Fresh off the heels of the great conference call that SB Nation (including Baltimore Beatdown) had with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday, comes the other side of the coin with a conference call with the NFL Players Association (now no longer a "union" but a "trade association') Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. The call was open to SB Nation NFL bloggers but all the questions came from one person who compiled our questions and then coordinated the interview.
Unfortunately, DeMaurice Smith was more interested in "educating" us than answering questions. Repeatedly, he asked our moderator "Are you following me?" in a way that made this seem like he was talking down to a bunch of bloggers who really didn't understand his side of things.
He termed the owners final offer, "the worst deal in the history of sports," and said that Commissioner Goodell said more words in his open letter to fans tht he did in all of the failed negotiations. He went on to mock NFL General Counsel, Jeff Pash, saying, "Jeff only has a casual relationship with the truth."
Overall, he tried to explain the numbers behind the owner's offer, and how they compared to past deals and why they were unacceptable. Specifically, he mentioned that the players have received 50% of revenues since 1991 and this deal was 45% of revenues after the owners took a one billion dollar slice off the top. He asked how could anyone expect the players to accept that?
Since we were muted during the call, Smith couldn't hear me screaming at the phone, "times are tougher today than they were in 1991, so work out the best deal, sign it and then we'll all forget about this labor stuff within a week!"