“Counterfeit Bucs”

March 14th, 2011

In case any Bucs fan was living under a rock over the weekend, the NFL is now fully in the throes of labor war.

This is the first time since 1987 there has been a labor stoppage. Unlike 1987 when players walked away, this time NFL clubs have locked out the players.

Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times decided to take a trip in the wayback machine with former Bucs receiver Mark Carrier, who was a rookie in 1987 and watched as the Bucs employed the “Counterfeit Bucs” — scabs — to play instead.

“You always thought it wouldn’t last long. I think that’s the mind-set of a lot of players,” Carrier said. “It’s not affecting them as much now because all they’re missing is the offseason workouts. But when you start missing games, you feel like (the owners) can’t survive without us and we can’t survive without them. But as the weeks go by, you start to ask yourself, ‘Is it really worth it?’ And that’s when you see guys fracturing.

“I’m concerned about the players from this standpoint: Back in ’87, there was something we were fighting for, fighting to achieve. That, to me, is the scary thing. What is the one thing during this work stoppage that the players are fighting for where they can say we want this or that? All the players want now is to keep what they have. I think that’s the hardest thing, to keep what we have already earned as players.”

Joe’s not going to bore his readers with CBA chatter. There are all sorts of places — including ProFootballTalk.com, penned by former lawyer, the creator, curator and overall guru of PFT, Mike Florio. His site has the best coverage of it all — interested parties can find relevant information.

But Joe is confident there will be football this fall.

10 Responses to ““Counterfeit Bucs””

  1. Gary Says:

    I just dont understand how everyone is sure there will be no games lost because of litigation. If everything is in the courts now, how can we expect the whole process to be over in a few months while the owners appeal every decision along the way?

    Even if this gets #1 priority by the legal system, with owners crying about it the whole way and using every tactic in the book to counter and delay this could take a long long time. I really hope I’m wrong about this.

  2. Gary Says:

    The best case scenario would be a few of the early verdicts go the players way and then the owners come back to the negotiating table with their tails between their rich little legs.

  3. IMHO... Says:

    tha owners should’ve split this season and future profits 50/50. Once this hits trial they will be forced 2 show tha books anyway 2 prove they were negotiating in good faith. From tha t.v. contracts, psl’s, attempts 2 acquire early season ticket payments were setup long ago 4 them 2 sit on $ while tha players starve on what remains they have until they cave in

  4. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Gary your wrong in so many ways…. “the owners come back to the negotiating table with their tails between their rich little legs.” The owners never left the negotiating table the players did. It’s no secret that attendance overall has been down in the NFL last season and merchandise sales dropped dramatically. The players never made a single concession not one. The owners dropped they’re demands down three times. Give and take my ass. The players just want to take. 32 owners who admittedly are billionaires but they were that before they owned teams. Nearly 2000 players avg millions of dollars each because the owners invested billions so they could have they’re careers. Why don’t the players invest they’re money and start they’re own league.

  5. Macabee Says:

    Gary, If Judge Doty places an injunction on the NFL this week, there can be no lockout. Football, as we know it can resume, albiet under another whole set of rules, too many and to complicated to enumerate here – like no salary cap, therefore no salary floor. Each player would become an independent contractor since there is no union. The owners can’t come together and act as one or “collude” as it is a violation of anti-trust. It would be ugly, but there would be football.

  6. BamBamBuc Says:

    Gary, I hope you’re wrong….

    If the players win the early decisions, they’ll get what they want and we’ll have the equivalent of MLB in the NFL. Salary caps will be eliminated or shoot through the roof. Players will have arbitration for salaries, leading to outrageous contracts. And the Cowboys will become the Yankees of football, buying championships. Small market teams won’t be able to compete.

    The thing that makes the NFL great is the level of competition. When one team is able to load up with talent, it takes away the competitiveness of the game. Best we could hope for is for the owners to “win” an early verdict that forces the union to sit down and negotiate again with oversight from the courts to make things fair.

  7. Scott Says:

    Let’s not forget that Dan Sileo was one of those ‘counterfeit Bucs’. Although he has made other claims

  8. Gary Says:

    Good points guys, maybe its not the best thing if the either side gets too many of these negotiating victories. I was just pissed at the owners for the lack of transperacy with financials. If they want players to take pay cuts, they should open the books and prove profits are declining. Fighting so hard not to just makes it seem like they have something to hide.

  9. Atrain WD40 Says:

    I jokingly asked the owner of the company I work for to show me his books and he laughingly offered to write me a letter of recommendation to my next employer. Why are the NFL players any different than you or me? No owner is obligated to open they’re books to thier EMPLOYEES!

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @Atrrain WD40,

    But I doubt your boss is taking a $1 Billion cut off the top, and then telling you to “trust him” that he needs that money for expenses. I doubt he’s trying to reduce your pay because he is saying expenses are too high, especially when you know your business is striving like never before. Besides, the owners and players are basically in a partnership, since they take a percentage off the profits. I don’t know what you do, but most employees are not in that same boat. I’m not on the players side or the owners side, I’m on the football in 2011 side. That’s all I really care about. However, I think it’s naive to give one side all of the blame over another. Both sides are trying to hold out to see if the other side will blink first, and all we can do is wait. Fact of the matter is, none of us truly know what is going on behind closed doors, so it is unfair to pass the blame on one side as if we know what we are talking about.