Shutdown Corner - NFL

The strangest amicus brief yet turns NFL players into superheroesThere have been several amicus briefs filed during the current Brady v. NFL timeline — one from the Sports Fans Coalition, another from the collective Players Associations of the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball, another from the Elected Officials and Small Business Owners, and another from the National Football League Coaches Association. Amicus briefs are legal documents submitted by unsolicited groups or individuals with intent to help a court decide a case.

Of course, those submitting those briefs run the risk of their opinions being rendered irrelevant — or, in the case of the National Football League Coaches Association, not representative. At last count, 15 coaching staffs had made it public that the NFLCA didn't speak for them. While that may be examples of several successive examples of coaching staffs looking to keep their jobs, it's still an embarrassment for the organization.

That said, it's going to be tough for anyone to top the brief filed with the Eighth Circuit Court on June 2. A gentleman by the name of David R. Flood, who runs a "nominative fair use limited liability company and soon-to-be 501 c non-profit charitable organization" called the National Football League Players' Reserve (NFLPR), has opined that during the lockout, NFL players — specifically rookies -- could help to meet the needs of autistic and developmentally disabled children by "directly promoting the National Football League at an 'NFL Superpro' or elite trainee level that goes beyond discipline and service in the playing field."

Now, understand that we're not making fun of Flood's intentions; his heart appears to be in the right place. However, when his plan for a reserve league is revealed, it's hard not to take a few deliberate steps back and wonder just how such a thing would be done. From the brief:

Under this contingency plan — because of the owners' legal right to implement a lockout — rookie players would fill NFL team rosters and pay in place of veteran players until the second half of the season — or when a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, at which time the best of the best (NFLPR) will be chosen to play in an epic All-Star game after the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

The 4 teams of each rookie 'NFL Superpro' division — 8 divisions in all — i.e., Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins of the NFC East would be affiliated or attached to a Marvel action hero mascot of the 1st NFL Players' Reserve (Juggernauts gridiron attachment); 2nd NFL Players' Reserve (Heroes gridiron attachment); 3rd NFL Players' Reserve (Shockers gridiron attachment); 4th NFL Players' Reserve (Silver Surfer gridiron attachment); 5th NFL Players' Reserve (Havocs gridiron attachment); 6th NFL Players' Reserve (Hulks gridiron attachment); 7th NFL Players' Reserve (Iron Men gridiron attachment); and 8th NFL Players' Reserve (Crimson Commandos gridiron attachment).

The NFLPR's name and headquarters are currently registered with the California Secretary of State's office located in Sacramento, California with the 8 other reserve attachments just mentioned earmarked to be registered in the states of Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, and Michigan under the possible chairmanship of that the organization hopes is either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Maria Shriver since they are affiliated with the Special Olympics and the same needs children.  

The 4 NFL teams from a division will have banners of their action hero mascot reserve units and affixed to the shoulder side of the official team jersey with the 'NFL Superpro' patch on the front of the jersey … this fantasy to reality contingency plan will be made possible only if the NFL lockout continues at an impasse and NFL properties and Marvel Entertainment Characters Inc. agree to a licensing agreement to televise the 2011 NFL Football season with this format.

You get the idea; the full brief is downloadable here and is well worth reading -- especially the letter from the Governator to Mr. Flood.

The strangest amicus brief yet turns NFL players into superheroesHowever, there are two primary problems with Mr. Flood's potential league. First, he would be asking the league's rookies to essentially cross a picket line and play for the benefit of the NFL and NFL Properties, a betrayal that NFL veterans would never forgive. Second, Mr. Flood goes on in his brief to argue for the legality of the lockout. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I'm guessing it's going to be difficult to get any players on board with that one.

It's a goofy post to make a valid point — the longer this goes, the more amicus briefs you're going to see, and some of them will be far more about bringing attention to the people writing them than about any relevant facts pertaining to Brady v. NFL. That's what has happened to the National Football League Coaches Association, and that's most certainly what would happen to Mr. Flood's concept … should he ever get it even an inch off the ground.

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