Mara: 'Nobody is saying the NFL is not profitable'
The belief was that when New York Giants owner John Mara got involved in mediated discussions that his calm presence and leadership would help the process along.
As we now know, not event Mara’s presence could help talks that really went nowhere between the owners and players. It’s not that it’s Mara’s doing at all, but now the sides find themselves staring at one another with three weeks to go until they come together again in a federal courtroom in Minnesota.
“We've all made preparations to prepare for the worst case," Mara said on ESPN 1050, according to the New York Post. “It's certainly not going to be easy and it's certainly not the preferred route, but if we have to go that way, I think most of the clubs are going to be able to deal with it.
“I don't believe that's going to happen, I believe there will be a 2011 season. I still am trying to retain an optimistic view about this.
“The most frustrating part to me is there was a deal there to be made if they were interested in doing one. It became pretty clear to me after the first few days there they were not really interested in negotiating a deal unless it was strictly on their terms in regard to the core economic issues. It just seemed like the past couple of weeks we might as well have been sitting there staring at ourselves because not a lot was getting done.”
“Nobody is saying the NFL is not profitable or the teams are not making money. But there is no question about the fact our margins have been squeezed considerably over the past couple years. The costs of running an NFL franchise have grown considerably, considerably in our case with a new stadium that's just been constructed."
Mara said he remains optimistic but there is no guarantee the 2011 season will happen. He’s counting on cooler heads preparing.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune