2011 NFL Lockout: The League's Strategy is to Miss Regular Season Games

There is still nothing official to update on the 2011 NFL Lockout, and the regular season start date moves closer. Well, that's not entirely true. The court appointed mediation resumed today, but as we'll discuss in a couple of paragraphs this may be of little consequence. First we have to give a shout-out to the 8th Circuit Supreme Bum-Outs.

The Supreme Bum-Outs are cold kicking it while sitting on their decision to turn a temporary stay to a permanent stay—a stay that would remain in place for the duration of the expedited appeal. Can someone put in a motion for an expedited ruling on the permanent stay pending an expedited appeal? The only thing being expedited is my permanent resentment!

While I, and am sure many of you have, pinned my hopes on the Judge Nelson's ruling to lift the lockout bringing us back to football while the sides negotiated a new CBA it may be a moot point anyway. As we discussed a little over a week ago the NFL owners may be prepared to circumvent the lifted lockout by completely going out of business. The validity of this rumor has been debated. But ProFootballTalk has cited Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal as hearing from multiple sources that the rumors are true:

While the courts might rule that the league cannot lock out a non-union workforce, the league could up the stakes by essentially locking everyone out, business-side too. Sources who have talked to the NFL about the plans certainly do not describe them as definite but acknowledge that the idea of a complete shutdown has been considered.  Many outside the league see this as simply a threat, but the league’s strategy all along has been if the players don’t bend early to get the work stoppage into the regular season so game checks are missed.

The most depressing part of this whole statement is the finish. The league's plan has been to miss time in the regular season. This tells me the league has little interest in engaging in fair negotiations in the mediation or in any other setting. They seemed more determined to not give an inch than they do to protect the game or consider the needs of the fan. Here's to hoping people come to their senses before we start missing games!

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