NFL Lockout Nears End. Where’s Los Angeles in a New 10 Year CBA?

Thursday NFL owners approved, by a vote of 31-0 with the Oakland Raiders abstaining, a tentative 10-year labor agreement with the NFL Players Association, leaving the possible end to the league’s lockout in the hands of the players, who vote on the proposed 10 year CBA Friday.

A players approval means football is back with only the Hall of Fame Game between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears falling victim to the four-month, or so, long lockout.

Where does Los Angeles, locked out by the NFL for some 17 years since both the Rams and Raiders left after the 1994 season, fit in this proposed 10 year collective bargaining agreement?  Last week, ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen reported there is a provision in the new proposed deal that puts L.A. back in the NFL mix:

Under the proposed 10-year CBA, players would get a split ranging from 48 to 46.5 percent of a simplified all-revenue model, the sources said. The lower 46.5 percentage would represent an increase in total dollars as revenues grow from new television contracts, as well as allowing credits if three new stadiums are constructed, including one in Los Angeles, where the NFL has not had a team since the 1994 season.

Your's truly with the RAIDERETTES at NFL 101

The City of Angels, in its attempt to stay relevant in the pro football discussion, held its 9th Annual NFL 101 ALL-ACCESS event at the Los Angeles Memeorial Coliseum this past Monday.  Among the NFL “BigWigs” speaking at the event, hosted by the L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission, were Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask and San Francisco 49ers President & CEO Jed York. Both agreed they are looking strongly at the possibility that their respective teams could share a $1 billion stadium in Santa Clara which York said could be ready by 2015:

We’ve put our teams together. It doesn’t mean we’re going to find the right deal that fits for both teams, but we’re certainly going to get a look at those options.

Trask said the Raiders really like the idea of the stadium partnership adding:

We have said repeatedly that we have an open mind with respect to our stadium solution.  An open mind means an open mind as to sharing a facility with the 49ers. I say to Jed regularly that we should have not only an open mind to the sharing of the facility, but to the location of the facility which we might share.

Proposed FARMERS FIELD Downtown Los Angeles

This topic being a huge one at the event because of two proposed L.A. stadiums, one in the City of Industry by Majestic Realty and the other in Down Town L.A. called Farmers Field by AEG, in the hopes of attracting a pair of NFL teams to relocate with “LAX-ers” the Rams and San Diego Chargers rumored to be top candidates to return to L.A.

Emceeing the NFL 101 Event was  Emmy winning NFL on NBC and HBO Sports Correspondent Andrea Kremer. With the lockout nearing its end, I asked Kremer where Los Angeles fits in the new deal. (I should mention, please excuse the camera angle. When you’re “one-man banding” and your subject decides to, unknowingly, move a bit out of frame adjusting while holding a conversation becomes a 50-50 proposition.):

Interestingly enough, Thursday, AEG President Tim Leiweke said his company is ready to buyout an existing teams current stadium lease to get them to relocate to the City of Angels. AEG is prepared to own at least 50% of that team if it helps the current owner in the buyout of the existing stadium lease.  Again, the Chargers and the Rams are in situations with their current stadiums leases which fit such a scenario.

Expect something to happen soon because the 50th Super Bowl is five years away. The first Super Bowl was played at the L.A. Coliseum. Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay is pushing for the Golden Anniversary Game, Super Bowl “L”, to be played in L.A.

Los Angeles…..your 17 year NFL Lockout is coming to end.

Et Tu, LeBron?!?! We Are All WITNESS!

WOW! Fantasy Basketball League’s becoming reality right before our very eyes. LeBron, D’Wade and Chris Bosh all on the same team. Three of the top five picks in the 2003 NBA Draft wearing the same uniform and it doesn’t say “USA” across the chest.

THE TRIO IN THEIR PRIME, NO LESS! INKED FOR SIX YEARS AT $328 MILLION! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Fitting that the Miami Heats’road uniform is black and Pat Riley sports that “Gordon Gekko” hair-do.

Greed is good.

C’mon! Who doesn’t love the 80s!?!

Seven years after Ohio native LeBron James, the anointed “chosen one” and lottery pick delivered to the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers after the “ping-pong ball gods” made it so, arrived with so much promise of a championship Clevelanders have been longing for since Jim Brown’s Browns won an NFL Championship in 1964.…………………………

He’s gone.

In his wake headed south to Miami, Bron-Bron leaves Cleveland with one Eastern Conference Title, two Most Valuable Player Awards and millions of broken hearts.

Like Cleveland sports fans aren’t used to that.

Reality is LeBron fulfilled his seven-year obligation to the Cleveland Cavaliers lifting them to “elite status” in the association.

No championship. But, you can‘t have everything.

LeBron earned his free agency status and the right to shop his services to find the best opportunity for him to win a championship and play alongside anyone he wants.

He tried to lure Bosh to Cleveland. Bosh wanted South Beach. So, you can’t lure ’em, join ’em.

LeBron didn’t do anything a pro sports team owner wouldn’t do. The King did what’s best for LeBron and his brand. He left for greener pastures and a much better chance of winning that championship he covets. That’s fine.

But, it’s the way he did it that’s not so fine. LeBron pulled a “Robert Irsay“.

In the wee hours of the night in the Spring of 1984 the late, former owner of the then Baltimore Colts brought in moving trucks driving his franchise out of Maryland to Indianapolis before anyone that bled Colts blue and white knew what in the name of Johnny Unitas happened.

No 18 wheeler needed for LeBron to drive the dagger home. Lebron humiliated and betrayed Cleveland sports fans on national television in a prime time, one-hour, self-absorbed ESPN “Decision Special” rendering all of us witness to their latest sports anguish.

Cleveland deserved much better from the local boy.

How gut-wrenching that reality show was for Cleveland sports fans. They understood five other teams had a shot at LeBron and probably would’ve reacted better to the news of the Kings departure had he made them aware prior to his “prime time fiasco”. Instead, Cleveland’s “chosen one” made his hometown fans “the shafted ones” once again.

“It’s a business decision.”

That’s what LeBron said during the fiasco after revealing the Heat was his choice. That’s fine.

That‘s what Irsay said after the contents of the moving trucks were unloaded in Indy and what Art Modell, the former owner of the old Cleveland Browns, said when he moved his team to Baltimore to become the Ravens.

What LeBron’s decision did is “put the shoe on the other foot.”

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert became one of those jilted sports fans evidence being the bitter message he fired off vilifying LeBron on the Cavaliers website after the King’s ready for prime-time knife stabbing.

Continuing the “rub the salt in the wound tour”, the hoops trinity was paraded at American Airlines Arena in Miami Friday night in their new Heat garb with D’Wade introducing the King and the Predator (I‘m sorry, that‘s who Bosh resembles)to Heat fans.

All three look good in those uniforms. We’ll see how it works out on the court this coming fall.

Remember Dan. Business is business.

The Cavaliers and new head coach Byron Scott, who‘s got to feel as if someone pulled the rug out from under his feet,

Cavs head coach Byron Scott

will march on. At this point, no longer championship contenders, most likely as an eight-seed in the eastern conference.

So will Lebron, D’Wade, Bosh and the Heat, most likely as the east’s top-seed with eventual trips to the finals and a championship or two at some point. But, not yet.

That would have the Heat and Cavs meeting in next Spring’s first round of the NBA Playoffs. If there’s any poetic justice at all for those jilted Cavalier fans, their team would take the Heat to a seventh game and win it with a buzzer-beater literally sending LeBron, D’Wade and Bosh to the beach.

Cleveland sports fans can only hope. At this point, that’s all they have.

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