Draft day has become a day to look forward to for many of us for many years. From my school skipping days when we use to invade the Main Place Mall to hear Van Miller or Rick Azar calling the picks. (For those of you that are too young to remember the draft use to be on a weekday and on the radio.) To running draft parties when I was in the bar business. To getting together at a buddies house for the first few rounds enjoying each others company while talking football, enjoying great food and of course Libations-sometimes to the point of having to sleep over. Now with the draft on a week night we talk by the phone but still have our pool an argue over who the Bills will or did pick.
What brings me to sadness is the thought that this my be the last Draft or the NFL as we currently know it. Call it what you want a lockout or a strike but this one is different then any labor issues in the past. The owners out smarted themselves by negotiated a TV deal at lower rates to cover their asses during a work stoppage only to be called out. Now the players have won in court to prevent the lock-out and again the owners have mud on their collective faces. I wonder what Jerry Jones & company now think of Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown's lack of approval on the last CBA.
The scary part is the NFL is now in the hands of the courts and lawyers. Anything can happen to the league that a good number of the population loves. There are already lawyers making comments on how it is illegal for the league to conduct drafts, salary caps, contingencies on free agency, revenue sharing and teams should be operated like separate entities. I'm sure agents, the legal beagles an some owners such as Jerry Jones & Danny "Kiss My Fanny" Snyder would love the league to me more like baseball. This way they can corner the high profile players and to hell with the small market teams. Signing players would become a free for all. Who would benefit? Just follow the money trail Lawyers, Agents and Players Oh My!!
We're going to watch tonight's Draft and place the labor issues on the back burner while we enjoy ourselves. In the back of our minds we know this could be the the last semblance of the NFL we have come to love!!