Friday, May 13, 2011

Surprises from the NHL's brief filed in the NFL labour dispute

Everyone who's really serious about
reducing concussions, raise your hand...
Football fans are having a rough off-season. With a messy NFL labour dispute heading into its third month with no end in sight, fans now have reason to fear that the league may lose part of the upcoming season to a work stoppage, if not the entire year.

Of course, that's a feeling hockey fans know all too well. And this week, the NHL found itself linked to the football labour dispute in a more concrete way. The league reportedly made an appearance in the protracted courtroom battle between the NFL and it's decertified players association, filing a legal brief urging a judge to side with the owners.

The move caught many observers off-guard, and raised an obvious question: What sort of insight could the NHL really have to offer into football's problems?

Plenty, as it turns out. I managed to obtain a top secret copy of the NHL's brief, and found that it contains detailed advice that NFL owners will no doubt find invaluable. Here's a selection of highlights from the filing:
  • The cover page of the document has a note in what appears to be NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's handwriting reading "Should I have heard of these guys?"

  • The brief contains a lengthy section titled "How to keep a straight face if the players start to swear that they'll never accept a hard salary cap."

  • The league includes a helpful suggestion that the NFL consider generating some publicity by holding an outdoor game at a football stadium.

  • From force of habit, the brief includes multiple references to the Winnipeg Cardinals.

  • Under the heading "Typo Alert", NHL officials write: "Couldn't help but notice that you keep claiming you make several billion dollars a year off your TV deal. Silly NFL, 'million' is spelled with an 'm'!"

  • Three quarters of the document's pages are spent trying to explain the NHL's exact policy on headshots.

  • At the request of NHL officials, the briefs include the note "Hey, can you ask your referees where they get those microphones that actually work during crucial calls?"

  • The brief includes a note from Mike Murphy that reads "The guys in your replay room must be blind, because somebody scores using a distinctive kicking motion in like every single game."

  • A copy of Gary Bettman's resume was "accidentally" slipped in between the first two pages.

  • At one point, the NHL writes that "That little silver football thing you guys have is adorable, but give us a call if you ever decide to move up to giving out big boy trophies."

  • The league strongly encourages owners in other sports to stand firm in labour disputes, at one point noting "In fact, if both the NFL and NBA wanted to just cancel the next several seasons, we'd be totally fine with that."

  • The brief includes a section titled "A detailed guide to televising a draft without ruining the suspense of every pick ten seconds before it's announced".

  • Several pages are devoted to an angry Colin Campbell demanding an explanation for why nobody who hits his son Gregory has ever been flagged for roughing the quarterback.

  • In incredibly tiny type at the bottom of the last page, the document includes the words "By reading this brief, you agree that you are now the proud new owner of the Atlanta Thrashers."

  • The brief includes a controversial plea from Uptown Sports Management denouncing the NFL's widespread acceptance of man-to-man coverage.

  • The brief concludes with the phrase "Despite the many differences between our two leagues, at the very least we can all come together and agree that the Panthers suck."


  1. Awesome stuff, DGB!

    This explains how the NHL decides where to re-locate the Atlanta Thrashers. :)

  2. The brief includes a controversial plea from Uptown Sports Management denouncing the NFL's widespread acceptance of man-to-man coverage.

    This is brillant!!!!

  3. Curious, do you follow an NFL team at all?

  4. As the only Panthers fan willing to give a crap at this point (considering the other 11 gave up), that last line hurt. But the rest of it was pretty brilliant.

  5. Oh Christ, the Thrashers jab was awesome!

    As was the Man-to-man coverage.

  6. I'll admit I had to Google Uptown Sports Management. Funny stuff.

  7. Brilliant read. Thx 4 dis awesome read