The owners of NFL teams are in a difficult position. When people go to their games they go to see Tom Brady, LaDainian Tomlinson or Ray Lewis: not Robert Craft (even if he is popular), Jim Itsay or any of the spawn (4) of the Hunt Brothers that own the Kansas City franchise. (All the owners are major contributers to the GOP except the community ownership if Green Bay.)
So if the owners lock the players out .... it is like McDonald's locking out Hamburger, or KFC chicken. As Leonard Cohen said, the are :"Locked into their sufferings and their pleasures are the key...."
Nevertheless they thought they had an ace in the hole. The contracts they negotiated with the TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX - and throw in ESPN and Comcast) guaranteed the would get at least a billion (yes, that is with a 'B') even if no games were played.
Roger (I am only there for the good of the game.)
Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL (here read owners bum-boy) was riding high. Now comes a big league DUH!
Roger negotiated the deal in 2009. The networks had to agree to adjust their costs to include this provision.
Hard to believe that in this time of Govs. Scott in Wisconsin or Perry in Texas or any other the other ideologues that campaign on responsible government about the US and then concentrate on kowtowing to their religious/ industrial backers, the US does have some labour laws.
One of them is that you have to bargan with your union 'in good faith'
- that means you must intend to do what you say you will do. (Used to be called honesty - but Gov. Scott just put the lie to that).
Whereas the NFL players (remember them) are paid in a percentage of total income of the game - then Roger was playing fast and loose with their contract. US District Judge David Doty looked at this situation and, as Charles Pierce says:
Hence, we have U.S. District Judge David Doty, who yesterday told the owners that, no, you don't get to fund your long-planned lockout with the TV cash you promised to share with the hired help. Most immediately, this is a fine kick in the head to hard-working' Roger Goodell and the plutocrats for whom he works so hard. But, between the lines, Doty's decision says much more than that. It says that, at least by the lights of a federal judge, NFL management has not acted in good faith for at least a year, and is not likely to act in good faith in the future.
I do not know what effect the addition the knowledge that they may not act in good faith in the future - but for now the playing field is back to as level as it always was .....