQ would like fans to buy tickets, preferably season tickets. However, all the team has done since a Super Bowl drubbing January 26, 2003 is lose a lot of games - many at home, hire coaches at all levels that were the wrong fit, fire coaches in a spotlight of turmoil and sign overrated draft picks to enormous sums of money that reflects badly on the organization’s competence.
The loyal fans who do buy season tickets or fly in from locations around the country to see select games are entitled to a measure of respect for their loyalty. To my knowledge, season ticket holders have not yet received a letter from the organization at least making an earnest connection with people spending their hard earned money supporting other people's lifestyles. It would be easy for Raiders HQ to send such a letter. Something to the effect that "the situation will hopefully be resolved but no one knows yet. Thank you for your continued support".
I'm willing to lay odds that if such a letter eventually arrives it won't be signed by Al Davis. It will be signed by Amy Trask, the solitary dignified link between the franchise and the fans.
If any season ticket holders or booster club members would care to chime in, let us know what Undead Al has to say. Even a generic statement from Al would be an indicator he regards fans as something more than a means to fuel his empire. I don't think he has the moral fortitude to say anything except maybe down the road when he next has a press conference about something else and is asked about it.