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SBD/January 20, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Current, Former NFLers Visit Capitol Hill To State Their Case In Labor Dispute
Published January 20, 2011
A LOT ON THE LINE: FOXSPORTS.com's Alex Marvez writes the NFL and the NFLPA are "engaged in a Cold War-style standoff," and Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith are the "Kennedy and Khrushchev in this impasse." Each "has his finger on the proverbial red button," and "should either side press it, the prospects of a 24th consecutive season without a work stoppage will become enveloped in a mushroom cloud." The fallout from a business standpoint "could be just as devastating," as the NFL is "riding a wave of unprecedented popularity and financial success." Marvez: "Common sense tells you common ground can be reached between the league and its players union before the CBA expires on March 4. There is no other reason for optimism" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/20). In San Jose, Mark Purdy writes the NFL "has had a terrific year as a product," as the league "actually increased in viewership this season." Attendance is "holding fairly steady, as well." Purdy: "Yup, sounds like the perfect time to go in and risk horrible damage to the most-followed and well-liked sports league in North America" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/20).
WHERE'S THE SENSE OF URGENCY? In Detroit, John Niyo notes Goodell and Smith "reportedly got together" yesterday in N.Y. Niyo: "Everyone hears the clock ticking, but what's alarming is the apparent lack of urgency. And that only fuels speculation, as I've felt all along, that while we won't lose the 2011 season ... we probably will lose a good chunk of the offseason" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/20). In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette noted the "public relations war between the players and owners ratcheted up Tuesday." But fans "don't really care who wins or loses in the next CBA." Frenette: "It's up to the players and owners to negotiate an agreement, but don't give us the tedious blow-by-blow details" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 1/19).