It was announced on Monday night that judge Susan Nelson had temporarily lifted the NFL lockout. It is being appealed, of course, but this still meant that players could finally return to their teams’ training facilities immediately.
Tuesday came and many players were excited to return to training. One player in particular, Josh Cribbs of the Browns, tweeted his excitement about being able to return to training.
However, the players arrived and were informed by security that they could not train.
Image source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images via NYTimes.com
They were allowed to enter the facility, but they could not use the weight room. They could also not meet with their coaches. Basically, the lockout was lifted, but the NFL decided it could continue to operate as it had been.
I do not understand why the owners continue their plea for more money. Their business is based off of their players, and they are not allowing these players to improve their skills. That was the main argument presented by the players in court: that their careers were being negatively affected.
The money that these owners want is all directly (gate receipts) and indirectly (TV revenue) from fans of the NFL, and the owners are doing everything in their powers to anger fans. All fans want is for their teams to play. They do not want to have to worry about what is going on in court.
Rick Reilly of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com has recently written a few articles on the lockout. In one he talked about the lavish lifestyles of the owners, while some players are doing odd jobs to generate an income during the lockout. The fact is that the owners do not need the extra money that they are demanding. Many former NFL players have physical and mental issues, and are left with no help. Instead of financing their lavish lives, the owners should focus on the people who make their money.
A lot of blame is falling on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Some are calling for him to resign, but I feel that the blame truly resides in the owners. They are the ones who want the extra money, and Goodell is obligated to be on their side. He will likely be booed at the draft on Thursday, but the fans should really be booing the owners. The problem is that the owners are busy in one of their three houses, so the fans will find a scapegoat in Goodell.
Judge Nelson’s decision will likely stand in the Court of Appeals, and the players will get their way. Still, the big problem remaining is when a CBA will be signed. Hopefully this can be done before any training camp is missed.
I think I speak for all of us when I say: we just want our football.