Analysis: The UFL stakes everything on an NFL lockout.

UFL

It was no accident that the UFL formed after the NFL owners officially pulled out of the existing collective bargaining agreement. The UFL owners saw an opening and wanted to take advantage of it. That is why they had to begin playing in 09. It is also why they cut back from a projected 8 teams to just 4 but will stage games in 7 cities. They want to be around in 2010 and 2011 just in case there is a strike.

Right now, things don’t look all that good for the fans of the NFL. There are several indicators pointing toward a strike/lockout. First, the NFLPA has a new Executive Director. DeMaurice Smith is new. He beat out a couple of former players that publicly took hard line stances against the NFL but he is going to have to prove that he is tough enough to keep the job. The NFLPA members have heard from other candidates that the new agreement will eliminate the salary cap, increase the percentage of total revenue that the players get and increase benefits. All this in the face of the toughest economy since the depression.

When Smith took his office, he said that … Read more at FryingPanSports

Analysis: All athletes should learn a lesson from the McNair tragedy

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Of all the athletes that would meet with a violent end, Steve McNair was the most unlikely. He was 2005 NFL Man of the Year, a respected family man and one of the most beloved players ever to have had a pro career. Even so, he met with a violent and premature death. We all morn the loss of McNair.

At this point, it is not totally clear exactly what happened. But it should raise a red flag to every athlete and every parent of an athlete. The lesson is this—your friends can be more dangerous than your enemies. They are closer to you more often than your enemies and will use your feelings for them to take advantage of you.

Every year the NFL holds a symposium for the drafted rookie players. Both current and retired players tell the newbies about the dangers that face all professional athletes. Some friends just want tickets—OK probably a lot of tickets to games. But other friends will tell athletes that they should never forget where they came from.

Part of remembering where they came from is the habits that their friends have. Those habits may have cost Pacman Jones and Donte Stallworth … Read more at FryingPanSports

What should the NFL do with Mikey Vick?

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Michael Vick was released from prison today to spend the next couple of months of his sentence under house arrest. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to have to make a decision about QB Michael Vick’s return to the NFL before too long. The questions are how do you make the decision and what should that decision be.

How will the Commish make the decision: We are likely to hear a lot in the next few days about the difference between a right to play in the NFL vs. the privilege of playing in the league. Dictionary.com defines a right as that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc. It defines a privilege as a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.

So, is playing in the NFL a right or a privilege? High school players earn college scholarships with a combination of their preparation, their play on the field and work in the classroom. Anyone that has ever tried to win a scholarship of any kind knows that it must be earned.

Every player in the NFL has worked his entire life to get to … Read more at FryingPanSports

Saturday's nibblets around the net for 02/15/09.

Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s nibblets around the net.

By Bill Smith

BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEK–

Ted Payne posted this:

Well let’s be honest – guys like him are SCARED. They are legitimately scared of bloggers.

I mean each team can have a hometown blogger, bloggers that are dedicated to one team even. How can traditional journalists compete with that? Bloggers might not have the access of these top ESPN guys, but they can watch one team day in and day out, Albom can NOT do that.

Sports reporters are scared that one day, they won’t have a job, because people will turn to their local bloggers.

Ted, you are exactly right. The new media including the Internet bloggers scare them to death. Thanks for the support and I hope you become a regular reader. We will try to post the best comment each week.

Political Correctness run a muck.

Our old pinhead friends at the NCAA rules committee are thinking about making the touchdown celebration a “live ball” penalty rather than a “dead ball” foul. The difference is that a live ball foul is stepped off from the previous spot and takes the score off the board! I don’t have … Read more at FryingPanSports