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The New Lords of the Realm

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John Helyar knows business and he knows sports. The former Wall St. Journal writer made a larger name for himself with his bestseller Barbarians at the Gate, and then wrote Lords of the Realm, a long but definitive history of baseball's century long search for labor peace. (The anecdote about Ted Turner feigning mental illness by barking like a dog and challenging Commissioner Bowie Kuhn to a duel at league meetings so he could get suspended and sail in the America's Cup is worth the cover price all by itself.)

Helyar also moonlights for ESPN and offers this concise look into the issues roiling the owners. He makes the process seem far more complex and hence more gloomy than anything we've come up with.

The skinny: there are some hard lines drawn within the owners ranks that won't go away even if Gene Upshaw were to throw up his hands tomorrow and take whatever the NFL gave him. We may get lucky and receive a new CBA that keeps these intraowner squabbles out of our lives, but they're not going to go away for some time, if ever.