The NFLPA finally ratified the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement yesterday afternoon, putting an end to almost five months of labor uncertainty. Despite player rep/noted loudmouth [intlink id=”60″ type=”category”]Ryan Clark[/intlink]’s dire warning, the ten year deal passed by a comfortable margin.
No thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last year, I repeatedly harped on all the ways Roger Goodell tried (unsuccessfully) to screw over the Black and Gold. To say he’s not a popular figure amongst Steeler Nation would be like saying Justin Bieber wouldn’t go over well at a Hell’s Angels rally. However, many times, we as fans, get much more worked up over things than the players themselves do. Not so in this case as the entire team voted AGAINST the CBA in a show of protest against the[intlink id=”8″ type=”category”] Ginger Dictator.[/intlink]
[intlink id=”52″ type=”category”]James Harrison[/intlink] spoke the truth in his tirade against Ginger earlier this month in Men’s Journal. He has since apologized for his outburst but I guarantee he issued that apology with his fingers crossed behind his back. Silverback was just doing the politically correct thing as nobody wants to be outwardly hostile to their boss no matter how much of a putz he may be. And it seems to have had the desired effect as the NFL announced he won’t face any disciplinary action for his comments.
That’s not to say the Steelers still don’t detest the guy. One of Clark’s “sticking points” in the new CBA had to do with limiting Goodell’s ability to arbitrarily issue punishments. Naturally, Ginger wasn’t going for any deal which would limit his God-complex. While the personal conduct policy remains in place, they did manage to work in a clause whereby fines levied for actions which occur during games are subject to an appeal to a newly created Review Board consisting of two reps mutually agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA.
As terrible as the lock out was to endure, it did bring about one benefit. It showed fans of the other 31 NFL teams what a repugnant individual the commish truly is. Harrison was correct when he said Ginger is now the most hated leader in all of sports. Gary Bettman is clueless but I don’t think he means any harm. Bud Selig is a puppet simply doing the bidding of those more powerful than him.
Goodell is not only inept but actively evil. His decisions are arbitrary and he puts his personal friendships and interests ahead of fairness to all. And I’m glad the Steelers and their fans aren’t the only ones aware of it. Even if the Black and Gold is the only team with the courage to stand up for those convictions.