Hasselbeck vs. Cromartie: Labor of no love

January, 27, 2011
1/27/11
3:48
PM ET
Keeping roughly 1,700 to 2,500 young men unified will be much tougher, in my view, than keeping 32 wealthier, older men unified.

That is why I've favored NFL owners to outlast NFL players in a labor staredown, should one materialize.

Case in point: cornerback Antonio Cromartie's threat to "smash" the face of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck over some labor-related Twitter feuding gone awry.

Cromartie spoke first when he criticized owners and players, drawing rebukes from Arizona's Darnell Dockett, among others. Hasselbeck then questioned, via Twitter, whether Cromartie knew whether CBA stood for collective bargaining agreement. Cromartie then responded with, "hey Matt if u have something to then say it be a man about it. Don't erase it. I will smash ur face in."

So much for player safety.

This is comical. Owners must be laughing and doubling down their bets.

Cromartie and Hasselbeck are but two players from a pool of 1,700 (32 teams times 53 roster spots) or more than 2,500 (32 teams times 80 roster spots). That doesn't matter so much as the perceptions that will linger following this sort of schoolyard sparring.

And it's only January. Wait til the labor situation gets even more combative. What then?

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