Friday, March 4, 2011

Labor Talks head into OT

The NFL and NFLPA were able to reach agreement on, first a 24 hour CBA extension, and then a 7-day extension. The sides continue to talk (although they'll get the weekend off), in the hopes of reaching a deal.


If the sides are talking, they aren't locking out, or spewing venom. Both sides have done a good job of keeping the talks to themselves, and not spilling it into the media (which stinks for us inn the business). This is being done at the behest of mediator George Cohen. Both sides agreed to zip their lips, and have done that. That's fine. When it all gets settled, we'll all get the details. The point is, they are talking.


The fact that both sides knew the deadline was looking, and they did nothing to try and avert this situation while there was time. True, it is the nature of negotiations that things get done when the deadline draws near, but these sides are playing a high stakes game of chicken where more than their interests are affected if it all goes bad. IF there is a lockout that drags into the season, it's not just the players, coaches and owners that will feel it. It will be felt by vendors, the schools that depend on Panthers games for fundraising efforts, local businesses that thrive on gameday crowds. You name it, one NFL Sunday has a bigger impact on people than whether their favorite team wins or loses. None of that mattered to the sides with 2 years of knowing this was coming, so why would they use an extra 7 days to get a deal in place?

The ruling that went in favor of the NFLPA was key in forcing the owners hand a little more, but still, this thing could have been avoided.

Let's hope these two sides can reach an agreement that works for everyone. Fans, and folks that depend on the NFL deserve to be treated right.

Mike Solarte

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