NFL Lockout 2011: DeMaurice 'Self-Righteous' Smith vs. Roger 'The Fist' Goodell

Gary WolffContributor IIMay 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11:  NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith addresses reporters after the league and the NFL Players Association failed to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL.  (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Wouldn't it be so much quicker and so much more fun to see these to guys get in the Octagon and settle it in three rounds?  That's it. Fifteen minutes max, and the last one standing dictates the terms.

Would that be fair, Mr. Self-Righteous DeMaurice?  Look, before I go on my rant bashing DeMaurice, let me say that I understand the owners share a lot of blame for the current situation and that the owners could do a lot to facilitate some good will.  I get there is a very valid player perspective.  But this article will not be discussing that.

I just heard the tail end of DeMaurice whining like a double-speak lefty politician on Sirius NFL Radio.  I wish I caught the whole thing, but I didn't.  Yet I heard enough. 

This guy should run for office.  All he did was preach the same political correct garbage one can't escape today if you listen to any media outlet.  He's talking about what's fair.

He's talking about the lady in section 306 who has 'tree jobs mun' (three jobs for those who never saw In Living Color) and how the mean owners never came to tell her why they want to lock her out.

The character assassination game, the pulling on the heart strings, is bull dung.  The self-righteous attitude... DeMaurcie, go shove it!  You are the problem.  Are you a negotiator or are you looking to 'tear down the rich guy'? 

Just more class warfare that results in the exact thing he criticizes the owners for.  His attitude problem is keeping a deal from being struck, and therefore he is the culprit in keeping the players, the stadium employees, and others out of work.  He is the main reason the owners have dug in so deep.

DeMaurice put his foot in it as he stated, very passionately, that the day he got elected he believed the fans and the players wanted to see football more than the owners.  

His words paraphrased here, as he stammered through that statement, but that is the context of what he stated.

So DeMaurice has confessed that he already had the attitude that the owners were out to screw the players and he was going to be the sword of justice.

He's taken the attitude from the beginning that he's going to cut down the rich owners and make them equal to the little guy.  He is going to make the world a utopia of fairness, unicorns and honey.

In a fairy tale world, maybe fairness matters.  Maybe his arguments hold water in a college classroom. In the real world, however, his position is simply a path to a stalemate.  

He is not interested in a business agreement negotiated objectively with the perspective of the players in mind while understanding the owners' leverage and position.  He is interested in casting the stone that cracks open the head of Goliath.

DeMaurice insists the owners need to lift up their skirts and show 7-10 years of audited financials so he, the great DeMaurice Smith, can decide what's enough or too much profit.  No business owner will ever do this, nor should they.  

The players are employees.  The owners are the OWNERS.  They own a business.  They run the show. The employee can quit if he doesn't feel he's compensated to his liking.

Granted, that is not completely accurate due to the previous CBA's, but the concepts of owner and employee still remain even in this regulated business.

The players have been getting standard pay raises via the draft every year.  This has been going on for how many years?  Ten years, 20 years?  There is no industry in the world where the pay goes up automatically every year forever.  

In fact, any graph, pay, commodity pricing, flatulent activity of bovine a population, whatever it is you graph that has an upward trend, has pull backs before it can rise to newer heights.

The economy is in a shambles, in large part to attitudes like DeMaurice's.  The owners are feeling it, I'm sure. in the bottom line.  Sure, these guys have net worths in the billions, but that's why they can afford to own a team in the first place.  Who else can afford to take on the risk and responsibility of such a business.  

The bottom line is the owners need to share revenue to keep the league competitive, and thus to keep the fan base strong and growing, which leads to increases revenues, and thus increases in player money.  

The owners that bust their humps to squeeze out dollars from under every rock don't want to share more money with owners who don't work as hard.  

So the owners want to get some money back from the pool so the revenue sharing, that is the cornerstone of the ascension of the game, doesn't come out of their pockets entirely.

It's in the players' bests interests to comply with this.  In the long run, it will keep the league strong and their pay will continue to rise.

There are 32 wealthy owners who can withstand the lack of football more than the 2,000 players can weather it.  They were even shrewd enough to look out for their best interests by negotiating dollars to cover them during a potential work stoppage.

DeMaurice called this illegal, and it may be considering the federal regulations on the league.  I'm not a lawyer and I don't know.  But in my book, it was smart business.

The longer they hold out to try and pull the owners out of their lofty perches, the more money the players lose now and in the future.  These guys have short careers as it is.  The contracts are sky high. The benefits are spectacular.

They get perks and preferences that give them every advantage to succeed when they are out of football.  Many get endorsement deals in their local markets.  What the hell is the problem?

The problem is DeMaurice Smith isn't looking in a pragmatic, long term way to give back a little now, build some good will, and take two steps forward down the road.  DeMaurice is trying to judge and label the owners, and cast them in a negative light while putting himself up on a pedestal.

His unwavering demands for the employees of a company having the right to audit their employer and then dictate what their pay should be is absurd and a losing proposition.

He should have split the dollars the owners wanted to pull back from the pool, agreed to some sort of rookie wage scale, fattened a benefit pool for retired players, and dug in and denied the 18-game season.

We would have football, and the poor little lady with three jobs that keeps DeMaurice up at night fretting over her future, would be working.

There is business to be negotiated.  Get a business man to the table, and get rid of the politically correct lawyer who has a chip on his shoulder about who knows what, and the owners will negotiate and the problem goes away.