In several ways, the NFL and the U.S. Government are running on parallel tracks.â†µ
Since the spring, both organizations have been feverishly working towards ratifying substantial agreements, and both will have major financial ramifications whether or not they are successful.
The NFL feels the pressure of a regular season schedule creeping ever closer, while the government must deal with an August 2 deadline that threatens the financial security of the nation itself.â†µ
It comes as no surprise, then, that the most powerful man in the most popular sport in America would exercise a degree of influence over the proceedings -- and Roger Goodell decided to do just that this afternoon, prompting the owners to unanimously ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.â†µ
That's supposed to be good news, right?â†µ
Not according to the NFLPA, as the players contend that the owners voted on their own version of the CBA without final tweaking and negotiations with the union. As you can imagine, this move unleashed a firestorm from the players.â†µ
Goodell's actions are an excellent example of what men in power are capable of doing: his moves are strong-willed, calculated, and depict a personality that can effectively control negotiations in a business environment.â†µ
In many ways, Goodell has more control and influence over the NFL process than U.S. president Barack Obama does over the debt ceiling discussions, and the president has struggled to control the divided factions in the government that threaten to hinder meaningful progress.â†µ
Goodell did not allow this to happen, and we're edging closer and closer to the NFL coming together once under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the players may wring their hands, the time has come to sign on the dotted line -- and by signing first, Goodell has given himself the leverage.