the question was never about the lockout. the question was how did you expect Goodell to handle it?
I expected him to do it because he's incompetent.
Now how should he have done it?
First of all you need to divorce yourself from the notion he has to do what his bosses want. He's the commissioner and isn't a CEO. It's his job to listen to 31 owners and try to figure out what's best for all of them.
The second thing you need to realize is that not all owners wanted a lock out. Not even close. The owners aren't some single minded entity. they all exist in different financial and strategic realities. I don't want to belabor this point, so I'll just give a quick example. Bob Kraft has investments (awful ones quite frequently) that make more money than his NFL franchise. He can afford not to have a season. Compare that with the Glazers, for example, who literally have angry Manchester United fans at the gates, and who wouldn't be able to run their pet franchise without revenue sharing.
There is a serious split in the ownership group, or power blocs, as you'd imagine. This is shown by goodell originally only getting like 12 of 30 votes to be commissioner. there were three run off elections, with him finally buying enough votes to get the job.
Now, let's imagine for a second that he is actually justified in locking out the players. That
1. a lockout was the only option (it wasn't)
2. that it was unavoidable (it wasn't.)
3. that they hadn't planned it (they had. just look at the details of the last labor agreement, which was about a whole different issue related to the Maras specifically, that Ralph Wilson had refused to sign because it was bullpoo)
If you assume all those wrong things and accept that he was justified in doing it, then you plan how to do it.
First of all, you don't put yourself in a situation where the union can simply decertify and blow out your anti trust exemption, taking away any legal footing. This wasn't a surprise. In fact, I predicted it would happen months before it did, as many people here can probably attest. That of course happened.
Second of all, you don't claim financial hardship, then refuse to open your books. To bring this close to home, George Shinn tried to do this and was laughed out of the city.
third of all, you don't bank of television revenue that no one actually though they'd be allowed to keep. The owners for some reason thought they'd still get their TV money if the whole season was locked out, which predictably the courts declined.
fourth, you don't demand an 18 game schedule. Almost no fans are in favor of this for obvious reasons that I don't think I need to go into.
fifth, you recognize that DeMaurice Smith is a former fed who probably has a damn good idea how the proceedings are going to go.
He bungled it from the start, and after it immediately went south, the owners began to break up. This is just now starting to come out, but there are numerous stories about Jerry Jones making snide remarks at owners like Paul Brown, since what they wanted out of it was completely different than what say Paul Allen wanted.
One of the contentions by high-revenue teams, such as the Cowboys, was lower-revenue clubs like the Bengals don't work hard enough to create revenue. At one point during the often contentious negotiations, the Boston Globe reported, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones mockingly offered to buy the naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium for $5 million. Jones said, "I can double that in about five minutes, Mike." Mike Brown, reportedly, did not respond.
-- Cincinnati Enquirer
He was the one that pushed for the lockout as the best means to move forward, unlike the last time the CBA was slated to expire, which was solved without denying players medical access.
The only real thing that happened, aside from some different practice scheduling (which honestly probably needed to happen) was the rookie salary cap, which the players union was tacitly in favor of anyway. He took a hard stance and got embarrassed.
Now maybe on some meta level he did it to keep the interest in the NFL during the offseason, as I've heard people mention, but I doubt that was true.
Edited by Fiz, 28 February 2012 - 08:25 PM.