Dark Clouds Over the NFL

As some of you may or may not know, I used to blog about the NFL. When I came on board here at CheeseheadTv, I told Corey I would keep my posts Packer related, for obvious reasons. But now with the off season upon the Packers (and two days away for the entire league) I'll occasionally dip into league business if I think it can or could effect the Packers.

And there are things brewing that could not only spell major trouble for the Packers but for the whole league.

First, Gene Upshaw is saber-rattling in response to owners like Denver's Pat Bowlen complaining about the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Upshaw is threatening that if the owners opt-out of the agreement, as the agreement itself states they can by November, the players union could go on strike. And if the NFL went ahead with an uncapped year, Upshaw says the league would never get the salary cap back, as it would be impossible for any union head to sell it to the players once they had a year of unfettered spending and wooing from ownership under their belt. (I'm not sure this is the case, but I can understand the argument)

Obviously, this is the worst case scenario for the Packers. Green Bay benefits from that cap, possibly more than any other team in the league. Without it, it would only be a matter of time until the team ceased to exist, or at best, became a league laughingstock once again, permanently stuck in the place the franchise found itself in the 70s and 80s. Even then, one would think it would just be a matter of time until the NFL folded it's tents in the leagues smallest market.

Now, all this said, I don't see it coming down to this. No doubt, these things will get resolved, as they always do, in the last few weeks leading up to November. (It seems the only way any of these people can get anything done is to have a fast approaching deadline...)

Secondly, and far more sinister to my reading, is the quote from ex-Patriot employee Matt Walsh in an article in the New York Times about Senator Arlen Specter raising the possibility of Congress getting involved in the Spygate scandal. Walsh worked in the video department of the Patriots from 1996 until 2003. And apparently he knows something. Big. Several media outlets have tried to get him to talk about Spygate on record, without any luck. The Times sent a reporter out to Hawaii to get this gem from Walsh on the record:

“After speaking to my lawyers and whatnot, I can’t really talk to you about anything. And I can’t show you anything. If someone wanted me to talk and tell them things, I would craft an agreement where they would agree from now until the end of my existence to pay for any legal fees that came up in regards to this, whether I’m sued by the Patriots, the [NFL], anybody else.”

I'm sorry, but that just scares the hell out of me. It brings up images of 'The Insider" and "Quiz Show" and every other movie about the public trust I've ever seen. Why would the NFL sue Walsh? And why DID Goodell destroy all the evidence from Spygate? Who else was implemented in the material? Other teams perhaps? The entire league?

As I've always maintained - I love the game of football, but I hate the NFL.

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