Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NFL Lockout: Is Antonio Cromartie the Voice of Reason?

Antonio Cromartie isn't the most popular player in the NFL. In fact, he's probably not even in the top 25.

But while he may not be anyone's favorite, he's certainly saying all the right things during the lockout. Well, at least some might think that way.

The players are probably wondering why he's saying anything at all. Why is he crossing the proverbial "picket line" instead of sticking with the players' union against the owners? The answer to that is simple. He wants to play and I'm sure he's not the only one who feels the exact same way.

Just last week, Cromartie took to his twitter and called out both the owners and his fellow players who are in charge of putting together a new collective bargaining agreement.

"Im tired of all this emailing each other," he said. "How about the owners and the NFLPA get your behind's back to the table and talk it out there."

It started a firestorm of response from fans. Some were on his side while others wanted to know when he would ever stop talking.

Well, he wasn't done.

"We as players are depending on the April 6th hearing which could go either way. [Judge] Susan Nelson could side with us or keep the lockout going, then what? If Judge Nelson keeps the lockout we lose all the leverage. So in others words bump April 6th ruling get back to the table and handle it."

Say what you want about whatever side you're on in this battle between the players and owners. Cromartie is saying exactly what the fans believe to be true. He's saying exactly what the fans want him to say. This game is about them, right?

The verbal jousting back and forth between the players union and the owners has almost gotten to a point of no return. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has already been called a liar by a San Diego Chargers' linebacker Kevin Burnett during a rant on XX Sports Radio in San Diego, California.

"Goodell's full of it. He's a liar. You're a blatant liar," Burnett said of Goodell. "It's our league, it's we, we love the players, we want the league,' but what have you done for the players? What have you done, in all honesty, to improve the game, besides fine guys, besides take money away from guys, besides change a game that you've never played? … He's done nothing to improve the game."

The players want this game to get back on the field and away from the microphones and cameras just begging for the next quote so they can hand it to the other side for a response.

It's a never ending game that could destroy any chance the two sides could ever return to the bargaining table.

There's no question in my mind both sides want to get a deal done, that much is certain. What I'm not sure of is either side agreeing to anything. They have their list of demands but there are too many egos in the room to give in to any of them.

Antonio Cromartie is just one voice in a room of voices who aren't being heard. Everyone is trying to say their peace but they're all saying it at the exact same time, making it a room full of nothing but noise.

This should have never been put in the hands of a federal judge. Now that it is, this situation can only get worse.

Leave to a voice who's not always, or hardly ever, known as the voice or reason. Now, maybe people will wonder if he's speaking more truth than we've ever given him credit for.

He doesn't have the personal life most us would approve of, but when it comes to the NFL, Cromartie is dead on.

These two sides need to stop talking, get back to the table, and get a deal done before the NFL season goes completely up in flames.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter

1 comment:

  1. Yes, if you have little to no knowledge on the lockout, then cromartie sounds right.

    However, it isn't that simple. The owners have been planning this lockout since 2008. They have premeditated this lockout, knowing the pa wouldn't agree to a 141 mil dollar cap.

    This deal is the worst in sports history. We will all see as this lawsuit begins to come out into the public