The NFL Becoming a Players League Debate Verdict

Read the opposing arguments from Babe Ruthless and Bleacher Fan.

It’s human nature for us as a society to like drama. Drama amongst students keeps things stirred up inside those high school walls at Babe Ruthless’ high school. Women watch soap operas for a reason other than to see their favorite soap star shirtless. Men get excited about drama in sports, whether it’s wondering where Cliff Lee is going to sign (and ponder how it’s not just about money… how refreshing!) or wondering if an ageless wonder is going to start another game all of the sudden. That’s just how it is.

Drama excites us. Sometimes the coaches cause the drama. Sometimes the players cause the drama. That segues somewhat into today’s debate.

I posed the question regarding the possibility of the NFL slowly becoming a player controlled league. This has come to the forefront due to some issues involving the Cowboys and Vikings. I’m not sure how many of the Cowboys games you have seen this year but they were terrible under Wade Phillips, yet they are a of couple plays from being 5-0 under interim coach Jason Garrett. The Vikings are also playing better under interim coach Leslie Frazier after rebelling against Brad Childress.

Bleacher Fan dismisses the notion that the NFL has become a player controlled league. We’re all fans and Bleacher Fan has been frustrated with the actions of the players on the Vikings and Cowboys, and by the forced trades of guys like Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler. That is how the system currently works in the NFL, and for every situation like those previously mentioned there are situations where upper managements maintains controls. Paging Mr. Haynesworth. Paging Vincent Jackson.

Babe Ruthless, meanwhile, strongly believes the NFL is being ruined by the players. He cites the Eli Manning example of 2004 (and I could even go back as far as John Elway demanding a trade after being drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1983 draft). This season Albert Haynesworth became Daniel Snyder’s worst nightmare as he openly quarreled with coach Mike Shanahan to the point where it was a distraction throughout the season, and virtually made it impossible to have a successful season in D.C. Babe also cites the play of the Cowboys and Vikings both pre- and post-coach-firing.

All of these are fair points. But I haven’t seen enough evidence to prove that the players control the league. Therefore I am siding with Bleacher Fan. As was stated, what is Mr. Haynesworth doing right now? He’s sitting at the house in the comforts of his warm living room, but he’s not drawing a check because he’s been suspended. Plus, his playing status for next season – for ANY team – is uncertain. Vincent Jackson had visions of playing in Minnesota earlier this season, but San Diego squashed that and he’s still playing in San Diego… finally.

With an NFL lockout looming (let’s us all make our New Years wish to be that there is NO lockout), it’ll be interesting to see which side gives in to the other’s demands. But, as it stands now, it’s not a player’s league. The league still controls the league!

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