New England Patriots Links 3/08/11 - Tom Brady Wearing A Ponytail Is 'News'? Settle The Damn CBA And Bring Back Football

Gerry Callahan sees the NFL in Charlie Sheen's world, with the owners deserving every ounce of criticism they're getting.

We’ve been hearing it for weeks now: They’re all rich. They’re all greedy. They’re all spoiled. You can wish a pox upon all their mansions if you’d like, but you cannot say both sides are to blame. Not unless you answer me this: What did the players do to deserve any blame? How are they greedy?

And what did they do wrong? They negotiated too good a deal in 2006? Well, damn them. How dare they?

And how exactly were the players supposed to avert this showdown? The owners opted out of the CBA. The owners demanded an extra billion off the top. The owners will soon demand two more regular-season games. The owners insist they are operating under an untenable business model, but the owners refuse to show the players their books. That’s fine; that’s their right.

But how could the players — hell, how could anyone — believe the owners are hurting when a) the NFL revenue reached a record $9.3 billion last year, b) no team declared bankruptcy, c) no owner has been forced to sell because, well, he just can’t make a go of it.

[Here's] what the commissioner said in an op-ed piece three weeks ago.

"The union repeatedly said it hasn’t asked for anything more and literally wants to continue playing under the existing agreement," said Goodell. "That clearly indicates the deal has moved too far in favor of one side."

So it seems we end back in Charlie Sheen’s world, where up is down, Bree Olson is a goddess, and the proof that the NFL needs a new labor deal is that one side is not complaining.

The game is healthy. Both sides are thriving. But only one side is unhappy, and the commissioner calls that a problem.

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