How is the likely NFL owners – NFL Players Association outcome similar to the Cold War? According to Don Banks at Sports Illustrated:
Negotiation was the answer, but you can’t discount the fact that both sides negotiated much more realistically once the threat of continued litigation — and losing via that route — was in play. Kind of a twist on the old Reagan line about his approach to dealing with the Cold War-era Soviet Union: "Trust, but verify.” Negotiation alone could have proved to be an endless exercise. The courts provided a much-needed dose of smelling salts under the nose of both owners and players.
Actually, Banks’ analysis is a total non sequitur. “Kind of a twist”? Hardly. There is no threat of litigation in arms control as there is no third-party authority suitable to judge the dispute. So the NFL situation doesn’t have anything to do with the Cold War issue of trust or verification, it has to do with pressure, that is a forcing-function. Banks eventually gets it right and eschews the Cold War analogy:
But in the end, it’s funny how money can wind up speaking the loudest. Not to mention provide the balm that soothes and heals all wounds. Bygones may not be bygones in every sense of the word, but if the checks start clearing again for everyone involved, I predict the level of discourse will take on a kinder, gentler tone…
My take is Cameron Crowe was spot-on in Jerry Maguire and I’m not talking about “You had me at hello.” Things in this example aren’t about trust, negations, or verification. It’s far more basic.