We’ve truly hit the doldrums, finally. I suppose, after this offseason, we should be thankful when nothing happens—except that “nothing” includes not signing Drew Brees.
Brees remains unsigned. Did you know that? If you didn’t, if you’re unaware of the status of contract negotiations, go read Jeff Duncan’s piece at Nola.com. He manages 850 words without a single new fact or insight. Now that’s journalism. Seriously, you guys have no idea how hard that is. (Gotta give them credit, though: the photo illustrating the article is a hoot. If you’re not a Saints fan, I mean.)
The big news right now is the reorganization of the Saints as a business entity—in other words, the Rita bombshell. Maybe it’s a delayed fuse, but I sure missed the explosion. She’s no longer executive vice president. Now she’s vice-chairman of the board. Dennis Lauscha—who always was reputed to be the real engine—is officially team president. In other words, Rita has been removed from field command and installed in a cushy job behind the front.
What does it mean? Hell if I know. Maybe it means Rita won’t get to make any more NFL commercials. What did she do before that she won’t be doing now? Hell if I know.
I doubt we’ll see any difference at all until Benson passes on—and then all hell might break loose. In order to forestall that, I propose marriage between Lauscha and Rita. You say Lauscha’s already married? Oh please. Like that’s an obstacle.
Anyway, here is a complete run-down on the new corporate structure.
One other interesting nugget…well, two, actually: James Varney did interviews on the subject of Jonathan Vilma’s suspension. One with Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsburg; and another with Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman. Ginsburg makes it pretty evident that the lawsuit is a manuever to compel the NFL to release its “evidence”; Feldman touches on the difficulty of winning such a suit, and on the strong possibility of the league succeeding in getting the suit dismissed:
“[T]he league may argue these things really should be resolved under the terms of the CBA without messing with state law. That’s just a general legal principle that state law claims are pre-empted by federal labor laws if the claims are intertwined with the CBA itself. The league is saying these legal claims are just another way of saying the commissioner has exceeded his authority and then that is to be determined under the CBA.”
Okay, y’all know I’m not a lawyer, but there’s something here I don’t understand. The right to libel players is not part of the CBA. Vilma is not suing Goodell for exceeding his contractual authority, but for libel and slander. Suppose Vilma was married, and Goodell stole away his wife. Vilma then sues for alienation of affection. Could the league argue that it’s covered by the CBA? I don’t get it.