- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Indy still hoping players, owners can make a deal
Question of the Day
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard doesn’t buy the conventional wisdom.
He believes NFL owners and players are making progress on a new collective bargaining agreement and that next year’s Super Bowl will still be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I like the fact they got the mediator in there, and they’re meeting seriously,” Ballard said during this weekend’s annual scouting combine. “I’m sure they’re closer than they have been in the past. They’re kind of keeping it to themselves right now because they don’t want to have any extra pressure on them right now.”
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and league officials have not provided updates on negotiations before federal mediator George Cohen. The two sides met for seven consecutive days in Washington before stopping Thursday. Talks are to resume Tuesday, less than 72 hours before the labor deal expires and a lockout could begin.
On Thursday, Cohen said the two sides had made “some progress” but “very strong differences remain.”
Later that day, league officials updated the head coaches and general managers and provided a list of possible scenarios. On Friday, Smith spent nearly two hours meeting with agents, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and league counsel Jeff Pash met with the owners’ labor committee at the Colts’ complex.
Ballard, like most everyone else, has no inside information. But he surely has a rooting interest. Some estimates say losing the Super Bowl could cost Indy as much as $200 million.
And after years of preparation for the city’s first Super Bowl, the last thing Ballard or the host committee wants is a repeat of the 1994 baseball season.
“I can’t believe they didn’t do a World Series,” he said. “We don’t want to go down that road. This model works. Everybody makes money in the NFL. So there’s no reason not to continue.”
Not everyone agrees, which is why labor talks have overshadowed one of the biggest and busiest weeks of the entire offseason. The most recent CBA was signed in 2006, but owners exercised a clause in 2008 that let them opt out.
League owners want a greater percentage of the roughly $9 billion in annual revenue that is shared with the players. Among the other significant issues are a rookie wage scale; the owners’ push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; and benefits for retired players.
Most expect a lockout to begin Friday, though the NFLPA could decertify before then _ a move that could prevent a work stoppage and give players more leverage in negotiations. Two agents told The Associated Press this week they believed it was a foregone conclusion decertification would happen.
“They’ve made it clear that football will be played at some point this season and we have to be ready to go when we do play,” Colts linebacker Gary Brackett said Thursday.
The city does have contingency plans.
When the host committee made its bid, the league asked it to book two weekends for next February’s game. That would give NFL officials more flexibility to move the game if there was a work stoppage. And if the league actually canceled the Super Bowl, which has never happened, the host committee said it has been assured it would be put back in line for another one.
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- EDITORIAL: The real Lois Lerner exposed in newly released emails
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world