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Saturday, December 6, 2008

College Picks

Quick Post-

Virginia Tech +1.5 over Boston College

UCLA +33 over USC
UCLA is not winning, but they're losing by 30 either

Arizona -11 over Arizona St.
And once again, like a moron, i pick games involving ASU...

Oklahoma -17.5 over Missouri

Alabama +10 over Florida
This game is decide in the first ten minutes. If Florida gets up 10-14 early, they will blow out Alabama. But i think the Tide's defense is good enough to keep Florida in check and keep it close...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ahh, The Minnesota Vikings

Great article over on the WWL, from their NFC North blogger, Kevin Seifert. Seifert has been covering the Vikings for years, and has an interesting run-down of all the weird things that have happened to the Vikings over the last 7-8 years. Some pretty funny stuff on there, and even a couple things i had not heard of before, including the Tice contract situation. Check the article out here.

The Steroid Suspensions And How It Affects The NFL CBA

As i'm sure many or all of you have seen, the NFL this week came down hard on the so-called StarCaps players, suspending the six players who tested positive for a steroid masking agent they supposedly took over the summer. Those six players were all suspended for four games on Tuesday by Commissioner Goodell, meaning they will miss the remainder of the regular season. Of those four players, perhaps the highest profile are the two Williams' Brothers of the Vikings, Kevin and Pat (not actual brothers). The Williams' wall have been a key component in the Vikings ability to stop the run, and as such are key components to the success of the team.

The Williams' responded quickly, filing a lawsuit in a MN court seeking an injunction against the NFL, which was quickly granted by a judge. The crutch of their argument is that a) The banned substance was not listed on the bottle of the diuretic, StarCaps, that they took, and b) The NFL knew the substance was in the diuretic but failed to alert the players.

The judge who issued the injunction has promised a quick 'trial', where he would like to hear both sides of the argument from the players' and the NFL. Of course, here's where it gets interesting. The NFLPA has now joined in, throwing the remaining four players that were suspended into the lawsuit, setting up a potential showdown with the NFL.

While it seems like a showdown over this issue could ultimately be a small battle, it's a piece in the cog for the impending negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which needs to be settled in the next two years. As i've detailed here and here, the importance of a new CBA before the 2010 season cannot be overestimated.

The NFLPA and the NFL figure to have many arguing points while negotiating a new CBA, not the least of which is a Rookie Pay Scale and the Revenue Sharing. Each point of contention along the way, such as the one looming over this StarCaps issue, creates a more hostile environment between the two organizations and more roadblocks to finding an agreement.

The NFL has a year and a half left to get a new CBA in place, and they have a lot of work left. Each time either the NFL or NFLPA flexes their muscle over any other issue, it serves only to create more obstacles to overcome. It should be interesting to see how things turn out...