Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe most of the past labor stoppages have come about because there were large, fundamental issues at stake.
The early work stoppages, most notably the baseball strike of the early 80s, was a battle over each player’s right to become a “free agent” at some point in his career. The next wave involved institutional controls over the amount each team could spend on free agents, and how each former teams would be compensated for a player’s lost services. The third wave of labor unrest involved revenue sharing and the imposition of the salary caps.
What was the NFL’s latest lockout about? If you read the nutshell version of the agreement provided by profootballtalk, it appears to have been a battle at the margins. The player’s lost a little bit of revenue, the owners’ lost their idiotic plan to play 18 game schedules, and the unrepresented future rookies lost millions of future dollars. Other than that, there were some safety improvements and other niceties, but nothing Earth shattering.
Are you telling me they needed to disrupt the League’s off-season routine to hammer out those incremental changes? The only radical change was the rookie cap, and the NFLPA didn’t exactly fight hard against that.
Come on. Try a little harder next time.