In this moment of quandary between the NFL and NFLPA, it’s somewhat difficult to refrain from pulling out every strand of hair on your head. The media all but promised both sides would agree upon a new CBA by tonight, which meant the unrivaled intensity and admiration of American football would be restored as the NFL once again opened its doors.
Yet, once again, we are left wondering. Both sides have exhausted the bargaining aspect of this new CBA, yet news tonight tells us they’ve come up short on the collective agreement part of it. With the owners approving of this proposed deal, the players are left confused, befuddled, and exasperated. They’re claiming the owners basically made their own deal, leaving out important details that have yet to be bargained.
Chris Mortensen is reporting that the NFLPA might vote tomorrow, and there’s a slight chance that they will approve. At this point, though, it’s safe to say optimism has been laid to rest.
This false encouragement all began on March 3, when the current CBA was set to expire. As the clock crept toward midnight, Goodell announced that both sides would extend the deadline one more week as talks continued. As NFL fans collectively believed something would miraculously happen, a week passed and the NFLPA decertified as a union.
Fast forward to April 25. With the lights and awe of the NFL draft consuming NFL fans, we received a welcomed departure from the gloom of labor talks. Fans were burrowing through closets for their favorite team’s jersey, ESPN was talking about forty times instead of negotiations, and to make it all more perfect, Judge Nelson ruled on the side of the players and lifted the lockout. Was this it? Was this the end? Nope. A few days later, after draft boards were cleared, the lockout resumed.
In June, we heard of “secret” meetings between some NFLPA members, owners, and Goodell. When some thought this was the beginning of the end, we now realize that the secrecy was all for naught.
And now, tonight. The owners approve, the players don’t. The Hall of Fame game is canceled and the new CBA might be delayed another few weeks. America wants football, and over the past four months, we’ve been teased with possible harmony between players and owners. It’s time they get this done, and until they do, NFL fans will receive news cautiously because any hint of optimism has ultimately caused even more grief.