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Saints, Vikings open with a gesture of labor unity

If there is an NFL lockout next year at this time, the first significant visual image may have arrived Thursday night on NBC's national telecast of the season opener.

Just before the coin toss, players for the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings walked to the hash marks in the Louisiana SuperDome and held up their index fingers in what was, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, a gesture of unity (see video) that players hope will become a pregame routine.

"Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others' heads in," Brees said after the game, "we're all one voice."

Earlier in the day, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said he hoped a new collective bargaining agreement could be reached by November. The present CBA expires in March. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he expects talks to intensify.

"All we're hearing from ownership is they want to lock us out," Brees said.

The idea to show solidarity reportedly came from Vikings and Saints representatives. The question is: Will this catch on before every game, every national telecast?

By Cindy Boren  |  September 10, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Good God, enough of the posturing. Sit down, talk, get something done or shut up, all of you.

Posted by: fengraf | September 10, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Watching without the sound on, I thought this might have been something about New Orleans/Katrina recovery, with the Vikings joining in to show their support.

Then I thought it might have been "we're #1" posturing by the Saints with the Vikings responding in kind, but that seemed unlikely.

Learning it was about the labor situation was disappointing. Just work it out, for goodness' sake, so we don't have to worry about football next year.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 10, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Back in '82 the players all came to the middle of the field and shooks hands to show unity... How did that season go? Yes a Redskin Super Bowl victory but also a STRIKE. :) Keep your fingers crossed...

Posted by: timb67 | September 10, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

it's incredulous that the players and the owners think they have anything without the fans. i admit that fans are addicted to the drama of the game in itself, but greed just destroys any warm and fuzzy the fans may have for either side. i think there should be some form of fan unity to let both sides know that a lock-out (inability to work out an viable solution) will have some form of retribution. maybe all the fans in the stands, can all stand up in unison and turn their backs to the field and in silence let the first series go by. then when the media asks what that was all about, tell them it's about being tired of greedy people wanting all the pie. while expecting the fans to just sit back hoping to be entertained. do it at the first monday night game for full exposure. do it at each stadium every game, let it be known to all involved in the inability to be fair about negotiations, that the fans are what count. i know t.v money is what it all stems from, but it is the visual effect that matters. if fans stop watching, they got bupkiss.....

Posted by: joerutgens72 | September 10, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

both sides need to come to the table and not play the media..what is the difference when actor/actress decides to make his view known at academy awards ceremony...same thing before a national audience...without knowing the facts how can you expect either side to impress the just want to watch football..players make too much money and owners are greedy and want every nickel...with double digit unemployment going on 3 years now do you really think anybody is interested in will lose either way...most are just plain fed up....make the deal...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | September 10, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy this season, this CBA is a nightmare already. Same is going to happen in the NHL. By the way Cindy, does Schonfelt get a royalty on the 'Have Another Doughnut'?

Posted by: delOH | September 12, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

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