Addicted populist poseurs that so many of them are, our elected leaders can soon be counted on to move from March Madness to camera-hog jawboning to save the 2011 National Football League season – which evidently is as much in the national interest as eliminating Muammar Qaddafi.
But their problem will soon become clear: keeping autumn Sundays, as well as Mondays and occasional Thursdays, safe for diva wide receivers, vulgar coaches, and Bud Light commercials is not a conventional labor-management dispute. Here’s a scorecard of the various splinter constituencies putting both material and moral pressure on the pocketbooks and (if possible) the consciences of the National Football League and the NFL Players Association.
The following draws from my blog’s reporting on the league’s potential legal exposure for a generation of low-balling concussion syndrome; on “the rest of the story” of the suicide of Dave Duerson; and on the plight of medically and financially disabled players. Without pinning my interpretations on him, I also owe much here to the fine work of FoxSports.com senior NFL writer Alex Marvez, one of the few beat journalists to cut past the atomized sob stories to the structural nitty-gritty. (CNN yesterday reported that yet another NFL suicide, former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Shane Dronett, who shot himself in 2009, was found in postmortem brain studies to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy from a career of diagnosed and undiagnosed concussions.)
CONTINUED TODAY AT BEYOND CHRON, THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER: