Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Saved from themselves

NFL fans would be wise to read Michael McCambridge's book, America's Game, a terrific read chronicling how the league became the most dominant in professional sports.

The league's secret was that its movers and shakers always realized that the entire chain was only as strong as its weakest link. That led to decisions such as drafting based on inverse order of finish the previous year, adjusting schedules to favor the weaker teams, and, as the money came roaring in, revenue sharing. Wellington Mara, the late Giants owner, carried this torch and carried it well.

Ultimately, the league's players and owners got together to save the league from themselves and agree to six more years of labor peace. While I believe the salary cap is flawed and overrated, as I chronicled last week, I am glad to see both sides took the steps necessary to ensure that relations will be smooth until at least 2011. The league, which has done better than any other at putting the spotlight on its game days, can get back to its specialty.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, by forcing his owners' hand, has stepped out from predecessor Pete Rozelle's long shadow, and Players Union president Gene Upshaw has overcome his reputation as one who caves to the league. This is likely the final deal the two men will do, and the fact that it got done at all is no small feat.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe with Bloglines