It’s been official for the past two days so far…the NFL team owners have performed the inevitable lockout for the off-season, and the NFL players union has decertified and essentially dissolved itself for representing players. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service did very little to alter the state of discontent on both sides of the field. This agency’s mediator and director, George Cohen, simply could not find common ground when $9 billion annual revenues are at stake. The NFL players, including New England Patriots Tom Brady and Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, are now pursuing antitrust lawsuits against the team owners. The NFLPA originally demanded full disclosure of the financial records of team owners over the past 10 years, but the team owners conceded a bit but not that much. What separated the two groups was $185 million, but with the lockout in effect, it won’t be resolved anytime soon.
This is history — and disappointment — for football fans since this is the first work stoppage since 1987. With all these lawsuits in the woodwork by the NFL players, it will take some time for the hearing and decisions to be made. Until then, we’ve got March Madness coming soon and opening days for the respective MLB teams.