Cris Collinsworth With a Heavy Dose of NFL Lockout Pragmatism

I really don't know what the general consensus is concerning Cris Collinsworth's analysis and commentary. I personally love the guy - if I had to choose a dream team of commentators for Hawks' games it would probably be a combination of Cris Collinsworth, Jon Gruden, and Kevin Calabro or something. Anyway, everyone has their own opinion- some of you may tell me I'm a moron to think so but I just am a big fan of Collinsworth because he is always very quick to point out intricacies that I never would have noticed had he remained silent. To me, that makes a great analyst. If they just tell you what's happening and add no value I'm just as well to mute the TV. Anyhow I only bring it up because Collinsworth is a new addition to Twitter and he's been 'tweeting' some pretty interesting stuff concerning the NFL lockout. 

I put together a paragraph of his thoughts on it as if he weren't limited by the character maximum on twitter- so although his sentences are choppy, you will get the picture. Says Cris:

The only way a settlement will happen is if the 8th circuit lifts the lockout. Otherwise the owners will walk away from the table. If lockout is lifted, both sides will have MUCH to lose in court. Owners could lose on Anti-Trust grounds with treble (triple) damages. Players could lose the only hammer they ever had in negotiations, the threat of anti-trust litigation. I don't think either side will take the chance of losing it all, and a settlement will be reached. But only if the lockout is lifted.

If the lockout is not lifted, I predict no football until at least November, and maybe a season lost.

Think about it. Nobody gets serious about negotiations until there is a deadline. The real deadline is the start of the season. If negotiations go well, the CBA gets settled within 3 weeks of when the first game was supposed to start.
There will be a one week period to negotiate with free agents, both NFL and college. That takes us to October.

Training camp has to be at least 2 weeks. Maybe a preseason game or two. That takes us to the end of October. Games start after that. Think about NFL rookies. Most never get the team's final offer until the start of training camp. Power negotiations. Make him hold out.

Why would the NFL make a serious offer until the players started missing game checks? As long as the owners can lock out the players, the real negotiations won't start until September. Why would they? Important difference in this work stoppage (from the last one): In 1982 and 1987 we had a full training camp and played two regular season games before strike. It is possible in this work stoppage that the teams won't even be set when CBA is settled. We played a week later, may not be possible here.

When the lockout was lifted for that day or two, I wanted it to last a month so free agents could be signed. That would have eliminated some of the time needed after a CBA settlement. Free agency, training camp, pre-season all take time. I hope both sides wake up. Everyone is putting a happy face on something that could destroy something that is valuable to America. Hate it. Good night all. Early start tomorrow. Give me ideas on how to push this CBA forward. Get creative. I will try to make some noise.

Though he paints a pretty ugly picture if the lockout is not lifted on June 3rd, a lot of the things he's saying make a lot of sense. Though gloomy, he appears to be thinking logically, and this scares me a lot because a lot of the stuff he states there are hard to argue against. You'd like to believe the pressure mounting from the approaching season would force them to get to the table early so no games are lost, but the fact is neither side is going to offer concessions until they absolutely have to and this game of chicken will last until the absolute last minute or even into the season before someone yields. Or that's how it appears anyway.

Since it looks like nothing is going to happen one way or another until the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals holds it's hearing in St Louis on June 3rd, let's all hold out hope that they rule in favor of lifting the lockout so the two sides can get back to the mediation table and bang out a CBA. If not, and if Collinsworth is anywhere near correct, we could be looking at a very real possibility of missed games or even a missed season in 2011. Heavy sigh. 

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