Time, without getting all Stephen Hawking, is an occurrence that has profound effects over a broad enough period. Take for example Mount Everest, at a plus 29,000 feet it continues to grow a quarter of an inch a year, which in a man's lifetime is imperceptible, but give it a million years and that's a whole new ball game.
Approximately 90 years ago the NFL was formed, and it's safe to say the NFLPA wasn't close to being a gleam in anyone's eye at that time. In fact it would take another 30 some years for that to happen and another 12 for the first collective bargaining agreement, which occurred in 1968. So, now the "players" are back to a trade organization and the "owners" are in court with these same "players", which has proven to be a hostile environment for the thirty-two Boss Tweeds of the NFL. But, I would argue that through the inexorable march of time, what was once imperceptible then has become quite apparent now. And that, quite simply is the players have always possessed the game and are the rightful "owners", and the Boss Tweeds, as witnessed by their perfidies over the years, are the real "players" in this game within a game.
If one believes in evolution, and I do, then we have to reexamine the constituency of this game. There are some absolutes that we're dealing with in this regard. That regardless of who's cutting the beer deals, the TV contracts, or marketing the show biz, the integrity of this game has always belonged to the participants.
The "Boss Tweeds" are in an unenviable position, but when you've colluded behind closed doors for decades, justice, although it grinds slow, grinds fine. The commissioner may be right, that the game as his bosses knew it, may be in jeopardy, but as long as they foolishly allow themselves to be examined under the legal microscope, they shall continue to meet with repellant news. And if they should, as equally foolish, allow their fields to go fallow this fall, they shall surely witness a reseeding of the game much, much to their disliking.
I offer the NFL some free advise, see yourselves for who you really are. Become contrite and tell the players past and present that they are your partners and then let's see if we can't all be reasonable.