THE PLAYERS UNION KNOWS THEY'RE LICKED…DON'T THEY?

I’m so utterly confused by all of this pro-player sentiment, enough so that I wonder if age is part of it. I’ve heard it said that two things will turn you Republican: Taxes and children. Well, I don’t see that happening to me anytime soon (or ever, really) but I do know that the kind of anti-establishment “down with the man” stuff that fired me up as a youth has been replaced by a more practical, measured outlook. Call it wisdom or learning the hard way or whatever you want, but I’m pretty sure young me would call old me all sorts of horrible names.

See, I’m fucking mad enough to be still talking about this lockout in the first place, mainly because I swore I’d stop weeks ago. That’s the fundamental problem with this stuff: How can anyone feel satisfied arguing about someone else’s arguments? Doesn’t matter who you side with, really. Fact is, we’re being deprived of the sport some of us hold dearest and worse, we’re being forced to listen to the dispute in public, which is about as appealing as spending all your free time with that couple you know that fights incessantly and forces you to choose sides. Usually you go from trying to figure out who is right to trying to help them just settle it peacefully to not giving a fuck and wanting to get far, far away, in that order.

That’s me, firmly planted in that last stage and ready to talk about anything but this. Well, except for this one thing that nags at me to no end: The revenue split.

Bottom line is, the Owners want 50/50 and they are either determined to not back down or merely determined to make the players think they won’t. Me, I believe ’em, and better yet I believe they hold all the cards here. Why anyone thinks the owners are either wrong or not firmly in control here beats the hell outta me. No sane person could  give a shit that you are taking a pay cut in this beshitted economy or that you feel slighted or any of it. These are not relatable problems. If you were fighting for health care or basic benefits that alot of people have to do without these days you might have a shot at garnering sympathy, but you’re not. Fundamentally, all this is about is you not wanting to make less than the two billion dollars you made last year. That’s it. Sure, maybe the owners aren’t being 100% honest in their claims of operating losses and lack of profits, but none of that matters anymore. Face it, the union is absolutely licked here, period. Done. Sooner they swallow their pride, the sooner we can get on with salvaging as much of the season as possible and gird our loins for the same manic free-agent bonanza that made the NFL experienced in August.

That’s it. Sign the bloody 50-50 deal now and get on with it. Fuck off with all the “David Stern is trying to bully us” whining and make the fair deal while you still can. Like Stern himself said recently, the owners’ offer isn’t going to get better, it’ll get worse.

He isn’t lying.

JOHN HATHWELL

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