The best word I can think of to describe the NFLPA's plan to prevent top college prospects from attending the 2011 NFL Draft is "petty."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported today that the NFLPA has been contacting top draft prospects and telling them not to attend the draft in New York City next month.
I don't get this move at all. How does this help the NFLPA? How does it hurt the owners? How does it move the two sides any closer to a collective bargaining agreement that would guarantee a 2011 football season? I can't see that it accomplishes any of those objectives.
What it does is hurt the young men who would be invited to attend the Draft, taking away a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Instead, it introduces them to the harsh business side of a league that has not yet put a dime in their pockets.
It also hurts the fans, who have mostly been sympathetic to the players up until now. That can't be a smart move by the NFLPA. I mean, it's not the end of the world if you don't get to see the guy your team picks first walk across the stage, put on your team's hat and shake Commissioner Roger Goodell's hand. It is, however, a kind of cool moment. The player interviews are lame, too. Without all of that, though, who wants to watch the draft? You want to listen to Mel Kiper and Todd McShay argue, uninterrupted, for three days? I don't.
It seems there is no end to the stupidity and gamesmanship between the two sides. What there isn't, unfortunately, is much of anything going on that is actually useful toward reaching agreement.