Thursday, February 11, 2016

Some thoughts from Gene Upshaw

In June of 2008, just 2 months before Gene Upshaw’s death and one month after the NFL owners opted out of the current labor deal that will expire at midnight on Thursday, I did a 90-minute interview with the late NFLPA executive director in his Washington, D.C. office. Here a few interesting snippets from that interview:

Some thoughts from Gene Upshaw

0 comments

In June of 2008, just 2 months before Gene Upshaw’s death and one month after the NFL owners opted out of the current labor deal that will expire at midnight on Thursday, I did a 90-minute interview with the late NFLPA executive director in his Washington, D.C. office. Here a few interesting snippets from that interview:

(on former commissioner Paul Tagliabue): ``Probably the most important thing Paul has done is kept us out of the courtroom. He knew and I knew that if we stayed out of the courtroom and used the league’s assets, which is the players, we could grow the game in a way that would be unbelievable. And that’s what happened.’’

(on the owners wanting cap credit for stadium repairs and other capital improvements in addition to stadium construction): ``That’s the issue. We agreed it had to be revenue-producing (to get cap credit from the union). They can’t just do stuff because they want to do it and think we’re going to help pay for it. That’s not going to happen. Because at the end of the day, they still own the stadium, not us.’’

(on Tagliabue’s successor, Roger Goodell): ``Rogers has to be able to do what Paul was able to do all those years, which was build a consensus. Paul never walked into a room and took a vote. It took him time. That was the way he worked. But there are a lot of new owners now that Roger’s dealing with that Paul didn’t have to deal with. That makes the dynamics a little different. But Roger and I have been able to work together on all of the issues so far. This (a new CBA) will be the test. This will definitely be the test. Because the thing about what we both do, I have to deliver the players and he has to deliver the owners. If either one of us can’t do that, we can’t make a deal. There won’t be a deal. I need him to be strong and he needs me to be strong.’’

(on the owners claim that the current labor deal is unbalanced and weighted too much toward the players) ``We’re not taking their word and their reporting system as a means to determine how well they’re doing. There’s a lot we would need to see and digest and believe. It can’t just be the same reporting package that (each team) sends to the league. Because they lie. If you look at the Packers financials from a year ago, they made $18 million. The league says, `Well, that’s an anomaly. They’re different.’ Yeah, they’re different (community-owned). But $18 million is $18 million. Any company would love to make $18 million. You’ve got stadiums and franchises increasing in value every year. You’ve got your payroll pretty much set. And you’re able to make $18 million profit? Not a bad deal.’’

Daily News Columnist
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
letter icon Newsletter