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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Mods, go ahead & move this article if you see fit. I wasn't sure if it belonged in the Vikings forum , general NFL discussion or the Upshaw thread.

    It was quite the toss up.


    [size=18px]Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff[/size]

    The Vikings center did not play last year, but he sure delivered a Pro Bowl-sized verbal pancake on the executive director of the NFL Players' Association when no CBA deal was reached on Thursday.

    On The Nfl Mark Craig
    Last update: March 02, 2006 – 11:46 PM

    Vikings center Matt Birk isn't a big fan of the players union in general and of Gene Upshaw, its executive director, in particular.
    "Don't put this in the paper ... no, wait, go ahead and put it in," Birk said. "Gene Upshaw is a piece of" well, you know.

    Birk spoke as the union and the NFL were about to go Tony Soprano on the goose that lays the kind of golden eggs other sports can only dream about.

    Fortunately, both sides blinked. Seven hours before what would have been the beginning of the end of the NFL's salary cap, it was mutually agreed that three more days are required for someone -- anyone! -- to come to his senses and extend the collective bargaining agreement. So free agency will start on Monday, not today.

    "It's a joke, it really is," Birk said. "Everyone is making money. A lot of money. You think anyone wants to hear about the money problems of the NFL owners or players? It's bad pub for the league. It's bad for all of us."

    Birk was the Vikings' union rep until he couldn't stomach Upshaw's "propaganda and poor leadership" any longer. He has fought Upshaw on other fronts over the years, speaking out against the inordinate distribution of money to unproven rookies and Upshaw's refusal to fight for guaranteed contracts that players in other sports enjoy.

    "Someone asked him about me when I was going through my deal last summer trying to get my contract guaranteed," Birk said. "He said he played with a lot of great centers in his time and none of them made $4 million. That's our union rep? C'mon."

    Birk doesn't place all of the blame for the CBA mess at Upshaw's feet. But he does blame him for not being forthright while explaining what it would mean to the players not to have a salary cap in 2007.

    "When you go to those CBA meetings, you always feel like you're being sold something instead of being given the straight facts," Birk said. "Through all the meetings leading up to this, it was always: 'The owners don't want an uncapped year. We'll get a deal, and if we don't, so what? There will be an uncapped year and there will be crazy money out there.'

    "The reality is that's not the case. And you're seeing that it's not the leverage we were told it would be."

    While the lack of a salary cap would encourage the richer teams to overspend on certain players, there also would be rules in place that would be unfavorable to players.

    Players would become unrestricted free agents after six seasons, not four. Raises would be capped at 30 percent above the previous season. And there would be no minimum salary cap, whereas now it's 54 percent of the defined gross revenue.

    "And we'll lose some of our 401(k) and annuities, and some benefits, too," Birk said. "That's a huge deal to the younger guys making the minimum who might not have 10-year careers. Those are guys the union needs to look out for.

    "Instead, you go there and it's like some kind of religious revival. You don't feel you're getting the true message. And they're always talking too fast."

    Birk wishes the actual players had more power and say in how the union operates.

    "Too many guys in the league just accept whatever Gene says," Birk said. "I don't know why no one has called this guy out."

    It's hard to believe we're discussing labor unrest when the NFL generates $5.2 billion a year and signed the largest TV deal in sports history. The league gets $3.7 BILLION in TV money this year alone.

    "Gene thinks we're making all this money because of Gene Upshaw," Birk said. "No, we're making all of this money because of TV. This sport is huge, and what's going on right now is hurting all of us."

    Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    I think Upshaw is going down for this one.

    It is his evil plot to gain more power then he already has. Even the players know he is hurting the league.

  3. #3
    purplegang's Avatar
    purplegang is offline Starter
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    always 2 sides to a story. But agree that mean Gene is going down for the count

  4. #4
    LuckyVike's Avatar
    LuckyVike is offline Team Alumni
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Upshaw needs to be punched in the face. This whole situation should've been easily avoidable but he's being so stubborn from what I can tell that it's completely rediculous.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  5. #5
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Matt Birk is the man. I'm adding him as one of my new favorite players.

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    I like how Birk spoke up. I sure hope they get this resolved soon.

    On a related note: Questions and Answers about the NFL labor talks from ESPN

  7. #7
    vikesboy2003 is offline Rookie
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Who in the F*** made Birk the spokesman of the team!!! He is one of the biggest idiots on the team always putting down other people last season and he wasn't even out there. If Mr. Birk was suppose to be so smart why is it taking him so long to get his body right don't you think he would of chosen the right surgen the first time not taking him alomost two season to fix something??? I still don't know why everybody loves him.

  8. #8
    Euphman06 is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Because Birk doesn't talk smack, he tells it how it is, and he usually is right about it. It takes balls to make statements like he does, plus there was a report on nlf.com, one of the reporters saying the league vets need to show their voice in this matter. That's what he is doing. Plus he is one of the leagues BEST centers. No doubt about that, and he isn't trash, he doesnt get into trouble in night clubs and all of that junk. Think about it Vikesboy... I don't know what your grudge is, but if you have that big of a problem why don't you visit Birk and invite him into the ring with you. You'd be his biggest fan if you did.

  9. #9
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    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    Every persons body heals in different ways, don't put birk down for that. He is a smart person and doesnt need a union to tell him how to think. I wish more people in this country had his mindset.
    You republican whore!

  10. #10
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Birk pins much of the blame on Upshaw for labor standoff

    "vikesboy2003" wrote:
    Who in the F*** made Birk the spokesman of the team!!! He is one of the biggest idiots on the team always putting down other people last season and he wasn't even out there. If Mr. Birk was suppose to be so smart why is it taking him so long to get his body right don't you think he would of chosen the right surgen the first time not taking him alomost two season to fix something??? I still don't know why everybody loves him.
    You know who made him the spokesman for the team? The team did. They voted him one of their captains.

    Captains speak for a team, they represent the team on the field to the refs and off the field as well.

    So that's who the fuck made him a spokesman, the team. Now tell us how you really feel about Randy Moss and how your hate for Matt Birk stems from the idea that he in part was the reason Moss left.

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