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Will baseball impasse end sooner than we think?
Brian Flores raises numerous issues
Good morning, all. I hope your week is off to a terrific start.
I could be dead wrong about this, but I think the ongoing labor impasse between the Major League Players Association and owners could be shorter than many predict. Since the owners locked out the players on Dec. 2, when the current labor agreement expired, the few negotiating sessions between the two sides have been contentious. On the core issues, such as competitive balance and arbitration, the sides are far apart.
Close observers say it is all but a given spring training, slated to begin next week, will be delayed. Opening day, scheduled for Mar. 31 is also in jeopardy.
Maybe it may be a long, drawn out battle, but here is why I don’t think so. Many of the regional sports networks, as well as the national TV networks, need programming. No games means no content and content is king. Meanwhile, the subscribers to these networks are going to demand a refund if they are forced to pay these high cable television fees, ostensibility to underwrite the broadcast rights to games, if games are not being broadcast.
The owners hold their quarterly meetings in Florida this week. Movement might occur soon after. Remember, content is king. The pressure will build, if said content is not delivered.
The NFL has problems
The NFL has problems off the latest suit filed against the league by ex-NFL head coach Brian Flores. Word is Flores is in the running for the Houston Texans’ top job but will not stop his efforts to address the league’s hiring practices for minority coaches.
Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is attempting to get out front of the issue. Goodell’s suddenly pro active stance is for good reason. He is attempting to keep the spotlight on the hiring of minority coaches and not the other aspect of Flores’ damning accusation, being offered money by Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross to lose football games so the Fish would get a higher draft pick.
Ex-Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson also sent ripples through the sport, claiming he was paid to lose games, before he backtracked on that story.
Coaches being bribed to lose games is heady stuff, the kind that gets the attention of the U.S. Congress. In this era of legalized betting, this is not the image the NFL wants to present. Addressing the hiring of minority coaches should be a top priority, right next to the integrity of the product on the field. This week’s focus will be on the Super Bowl, but Flores’ lawsuit, has the focus of the NFL commissioner in more than one area.
Who will win the Super Bowl?
And speaking of the Super Bowl, who will win? I will stick with Cincinnati. This seems to be the Bengals year. It is quarterack Joe Burrow’s time and the radio play-by-play voice of the Bengals, Dan Hoard, is a great guy. In the 1980s, when I was broadcasting AAA baseball for the Richmond Braves, Dan Hoard was the “Voice of the Syracuse Chiefs.” For years, he has called the Bengals games along with football and basketball games for the Cincinnati Bearcats. So here’s to the Bengals and their radio voice.
That is it for this edition of the sports letter. Thanks you for your support and have a terrific week.