SI Vault
October 18, 2010
Like a binary star, the NFL has dual centers of energy: Roger Goodell's league office and DeMaurice Smith's players association. All else—owners, agents, media, fans—revolves around that mutually reactive core. Now, though, the looming labor dispute threatens to tear the system apart, unless the powers that be can harness the force of this friction to bind themselves together even more strongly. Herewith a sky map of the most powerful elements in the universe of pro football.
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October 18, 2010

Spheres Of Influence

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DeMaurice Smith, 46, NFLPA executive director

Former D.C. prosecutor and trial lawyer won election as dark horse in 2009; not nearly as chummy with league office as predecessor, Gene Upshaw

Jeffrey Kessler, 56, NFLPA counsel

Veteran labor-side lawyer—he litigated McNeil v. NFL, which led to establishment of free agency—is Pash's chief adversary

Kevin Mawae, 39, NFLPA president

Former NFL lineman is strong voice on financial and health-care issues, though influence in negotiations remains to be seen


Peyton Manning, 34

Colts quarterback is face of the league and its most marketable player

Brett Favre, 41

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