Would you peg Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover as a cold blooded rebel? Me neither, but the joke is on both of us, as Stover has laid out his plans to off NFL Player’s Union executive director Gene Upshaw by March 2009.
With talks on the league’s collective bargaining agreement looming, Stover has sent an email to the Union’s executive board members and team representatives outlining his call for a change in leadership. Upshaw, who has recently been the target of criticism by current and former players on the issue of labor structure and pension for retired players, infamously threatened a labor strike in February of this year in the face of the owners opting out of the current agreement that nets the players 60 percent of revenues.
On the outside, it would seem like Upshaw has his good and bad sides, but if you get Matt Stover all riled up to boot you out, obviously something has gone wrong in the big house. The owners don’t want a strike, and the players don’t want to lay the groundwork for reduced income as retaliation. Somewhere in the middle is Upshaw, and Stover and others appear to be working to remove him from the equation.