Bring up the 1994 baseball strike, and John Elway and Gary Zimmerman make no effort to mask their bitterness.
Both carry too many scars from the ill-conceived 1987 NFL strike. They blame the NFL Players Association - or, more specifically, union chief Gene Upshaw - for the chaos brought on by allowing owners to invoke a salary cap."If the salary cap works so well," said Elway, "why are the baseball players so adamantly against it?
"Deion Sanders is one big reason why it doesn't work," Elway said, referring to Sanders, a Cincinnati Reds outfielder and an All-Pro cornerback who will be available to NFL teams as soon as the baseball season is over.
"What team is going to sign him when it means getting rid of six players?"
The NFL players strike crumbled after a month.
"To let the owners go out and get scab replacements just crushed us," Zimmerman said. "They got to play their games, and they got their TV money."
A better idea, Zimmerman said, would have been for the players to walk out on Monday Night Football and other selected games, thus cutting into the owners' TV revenue.
"We took care of the pre-'50s guys," Zimmerman said, referring to pension payments. "We should be taking care of the guys who lost their jobs over the strike."