Friday Rants begins today where it should. With me.
I envisioned some of yesterday’s images from the current NFL labor situation a mile away but it was never noted here. So be it. Can’t take any credit for being psychic and there’s no reason for you to believe me. I shall therefore rant internally.
Because…last Friday it really did look to me like a deal was done. And in fact, owners DID approve something yesterday. I also made jest a week ago of potential minor sticking points. And in fact, there ARE sticking points, albeit it is still a bit confusing whether or not they are minor.
Once these negotiations got to this Owners Meeting time on the calendar, that created a giant podium/soap box for the billionaires who run the NFL to step before a football-hungry nation desperate for a deal and triumphantly say…”We voted unanimously (except for Al Davis…did you shake him to…make sure…you know…Al?) and we are ready to open camps. We have a deal.”
I did envision the NFL taking this late Owners Meeting date to amplify even louder they were our heroes. (DID I MENTION ACCORDING TO THE CALENDAR WE HAVE ONLY COMPLETED ONE WEEK OF SUMMER…oops, just used up a rant) There was little doubt the Owners would shove the Commissioner out before the cameras looking like the proud parent getting all his kids back in line.
What I did NOT envision was the NFL apparently sticking additional items in the alleged agreement, feigning shock the players claimed they did not know of said items, telling the players to get their union back together…how to do that…and by a certain date, etc.
I knew – heck, we ALL knew – the massive NFL PR machine would make it look like they were bringing sanity back to pro football.
What I don’t think we knew was how far they apparently would go to paint players in a corner and make jest of them.
And now of course, our country as one collectively turns to the players and say…”What are you waiting for? Let’s go.”
This happens in negotiation where you have no future vested interest in the other party…where there is no existing or future partnership. Unfortunately, even in 2011…the billionaires still don’t get how very fortunate they are there are people who want to play such a violent, life-altering game for our amusement…and if you picked up on the fact I’m a players’ guy in all this you would be correct. Get all you can.
Enough of that…it’s Friday…
1. I got a postcard in the mail yesterday from the NBA Store. It is offering me free shipping on orders over $75. The deadline was listed as 8/31. I called them and asked if that was 8/31/12…like a year from now?
NBA…thanks so much for the offer but from what we fans are hearing we’re not so sure our “favorite team’s fan gear” won’t be offered up as clearance items by the time you next play a game that counts. And as for your Store postcard having the tag line “Your Official Destination For All Things Basketball” a more accurate one sounds like ”Destination Nowhere.”
2. Speaking of the NBA, this week saw the debut of Shaquille O’Neal as an official Sports Talking Head. Appearing for NBA TV, Shaq commented about the Miami Heat. “The Miami Heat, they’ve got a lot of great players, the Big 2. And they will be back. ”
Shaq…you really broke new reporting ground providing such a unique take AND slighting Chris Bosh. You were admittedly great in small snippets of video and sound bites as an NBA player. What we all should be very afraid of now is, 1) this may be the most insightful thing you “analyze” during your entire career as an “NBA analyst” and, 2) the picture of you in a studio night after night trying to keep up your image as a witty, cutting-edge fellow…is not a pretty picture.
3. You may have heard Tiger Woods released his long-time caddie Steve Williams this week. I know some of you consider Golf a skill more so than a sport. To me, that’s important to keep in mind in this instance. Steve was not pleased of his dismissal, pointing out his loyalty and how difficult the last eighteen months has been in his association with Woods.
Steve Williams…you might be the most highly compensated caddie of all time. Congrats on that. I’m just here to point out you were Tiger’s…caddie. If you have a problem with Tiger the man go ahead and write your book. If you have a problem with being relieved of your duties…I’m just here to point out you were Tiger’s…caddie.