When I was 21 years old, I was married for the first time. Shortly after we got engaged, my first wife and I went to register for gifts (You go to various stores and pick out the gifts you want people to buy you, then the store tells your selections to anyone who comes in to buy your gift).
I didn't really care about plate patterns, or what kind of thread count the sheets had. Minor things like that were really not important to me.
About 15 minutes in, an older gentleman approached me. He saw what was going on with me and my wife, and gave me some of the best advice I have ever heard.
He said, every time I say I don't care what she picks, she gets what she wants. When it comes to things that I want, I then have to make a concession to get what I want.
He said, everything I don't really care about, tell her that I would like something different than what she picked out. When she explains why she wanted it, let her have it, but do so reluctantly.
That way, when I see something I really wanted, I could say, "Well, I let you have the toaster you wanted, the blender, the silverware. The least you can do is let me put this DVD/VCR combo on the list" (It was the early 90's, leave me alone). And she would have to let me have it.
Strategy worked to a T. If that gentleman is reading this...THANK YOU. I am thinking now, that the gentleman is working for the NFL.
Recently, the NFL has really been shoving its weight around with the NFLPA. First, they told them that they were going to add two games to the NFL regular season. They didn't ask, they TOLD them. What did the NFLPA do?
Three weeks ago, the NFL decided that the way some players were playing, was just too severe, and had to be toned down. In one week, the NFL dished out $175,000 in fines to three players for three hits. What has the NFLPA done?
The NFL/NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of this football season. The NFL is saying that the players are making too much money, and they need to increase the profit of the teams, so they can afford new stadiums.
If the players do not accept less money, then the NFL will lock out the players, and there will be no football next year.
But wait...not so fast.
The NFL can lock out the NFLPA. But, that does not mean that there will be no football.
To this point, 25 teams have voted to de-certify the union, if in fact no agreement can be made with the NFL. That basically means that, the NFLPA will be gone, and the players will be individuals, working for the individual teams. All players will be forced to abide by the rules set forth by the NFL.
Here is the problem for the NFL. Because 32 teams make up the NFL, but yet, are 32 different businesses, with 32 different owners, the players that are now without union representation, will have to file an anti-trust suite against the NFL, because each individual team, even though it is its own company, are having to abide by rules that are not beneficial to themselves (Draft, salary cap, roster maximum, etc.).
The reality of the situation is that, neither the NFL or the NFLPA WANT there to be a work stoppage. The NFL does not want to lose that kind of revenue, and the players certainly don't want to be losing their check every week.
The NFL is playing this game, the EXACT same way that I learned that day.
Does the NFL like to see those violent hits? No question. I would bet if you were sitting with Roger Goodell when the Steelers played the Browns, he would have jumped when James Harrison hit Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi.
But, in order to get his way down the road, he had to act like he didn't like it.
When this is discussed at the end of the year, Goodell will probably go the route that Troy Polamalu suggested.
He will allow there to be a panel of players, coaches, front office people and former players, to determine what fines will be levied against players for "Big Hits". And, I will be willing to bet that the fines are no where near what they are this year.
Everything will work itself out, and NFL football will one day, be like it was a few weeks ago. At least, that is what we all hope for.