NFL Lockout = Stupid Greed

Catching up in The Bird Cage after a round of sickness swept through the authors house and family. New, more extensive post to come shortly.

Almost all of The Bird Cage is devoted of course to our Atlanta Falcons, but seeing as though a real possibility exists of not even seeing any Falcons games in 2011, the topic should be a good one for some comments and feelings towards the NFL, the owners, and the players.

“Reasons” for Lockout

The factors at play are complicated, complex, and hard to understand. If you’ve been following the entire dramatic saga you know that the NFL makes $9 billion dollars a year and the owners want more of the pie and the players not quite as much. Then there’s the issue of the season going to 18 games, a rookie wage scale, and owner’s opening their financial books.

It’s amazing all involved in this ridiculous ordeal are this tone deaf in the current state of affairs in our country and the world overall. The NFL just hit its highest peak in the last two years with the two highest rated Super Bowls and most seen shows in the history of television and makes enough money to be considered the 4th arm of our U.S. Government.

Above the Fray?

They’ve known this was coming for over a year and pretended to care at the very end and act like they were very close with their 3 extensions. When in hindsight, at least according to the players, they were never close to reaching a deal whatsoever. After all his tough management style and bluster, Roger Goodell came off as ineffectual and weak when it came to the owners of the league. All associated in the NFL, particularly the owners since they stockpiled millions to offset a coming lockout, are insanely arrogant to think they have more pull as not to incite anger, betrayal, and bitterness with their fans.

If the court ruling coming on April 6th rules against the owners, than things could quickly go back to the old rules and not too much would be lost, except all sympathy for the poor, billionaire owners. If the court ruling goes with the owners, a real possibility exists on losing the entire season, or at least seriously damaging it.

Do We “Understand?”

As much as we all love and appreciate Arthur Blank for what he’s done for our franchise and the real hope that the Lombardi Trophy may one day come to Atlanta, the letter he sent out typifies how the owners think a little bit. He said he appreciates us “understanding” this whole ordeal. Well, the fact is that we DON’T understand it and all the factors at play make a hill of beans to us real people who buy the tickets, purchase parking passes, shop for merchandise, and spend a large time of our lives supporting something that we love.

The reality is that it’s hard enough for most of us to provide for our families, pay for healthcare, save money for our kids to go to college, pay down our skyrocketing credit card rates, and do the best we can to keep our heads above water while enduring one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. It’s disrespectful, angering, and completely tone deaf to what’s going on in the real world where people don’t get paid millions to play a kid’s game or billions to own an NFL franchise. If the NFL, it’s owners, and players believe they are above the fray and have more pull than any other sports, they will most likely find out they are wrong. Ask baseball enthusiasts how their lockout affected their sport when they locked out, which ironically helped confirm that the NFL was truly America’s favorite pastime.

Fans will move on to another sport and the bitterness will turn into ambivalence and the NFL may not lose all of its popularity, but it will take a long time, if ever, to get back to their current state.

Enough of The Bird Cage’s take. Your turn to weigh in on the Stupid Greed known as the NFL Lockout.

Your Turn

-Who’s most to blame: owners, players, or both?

-Who do you sympathize with more: owners, players, or neither?

-Is the NFL above other sports in terms of pull?

-Will you turn off the NFL at some point?

-What sports do you plan on turning on?

-How long do you think this will drag on?

-How tone deaf are all involved with the NFL to reality?

-Do you “understand” the situation as Mr. Blank says?

147 comments Add your comment

Unca' Bob

March 16th, 2011
12:04 pm

Enter your comments here

Hose

March 16th, 2011
12:16 pm

Blame goes to both sides. It is hard to fathom that all this boils down to money. Too bad they couldnt just reach a medium and be happy with it. GreeD!!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
12:16 pm

1) I think Owners take the lead in blame (Jerry Richardson in the lead) , but the players union certainly threw gasoline on the fire

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
12:18 pm

2) I sympathize with neither, my sympathies go to the families, to the kids with no insurance. Unions don’t necessarily reresent the interests of ALL members, in this case the price of the top negotiators takes presediance over the best interests of the rank and file of both sides.

chipontheroad birdsrus

March 16th, 2011
12:19 pm

Poppa Falcon

March 16th, 2011
12:20 pm

Millionaires & Billionaires arguing over money? I CAN’T & WILL NOT ever comprehend. Shame on the Owners & NFLPA.

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
12:27 pm

As long as they get something worked out by the end of summer, it won’t be a big deal. The NFL has a right to run itself as a business and all of you have a right as customers to be mad. The sad part is that the owners and players seemed to make this predestined. I understand how that adds to the urgency sometimes required for negotiation, but it was a horrible public relations move and has put so many people in limbo.

They will reap what they sew. Maybe they aren’t so popular that they can pull this stunt.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
12:29 pm

-Is the NFL above other sports in terms of pull?
Yes, but that is NOT guaranteed to be a permanent state of affairs.

-Will you turn off the NFL at some point?
Defacto, it is turned off now. Will I stop loving football? No. Will I refuse to spend any of my precious dollars on them? Hell yes!!!

-What sports do you plan on turning on?
College F’ball, and Baseball. I would love to see Networks bring AFL to the American public, it is close, and pretty exciting (mix between Rugby and American Footie, Australian style).

-How long do you think this will drag on?
Lawsuits? Months, perhaps years. Lockout? Before the season, too much money. The owners have options, “last and best offer” is possible but they need to get clarification thru the courts as to the legal status of the union before the correct legal road can be walked. So, wither a provisional extension of the current agreement, or ‘last and best offer” implementation under labor law. Just a guess, who knows???

-How tone deaf are all involved with the NFL to reality?
At the top of each group I feel they are exceptionally tone deaf, much too busy talking AT each other to be able to talk WITH each other. They are both following pre-scripted scenarios with the firm understanding that the other side will soon realize that defeat is inevitable, and therefore must capitulate.

-Do you “understand” the situation as Mr. Blank says?
Does anyone??????? Macroscopically, sure, I understand on an intellectual level at least blind lemming like self destructive greed.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
12:31 pm

WOW, got excited and forgot to proof read. I assume the main thrust got thru, too busy to review, time for lunch.

lowdowndurrtydog

March 16th, 2011
12:39 pm

The blame is on both sides. You have a commissioner who clearly represents the owners and a union leader with an ax to grind. They both want to make this a beauty contest. Whoever comes out the prettiest wins.
Owners, stop tripping and show them what they need. I mean you guys are old as hell anyway. Do the right thing for once and stop all the lying and scheming.
Players, dont make this into more than a business decision. Stop making things personal and trying to win public view. Get all the facts, make a reasonable offer and get back on the field. Some of you dont have a long time left in your careers and gues what, time is ticking!

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
12:47 pm

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
12:49 pm

-Who’s most to blame: owners, players, or both?
Both, with a slight edge to the owners. They knew a lookout may be the best way to secure a larger % and schemed to make it so. The players association seemed like they always planned to decertify.

-Who do you sympathize with more: owners, players, or neither?
Players because they have a small window to sell their skillset. An owner can work for decades. Therefore, there is a greater impact on players in a lockout. From a business standpoint, I sympathize with neither. Players had a great deal. Owners ignore the equity position and focus solely on cash flows.

-Is the NFL above other sports in terms of pull?
Clearly, but I think it is structural as well as visceral. For instance, short season, 3-hour games, and appointment viewing Sunday.

-Will you turn off the NFL at some point?
No, I will not turn off the Falcons. May affect my desire to watch other games. Unlike other sports we are not used to missing some games during the season, which may make it easier to not miss the rest.

-What sports do you plan on turning on?
College Football was always first. Probably spend Sundays golfing and getting out of the house.

-How long do you think this will drag on?
End of July is where all signs have been pointing from the beginning.

-How tone deaf are all involved with the NFL to reality?
This is a loaded question. Personally, I don’t think they are tone deaf but they are focused on negotiating in their best interest as I would expect of anyone. If I were renegotiating my salary, I wouldn’t be considering Paul the truck driver in Minneapolis. Their PR and message however has been extremely tone deaf.

-Do you “understand” the situation as Mr. Blank says?
I understand that both sides wanted to play all the cards they were dealt. I understand that focusing on business is the only way to get the deal done. Lastly, I understand that these people could be the morons to set professional football back 10-15 years like baseball and hockey did.

falcon for life

March 16th, 2011
12:50 pm

I have an idea and i am very serious about this. seeing that the owners want a lock out and the NFLPA have got decertified. and both parties really have shown that they do not care about what the fans want. i charge all the fans of all 32 teams for two games only (or more depending what the consensus is) to strike. that way the bilion dollar owners and the millionaire players can see when all the seats in the stadium are empty, that we the fans are the true wallets that put money in there pockets. how do you all feel?

[...] See the article here: NFL Lockout = Stupid Greed – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 16th, 2011
1:09 pm

I understand this is highly simplistic and more than a little sarcastic, but here is my proposal:

1)Take the 1,000,000,000 that they are squabbling over and donate it to –TEACHERS in all states that host NFL teams, 1/32nd to each state that has a team (double for Penn., Triple for NY, etc.).

2) Half to be donated by players, prorated by salaries, half by owners, structured to allow a tax writeoff. For those players in a 28% to 33% federal and 6% state tax rate (most of them, I reckon), this would be 34% to 39% of that contribution that would go to their bank accounts instead of uncle sugar.

3) Teachers get pay raises instead of cuts and layoffs, and the NFL publicity gets an urgently needed positive boost. Pictures of a tone deaf Mr. Blank and a group of players in a school bus with the county blanked out would actually mean something.

Pollyanna’ish daydream over, back to reality

This Gets Old!

March 16th, 2011
1:13 pm

Have any games been lost? Any practice been canceled? The more fans boo hoo over “who’s really to blame” the more both sides are emboldened to try and “win” Did either side consider the fans when they decided upon lockout or decertification? We can’t understand the money involved, nor do we know what has actually transpired in negotiations. Pay less attention to them. They’ll take the hint.

knute8143

March 16th, 2011
1:13 pm

Wow! Where do I start?
Adrian Peterson says the NFL is a modern form of “slavery”! Wow! Zeus has got to be trembling in his boots up there in Mt. Olympus. How is it that mortal NFL owners can enslave GODS??!!?? I’m unemployed and I’m wondering how can I be enslaved? Where do I send my resume? Very little experience, but willing to train! Where can I find classes in lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and boastful pride. No Godly experience,but check this out: “MAYBE YOU DON’T REALIZE WHO I AM???”
That’s enough to scare any pig who interferes with MY fun.

No, come to think of it, I’ll take unemployment and just keep following my God. I have always been an avid Falcon fan – they have done a good job over the years keeping their GODS to a minimum. But after a lot of thought about continuing to support the NFL in general,I have come to realize we, the fans, are the ones who feed the Adrian Petersons. I think I choose to take back my Sundays and spend it giving all that praise and glory to the one and only living God.

Owners need to free these poor slaves (idiots)and start semi-pro and arena football leagues in smaller venues in all sizes of cities. Stop overpaying the prima donnas.

My apologies to the good guys, like Warrick Dunn, the guys who just love to play the game and know enough to give back as much as they can
to the community.

Personally, I hope there is no NFL season this year! Kill the Golden Goose! Speaking of Gooses (yeah, I know geese) “AFLAC!” Too much stupidity in this world! VICK FOR PRESIDENT!

JeanE

March 16th, 2011
1:20 pm

My sympathies are entirely with the players. These owners are making money but the bucketload and have been for years. They don’t want to share it, period. And they want more games for the players to get hurt and banged up! These guys play the most brutal sport and alot of them are sometimes crippled later on in life, they deserve more of the money. And I have no sympathy whatsoever with the fat cat owners including Arthur Blank, who has lost alot of my goodwill with his continues insistance on a new and completely uneccessary new stadium. NO way Artie! And also, I am still pissed at the Falcons for not bringing back Brian Finneran!

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
1:33 pm

BA, teachers are compensated largely with pensions and benefits thanks to unions in addition to their salary. I find it slightly ironic you would bring them up after kids (fans) are having to make up 20 minutes a day thanks to a teacher sickout (strike). Seems tone deaf too.

Point being, labor negotiations are very rarely pretty. The average NFL player dies in his 50’s instead of his 70’s. Until Free Agency, they are property of one team and don’t get to choose where to live or who to work for. I wouldn’t love that deal but they are exteremely well paid because of it. Clearly, not slavery but maybe more of an indentured servitude.

I definitely do not feel sorry for either party involved in the negotiations. I do feel sorry for all the small businessmen, staffers, coaches, families, and fans affected because they couldn’t meet the deadline, which is almost inexcusable. Goodell should be fired.

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
1:49 pm

All businesses should ultimately be focused providing the customer (fan) value. When you let administration get in the way of operations, you have screwed up. I know both sides hope to make it up when they go back to work, but customers always have the option to shop elsewhere like MLB and NHL has seen. The NFL had been so successful because they hadn’t forced the customer to search for replacement value (sports) elsewhere. While I don’t think you consider customers in the scope of negotiations between management and employees, you do have to consider them in the scope of making sure the deal gets done. Otherwise, you have a deal but no business.

Bull Schmitt

March 16th, 2011
2:01 pm

I have nothing negative to say about the millionnaires and billionnaires in our great republic. This is a capitalistic society and they are free to make all the money they can. I do believe we, the fans, are responsible for creating this monstrosity. We paid the money and paid the necessary attention required to beef up their backpockets. We can also severly weaken them by choosing to ignore their products going forward. I’d be lying though if I said I would not watch another Falcons game. I just wish this lockout would end soon. I’m with you D3 on the other stuff. This is one tough economy and things need to improve.

momdawg

March 16th, 2011
2:41 pm

No need to make any comments! D3 you said it all perfectly. Just sad; that’s about it in a nutshell.

just me

March 16th, 2011
3:10 pm

A moment away from the labor issues to bring you two more dark horses for the upcomming draft.

DT Blaine Sumner from Colorado School of Mines.
He did 52 reps on the bench! (Actually did 55 reps, but 3 didn’t count) @ Air Force’s Pro day.
Blaine is a Nose Tackle, 6′1″ 335lbs. Raw, but he also can squat close to 1000lbs. I read on a Buffalo Bills message board that his nickname is “The Vanillia Gorilla”

DE/OLB Marc Schiechl from Colorado School of Mines
He is 6′2″ 247lbs. He has 45 career sacks (Div II leader)

Excerpt from Draft insider: http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=5075
Much was written from Indianapolis when Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea set the combine record by completing 49 reps on the bench. That mark was matched on Tuesday by Blaine Sumner from Colorado School of Mines, a Division II program.

The small school defensive lineman measured 6-feet, 1.5-inches and 335-pounds. Besides his solid mark on the bench press Sumner also touched 32-inches in the vertical jump. Sumner will get a chance to top that number, which he thinks he can accomplish, as he’s been asked to participate in next week’s pro-day at Air Force.

Not to be outdone Sumner’s teammate, record setting sackmaster Marc Schiechl, also wowed the scouts in attendance. Schiechl, who holds the Div-II record with 45 career sacks, ran 4.64-seconds in the forty, posted a 35-inch vertical jump and broad jump of 10-feet, 5-inches. Oh yeh- he also completed 38 reps on the bench. Primarily playing defensive end in college, Schiechl measured 6-feet, 2.5-inches and weighed 251-pounds. He was put through a battery of linebacker drills and looked terrific. He also will showcase his skills again during the Air Force pro-day.

Excerpt from Sports illustrated: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/football/nfl/nfl-draft-pro-days-2011/index.html#ixzz1Gg9qFoXz

There’s a new leader in the clubhouse! Last week, we told you of the exploits of Blaine Sumner, the sleeper nose tackle from the Colorado School of Mines who completed 49 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press during his March 8 pro day. That number equaled the amount completed by Stephen Paea, who set the combine record in February. Sumner topped that mark on Monday when he completed 52 reps as a participant in the Air Force pro-day. He actually completed 55 reps, but three were disqualified by scouts in attendance. Besides being an All-Conference defensive tackle, Sumner has marks of 900 pounds in the squat and 425 in the clean. He will be tough to pass up in the late rounds

JB FALCON

March 16th, 2011
4:26 pm

“They’ve known this was coming for over a year.” D3. Plus, why did they wait until the 11th month to bother meeting? Is “football court” so full that they couldn’t get to this case sooner than 3 weeks? Somebody is dragging their feet for a reason. Reasoning dictates that the players will be hurt the most, therefore any delay of the negotiations would be giving an advantage to the owners.
The road to hell is paved with Greed so everyone involved should be careful where they step.

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
4:50 pm

JBF, the owners were definitely planning on a lockout and they looked at the recent NHL outcome for owners. That’s why they negotiated the TV deals and have all this other cash on hand. Conversely, the players knew the owners were going to use the threat of a lockout to negotiate a much more favorable deal so they planned to decertify and take it to court the whole time. Truth is: players had too good of a deal; the owners are asking them to give up a lot.

Assuming 9 billion in revenues:
Old Deal
Owners: 4.2 B
Players: 4.8 B

NFLPA Offered Deal:
Owners: 4.5 B
Players: 4.5 B

Owners Offered Deal:
Owners: 5.5 B
Players: 3.5 B

So players offered to take a $300M paycut while the owners want them to take a $1B paycut. That is a 22% paycut. Plus, the equity value of each franchise has risen, which is unrecognized income for the owners.

JJ

March 16th, 2011
4:56 pm

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
4:59 pm

Oops, math was on the wrong cell. The players offered a 6.25% pay cut and the owners asked for an additional 22% to total a 27% pay cut. That would be hard for a lot of us to swallow no matter how much we were making. Still doing the same work

uga_b

March 16th, 2011
4:59 pm

Oops, math was on the wrong cell. The players offered a 6.25% pay cut and the owners asked for an additional 22% to total a 27% pay cut. That would be hard for a lot of us to swallow no matter how much we were making. Still doing the same work

Paddy O

March 16th, 2011
6:38 pm

I lean toward the players, but their union head has come off as a first class a hole. I reject 18 games, as it would shorten players careers and extend the season even further. If the players offered 300 mil, and the owners never counter offered – like 700 mil with a goal of 500, the this really is the owners fault.

falcon21

March 16th, 2011
7:21 pm

I do agree that it is greed on both sides but the owner is your boss. If you don’t like working under these conditions and only make a few mil. a year, you do have an option. You can quit. I’m not saying I agree with the owners but it is what it is, It is a brutal game and players knew that before they chose their future. Sure, both sides are greedy but owners will always have the upper hand. This is the USA and we all deal with it every day. As a fan I am pissed at both partys.

JB FALCON

March 16th, 2011
7:50 pm

uga_b, I’m not agreeing with the owners but 27% means a lot to a guy making $10 an hour. If I were getting paid 200 times what the average worker makes, like $2,000 per hour, it would be different.
I also agree with 21, D3, and the rest of most everyone. The whole thing is Greed/Stupid.

SeenThisB4

March 16th, 2011
9:44 pm

It’s not just greed, there is a certain amount of stupidity and overgrown egos involved in this battle. All they are doing is alienating their fan base.

You’d expect an idiot mentality from both management and players of the falcants’ second-rate, amateur organization. There is no doubt that atl is ground zero for the NFL’s explosion of the thug idiocy, strarting with the dog fighter and the what’s-in-it-for-me head coaches. Now it’s also permeating the 31 professional organizations in the NFL as well.

falcon21

March 16th, 2011
10:33 pm

B4, did you say anything that was supposed to mean something? You kinda got off track.

drmondo

March 16th, 2011
10:49 pm

I tend to blame the owners more than the players. Because guys like Jerry Jones have now got sweetheart deals on new stadiums (coincidentally one of the few revenues that doesn’t get shared with the league) the rest “need” to keep an extra $ billion $ before sharing with the players…and they still “need” public funding for these stadiums while keeping most of the revenue.
They won’t open their books because: a) they aren’t losing money like they claim; b) they are hiding revenue as expenses (ie: owner pays himself $10mil as CEO of franchise, $5mil to wife as head of the fan club, $5mil to 6yr old son as PR consultant…much like Steinbrenner did back in the MLB strike).

Both sides are wrong. This is a $9 billion business that they’re willing to damage. That’s stupidity with a capital “duh”. If there’s any intelligence left, they’ll make sure this doesn’t continue into the preseason and affect the season.

The league should, for PR purposes cut the ticket prices this season by at least 25% to make sure fans show up. Since this is unlikely and it’s unrealistic to expect everybody to completely ignore their favorite teams here’s what I propose. For the first 2 weeks of the season, stay home and watch your team on tv or the computer. Don’t go to the stadium. If you happen to be polled by the neilsons those weeks, don’t say you tuned in to the nfl. Don’t go out and buy merchandise those first 2 weeks. At least that way we send a signal that the fans are the most important part of this league, not the owners or players.

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:03 am

SeenThisB4

March 16th, 2011
9:44 pm
It’s not just greed, there is a certain amount of stupidity and overgrown egos involved in this battle. All they are doing is alienating their fan base.

You’d expect an idiot mentality from both management and players of the falcants’ second-rate, amateur organization. There is no doubt that atl is ground zero for the NFL’s explosion of the thug idiocy, strarting with the dog fighter and the what’s-in-it-for-me head coaches. Now it’s also permeating the 31 professional organizations in the NFL as well.

TRANSLATION : A saints fan and/or troll that will say anything to take a shot at the Falcons and their fans, mostly for the sake of eliciting vitriol-spitting dialogue.

Advice : Ignore the troll (they really hate that) or talk about “it” like it isn’t there. Just don’t address “it” directly. Or, you can choose to report loose trolls to the zoo keeper (blog author/moderator) for pest control purposes.

;)

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:16 am

I’m not mad at Arthur Blank, or any player in particular. I feel badly for the families of those players who may suffer from a work stoppage. I also feel badly for all of those who are associated with the NFL and would lose income/insurance/whatever from a work stoppage.

Having said that, I’m angry because what started as a business dispute situation turned into little more than a peeing contest. Maybe there’s more to it, but just like D3 and BA have said, we’re fans. We’re NOT going to understand the situation as a whole or from every possible angle because we have NEVER been “in the know” about things, and NEVER will be. Why would we be?

From what I’ve seen, the owners did what they typically like to do – push to manipulate and control most of everything from a revenue standpoint, and try to ensure that they have the larger slice of the pie. Big surprise. These people OWN freakin’ NFL franchises, so there’s no such thing as not having an ego. However, the players union decided to make their sticking point something that the owners were almost surely not going to give in on: opening up their accounting books.

How freakin’ ridiculous is that? Why would NFL owners open up their books to the players? No businessman or businesswoman of that caliber would do something like that for an employee, no matter the business. But, it happened because the union rep saw a way to NOT make this deal happen.

In the end, the owners will still have the upper hand some way or another. It’s inevitable. Why? Because they are the OWNERS. They OWN the franchises. It can’t get any more self-explanatory than that. The employees (players) will never have the upper hand. A lot of the old rules will apply, some new ones may come into play. But in the end, not much will change.

Besides, the owners know they can survive because they are business people from beginning to end. Football is not their life. They had money before they bought a team, unless they inherited the team in a family line. It’s really that simple. Players? Not all even have a modicum of business sense, much less a business pedigree. Most will lose out in this fight if it’s kept up. The owners know that.

I’m just sick of the peeing contest. The players union made a mistake by letting DeMaurice “hotshot” Smith lead them into a battle they can’t win. The owners made a mistake by playing down to the battle like a parent negotiating with a 5 year old child.

What a pile of idiots and morons.

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:17 am

Ok, I’ve tried posting about the owners/players thing like 5 times now, and the blog monster keeps eating it right up. F*ck it….

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:19 am

Now the system is saying “duplicate comment…it looks as though you already said that!”

WTF…

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:20 am

Screw that blog monster….I’m going to try one more time…

I’m not mad at Arthur Blank, or any player in particular. I feel badly for the families of those players who may suffer from a work stoppage. I also feel badly for all of those who are associated with the NFL and would lose income/insurance/whatever from a work stoppage.

Having said that, I’m angry because what started as a business dispute situation turned into little more than a peeing contest. Maybe there’s more to it, but just like D3 and BA have said, we’re fans. We’re NOT going to understand the situation as a whole or from every possible angle because we have NEVER been “in the know” about things, and NEVER will be. Why would we be?

From what I’ve seen, the owners did what they typically like to do – push to manipulate and control most of everything from a revenue standpoint, and try to ensure that they have the larger slice of the pie. Big surprise. These people OWN freakin’ NFL franchises, so there’s no such thing as not having an ego. However, the players union decided to make their sticking point something that the owners were almost surely not going to give in on: opening up their accounting books.

How freakin’ ridiculous is that? Why would NFL owners open up their books to the players? No businessman or businesswoman of that caliber would do something like that for an employee, no matter the business. But, it happened because the union rep saw a way to NOT make this deal happen.

In the end, a lot of the old rules will apply, some new ones may come into play. But not much will change.

Besides, the owners know they can survive because they are business people from beginning to end. Football is not their life. They had money before they bought a team, unless they inherited the team in a family line. It’s really that simple. Players? Not all even have a modicum of business sense, much less a business pedigree. Most will lose out in this fight if it’s kept up. The owners know that.

I’m just sick of the peeing contest. The players union made a mistake by letting DeMaurice “hotshot” Smith lead them into a battle they can’t win. The owners made a mistake by playing down to the battle like a parent negotiating with a 5 year old child.

What a pile of idiots and morons.

Big Ray

March 17th, 2011
12:21 am

Swallowed again. I quit.

[...] continue reading… [...]

Ed

March 17th, 2011
1:53 am

One area I clearly feel the players are wrong about is the draft. Asking college kids to pass up the one chance they will have to walk on stage, something all have dreamed about doing, is being very selfish. Secondly, if the players don’t decertify (which is a sham in itself), the owners don’t lockout the players. It goes both ways as both sides are more concerned about one-upping the other that a long term lockout is likely.

RN

March 17th, 2011
3:27 am

In 1922, the United States Supreme Court decided Major League Baseball was a sport and not interstate commerce. In 1922 perhaps it was a sport, but today MLB is a self-regulating billion-dollar monopoly. MLB is really no different than OPEC. It controls supply and it controls price with absolutely no accountability. The simple, logical and common sense fact is that MLB is a business that should be governed by the same laws as every other business.

But for some reason, in this country, we have decided as to support professional sports as a “great public endeavor”. We devote hundreds and hundreds of millions, billions of dollars to building stadiums for privately held teams (teams which get the best of both worlds – they “have their cake and eat it too”).

The Supreme Court said that the NFL, MLB, NBA, etc., are national treasures, They’re national possessions and will not be treated as not an ordinary businesses. It’s a decision we’ve made as a culture and as a country and as a government. And who knows whether it’s the right one or not. But current law allows teams to operate as private entities, and yet they get all sorts of public breaks.

It’s hard to name a stadium, particularly in the NFL these days, that doesn’t have some degree of public financing. In New Jersey right now, the New York Giants are playing in a brand new stadium while the State of New Jersey still owes $110 million on a stadium that was just demolished to become a parking lot for the new stadium.
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Arlington Texas passed a bond issue to give Jerry Jones $300 million, free and clear, to build his “Taj Mahal”. It’s a beautiful stadium. It’s clean, it’s safe, it’s gorgeous. And it’s highly expensive, and the reason he built it was so that he could charge higher ticket prices and more expensive meals and drinks and parking. And you know it’s a spiral – financial spiral that they’re hitting the fans with on both ends, not just in the stadium at concessions or ticket prices, but frankly as taxpayers.

Fans are treated like sh*t by the NFL: at the last Super Bowl two thousand people were left out in the cold. They had spent thousands of dollars to get to Dallas only to discover that their seats were no good because the Dallas Cowboys tried to cram too many seats into the stadium. A stadium that cost $1.1 billion ($300 million of which was federally funded i.e. publicly financed).

Many communities in this country are now carrying huge, in some cases, hundred-million dollar debts on stadiums, that are phantoms that don’t even exist anymore that we’ve knocked down to build a new stadium for a sports owner who wants bigger luxury boxes and more fancy concessions to charge higher prices.

The Supreme Court said that the NFL is exempt from the antitrust act – this means that the NFL is free to act in ways in which ordinary businesses can’t. They can negotiate collective TV contracts: 32 owners of the NFL act in concert to get their TV agreements.

Here’s an interesting “public beak” these teams get: four Military F-18s flying over the Dallas Stadium during the SuperBowl – with its retractable roof closed! Everybody inside could only see the planes on the stadium’s video screens. It was strictly a two-second beauty shot. Know what it cost taxpayers? About $450,000. The Military justifies the expense by saying it’s “good for recruiting”.

Real economic studies of the impacts of these stadiums by real economists (not “commissioned” by the leagues) show that these stadiums don’t bring what the league says they bring. They cost money. They cost taxpayers more than money.

The owners and teams need to give something back to the communities, instead of being greedy

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Just an Observation

March 17th, 2011
7:27 am

Average NFL Player = Stupid, Greedy

crossdawg

March 17th, 2011
8:48 am

owners + player = OINK, OINK, OINK

waynester

March 17th, 2011
10:54 am

RN
You’re right about the public financing of stadiums(stadia?stadii?) and Mr Blank knows that his dream of a new facility is more threatened with each day this thing drags on. In my opinion the city of ATL/state of GA should insist that the new stadium isn’t just another donut with a field inside. ATL needs an iconic, instantly recognizable structure…a landmark that is representative of the city and team. Right now, the capitol dome is the closest thing we have and it pales in comparison to the Eiffel towers, statues of liberty, superdomes, spectacular bridges,etc that are automatically connected with the cities they inhabit. As long as we’re contemplating spending enormous public dollars, the public should at least benefit by having the new construction be a point of civic pride and a symbol that people will automatically associate with the state. Even with the billions bucks Jerry Jones just spent,his new stadium looks like almost every other similar structure, just a little larger. I’d like to see a stadium in ATL that is so interesting and visually compelling that it becomes the centerpiece of every photo of the city, like the tower in Paris. Mr Blank needs to think bigger….

uga_b

March 17th, 2011
11:21 am

Lot’s of large businesses are given tax breaks and bonds to locate in certain cities; however, most of these breaks are predicated on operational expenses. NFL stadiums are different because the cost is usually born up front. One nice thing about the dome is that the city gets to use it for conventions and other purposes. If I were a city manager in one of the places where the stadium isn’t really dual purpose, I would be extremely upset. The NFL is a very publically financed business and I do think that leads to ethical complications.

The owners say the want the players to share more of the investment in the league and facilities. They say this will lead to more revenue. Problem is that this may only be revnue for future players. Playing off BA’s idea, maybe they should put the extra $1B into an escrow account only to be used on projects approved by both parties. Players would then receive residual interest for the rest of their careers.

Players look at how much equity (cash out) value that owners have accrued and realize none of that comes to them. It is disingenuous to only cite operational cashflows as the only type of owner compensation. I know atheletes are highly paid and can afford to take less, but they rightfully see it as only losing money for owner gain. At this point it is a zero sum game between these two parties that affects the public at large. Would any of us give up 27% of our salary to an owner so they can grow the business after we possibly retire and therefore see no benefit? Probably not.

Bangkapi Ajarn

March 17th, 2011
11:46 am

My blood pressure meds can’t handle much more of my getting worked up over the lockout (and, no health insurance to get a new script, so I need to make what I have last), so I will instead breathe deeply and look at what the Falcons are up to regarding scouting potential draft picks:

1) John Evans of Central Michigan Life, the school’s student newspaper, reports that a Falcons scout was on hand at their pro day on Monday. That scout took their three senior linemen: center Colin Miller, guard Jeff Maddux, and defensive tackle Sean Murnane through positional drills. Both Maddux and Murnane are long shots to be drafted, but Miller could sneak into the late rounds, as he’s the 19th-ranked center in this year’s class according to NFLDraftScout.com.

2) At Mount Union’s pro day today, WR Cecil Shorts ran a 4.38 in the rain according to reports.

3) Falcons representatives were on hand for the Kansas pro day according to KUAthletics.com. Kansas lacks elite prospects, but undersized CB Chris Harris was trying to make a name for himself by running a 4.45 40 time. Also among KU possibilities working out in front of the Falcons were OG Brad Thorson, DE Jake Laptad, and WR Jonathan Wilson

4) Mike Duffy of Baltimore Ravens.com and Rich Campbell of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star report that the Falcons were in attendance at the University of Maryland’s pro day today as well. Most likely to check out wide receiver Torrey Smith, who is projected by most as a potential first round pick and possible target of the Falcons in Round One. Running back Da’Rel Scott is also a highly-rated prospect, coming off a strong Combine performance.

5) Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly reports that all but two teams showed up at today’s Illinois pro day, indicating that the Falcons were among the 30 teams in attendance. It’s likely most teams wanted to get long looks at linebacker Martez Wilson and defensive tackle Corey Liuget, a pair of underclassman that are expected to be first round picks. Also junior running back Mikel Leshoure is considered a prominent pro prospect.

6) The Falcons have shown a lot of interest in Miami defensive end Allen Bailey thus far this off-season, interviewing him at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine, and now the team will go a perfect three for three by conducting a private workout with him later this month according to a report by Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Thanks as always to the various sources that post this stuff, especially this one from http://falcfans.com/

uga_b

March 17th, 2011
11:54 am

BA, off the top of your head, outside of Allen Bailey, which other 1st rd potential picks have we done our due diligence? We are going to work out Houston soon.