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NFL CBA and Reasonable Expectations

This morning Jeff Saturday, a part of the NFLPA negotiating team for the NFL CBA pointed out the root cause of the constant disputes with Roger Goodell.  The NFLPA’s reasonable expectation when it signed the CBA was that the punishments meted out under the personal conduct policy would be in line with past precedent as would the investigative process which had always honored privacy rights and due process.The NFL believes that it has unlimited and unfettered power to impose whatever punishments it wishes while defining offenses in its sole and exclusive judgment.  It also seems to believe that by signing the CBA, the NFLPA waived all personal and due process rights of the players.  Courts, sponsors and fans must now decide who is right – the totalitarian regime of Roger Goodell or the rule of law.

Questions No Commentator Has Addressed

If the Judge validates the NFL discipline, does the CBA waive Brady’s right to sue for defamation?

If Brady sues for defamation and proves the NFL imposed its sanctions to force him to waive his rights, would such a finding constitute “malice” and could it be sufficient for Brady to recover punitive damages?

If he recovers punitive damages, who will pay?  Will insurance cover the NFL?

Does the anti-trust exemption cover cooperative tortious conduct?

Does the CBA waive Brady’s right to privacy under state and federal law?

Missed Opportunity

The game of football has become so complex, it now rivals Windows 8!  By keeping the game mysterious, the NFL is missing a huge income producing and promotional opportunity.  Having lived abroad for many years, the complexity of the game is a major obstacle to expansion of interest.

To start, the NBC could make “Must See TV” for fans, coaches and aspiring players, by creating a show that teaches the basics of football using animation.  One part would show the meaning of terms used like “Cover One”, Cover Two”, etc. in a basic X’s and O’s format while another could concentrate on positional techniques – again using animation instead of ex-players trying to demonstrate.  The key would be to use clear animation instead of the interactive videos of old games that are almost impossible for the fan to really understand.

In addition, a book “American Football for Dummies” or the like could be used as a huge promotional tool both domestically and internationally.  That would be a cheap yet effective expansion tool, particularly if translated into foreign languages!

Why not do a story on how to expand interest, understanding and income for the teams?