A fund raiser for hope, but little lives in NFL labor

Last night on Purple Passion, our weekly Ravens round table on WBAL Radio, Ravens Safety Haruki Nakamura offered some perspective from a player that thoroughly resonated.  With friends and family stuck in the middle of an unprecedented nuclear / natural disaster, Nakamura naturally wants to help.

To do so, he calls on his teammates.  Nakamura sets up a fund raiser for April 2nd.  A giant autograph show at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen will create the funds.  He can’t do it at M&T Bank Stadium, or with the help of the team.  Not with a lockout shutting down business between franchises and players.  But it’s a good bet a giant anonymous check will be cut with Aerotek in the left hand corner. All the details have yet to be worked out, but we’ll have them for you when they are.

I share this of course to help spread the word of a way to those that really, really need it right now, but the conversation also clarified thoughts on the labor pains from a local level.

Nakamura went to his teammates and says they immediately have hopped on board to help. count  Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco among the many that have committed.  Nakamura praised his mates relentlessly saying he’s heard the “horror stories” about other locker rooms around the league.  Selfish guys that would just as soon fight themselves as for each other.

But Nakamura didn’t stop there.

Next he praised the Ravens organization from top to bottom.  He says they have the  best owner in the league, and isn’t worried about getting the labor issues resolved.

No animosity, no calling names, no attempt to intimidate all of which we have seen from both sides outside of Baltimore.

Ravens cornerback Chris Carr also joined us on the program and in a very calm, non hyperbolic fashion, stated why the players chose to decertify.

For most of the talks the players had people in the meetings that were authorized to make decisions.  The NFL did not.

Carr claims the players still just want to know why a pay cut is necessary, and that if the owners are willing to show them, they will take it.

Okay, very reasoned thoughts from Carr, again without screaming or name calling. It leaves me to believe if the Ravens players and Steve Bisciotti were to sit down at a table, a deal could be worked out before anyone cuts down the nets at the Final Four.

This labor fight surely goes one of two ways.

Remedy A, the fans will like.  It has the players winning the April 6 court date ending the lockout forcing the the NFL to open back up for business and work on a new collective bargaining agreement while the game goes on.  It will probably take years to conclude the anti-trust suit, but fans don’t care.  We’ll have football.

Remedy B sees the owners win on April 6.  That victory would keep the game shelved, and the game of chicken alive.  A game in which the owners would be driving a Hummer and the players a Prius.  History says eventually the players will fold and succumb to a new CBA.  But they might hold out well into next season, or through it,  thus costing us all football.

The view from our vantage point remains annoyed.  Why the most successful sports league in the world can’t figure out how to share without a work stoppage boggles all our minds.

But remember, the two sides live in a completely different world.  They can afford to fight a cut throat battle because the game is so popular and valuable.  History also says as fans we will return without missing a PSL beat.  We will once again buy thetickets, the jerseys, go to training camp, and watch every moment on television.  The players and owners probably do feel a little bad about all of this, but nowhere near enough to sacrifice some of the pie for us.

We’ve treated them as gods, showered them in praise, and buried them in money.  And now we expect them to act like normal human beings?  Not a chance.


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