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View Full Version : Why do some defend the players as being victims here?


tnedator
05-26-2011, 10:42 PM
Why do some defend the players as being victims here?

Let's back up a bit and remember all of he player/player rep rhetoric about how the NFL owners/league were terrified of an uncapped year, and that they had leverage in getting what they wanted in a new CBA, once the owners opted out of the old one.

The players BADLY miscalculated that, because the uncapped year didn't turn into the out of control bidding war that players expected, but instead a chance for owners to dump bad contracts without worrying about salary cap hits and to have their restricted free agents locked up for another year or so.

During this time, De Smith and players were talking tough about how they weren't going to concede anything without big counter concessions from the league. For instance, they knew the owners wanted a rookie salary cap, so they let it be known that in return, the league would have to raise the minimum salary per team. Their ridiculous logic was that if you take x dollars from the rookies, you have to increase the salary minimum/floor by that amount to give the savings to the vets. That's the level of flawed logic and spin the league is dealing with. Simply implementing a rookie cap, while keeping the existing floor, would automatically funnel more dollars to the vets for those teams that hover around the floor in terms of salaries.

The Players and De Smith (a big time litigator from a big time lobbying firm -- Patton Boggs) believed they had great leverage points: The league not wanting an uncapped year and the league wanting a rookie salary cap. Therefore, by all accounts, they have not negotiated in good faith, but simply made outrageous demands and threats, like decertifying and suing, which is not conducive to healthy bargaining.

From the owners perspective, with the players threatening to decertify and sue, and some rumblings about a possible strike, when there was zero progress made in negotiations, the lockout made the most sense.

However, there was a LONG string of player/player rep actions that made the lockout about the only option for the league to take.

DBroncos4life
05-26-2011, 10:48 PM
They all rich so F them. Without fans there wouldn't even be a NFL.

tnedator
05-26-2011, 10:59 PM
They all rich so F them. Without fans there wouldn't even be a NFL.

Without drivers, there wouldn't be an automotive industry...
without bowlers, there wouldn't be a bowling industry...
without viewers, there wouldn't be a television industry...

The list could go on forever.

Boss Man
05-26-2011, 11:04 PM
Without drivers, there wouldn't be an automotive industry...
without bowlers, there wouldn't be a bowling industry...
without viewers, there wouldn't be a television industry...

The list could go on forever.

ignorant comeback is ignorant...

95% of "drivers" are not rich
95% of "bowlers" are not rich
95% of "tv viewers" are not rich

100% of NFL player are "rich" by our economical standards, and if there were no fans of the nfl there would be NO money....

IGNORANCE, pls go

DBroncos4life
05-26-2011, 11:06 PM
Without drivers, there wouldn't be an automotive industry...
without bowlers, there wouldn't be a bowling industry...
without viewers, there wouldn't be a television industry...

The list could go on forever.

Sorry dude the fans are the bigger victims in all this BS.

tnedator
05-26-2011, 11:21 PM
ignorant comeback is ignorant...

95% of "drivers" are not rich
95% of "bowlers" are not rich
95% of "tv viewers" are not rich

100% of NFL player are "rich" by our economical standards, and if there were no fans of the nfl there would be NO money....

IGNORANCE, pls go

It's not ignorant, but since you are slow on the uptake, I will explain the point to you.

He said that without fans there would be no NFL. I pointed out there are countless other industries that would not "be" if not for those people that buy, use or watch the product. There would be no movie industry if people didn't buy tickets and go to the theaters.

As to your, dare I say "ignorant" response, you missed it by a mile. I didn't say the bowlers, drivers or viewers were rich, so your statement to that effect was, well, again, "ignorant". In the analogy, they are the same as the fans.

Movie and TV viewers are what allows Sitcom stars to get $1 million an episode, and the co-stars hundreds of thousands an episode, with 13-22 episodes produced a year.

There is nothing unique about the NFL where it has a consumer without whom the industry wouldn't survive. With few exceptions, that's all industries/businesses. The only real separation is that some are recreational or discretionary, like watching TV, going to movies, watching/attending sports, bowling, etc., etc., etc., while others are more essential such as buying food, clothes, etc.

It always amazes me when some people can't have a discussion without being a total dickwad, but it amazes me more how often the total dickwad makes an idiotic post/point while being the dickwad.

tnedator
05-26-2011, 11:23 PM
Sorry dude the fans are the bigger victims in all this BS.

I don't doubt that, but we don't have a seat or say in the negotiations. My issue is trying to understand why so many treat the players as these down trodden victims as if they were making third world wages, and all they want to do is play football, and the mean owners aren't letting them play the game they love.

maven
05-26-2011, 11:36 PM
This is all about greed on both sides. The fans are the losers in this. And the fans can pick up and walk away and do something else.

tnedator
05-26-2011, 11:38 PM
This is all about greed on both sides. The fans are the losers in this. And the fans can pick up and walk away and do something else.

36 holes of golf instead of 18 on Sundays in the fall, or for the church goers, 18 holes after church, rather than rushing home to watch the game, or heading to the stadium.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 12:01 AM
Youre forgetting a major point. The owners are locking out the players, the players would be fine with the status quo. Also, the owners did not negotiate the tv deal in good faith (something the CBA instructs them to do).

DivineBronco
05-27-2011, 01:35 AM
right or wrong does not really matter in this here tussle. This stand off will not end until the owners get most of what they want. They could miss a year of football and be fine the players can not. That really is the end all be all of the story. We get football when the players give up

ol#7
05-27-2011, 02:00 AM
I think that most fans do see the danger in this if the players were to get there way. The NFL is king because every market can compete. Not so in other sports. Add to that teams can keep face of the franchise players and you have the best set-up for the fans. That doesnt necessarily translates to what would be best for the players, but I think they are already more than adequately compensated for the entertainment they provide. Much like Charlie Sheen, at some point your to big a pain in the ass and too big for your britches to be worth it. Wish the other leagues would follow suite, but in baseball the major markets would never give that much money/leverage back, think the NBA is probably headed that way in order to survive.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-27-2011, 06:20 AM
II don't really see either side as the "victim." Neither side is.

Though I would question the brightness behind calling the players rich and discussing how indefensible they are and not doing likewise for the owners, but...

Garcia Bronco
05-27-2011, 06:23 AM
For me...the owners own the business. It belongs to them, if the players don't like it...go do something else. Go be Anne Frank or something.

cmhargrove
05-27-2011, 06:58 AM
For me...the owners own the business. It belongs to them, if the players don't like it...go do something else. Go be Anne Frank or something.

As a business owner, I approve this remark.

Seriously, I think that making a few hundred thousand (or several million) a year for playing a game is a pretty sweet gig. What they are being paid is definitely "fair."

The Rookie Cap makes sense, for the very reasons tdnator stated before. Same escalating cap system - less for the untested rookies = More left over for thhe proven veteran players.

Get r done fellas.

tnedator
05-27-2011, 07:00 AM
As a business owner, I approve this remark.

Seriously, I think that making a few hundred thousand (or several million) a year for playing a game is a pretty sweet gig. What they are being paid is definitely "fair."

The Rookie Cap makes sense, for the very reasons tdnator stated before. Same escalating cap system - less for the untested rookies = More left over for thhe proven veteran players.

Get r done fellas.

I think the rookie minimum was in the $300k range, and veteran minimum in the $800-900k range. Obviously, these are the minimums and many players get far in excess of the "minimum wage" of $300-900k, depending on how long you've been in the league.

orinjkrush
05-27-2011, 07:05 AM
billionaire owners and millionaire players arguing about how to scam thousands from fans and trillions from TV. where's Geithner when you need his butt?

Rugby7
05-27-2011, 07:16 AM
There is no status quo. The owners and players agreed to a CBA that included an option for the owners to end the CBA after 2 years and they exercised that right. That deal is history so now the players and owners need to negotiate a new one. I think D. Smith blew it. If they would have continued to negotiate with the threat of litigation in their back pocket the players would of at least had some kind of leverage. Now the owners are pissed and if the players lose in court they are going to get *** ***** by the owners.

gunns
05-27-2011, 07:39 AM
I don't believe people are defending the players for the reasons stated in the opening post, at least I'm not. I'm not defending either side. To me, with the amount of money being discussed, it's greed vs greed. My problem with the owners is they've known they were going to do this for 2 years. Don't tell me they didn't. The arrangements they made for this whole thing, with the TV deals and insurance, says that. They couldn't have ironed and fought over this long before this? To me this whole thing is a power play. Hey, we know they are the owners, no need for it.

The players, on the other hand, should realize who butters their bread. I don't believe givng up what wasn't theirs to begin with (yes I know it was in the CBA, but the Lord giveth and he taketh away) will hurt any of them in the long run. Their biggest mistake is Smith. He doesn't seem to have a clue except to pound his chest and attempt to play hard ball. Almost as if he drags this out as long as possible he's thinking how well he can line his own pocket. If the owners prevail it could now be worse than if they had merely accepted the deal. I doubt any of them would have starved had they done this.

Yes, it is the fans that will pay for this whole thing. They will pay with higher prices across the board for money lost in this whole thing. What gripes me is they do not seem to ever consider the fan such as when developing TV deals, putting games on TV channels that don't reach the entire viewing public. Personally I would love to help stabbed both groups in the pocketbooks by boycotting watching or going to games. But I just can't. My love is too deep. I have however boycotted their products. I'm sure my boycott will have little effect but makes me feel better.

tsiguy96
05-27-2011, 07:45 AM
I don't believe people are defending the players for the reasons stated in the opening post, at least I'm not. I'm not defending either side. To me, with the amount of money being discussed, it's greed vs greed. My problem with the owners is they've known they were going to do this for 2 years. Don't tell me they didn't. The arrangements they made for this whole thing, with the TV deals and insurance, says that. To me this whole thing is a power play. Hey, we know they are the owners, no need for it.

The players, on the other hand, should realize who butters their bread. I don't believe givng up what wasn't theirs to begin with (yes I know it was in the CBA, but the Lord giveth and he taketh away). Their biggest mistake is Smith. He doesn't seem to have a clue except to pound his chest and attempt to play hard ball. Almost as if he drags this out as long as possible he's thinking how well he can line his own pocket. If the owners prevail it could now be worse than if they had merely accepted the deal. I doubt any of them would have starved had they done this.

Yes, it is the fans that will pay for this whole thing. They will pay with higher prices across the board for money lost in this whole thing. What gripes me is they do not seem to ever consider the fan such as when developing TV deals, putting games on TV channels that don't reach the entire viewing public. Personally I would love to help stabbed both groups in the pocketbooks by boycotting watching or going to games. But I just can't. My love is too deep. I have however boycotted their products. I'm sure my boycott will have little effect but makes me feel better.

there is some perception that the owners are now offering the players absolutely nothing in return. they are offering a great deal including huge amounts of money and especially benefits for active and retired players that the last CBA did not have, but the players want a deal with tons of cash without realizing that there is costs associated with running a team, and those costs get more expensive over time. the last deal was not sustainable due to those costs, hence the reason it was voided unanimously, not just for fun.

Rock Chalk
05-27-2011, 07:47 AM
Ive been on the owners side from the beginning.

Throw out the rich comment, and disregard the fact that fans are the losers in this, both are true and neither is relevant.

Look at this objectively.

You are a hard working entrepeneur who spent many years of 18 hour days busting your ass to grow your business. Now you have a successful business and your employee's - who you pay far above the median income in this country and who have excessive benefits most people never see - are demanding a bigger share of your profits from the business YOU built.

Now I know that, in large part, owners didn't build their teams, they bought them and bought into a system. However, these rich ass owners did work hard and make a buttload of cash to buy into an investment which, is their right to try and maximize.

Players are, in effect, employees and they are extremely well compensated. Extremely well. Even the minimum wage of these employee's is far in excess of the average median income in the United States (behind just under 40K a year). If the Rookie Minimum is 300K a year as someone said, then rookies who are at the lower end of the pile are still making roughly 7.5 annual salaries of the median income in this country. Rookies that go on to work for 8 years in the NFL never making above the minimum will make about 600K a year or 4.8 million dollars.

The average person will not make 4.8 million dollars in their life time and the average dual income family it would take 60 years to make what the worst NFL player who managed to stay in the league for 8 years would make.

Do the owners make a crapload of money? Yes, but I bet the owner of the company you work for makes a crapload more than you too. Thats how the system works.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-27-2011, 08:24 AM
Dan Snyder: Hard working entrepreneur.

Heard it on the Mane.

jhns
05-27-2011, 08:31 AM
Why wouldn't we side with the slaves? They have it so rough....

JK, the players can go **** themselves.

Spider
05-27-2011, 08:58 AM
Dan Snyder: Hard working entrepreneur.

Heard it on the Mane.

:~ohyah!:

Spider
05-27-2011, 09:00 AM
It's not ignorant, but since you are slow on the uptake, I will explain the point to you.



Hilarious! ..... one of these days u will see that it isnt all of us that r clueless , and see you are

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 09:05 AM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

tsiguy96
05-27-2011, 09:21 AM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

irrelevant. all but the top players are replaceable.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 09:36 AM
irrelevant. all but the top players are replaceable.

Regardless of whether thats true or not (its not), youre missing the point. The players, regardless of the name and person, is still the product. The fans come to watch the players play football, they grow attachments to the player and the team, which of course, is comprised of players.

No ones coming to your job or mine to watch us type into a computer

Garcia Bronco
05-27-2011, 09:39 AM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

I am the product. You are the product no matter what you do as long as there is a customer involved.

And I'd like to point out that every player is utterly replacable

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 09:44 AM
I am the product. You are the product no matter what you do as long as there is a customer involved.

And I'd like to point out that every player is utterly replacable

They are replaceable in the sense you could get any human to do it, but if you want a shock to the quality, then sure, they could hire you and me and get an inferior product. Now, the human's greatest asset is its ability to adjust, so perhaps we would enjoy inferior football just as much (though i dont enjoy the college game much for these reasons), but im not sure if they want to take that chance.

And we are not the product, we make the product. No one tunes into my station to watch me, im not shrink wrapped on some store shelf.

I'm sure any owner could find a willing buyer for the team too. Cuts both ways.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-27-2011, 09:45 AM
Regardless of whether thats true or not (its not), youre missing the point. The players, regardless of the name and person, is still the product. The fans come to watch the players play football, they grow attachments to the player and the team, which of course, is comprised of players.

No ones coming to your job or mine to watch us type into a computer

Not entirely true. I've had some creeper staring at me through my window since I arrived this morning.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 09:49 AM
Not entirely true. I've had some creeper staring at me through my window since I arrived this morning.

Hmmm, you should mention this to your boss next time you discuss a raise! Irreplacable asset.

rugbythug
05-27-2011, 10:29 AM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

So when john elway left the broncos stadium went empty?

Garcia Bronco
05-27-2011, 10:31 AM
Dan Snyder: Hard working entrepreneur.

Heard it on the Mane.

He was.

Garcia Bronco
05-27-2011, 10:34 AM
Yeah...I am the product. I have billable clients and when the come calling I have to perform.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-27-2011, 10:38 AM
So when john elway left the broncos stadium went empty?

Will there be a ****load of fans in the stands to watch locked out football? Losing ONE player isn't the problem. Losing ALL the players is.

yeah, good luck with that.

gunns
05-27-2011, 10:47 AM
irrelevant. all but the top players are replaceable.

I really think he meant the players as a whole, not as individuals.

gunns
05-27-2011, 10:53 AM
He was.

This is true. He didn't inherit the money, he has earned it.

peacepipe
05-27-2011, 11:04 AM
Why do some defend the players as being victims here?

Let's back up a bit and remember all of he player/player rep rhetoric about how the NFL owners/league were terrified of an uncapped year, and that they had leverage in getting what they wanted in a new CBA, once the owners opted out of the old one.

The players BADLY miscalculated that, because the uncapped year didn't turn into the out of control bidding war that players expected, but instead a chance for owners to dump bad contracts without worrying about salary cap hits and to have their restricted free agents locked up for another year or so.

During this time, De Smith and players were talking tough about how they weren't going to concede anything without big counter concessions from the league. For instance, they knew the owners wanted a rookie salary cap, so they let it be known that in return, the league would have to raise the minimum salary per team. Their ridiculous logic was that if you take x dollars from the rookies, you have to increase the salary minimum/floor by that amount to give the savings to the vets. That's the level of flawed logic and spin the league is dealing with. Simply implementing a rookie cap, while keeping the existing floor, would automatically funnel more dollars to the vets for those teams that hover around the floor in terms of salaries.

The Players and De Smith (a big time litigator from a big time lobbying firm -- Patton Boggs) believed they had great leverage points: The league not wanting an uncapped year and the league wanting a rookie salary cap. Therefore, by all accounts, they have not negotiated in good faith, but simply made outrageous demands and threats, like decertifying and suing, which is not conducive to healthy bargaining.

From the owners perspective, with the players threatening to decertify and sue, and some rumblings about a possible strike, when there was zero progress made in negotiations, the lockout made the most sense.

However, there was a LONG string of player/player rep actions that made the lockout about the only option for the league to take.The owners had decided to lock out the players long before the players even had a vote amongst themselves whether to decertify or not. decertifying was in reaction to the pending lock out. not the other way around.
there's no evidence to suggest that owners have been negotiating in good faith.
BTW, locking out the players is not conducive to healthy bargaining either.

Beantown Bronco
05-27-2011, 11:11 AM
The owners had decided to lock out the players long before the players even had a vote amongst themselves whether to decertify or not. decertifying was in reaction to the pending lock out. not the other way around.
there's no evidence to suggest that owners have been negotiating in good faith.
BTW, locking out the players is not conducive to healthy bargaining either.

There is literally not one thing correct about this post. It's been disproven over and over, yet you still continue to post it.

Please provide evidence. Prove me wrong.

You can't.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 11:41 AM
Yeah...I am the product. I have billable clients and when the come calling I have to perform.

Fine, you are the product, i cant believe im even having this convo, its APPLES AND ORANGES.

Play2win
05-27-2011, 11:51 AM
I find it funny as hell, that a bunch of irresponsible thugs and malcontents who like to make it rain are victums...

Play2win
05-27-2011, 11:54 AM
Fine, you are the product, i cant believe im even having this convo, its APPLES AND ORANGES.

You must have a vested interest. You are like an Oil-Man who votes republican, even though he doesn't believe in many of their core values.

bombay
05-27-2011, 11:54 AM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

Yep. The owners are the greedy ****s who get taxpayers to build their billion dollar stadiums in order to squeeze fans for $25 parking, $8 beers, and $125 tickets to watch the players play.

Bronco Yoda
05-27-2011, 12:04 PM
<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/e1wW7hmgfns" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(this is my new answer to everything)

tnedator
05-27-2011, 12:24 PM
The owners had decided to lock out the players long before the players even had a vote amongst themselves whether to decertify or not. decertifying was in reaction to the pending lock out. not the other way around.
there's no evidence to suggest that owners have been negotiating in good faith.
BTW, locking out the players is not conducive to healthy bargaining either.

Apparently you didn't follow any news or player/player rep comments from the time the owners opted out until the 2010 season started. It was very clear that in the early stages that the players believed they had massive leverage heading into the 2010 season, because they were under the impression (massively wrong) that the owners feared an uncapped season, because they feared a bidding war.

To act like the players were working hard to get a new CBA and the owners locked them out, is either disingenuous, uninformed or naive.

*WARHORSE*
05-27-2011, 12:28 PM
I agree with ya TNED.

The players are blaming the owners for bringing it here because they opted out, but if you didnt want to give them that option, then why did you negotiate it into the CBA?

The right to opt out after a couple of years, was a negotiating factor in getting the last CBA done.

The owners said they didnt like the model, didnt think it would work, and the union said, "Hey, try it out for a couple of years, and if it doesnt work for ya, lets write in the option to opt out and renegotiate after two years....how about that?"

The league agreed, and they tried for a few years, and then we opted out.......WHICH, btw, included going another two years under that same agreement.


The owners had every right to ask to renegotiate.

Now..............who is NOT willing to renegotiate?


The players are saying show us the books.

Bull.

Show me your stadium.


No way an EMPLOYEE of mine tells me that I gotta show em the books.

The worst thing the NFL did, was call the players 'partners'.

They are NOT partners.

They are workers, and they are perishable workers at that, with short lived careers.


It is NOT the players 'RIGHT' to play football for a living....but you are perfectly free to do so anywhere else.

The NFL is THE football market, and if you want to make money, you play here.

If you dont want to play here, may I suggest the Canadien football league?

The Arena football league?

Rugby?

Or how about flippin burgers at Burger King?


FIRE THE AGITATOR and INSTIGATOR that is named D. Smith, and get a real leader in there for the ignorant players.


All these players will be gone soon, and the next group of heros in the league will step up........like Von Miller.


The Broncos to me are whomever is wearing the jersey.

Once you take it off.......goodbye.


MAKE an OFFER players, or get frozen out.

DONT GIVE IN OWNERS.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 12:37 PM
You must have a vested interest. You are like an Oil-Man who votes republican, even though he doesn't believe in many of their core values.

Huh?? This doesn't even make a bit of sense. In this case, even though its an odd one, im siding with the populous, which is generally in line with my political beliefs and values.

WIldbill
05-27-2011, 12:47 PM
People need to quit referring to us fans as victims. We are far from being victims. We like to sit around and complain about the cost of the games, the beer, the hot dogs, etc yet we are the ones who ultimately determine how much they are. Sure we don't directly set the price but as long as people will pay $12 for a beer football teams are going to charge $12 a beer and more if they can.

The owners of the teams did not invest in the team in order to give us fans something to do on a Sunday afternoon. They bought the team to make money and they have every right to make as much as they can. The same goes for the players they have put in countless hours of training and preparation to master their craft and they are entitles to make as much as they can pursued the owners to give them. As fans we work hard for our money and only give it to the owners because we value the entertainment that we receive more than we value the money. (The one exception to this is when owners ask tax payers to pay for their stadiums. We as fans still bear a lot of the blame because we allow them to get away with it but that still doesn't excuse the owner for taking tax payer money to fund their private business.)

As fans we may not have a direct vote in these negotiations but we have the most powerful voice of all... we can vote with our feet. If we are not willing to give up something as simple as entertainment then we have no right to complain about the price of that entertainment.

Play2win
05-27-2011, 01:06 PM
Huh?? This doesn't even make a bit of sense. In this case, even though its an odd one, im siding with the populous, which is generally in line with my political beliefs and values.

The populous. Thats a good one. Hilarious!


I don't really care one way or another. Too busy to really give a rat's ass. Hell, I don't even remember the last time I watched sport center-- or whatever that albatross has become...

DrFate
05-27-2011, 01:17 PM
I wish people would STOP comparing this to their day jobs. In your day job, you are a replacable part, you are not the product. The nfl players ARE the product.

This has been addressed. NFL players come and go. The Broncos have been through a half-dozen QBs since #7 retired and they still sell tickets. The franchises are 'the product'. Take the names off the jerseys and the majority of the folks in the stands can't tell the difference.

And if Drew Brees gets in front of a microphone again and talks about how 'all the players want to do is play', I'm putting my foot through my TV. The players walked away from negotiations and put this in the courts. If Demaurice Smith wanted to play, he'd be at the table RIGHT NOW.

They still hope to litigate their way to success. At least the lawyers are doing well...

tnedator
05-27-2011, 01:26 PM
And if Drew Brees gets in front of a microphone again and talks about how 'all the players want to do is play', I'm putting my foot through my TV. The players walked away from negotiations and put this in the courts. If Demaurice Smith wanted to play, he'd be at the table RIGHT NOW.

They still hope to litigate their way to success. At least the lawyers are doing well...

Speaking of De Smith:

Smith, however, insists that he has embraced decertification as an enduring state of existence, much in the same way that Upshaw did in the early ’90s before – at the NFL’s insistence – he agreed to re-form the union. In an interview with Y! Sports earlier this month, Smith revealed that he envisions navigating the NFLPA through a union-free future, even after a possible settlement of the Brady et al antitrust lawsuit and a new contractual agreement between players and owners.

“I’ve come full circle,” Smith said as he sat in a downtown Bethesda plaza, a few miles from the NFLPA’s Washington D.C. headquarters, on a sunny spring morning. “When I went into this, my attitude was that the only way you have power is collectively, and I believed in unions as vehicles for employees asserting their rights. But looking back on what Gene experienced and understanding this particular situation, I’ve now come to appreciate the value of decertification in our particular circumstance. And I don’t see why we’d want to go back to being a union.”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-silver_nflpa_could_stay_permanently_decetified_052 711

Basically, it goes on to say that Smith wants the players to have their cake and eat it too. He wants them to remain decertified to get anti-trust protection, and while there would be no true CBA, he also wants the players to get the protections they have always gotten from a CBA in terms of suspensions, caps, floors, etc.

boltaneer
05-27-2011, 01:44 PM
Speaking of De Smith:



http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-silver_nflpa_could_stay_permanently_decetified_052 711

Basically, it goes on to say that Smith wants the players to have their cake and eat it too. He wants them to remain decertified to get anti-trust protection, and while there would be no true CBA, he also wants the players to get the protections they have always gotten from a CBA in terms of suspensions, caps, floors, etc.

Yep.

If the players side really wants a deal done, they would get back to negotiating. No deal is going to get done in court and the union walked away from an extension before they decertified.

Not that I don't find fault with some of the things the owners have done but I didn't trust D. Smith since the beginning. He has wanted this to go to court from the very start.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 02:10 PM
This has been addressed. NFL players come and go. The Broncos have been through a half-dozen QBs since #7 retired and they still sell tickets. The franchises are 'the product'. Take the names off the jerseys and the majority of the folks in the stands can't tell the difference.

And if Drew Brees gets in front of a microphone again and talks about how 'all the players want to do is play', I'm putting my foot through my TV. The players walked away from negotiations and put this in the courts. If Demaurice Smith wanted to play, he'd be at the table RIGHT NOW.

They still hope to litigate their way to success. At least the lawyers are doing well...

Youre missing the point. Im not talking about the individual player, im talking about the player as a whole. No matter what, football needs PLAYERS to play. the player is the product.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 02:10 PM
Yep.

If the players side really wants a deal done, they would get back to negotiating. No deal is going to get done in court and the union walked away from an extension before they decertified.

Not that I don't find fault with some of the things the owners have done but I didn't trust D. Smith since the beginning. He has wanted this to go to court from the very start.

And if the owners wanted to play fairly, there would be no lockout.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 02:11 PM
The populous. Thats a good one. Hilarious!


I don't really care one way or another. Too busy to really give a rat's ass. Hell, I don't even remember the last time I watched sport center-- or whatever that albatross has become...

I said it was an odd circumstance, as neither of them really represent the populous, but in this case, if anyone does, its the players.

I agree with the bottom. i stopped reading articles abnout it. just let me know when its done.

BroncoInferno
05-27-2011, 02:15 PM
This has been addressed. NFL players come and go. The Broncos have been through a half-dozen QBs since #7 retired and they still sell tickets. The franchises are 'the product'. Take the names off the jerseys and the majority of the folks in the stands can't tell the difference.

This is only true to an extent. The fans will tolerate top players coming and going, sure. But there is an inherent expectation among fans of all 32 franchises that their ownership will attempt to assemble a quality product on the field. "Quality" of course means winning. If Tom Brady retires, I am sure most Pats fans will stick around under the good faith assumption that the front office will attempt to replace him with the best player they can possibly find.

But let's suppose Pat Bowlen suddenly decided that he was going to order massive roster cuts and target UFL and Canadian league players to cut costs under the assumption that the fans will continue to show up to games because of the "franchise" concept. How many of you would buy a ticket to see that garbage? The answer is nobody would. The "franchise" concept works only insofar as the franchise is at least attempting to produce a competitve product. You do that with top of the line players.

tnedator
05-27-2011, 02:38 PM
Youre missing the point. Im not talking about the individual player, im talking about the player as a whole. No matter what, football needs PLAYERS to play. the player is the product.

Every watch college football? Best case is they have the same starters on a team for four years, but most times, less than that for starters. I'm not saying the product would be 'better', but there will ALWAYS be players willing to play, and it will be a product that people are willing to follow and watch.

tnedator
05-27-2011, 02:40 PM
The "franchise" concept works only insofar as the franchise is at least attempting to produce a competitve product. You do that with top of the line players.

Not accurate. If all the competition was 50% of the current level, or said another way, teams made up of college players or UDFA's, the level of competition would change, and it wouldn't take what are not considered "top of the line" players to be competitive.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 03:08 PM
Every watch college football? Best case is they have the same starters on a team for four years, but most times, less than that for starters. I'm not saying the product would be 'better', but there will ALWAYS be players willing to play, and it will be a product that people are willing to follow and watch.

Bad example for me, i dont really watch college football because of the quality.

Though i do agree that if the change were very gradual, we wouldnt notice the difference and we'd adapt subconsciously. But if tomorrow you just hired a bunch of replacement players, people wouldnt buy that. Therefore, THESE players are the product.

boltaneer
05-27-2011, 03:12 PM
And if the owners wanted to play fairly, there would be no lockout.

So what about 2006, when the owners took a bad deal basically to avoid a work stoppage.

The owners just delayed the inevitable.

SonOfLe-loLang
05-27-2011, 03:14 PM
So what about 2006, when the owners took a bad deal basically to avoid a work stoppage.

The owners just delayed the inevitable.

Im not saying the players arent without any kind of responsibility/fault here, but that was what the owners agreeed to and have been planning for this lockout ever since (as evidenced by the tv deal). Im not really siding with either side because i think ego is winning out here, but the fact is, in the simplest of terms, that the owners imposed the lockout, the players sued to prevent it. So in the simplest terms, it actually is on the owners right now.

TheChamp24
05-27-2011, 03:30 PM
The players showed little intentions to me of getting a fair deal for both sides done.

What also bothers me is how it seems Mr. Smith wants to freakin ruin the NFL with these lawsuits, decertifying, etc. Stop trying to screw the league out of existence is my stake.

boltaneer
05-27-2011, 03:39 PM
The players showed little intentions to me of getting a fair deal for both sides done.

What also bothers me is how it seems Mr. Smith wants to freakin ruin the NFL with these lawsuits, decertifying, etc. Stop trying to screw the league out of existence is my stake.

It's because he doesn't care what happens to the NFL. He just wants to win and use this as a stepping stone to move on to bigger things.

If you listen to player interviews on Sirius NFL radio, it's sounding like some players are starting to not buy into that company line as much as they did in the beginning.

I know players aren't the brightest bulbs around but I cannot believe they bought into this guys crap so much.

DrFate
05-27-2011, 03:55 PM
No matter what, football needs PLAYERS to play.

Yes, that's true. But you could replace these 1500 guys with 1500 other guys who were stars in high school/college/etc.

It's not like you couldn't find guys willing to bust their ass to make a roster.

DrFate
05-27-2011, 04:00 PM
This is only true to an extent. The fans will tolerate top players coming and going, sure. But there is an inherent expectation among fans of all 32 franchises that their ownership will attempt to assemble a quality product on the field. "Quality" of course means winning. If Tom Brady retires, I am sure most Pats fans will stick around under the good faith assumption that the front office will attempt to replace him with the best player they can possibly find.


There are a couple problems with this argument. First, there are a number of franchises who haven't won in recent memory. Are those franchises still profitable? Look at the Denver Broncos, for example. They were 4-12 last year, and yet people still filled the stands. If the 53 Broncos were sent to Mars and the rest of the NFL stayed the same - yes, Denver looks really inferior. But if you replaced the players in the league wholesale - it's all relative.

Secondly - the whole 'top line players' argument really holds little water. People pay good money to see minor league ball, college ball, even high school sports. People root for their favorite TEAM. Griese, Plummer, Cutler, Orton, Tebow... And people keep buying tickets..

DrFate
05-27-2011, 04:03 PM
Every watch college football? Best case is they have the same starters on a team for four years, but most times, less than that for starters. I'm not saying the product would be 'better', but there will ALWAYS be players willing to play, and it will be a product that people are willing to follow and watch.

Perfectly phrased. Basketball programs are often looking at their stars for a single year - yet March Madness is still a golden goose.

In truth, many fans would be happier rooting for some guy busting his ass every play than these millionaire primadonnas anyway.

tnedator
05-27-2011, 04:48 PM
Perfectly phrased. Basketball programs are often looking at their stars for a single year - yet March Madness is still a golden goose.

In truth, many fans would be happier rooting for some guy busting his ass every play than these millionaire primadonnas anyway.

Yea, my typo aside, while I'm not a big NCAA guy, I know that in many, many cities and states the fans are FAR more avid for the college teams than the pros. Very large stadiums always sold out.

I know these aren't apples to apples, because the fans feel pride in the state/city school, and typically follow them in multiple sports, but the point is that their product on the field/court constantly rotates, but the fans still love it and pay for it.

So, I'm not saying starts don't matter at all, but I don't think they matter as much as some claim. The product is the entertainment we get watching the players. Most of us have seen the roster turn over many, many times. Sometimes the teams have been good, sometimes bad (Broncos more good than bad, most other teams not so much).

Beantown Bronco
05-27-2011, 11:03 PM
But let's suppose Pat Bowlen suddenly decided that he was going to order massive roster cuts and target UFL and Canadian league players to cut costs under the assumption that the fans will continue to show up to games because of the "franchise" concept. How many of you would buy a ticket to see that garbage? The answer is nobody would.

Weird. Cause this actually did already happen and the Broncos sold out every game.

peacepipe
05-28-2011, 09:57 AM
There is literally not one thing correct about this post. It's been disproven over and over, yet you still continue to post it. Please provide evidence. Prove me wrong.

You can't.BS, I am absolutely correct. unfortunately your bias blinds you to the truth. If you took your mouth off the collective nuts of the owners you would see that I'm right & you're WRONG.

Beantown Bronco
05-28-2011, 10:04 AM
BS, I am absolutely correct. unfortunately your bias blinds you to the truth. If you took your mouth off the collective nuts of the owners you would see that I'm right & you're WRONG.

Just like I thought. Zero evidence or proof of any kind.

DarkHorse30
05-28-2011, 10:15 AM
There is no status quo. The owners and players agreed to a CBA that included an option for the owners to end the CBA after 2 years and they exercised that right. That deal is history so now the players and owners need to negotiate a new one. I think D. Smith blew it. If they would have continued to negotiate with the threat of litigation in their back pocket the players would of at least had some kind of leverage. Now the owners are pissed and if the players lose in court they are going to get *** ***** by the owners.

If this guy loves to litigate, he should go to congress. How bad do I dislike this guy? I'd rather have upshaw.....

gunns
05-28-2011, 10:33 AM
If this guy loves to litigate, he should go to congress. How bad do I dislike this guy? I'd rather have upshaw.....

Amen. Smith doesn't seem to realize that the best interest of the players isn't just the money, because the money isn't going to do them any good if they aren't playing.

BroncoInferno
05-28-2011, 10:34 AM
Weird. Cause this actually did already happen and the Broncos sold out every game.

The handful of games during the '87 strike can hardly be considered a sufficient sample size to make any long term deductions. Particularly since the top players were sitting at home and not playing in a competing league.

gyldenlove
05-28-2011, 11:36 AM
Yes, that's true. But you could replace these 1500 guys with 1500 other guys who were stars in high school/college/etc.

It's not like you couldn't find guys willing to bust their ass to make a roster.

Then you would have the UFL, how many fans do they have these days?

Beantown Bronco
05-28-2011, 12:21 PM
The handful of games during the '87 strike can hardly be considered a sufficient sample size to make any long term deductions. Particularly since the top players were sitting at home and not playing in a competing league.

And yet you came to the opposite conclusion based off of a sample size of zero games.

peacepipe
05-28-2011, 03:29 PM
http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-01-30/sports/27091434_1_potential-lockout-cba-extension-players

Q: What brought this potential lockout about?

A: Two years ago, NFL owners opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement, effective after the 2010 season. If they don't get a new deal done by the end of the league year, the owners can choose to lock out the players with no pay or benefits until the players agree to a different deal

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-03-11/sports/29139759_1_nfl-lockout-salary-cap-injunction-blocks

The union decertified Friday at 5 p.m. And although the league made no official announcement, a source told the Daily News late Friday night that the NFL had locked out the players, which had been the plan all along if a new collective bargaining agreement could not be reached. The lockout began at midnight Friday night, one minute after the CBA expired.

Missouribronc
05-28-2011, 03:43 PM
http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-01-30/sports/27091434_1_potential-lockout-cba-extension-players


http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-03-11/sports/29139759_1_nfl-lockout-salary-cap-injunction-blocks

That first question and answer session is about the most one-sided account I've seen on the whole matter, and quite frankly biased towards the players and against the owners. A poorly written piece with loaded questions, and weak answers that don't delve into the actual problem.

It's been stated before, by other posters, so by no means am I taking this and claiming it to be my own, but the players did this to themselves by agreeing to a Collective Bargaining Agreement with an owner-opt out clause that allowed the owners to opt out if they felt the players were getting the better half of the deal.

Previous representation of the players made serious mistakes in previous negotiations. Sure, currently the players wouldn't mind playing under the rules they played under in 2009, but that's because they made serious mistakes in allowing for an owner opt-out clause, banking on the owners breaking their own banks during an un-capped year, if the owners opted out of that agreement.

The players thought the owners would fight amongst each other last year during a salary-cap free season. Hell, I thought Dan Snyder would go nuts. That, clearly, didn't happen, and much of the players' negotiating pillars were blown out of the water.

Here's the problem I see, from the outside obviously, with the players' arguments. They will give in to the rookie caps on salary, which I don't know why they wouldn't, but they want that money for themselves. I think that's a mistake, and I think if they conceded on that point, and conceded on giving the owners a little more off the proverbial moneypot, while sticking to not allowing an 18-game season, I think both sides could get a deal done.

But by decertifying, the players have guaranteed that this will be handled through the courts, and could be a long, drawn-out process. Had they accepted the "lock out" and stayed at the negotiating table, this all probably would have been figured out by now.

Dedhed
05-28-2011, 05:04 PM
The league could go on, and hardly miss a beat, if every current player was fired. They have very little leverage here.

mkporter
05-28-2011, 11:52 PM
For me...the owners own the business. It belongs to them, if the players don't like it...go do something else. Go be Anne Frank or something.

This is the pro-owner viewpoint that I least understand. Have you noticed that it doesn't really matter how awful an owner is, they still make crap loads of money? Dan Snyder? Have you thought to ask yourself why this is?

The primary answer is that NFL teams are allowed to operate in a legal cartel. They can engage in all kinds of anti-competitive practices (the draft, franchise tags, revenue sharing, salary caps, collective bargaining for TV rights, etc) which both enhance the quality of their product, and ensure that competition is nearly impossible. There are laws against these kind of practices that most every other company has to abide by. How is the NFL able to operate in such a manner? The answer is that PLAYERS have agreed to it, via their union and a collectively bargained agreement. In exchange, they get other considerations (minimum salaries, salary floors, free agency, etc). The success of the league is due to this partnership.

If the owners don't like the business that are in, they can sell it to someone else. Absolutely no one will care.

That said, I don't feel sorry for either side. Both sides have repeatedly operated in bad faith, and either side has the capability to kill the golden goose. The players need to get serious about negotiating, as the owners are at least pretending at this point.

boltaneer
05-29-2011, 12:59 AM
This is the pro-owner viewpoint that I least understand. Have you noticed that it doesn't really matter how awful an owner is, they still make crap loads of money? Dan Snyder? Have you thought to ask yourself why this is?

This is why fans should not spend money on a bad product. But fans are so "brainwashed" (for the lack of a better term) to be such hardcore fans of their team, win or lose.

The fact that the Redskins sell out every year with the crap product they put on the field is all on the fans, not Dan Snyder. Fans have to give owners an incentive to put a better product on the field. I believe Snyder wants to win but losing and making a boat load of money while doing so is a nice consolation prize I'm sure.

Remember the Chargers in the late 90s and early 2000s? They had that stupid ticket guarantee with the city that ensured all their games were sold out. That put no incentive on Spanos to put a better product on the field and those were some of the most awful teams in the franchises history. Just like Synder though, I believe Spanos wants to win but once the ticket guarantee was gone, the product improved. It wasn't the only reason why but it sure did play a factor in it.

Requiem
05-29-2011, 01:29 AM
I don't side with either the owners or the players.

Just get something done.

Let's play ball.

It's sickening that billionaires and millionares are fighting eachother over revenue (and other things) when there are people out there busting their rears making less than ten dollars an hour to make ends meet for them and their families.

mkporter
05-29-2011, 01:31 AM
This is why fans should not spend money on a bad product. But fans are so "brainwashed" (for the lack of a better term) to be such hardcore fans of their team, win or lose.

The fact that the Redskins sell out every year with the crap product they put on the field is all on the fans, not Dan Snyder. Fans have to give owners an incentive to put a better product on the field. I believe Snyder wants to win but losing and making a boat load of money while doing so is a nice consolation prize I'm sure.

Remember the Chargers in the late 90s and early 2000s? They had that stupid ticket guarantee with the city that ensured all their games were sold out. That put no incentive on Spanos to put a better product on the field and those were some of the most awful teams in the franchises history. Just like Synder though, I believe Spanos wants to win but once the ticket guarantee was gone, the product improved. It wasn't the only reason why but it sure did play a factor in it.

Two things:
1) My point was more that the league has such a sweet setup because of the ability to operate as a cartel, that any owner can make money regardless of their ability. Even if they put out a bad product, and fans don't go to their games, they still get most of their money from revenue sharing.

2) Only a chargers fan would advocate for fans to be more "fair weather." Ha!

boltaneer
05-29-2011, 04:02 AM
Two things:
1) My point was more that the league has such a sweet setup because of the ability to operate as a cartel, that any owner can make money regardless of their ability. Even if they put out a bad product, and fans don't go to their games, they still get most of their money from revenue sharing.

I do agree that the owners do have a sweet setup but...

IF what the owners is saying is true, that some teams are losing money, then yes, fans not filling the seats of the stadium would hurt the owners quite a bit more.

I found a good explanation on how the revenue sharing works. (I did not know the home team keeps only 60% of the gate.)

http://football.calsci.com/SalaryCap.html

Another thing that really bugs me are PSLs. I cannot believe fans would pay large amounts of money just for the right to have season tickets. And that's a lot of money going into owners pockets. Could you imagine having to pay a large fee to your cable company before you become a customer just for the right to watch TV? People would revolt against that so fast, you couldn't believe it.

Supposedly the owners offered to open their books to a third party right before the union decided to turn down the extension and decertify. I really wish the union would have accepted that offer and continued negotiations. Not that the numbers would have become public (I'm sure they wouldn't have) but I'm sure we would have found out in general whether the owners were telling the truth or not.

I wonder now if the owners will even offer that again if they win the June 3rd court ruling, they'll have all the leverage at that point.

DrFate
05-29-2011, 08:19 AM
Then you would have the UFL, how many fans do they have these days?

That's a misguided comparison. Fans of the 'Denver Broncos' would still root for the Denver Broncos (and buy tickets. tshirts, watch games on TV, etc.)

I ask you - which player on this current roster would be 'the guy' - such that when he walks away (retirement, traded, free agent) the franchise will have to close up shop?

DrFate
05-29-2011, 08:20 AM
1) My point was more that the league has such a sweet setup because of the ability to operate as a cartel, that any owner can make money regardless of their ability.

You have an interesting take on this. I ask you - could any of the major sports franchise continue to operate if they weren't a cartel?

barryr
05-29-2011, 08:35 AM
I think the owners and players look bad in this. With the economy not doing well and with the money the NFL has, it just makes them all look greedy IMO. The players will get more of the blame since the fans see them more than they do owners and execs sitting in luxury boxes.

mkporter
05-29-2011, 10:22 AM
You have an interesting take on this. I ask you - could any of the major sports franchise continue to operate if they weren't a cartel?

They certainly could, but it would fundamentally change the landscape of the game. Baseball is less of a cartel, and baseball has some competitive problems. I think European soccer is even less of of a cartel system, and again there are some competitive problems, but their system of promotion is pretty interesting, and certainly is a mechanism to maintain a certain level of competitiveness. (My knowledge of euro-soccer is pretty weak, they may operate in a much more capitalist system, I don't really know)

If you wanted to get rid of the anti-trust issues, and still maintain control that allowed for some of the rules which enhance competition, you could incorporate your league as a single entity with 32 shareholders. But then ownership is an entirely different venture.

If you wanted individual ownership, you could have a setup where anyone could own a team, and there could be any number of teams. Players are a all free agents, allowed to sign contracts with any team they wanted, for as much money as they could get, with whatever terms they agreed to.

Matches could be arranged between teams, third party organizations could contract with teams to compete in tournaments, and you'd probably have some structures that would develop organically from this. It would certainly be interesting to see here in the US, but I'd rather not see it with football..

gyldenlove
05-29-2011, 10:37 AM
That's a misguided comparison. Fans of the 'Denver Broncos' would still root for the Denver Broncos (and buy tickets. tshirts, watch games on TV, etc.)

I ask you - which player on this current roster would be 'the guy' - such that when he walks away (retirement, traded, free agent) the franchise will have to close up shop?

The team, every player. I am not spending a damn cent watching a team of shirtfillers sent out there because they are cheap. If I ever, and I think a lot of people will agree here, get the sense that Bowlen or a future owner is deliberately putting out a sub-par product to save money then I will withdraw all support. Just like I would have done had I been a New York Islander fan, Wang is deliberately sending out a team that is less good than it could be to save money, and as a fan I would not accept that, the same way I would not watch reruns of friends on pay-per-view.

Would you watch a Broncos team starring Maurice Clarrett and Marcus Vick? they are both available.

Play2win
05-29-2011, 11:32 AM
I think there is going to be a threshold or breaking point, depending on how long this really drags out. The economy is still in a sad state of affairs, especially in certain places. People are not making the money they once did. Even diehards might question whether it would be better to spend their money in other ways. Spend their time in others ways... People might be more apt to find how they can make themselves more rich, instead of making these obvious prima-donnas more rich.

Plus, there is always Saturdays... ;D

peacepipe
05-29-2011, 11:36 AM
That first question and answer session is about the most one-sided account I've seen on the whole matter, and quite frankly biased towards the players and against the owners. A poorly written piece with loaded questions, and weak answers that don't delve into the actual problem.

It's been stated before, by other posters, so by no means am I taking this and claiming it to be my own, but the players did this to themselves by agreeing to a Collective Bargaining Agreement with an owner-opt out clause that allowed the owners to opt out if they felt the players were getting the better half of the deal.

Previous representation of the players made serious mistakes in previous negotiations. Sure, currently the players wouldn't mind playing under the rules they played under in 2009, but that's because they made serious mistakes in allowing for an owner opt-out clause, banking on the owners breaking their own banks during an un-capped year, if the owners opted out of that agreement.

The players thought the owners would fight amongst each other last year during a salary-cap free season. Hell, I thought Dan Snyder would go nuts. That, clearly, didn't happen, and much of the players' negotiating pillars were blown out of the water.

Here's the problem I see, from the outside obviously, with the players' arguments. They will give in to the rookie caps on salary, which I don't know why they wouldn't, but they want that money for themselves. I think that's a mistake, and I think if they conceded on that point, and conceded on giving the owners a little more off the proverbial moneypot, while sticking to not allowing an 18-game season, I think both sides could get a deal done.

But by decertifying, the players have guaranteed that this will be handled through the courts, and could be a long, drawn-out process. Had they accepted the "lock out" and stayed at the negotiating table, this all probably would have been figured out by now.the approach that gives all the leverage to the owners. thankfully the NFLPA wasn't dumb enough to take that route.

Dedhed
05-29-2011, 11:55 AM
They certainly could, but it would fundamentally change the landscape of the game. Baseball is less of a cartel, and baseball has some competitive problems. I think European soccer is even less of of a cartel system, and again there are some competitive problems.

baseball and European soccer are examples of an utter lack of competition, not competition problems.

El Minion
05-29-2011, 01:26 PM
baseball and European soccer are examples of an utter lack of competition, not competition problems.

notsofast Wrong


The Capitalism of Soccer (http://www.slate.com/id/2103170/)
Why Europe's favorite sport is more American than baseball.
By Daniel GrossPosted Wednesday, June 30, 2004, at 4:36 PM ET

"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball," Jacques Barzun wrote a half-century ago. For decades, intellectuals like Barzun, pseudo-intellectuals like George Will, and storytellers of all types (Ken Burns, Kevin Costner) have mined the intricacies, symbols, and meaning of the national pastime to shed larger light on the politics, culture, and economy of the United States.

There is, we believe, something quintessentially American not just about baseball, but about all our major league sports. Basketball, football, and baseball engender competition and reward merit. They afford people, regardless of their background, the ability to gain fame and vast fortune. Each league marries marketing and brand-building to sex, power, and money. Sports are the ultimate market activity, with champions and losers minted every night and every season.

Just so, whoever wants to know the heart and mind of Europe—and Latin America, as well as big chunks of Africa and Asia—had better learn soccer, the national pastime of the rest of the world. And Franklin Foer's new book, How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization (http://shopping.msn.com/url.aspx?ptnrid=14&ptnrdata=1153&merchid=2412&t=1&u=http%3a%2f%2fwww.amazon.com%2fexec%2fobidos%2fex ternal-search%3ftag%3dmsn-booksfo%26keyword%3d0066212340%26mode%3dbooks), is a great new guide. It combines a diary of an obsessive with some penetrating thoughts on globalism. It's as if Nick Hornby (http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/packages/uk/articles/hornby/), author of the brilliant soccer book Fever Pitch (http://www.penguin.co.uk/Book/EnhancedBookFrame/0,1011,,00.html?id=0140293442&sym=SYN), commandeered Tom Friedman's laptop. (Full disclosure: Foer once worked for Slate.)

As Foer notes, even though the U.S. men's national team reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, and Major League Soccer is in its ninth season, there's a sense that there's something not quite American about high-level soccer. In 1986, Foer writes, then-Congressman Jack Kemp opposed an anodyne congressional resolution to support U.S. efforts to play host to the 1994 World Cup: "a distinction should be made that football is democratic, capitalism, whereas soccer is a European socialist [sport]," the former quarterback said.

But Kemp got it exactly backward. For when you look at the business of professional sports—in both Europe and the United States—American sports are virtually all socialistic while the European soccer leagues more closely resemble the entrepreneurial capitalism we Americans fetishize.

The Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter—a tennis player, not a soccer fan—developed the concept of creative destruction, the touchstone of American-style capitalism. Schumpeter famously likened the elites of a society to a hotel, one in which rooms are always occupied but by an ever-changing roster of guests. The hotel concept almost precisely describes the soccer leagues of Europe. Every year, the worst-performing teams—three in England, four in Italy—check out. Relegated, they must play the following year in the next-lower division. Meanwhile, ambitious upstarts who have succeeded at lower levels check in. They are promoted.

This constant cycling has enormous financial consequences for the teams and their owners. Television, advertising, sponsorship, and gate receipts instantly plummet when a team is relegated. (Imagine what would happen to attendance at Shea Stadium if the New York Mets had to play AAA opponents this year.) Relegated teams release or sell off highly paid players and instantly face a renewed fight for survival. In the 2001-2002 season, St. Pauli (http://www.fcstpauli.de/), the Hamburg, Germany-based team, played in Germany's prestigious Bundesliga. Relegated twice in two seasons, it now plays in the strictly minor-league third division. Even long-entrenched incumbents can fall rapidly. Leeds United (http://www.leedsunited.com/index.asp), which a few years ago finished fifth out of 20 in Britain's enormously competitive Premiership, was relegated this year after it ran into financial problems.

By contrast, the American professional leagues are like a Marriott Residence Inn—once you're allowed to check in, you never have to leave. There's no great punishment for consistently propping up the standings year after year. Yes, the market value of losing teams often suffers in comparison to those of winning teams. But once you're a member of the cartel, there's a floor under the price. The Montreal Expos, despite decades of gross mismanagement, these days by Major League Baseball itself, were valued at $113 million last year, according to Forbes. (Click here (http://www.forbes.com/static_html/baseball/2003/valuationsFLA.shtml?index=1), and then scroll down.) To different degrees, Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NBA are examples of European-style socialism among billionaires and Fortune 500 companies. They share revenues, tightly regulate admission to the cartel, and bargain collectively with powerful European-style unions, which act as barriers against reform. Losers not only can prosper, but they get first dibs on next year's crop of talent.

In America, someone who wishes to start a major-league sports team, or who wants to upgrade a minor-league team into a major-league one, is essentially out of luck. Not so in Europe. In 1997, Mohamed al-Fayed (http://www.alfayed.com/details.asp?aid=96), the Egyptian-born immigrant who bought Harrod's, purchased London-based soccer team Fulham FC (http://www.fulhamfc.com/), then a middling team in England's second division (the third-highest league). The parvenu spent lavishly on new talent and brought in new coaches. In 1999, Fulham was promoted to the first division. In 2001, after winning the Division One championship, it was promoted to the Premiership, where it has stayed ever since. Last season, aided in part by the import of two American stars, Fulham finished a highly respectable ninth. Last year, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich legitimized a portion of his fortune by purchasing Chelsea FC. (http://www.chelseafc.com/index.asp)

In other words, the European system rewards ambition and ruthlessly punishes sloth and incompetence. At the beginning of each year, every owner places every dollar of investment on the line. And in European soccer, that can mean a huge sum. The market capitalization of Manchester United, a publicly held company, is about $1.2 billion!

In Europe, the successful and rich teams grow richer. (For assembling and stockpiling talent, the New York Yankees have nothing on Spain's Real Madrid.) The poor get poorer, some teams fail entirely, and those intent on self-improvement have an opportunity every year to rise above circumstances. To quote another great middle-brow American intellectual (John Cougar Mellencamp): "Ain't that America?"

TheElusiveKyleOrton
05-29-2011, 01:42 PM
The league could go on, and hardly miss a beat, if every current player was fired. They have very little leverage here.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I've been dying to watch lower-tier school players and guys who couldn't make a practice squad play on Sunday.

Missouribronc
05-29-2011, 02:30 PM
the approach that gives all the leverage to the owners. thankfully the NFLPA wasn't dumb enough to take that route.

The owners have a lot of leverage in this situation because the players gave them a lot of leverage in the last CBA. I'm sure the players now realize this because of all the public pleas and cries of "just let us play."

Frankly, negotiating might have been a much better route. Why? Because if the judge in St. Louis rules for the owners next week, the players might get raked over the coals. He's been known to be a pro-business, which means a likely ruling for the owners, and then the players are left with a lockout and forced negotiations in a situation where the owners will get their money and the players won't unless they follow the rules the owners want.

They had their chance to give in only a little, but they chose to try and get all they could by going to the courts, and it could completely backfire on them.

Like I said above, had they given in some on the money off the top to the owners, let's say $400 mil instead of $1 bil, and said that half of the money saved in a rookie salary cap goes to the players and half to the owners, and then stayed strong on the current 16-game schedule, I think the owners would have agreed to that, and we'd be getting ready for the season with OTAs.

But the players wouldn't do that. They decertified and now we've got this mess.

boltaneer
05-29-2011, 04:26 PM
The owners have a lot of leverage in this situation because the players gave them a lot of leverage in the last CBA. I'm sure the players now realize this because of all the public pleas and cries of "just let us play."

Frankly, negotiating might have been a much better route. Why? Because if the judge in St. Louis rules for the owners next week, the players might get raked over the coals. He's been known to be a pro-business, which means a likely ruling for the owners, and then the players are left with a lockout and forced negotiations in a situation where the owners will get their money and the players won't unless they follow the rules the owners want.

They had their chance to give in only a little, but they chose to try and get all they could by going to the courts, and it could completely backfire on them.

Like I said above, had they given in some on the money off the top to the owners, let's say $400 mil instead of $1 bil, and said that half of the money saved in a rookie salary cap goes to the players and half to the owners, and then stayed strong on the current 16-game schedule, I think the owners would have agreed to that, and we'd be getting ready for the season with OTAs.

But the players wouldn't do that. They decertified and now we've got this mess.

From what "experts" are saying, there will be very little chance the owners lose the ruling next week.

Missouribronc
05-29-2011, 04:42 PM
From what "experts" are saying, there will be very little chance the owners lose the ruling next week.

Oh, I know. But that won't make peacepipe very happy. He's the biggest union hack on the web site, and can't even differentiate between true workers unions and millionaire unions like the NFLPA or the MLBPA.

DrFate
05-29-2011, 05:31 PM
The team, every player. I am not spending a damn cent watching a team of shirtfillers sent out there because they are cheap. If I ever, and I think a lot of people will agree here, get the sense that Bowlen or a future owner is deliberately putting out a sub-par product to save money then I will withdraw all support. Just like I would have done had I been a New York Islander fan, Wang is deliberately sending out a team that is less good than it could be to save money, and as a fan I would not accept that, the same way I would not watch reruns of friends on pay-per-view.

The problem with your comparison is that you assume Bowlen puts out the 'B team' while the other 31 teams keep the same players. The Broncos couldn't be competitive in that scenario. That's not the correct comparison.

If the current 1500 players were to simply walk away, the NFL would continue to be profitable. Every team would fill their roster with the best players available. The average fan couldn't tell the difference.

DrFate
05-29-2011, 05:36 PM
They certainly could, but it would fundamentally change the landscape of the game. Baseball is less of a cartel, and baseball has some competitive problems. I think European soccer is even less of of a cartel system, and again there are some competitive problems, but their system of promotion is pretty interesting, and certainly is a mechanism to maintain a certain level of competitiveness. (My knowledge of euro-soccer is pretty weak, they may operate in a much more capitalist system, I don't really know)

If you wanted to get rid of the anti-trust issues, and still maintain control that allowed for some of the rules which enhance competition, you could incorporate your league as a single entity with 32 shareholders. But then ownership is an entirely different venture.

If you wanted individual ownership, you could have a setup where anyone could own a team, and there could be any number of teams. Players are a all free agents, allowed to sign contracts with any team they wanted, for as much money as they could get, with whatever terms they agreed to.

Matches could be arranged between teams, third party organizations could contract with teams to compete in tournaments, and you'd probably have some structures that would develop organically from this. It would certainly be interesting to see here in the US, but I'd rather not see it with football..

Thanks for your take. I'm pretty sure we all agree that it would be a massive change.

TheReverend
05-29-2011, 05:44 PM
Would you watch a Broncos team starring Maurice Clarrett and Marcus Vick? they are both available.

Brb, looking for my cleats

Cito Pelon
05-30-2011, 11:40 AM
I still say the big sticking point is the players will have to concede to a "giveback", and that is very, very, very hard to concede from the player's perspective. So I see the players' position in this. It's that whole giveback thing that sticks in their craw.

The big deal right now is the league-wide "giveback" of apx. $300 million per contract year - from the players to the owners.

But, and it's an important point, that giveback is only apx. $9.375 million per team per contract year.

I look at those $$$$ numbers and it's pretty clear to me the players are shafting everybody in this dispute.

$9.375 million per team per contract year with a 53-man roster is $177k per player per contract year. That's not gonna impact the lower-level guys, there will still be a minimum guaranteed salary for each year of service.

The sole impact on players will be on the higher salary players, and even then it will be a low impact percentage-wise on their overall salary.

The players are being offered a very fair deal, and in the interest of continuity they should take it. The nature of contracts like these is there is always the next contract to try and make up some differences, and it's very important in contract negotiations to consider the continuity aspect.

gyldenlove
05-30-2011, 12:27 PM
The problem with your comparison is that you assume Bowlen puts out the 'B team' while the other 31 teams keep the same players. The Broncos couldn't be competitive in that scenario. That's not the correct comparison.

If the current 1500 players were to simply walk away, the NFL would continue to be profitable. Every team would fill their roster with the best players available. The average fan couldn't tell the difference.

Unless I am not the average fan then that strategy will fail hard, I have no intention of watching a sport that does not feature the highest possible level of play that is achievable. That is the reason I watch Formula 1 and not nascar, the reason I watch the NFL not UFL, the reason I watch NHL not USHL, the reason I watch champions league and not MLS.

I don't give a **** if the Broncos are competitive or not compared to the other teams (they weren't this last season and I still watched), I care if the Broncos are the best team they can be and unfortunately they couldn't be better than **** last season, but if a situation arises with Peyton Manning, Steven Jackson, Patrick Willis and the rest of them are free agents and the Broncos go and sign Ken Dorsey, Tatum Bell and Niko Kouvides as starters then I will drop that **** like its hot, regardless of what the other 31 teams are doing - I will not be short changed.

gyldenlove
05-30-2011, 12:34 PM
I still say the big sticking point is the players will have to concede to a "giveback", and that is very, very, very hard to concede from the player's perspective. So I see the players' position in this. It's that whole giveback thing that sticks in their craw.

The big deal right now is the league-wide "giveback" of apx. $300 million per contract year - from the players to the owners.

But, and it's an important point, that giveback is only apx. $9.375 million per team per contract year.

I look at those $$$$ numbers and it's pretty clear to me the players are shafting everybody in this dispute.

$9.375 million per team per contract year with a 53-man roster is $177k per player per contract year. That's not gonna impact the lower-level guys, there will still be a minimum guaranteed salary for each year of service.

The sole impact on players will be on the higher salary players, and even then it will be a low impact percentage-wise on their overall salary.

The players are being offered a very fair deal, and in the interest of continuity they should take it. The nature of contracts like these is there is always the next contract to try and make up some differences, and it's very important in contract negotiations to consider the continuity aspect.

The players have no responsibility to consider continuity, in fact if the player reps consider continuity over the best interest of the players they would be wildly incompetent to the point where they could be legally liable for damages.

Another way to consider the giveback is that about 50% of a roster will give back little or nothing unless the NFL is able to reduce the minimum salaries, in which case the entire giveback (about 7% of total salaries) will be shouldered by half the league or less, that will mean an average of about 10% reduction in salaries for a league that is by all indications not only profitable but may be one of the most profitable pro sports in the world.

It is sad to see, but it comes down to love of the game, and the majority of the current owners do not have it. European soccer club owners post 10s or 100s of millions of dollars and some even billions of dollars into their teams in the pursuit of a championship, not in pursuit of profit - NFL owners on the other hand are taking the game hostage to turn a bigger profit.

Dedhed
05-30-2011, 04:38 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but I know I've been dying to watch lower-tier school players and guys who couldn't make a practice squad play on Sunday.

Shocking that the actual point would utterly escape your grasp.

El Minion
05-30-2011, 05:30 PM
I think the the reason for the owners locking out the players is the growing imbalance of non-shared local revenue from the high revenue teams, e.g. NY, Dal, and NE, and the low revenue teams, Buf, Cin etc. because of the influence of the shared revenue on the salary cap.

This from Foxworth last year:

–––––––––––––––––––––––
On the labor situation, Domonique Foxworth hits the nail on the head (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/07/25/on-the-labor-situation-domonique-foxworth-hit-the-nail-on-the-head/)
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, a player whom many expect to eventually succeed Kevin Mawae as president of the NFL Players Association, recently spoke with a group of reporters at Capitol Hill. (For Redskins fans in the crowd, HogsHaven.com has a version that includes some comments about coach Mike Shanahan (http://www.hogshaven.com/2010/7/23/1583522/domonique-foxworth-talks-cba-and), who originally drafted Foxworth five years ago.) As transcribed by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, Foxworth summarizes the financial aspect of the situation in a way that the union should print on bumper stickers.

“Let’s take it from them (http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/sports/ravens/article_498df91c-96d2-11df-b461-001cc4c03286.html).”

It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. Sure, the owners won’t agree. But the two sides are disagreeing on pretty much everything. At a time when the two sides are developing talking points, Foxworth finally has come up with something that the union can use to best attack the league’s position.

Here’s the broader context. Foxworth was asked to explain why he believes that a lockout will occur. And here’s what Foxworth said: “They can get more money and we can get less money. Instead of bickering about how to split up the money, it’s more advantageous and galvanizing for them to say, ‘Let’s take it from somebody else.’ Instead of fighting with Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones over revenue sharing, it’s, ‘Let’s take it from them.’”

That last line is the key. As we explained in the wake of the release of the Packers’ annual financial report, the union has failed (to date) to push the connection between unshared revenues and the league’s effort to shrink the players’ piece of the pie. In 2006, the owners agreed to a Band-Aid that 30 of them liked at the time — but that most of them now abhor. So with the players now receiving their cut based on total revenues, including the stuff the teams don’t share, it could be that the permanent fix for the problem of the profits of the low-revenue Bengals being reduced by a salary cap influenced by the high revenues earned by other teams arises not from sharing the unshared revenues but from reducing the labor costs so that the low revenue teams will still earn an acceptable profit.

In other words, “Let’s take it from them.”

Foxworth also became passionate when responding to a quote that Foxworth says Pats owner Robert Kraft made during a 2009 interview with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Foxworth claims that Kraft said the owners are taking all of the risk. We vaguely recall Kraft’s comment; it was made within the confines of the financial risks. But the word “risk” gives the players an opening that none of them, to our knowledge, had previously utilized.

Foxworth utilized the hell out of it.

“I’m asking for respect,” Foxworth said. “You can’t say I’m not taking risks. That type of thing gets under my skin and pisses us off. Who’s taking
the real risks and who’s making the real gains? Robert Kraft is
bringing in millions of dollars and he’s never had a concussion.
He’s never tackled anybody. I doubt he’s had any knee replacements.
It hurts us to hear stuff like that. I would imagine he would
rethink it and I hope he doesn’t really feel that way. It’s
impossible to say we’re not taking risks. Wes Welker will limp for
the rest of his life and will have arthritis. Tom Brady will deal
with that for the rest of his life. I want him to look those guys
in the eye and say they’re not taking risks.”

According to the HogsHaven.com version of the interview, Foxworth added on the end, “It’s infuriating.”

Though this point doesn’t have as much pop as “let’s take it from them” because Kraft obviously wasn’t addressing physical risks, in this game of high-stakes contract poker the slightest slip can be used by the other side. The only real surprise here is that it took the players so long to do it.

But, hey, better late than never. And though Foxworth may be grossly out of touch on a couple of other issues (more on that later this morning), he has done a good job of giving the rank-and-file a quick and easy way to characterize the league’s objectives.

Instead of taking it from each other, let’s take it from them.

tsiguy96
05-30-2011, 05:43 PM
except the players are the ones who wont sit at the negotiating table to try and make a deal.

El Minion
05-30-2011, 07:29 PM
except the players are the ones who wont sit at the negotiating table to try and make a deal.

Jeez, stop. Neither party intended to negotiate in good faith. When the owners opted out, which either side could have done BTW not just the owners, as some posters tend to believe, they negotiated for lockout insurance. What does that tell you of the owner’s intentions? They weren't negotiating for union strike insurance. The union could have I'm sure extended the CAB talks this past Feb/Mar but both sides knew what the other was planning to do including each others counter strategy. It was inevitable; the only known unknown is the court rulings that will give one side the leverage it needs to negotiate once there are no more options to play for the losing side.

And it depends how far the players and owners want to push this and the power of unintended consequence. Do the owners really want to crush the union? It is ironic that the owners are arguing to have the courts reform the NFLPA, what other industry wants to negotiate with a union? The owners needs the NFLPA to continue being a cartel and all the anti-trust protections that come with it. The players maybe not. Both sides need to be careful what they wish for because they just might get it.:


Smith contemplating permanent decertification (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-silver_nflpa_could_stay_permanently_decetified_052 711)
Michael Silver


BETHESDA, Md. – Back in March of 2009, when he was elected to succeed the late Gene Upshaw as the NFL Players Association’s executive director, DeMaurice Smith considered himself the ultimate union man.

Two years later, when Smith announced that the NFLPA would decertify and become a trade association after negotiations with league owners on a new collective bargaining agreement broke down, most people assumed that this was a temporary tactical maneuver designed to allow players to seek leverage through the legal system. The NFL has enunciated this argument in a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, charging that the NFLPA’s move to decertify and become a trade association was a sham.

Smith, however, insists that he has embraced decertification as an enduring state of existence, much in the same way that Upshaw did in the early ’90s before – at the NFL’s insistence – he agreed to re-form the union. In an interview with Y! Sports earlier this month, Smith revealed that he envisions navigating the NFLPA through a union-free future, even after a possible settlement of the Brady et al antitrust lawsuit and a new contractual agreement between players and owners.

“I’ve come full circle,” Smith said as he sat in a downtown Bethesda plaza, a few miles from the NFLPA’s Washington D.C. headquarters, on a sunny spring morning. “When I went into this, my attitude was that the only way you have power is collectively, and I believed in unions as vehicles for employees asserting their rights. But looking back on what Gene experienced and understanding this particular situation, I’ve now come to appreciate the value of decertification in our particular circumstance. And I don’t see why we’d want to go back to being a union.”

If Smith’s comments seem shocking, consider that he is touching upon a pressure point that dates back more than 20 years. Certainly, the owners would strongly resist any post-settlement arrangement in which the players weren’t unionized, just as they did in 1990, when the league sued the NFLPA to try to force it to represent the players in labor negotiations.

Absent a union, players would be free to assert their legal rights under the Sherman Antitrust Act, and accepted institutions such as the NFL draft and rules governing free agency would be vulnerable to courtroom challenges. It’s also possible that a non-unionized workforce could gain legal protection from a lockout, as the players did in April in successfully obtaining an injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson.

Only with maximum leverage could the players attempt to force the owners to accept such a post-union reality. For example, if the Eighth Circuit fails to overturn Nelson’s order (which it stayed pending appeal) in a June 3 appellate hearing initiated by the owners, the players could return to work while seemingly headed toward a decisive victory in the Brady et al antitrust suit – and would likely be emboldened to resist any efforts to recertify.

This is precisely where Upshaw found himself 22 years ago when, after a failed players strike two years earlier, he filed decertification papers with the U.S. Department of Labor and set in motion a series of antitrust lawsuits which led to the historic 1993 collective bargaining agreement ushering in the modern era of unrestricted free agency. The CBA was technically a settlement of the pending litigation, and Upshaw had no desire to re-unionize, believing the players’ antitrust protections could eventually be eroded if they were to resume such an arrangement.

Smith, who has studied many of Upshaw’s old documents, including letters and journal entries, said he has come to a similar conclusion.

“I think we might be better off staying a trade association and getting the antitrust protections that the law affords,” Smith said. “That’s where Gene was back in 1993. He had decided it would be better not to recertify. It was the last impediment to the settlement, because the owners insisted on it.”

At that point, according to Smith, then and current NFLPA attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn “met with Gene for five hours and tried to talk it through with him, but he wouldn’t budge. So they went back to the owners and told them: ‘Gene won’t do it.’ That’s when they came up with the idea of writing up the affidavit that was included in that CBA [and all future CBAs] saying that if he ever wanted to decertify again they wouldn’t challenge it. That was the only way they could get Gene to agree to recertify.

“So given that history, and where we are now, let me ask you a question: What could they possibly tell me that could get me to agree that recertifying is a good idea?”

Lest people doubt Smith’s portrayal of his predecessor’s views, Upshaw, who died in August of 2008, enunciated them in a variety of forms at the time. In a November 1990 interview with San Francisco Chronicle columnist Glenn Dickey, Upshaw insisted that “the players are better off without the union,” citing a significant increase in player salaries since decertification.

Later that month, Upshaw wrote a three-page letter to former Miami Dolphins safety and ex-NFLPA president Dick Anderson in response to public charges by Anderson that the leaders of the decertified NFLPA were “just pulling the wool over the players’ eyes.”

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained on Thursday by Y! Sports, Upshaw made his position clear: “The players have a right to have a union [and] they also have the right not to be represented by a union. The Eighth Circuit essentially made the players choose between collective bargaining and pursuing their legal right to free agency. That choice has been made and it is final. The NFLPA is no longer a union or a bargaining representative for the players of the NFL.”

Upshaw also informed Anderson that “the players changed the constitution and bylaws which now [prohibit] anyone from representing them in collective bargaining” on Dec. 5, 1989.

“Finally,” Upshaw concluded, “the players are much better off without a union and collective bargaining, and each and every player only has to look at his game check to realize that simple fact.” He told Anderson that “… it is the NFL screaming for a union because it is in their best interests to have one.”

Ultimately, the owners were able to persuade Upshaw to abandon his position by including the provision in the CBA which read: “The Parties agree that, after the expiration of the express term of this Agreement, in the event that at that time or any time thereafter a majority of players indicate that they wish to end the collective bargaining status of the NFLPA on or after expiration of this Agreement, the NFL and its Clubs and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, successors and assigns waive any rights they may have to assert any antitrust labor exemption defense based upon any claim that the termination by the NFLPA of its status as a collective bargaining representative is or would be a sham, pretext, ineffective, requires additional steps, or has not in fact occurred.”

Upshaw during a Super Bowl week news conference seven months before his death.

Eighteen years later, as Smith pointed out, the owners are now arguing that the union’s decertification was unlawful, claiming that the NFLPA technically acted hours before the expiration of the CBA, rather than “on or after expiration.” It’s unclear which side will prevail on this pivotal point, but the owners’ actions were enough to convince Smith that only a permanent state of decertification can prevent the process from playing out indefinitely.

“We’d have to set up something separate to handle the grievances, and another entity to administer the pensions,” he said. “But yes, we could absolutely continue to function as a trade association.”

Even if the players were to possess enough leverage to compel the owners to accept such an arrangement, its implementation would be far from cut-and-dried. Could the two sides enter into a contractual agreement in which the players remained a non-unionized workforce?

“That’s an interesting question, and it seems to me the answer would be very messy,” says Georgetown law professor Jim Oldham, an expert in alternative dispute resolution, contracts and labor and employment law. “Being the most generous as I can be, this is a creative idea.”

Oldham explains that such an agreement would essentially be a private contract between players and their employers governed by the contract laws of the respective states in which their teams were headquartered, rather than by the National Labor Relations Act.

“You have to keep in mind that a collective bargaining agreement is not governed by other contract principles,” Oldham says. “It’s almost like a treaty. If you try to mimic it, it gets highly complicated.”

In theory, Oldham says, “the league or its individual teams can enter into any kind of contract with players that they wanted to. You could do that, but what would the terms of the contract be? Would it designate the trade association as the exclusive bargaining agent of the players and try to mimic the prior situation? That would be problematic because these individuals are then third parties who could try to enforce the contract through the courts.

“Could the trade association say that private individuals are precluded from making private deals with the league or the teams on their own? Perhaps you’d need a separate rider for each player stating, ‘I agree to be represented by the trade association, and in exchange I am indemnifying the trade-association from third-party claims I could make as an individual.’ It would be something like a copy of what was authorized by a federal statute.

“Then the question is, what about things that are guaranteed by federal law but for which there’s no counterpart in state contract law – for example, a quid pro quo agreement not to strike and the possible remedies associated with this, such as the ability to get an injunction? As you can see, it gets very messy.”

Oldham, who served as a grievance arbitrator for disputes between the NHL owners and the players association during the 2004 lockout, believes that NFL owners would be exceptionally resistant to such a scenario. “Undoubtedly,” he says. “I would think it’s a non-starter.”

Smith, however, is convinced the players are better off without operating as a unionized workforce – a conclusion his predecessor reached more than two decades ago, and one Upshaw viewed as reflective of the wishes of his constituents. As the late NFLPA executive director wrote in the letter to Anderson: “The undisputed fact is that no one can make you be a union if the members don’t want you to be.”

As for the current labor dispute, if and when the conflict moves closer to a resolution and settlement talks become more serious, will Smith fight to achieve the post-union future that Upshaw abandoned in the name of labor peace?

It’s a question the owners may have to ponder, for if they lose their appeal before the Eighth Circuit, Smith’s vision of a permanent state of decertification will seem like anything but a sham.

Cito Pelon
05-31-2011, 08:33 AM
The players have no responsibility to consider continuity, in fact if the player reps consider continuity over the best interest of the players they would be wildly incompetent to the point where they could be legally liable for damages.

Another way to consider the giveback is that about 50% of a roster will give back little or nothing unless the NFL is able to reduce the minimum salaries, in which case the entire giveback (about 7% of total salaries) will be shouldered by half the league or less, that will mean an average of about 10% reduction in salaries for a league that is by all indications not only profitable but may be one of the most profitable pro sports in the world.

It is sad to see, but it comes down to love of the game, and the majority of the current owners do not have it. European soccer club owners post 10s or 100s of millions of dollars and some even billions of dollars into their teams in the pursuit of a championship, not in pursuit of profit - NFL owners on the other hand are taking the game hostage to turn a bigger profit.

OK, but if the reduction is $9.375 million per team with a total salary outlay of $120 million per team, that's a 7.8% reduction. It's steep, no doubt about it, and I can see how the players don't like that at all.

Yes, it seems the reduction burden will be on the shoulders of the higher-salaried players, but ALL the current and retired players will benefit from enhanced healthcare and retirement plans offered by the owners. The enhanced plans somewhat mitigate the salary reduction.

I don't think the owners are out to gouge the players, and I don't think soccer clubs are operating at a loss. I think the owners have a valid point that operating costs have increased fairly steeply. Who provides the meals, the transportation, pays for the hotels, pays the coaches & support staff, healthcare? The owners.

DrFate
05-31-2011, 12:13 PM
Unless I am not the average fan then that strategy will fail hard, I have no intention of watching a sport that does not feature the highest possible level of play that is achievable. That is the reason I watch Formula 1 and not nascar, the reason I watch the NFL not UFL, the reason I watch NHL not USHL, the reason I watch champions league and not MLS.

I don't give a **** if the Broncos are competitive or not compared to the other teams (they weren't this last season and I still watched), I care if the Broncos are the best team they can be and unfortunately they couldn't be better than **** last season, but if a situation arises with Peyton Manning, Steven Jackson, Patrick Willis and the rest of them are free agents and the Broncos go and sign Ken Dorsey, Tatum Bell and Niko Kouvides as starters then I will drop that **** like its hot, regardless of what the other 31 teams are doing - I will not be short changed.

Do you follow any NCAA sports?

gyldenlove
05-31-2011, 01:56 PM
Do you follow any NCAA sports?

No, college sports is the most boring and pointless waste of time and money ever devised by man.

gyldenlove
05-31-2011, 02:12 PM
OK, but if the reduction is $9.375 million per team with a total salary outlay of $120 million per team, that's a 7.8% reduction. It's steep, no doubt about it, and I can see how the players don't like that at all.

Yes, it seems the reduction burden will be on the shoulders of the higher-salaried players, but ALL the current and retired players will benefit from enhanced healthcare and retirement plans offered by the owners. The enhanced plans somewhat mitigate the salary reduction.

I don't think the owners are out to gouge the players, and I don't think soccer clubs are operating at a loss. I think the owners have a valid point that operating costs have increased fairly steeply. Who provides the meals, the transportation, pays for the hotels, pays the coaches & support staff, healthcare? The owners.

Both FC Barcelona and Manchester United (who played in the Champions league final and will make more than 200 million dollars from that) are running at deficits this year between 100 and 1000 million dollars. Chelsea FC has run a deficit in excess of 2 billion dollars combined over the last 10 years.

That is why the salary cap is tied to revenue, the owners have increased their revenue and that is why player salary is increasing, we are not talking about play salaries inreasing and revenue falling. Owner revenue has increased by 25% since 2006, that is more than increase in retail prices and services.

This is not about owners struggling to make ends meet, this isn't the NHL. This is about owners wanting more money for themselves, instead of just growing their revenue the old fashioned way by gouging fans on merchandise, tickets and concessions they are now trying to set a system in place that limits free market spending even more. We are told time and time again that the reason CEOs and hedge fund managers make so much money is so they won't go to another company (even the incompetent ones), but this does not extend to NFL players who have capped salaries no matter how good they are (and some of them are demonstrably that good).

Are the players victims? of course not, it is their own choice to play and they make a lot of money - however this labor mess is the players making, the owners ended the previous CBA prematurely, the owners locked out the player ultimately endangering the season and the owners are the ones seeking significant concessions at the negotiation table. Are the players guilty of not negotiating in earnest? yes, but it takes two to tango and the owners didn't exactly put their shoulder to the grindstone to get this deal done in time.

Right now it seems like both sides are so entrenched in trying to build leverage that it will almost surely cost us part if not all of the season and for that I would like to say a heartfelt "**** you" to players and owners alike.

TheChamp24
06-03-2011, 09:01 AM
No, college sports is the most boring and pointless waste of time and money ever devised by man.

You couldn't be more wrong my friend.

El Minion
06-03-2011, 01:42 PM
Finally some concessions from both sides. "In the end, both sides will be unhappy with the deal which means it'll be a fair one."

Report: Owners made concessions during recent talks (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/03/report-owners-made-concessions-during-recent-talks/)

Posted by Mike Florio on June 3, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT
http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/money-ap070316023012.jpg?w=250
APThough the reality of oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has interrupted the fantasy of a labor deal being secretly negotiated amid boxes of deep dish pizza (eaten, of course, with plastic utensils), our buddy Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that the owners made concessions (http://mike-freeman.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6264363/29762102) during the two days of not-so-secret meetings in Chicago.

Freeman writes that “[n]o one will say exactly what the concessions are but significant ones have been made and the players believe they are genuine.” Freeman speculates that the owners are “continuing to come down significantly” from the demand that the owners receive another $1 billion off the top (in addition to the original $1 billion) before application of the 59.6-percent formula. “The players always believed this was an outrageous demand and the players were right,” Freeman says.

Though it’s possible that the talks have reverted to the 2006 formula, which is based on money off the top with the players getting nearly 60 percent of the remainder, the March 11 offer from the NFL reflected the new formula the two sides had been discussing — a “pegged cap” based on specific team-by-team salary cap numbers each and every season, with the players also wanting to share in any money over and above the projections on which the predetermined cap numbers were based.

The concept of the “true up” has been the sticking point, with the players interpreting the absence of a true up provision in the March 11 offer as an indication that the league won’t share any of the excess, and with the league assuming that a response from the players (which to date hasn’t come) would include a proposal regarding the true up.

Regardless of the specific formula used, the heart of the dispute centers on the players’ belief that they should forever receive 50 cents of every dollar of revenue generated, regardless of the total dollars of revenue generated. The owners believe that, as the total dollars pass $10 billion per year and commence the inevitable climb toward $20 billion, the players should take a smaller piece of this perpetually growing pie.

Perhaps the owners are now willing to keep that number closer to 50 percent than 40 percent. One way or the other, Freeman’s report suggests that something has happened to get the players’ attention. With money being the primary issue in dispute, it’s safe to say that something had something to do with the manner in which the money will be shared.

El Minion
03-07-2013, 07:43 PM
I think the the reason for the owners locking out the players is the growing imbalance of non-shared local revenue from the high revenue teams, e.g. NY, Dal, and NE, and the low revenue teams, Buf, Cin etc. because of the influence of the shared revenue on the salary cap.

This from Foxworth last year:

–––––––––––––––––––––––
On the labor situation, Domonique Foxworth hits the nail on the head (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/07/25/on-the-labor-situation-domonique-foxworth-hit-the-nail-on-the-head/)
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, a player whom many expect to eventually succeed Kevin Mawae as president of the NFL Players Association, recently spoke with a group of reporters at Capitol Hill. (For Redskins fans in the crowd, HogsHaven.com has a version that includes some comments about coach Mike Shanahan (http://www.hogshaven.com/2010/7/23/1583522/domonique-foxworth-talks-cba-and), who originally drafted Foxworth five years ago.) As transcribed by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, Foxworth summarizes the financial aspect of the situation in a way that the union should print on bumper stickers.

“Let’s take it from them (http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/sports/ravens/article_498df91c-96d2-11df-b461-001cc4c03286.html).”

It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. Sure, the owners won’t agree. But the two sides are disagreeing on pretty much everything. At a time when the two sides are developing talking points, Foxworth finally has come up with something that the union can use to best attack the league’s position.

Here’s the broader context. Foxworth was asked to explain why he believes that a lockout will occur. And here’s what Foxworth said: “They can get more money and we can get less money. Instead of bickering about how to split up the money, it’s more advantageous and galvanizing for them to say, ‘Let’s take it from somebody else.’ Instead of fighting with Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones over revenue sharing, it’s, ‘Let’s take it from them.’”

That last line is the key. As we explained in the wake of the release of the Packers’ annual financial report, the union has failed (to date) to push the connection between unshared revenues and the league’s effort to shrink the players’ piece of the pie. In 2006, the owners agreed to a Band-Aid that 30 of them liked at the time — but that most of them now abhor. So with the players now receiving their cut based on total revenues, including the stuff the teams don’t share, it could be that the permanent fix for the problem of the profits of the low-revenue Bengals being reduced by a salary cap influenced by the high revenues earned by other teams arises not from sharing the unshared revenues but from reducing the labor costs so that the low revenue teams will still earn an acceptable profit.

In other words, “Let’s take it from them.”

Foxworth also became passionate when responding to a quote that Foxworth says Pats owner Robert Kraft made during a 2009 interview with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Foxworth claims that Kraft said the owners are taking all of the risk. We vaguely recall Kraft’s comment; it was made within the confines of the financial risks. But the word “risk” gives the players an opening that none of them, to our knowledge, had previously utilized.

Foxworth utilized the hell out of it.

“I’m asking for respect,” Foxworth said. “You can’t say I’m not taking risks. That type of thing gets under my skin and pisses us off. Who’s taking
the real risks and who’s making the real gains? Robert Kraft is
bringing in millions of dollars and he’s never had a concussion.
He’s never tackled anybody. I doubt he’s had any knee replacements.
It hurts us to hear stuff like that. I would imagine he would
rethink it and I hope he doesn’t really feel that way. It’s
impossible to say we’re not taking risks. Wes Welker will limp for
the rest of his life and will have arthritis. Tom Brady will deal
with that for the rest of his life. I want him to look those guys
in the eye and say they’re not taking risks.”

According to the HogsHaven.com version of the interview, Foxworth added on the end, “It’s infuriating.”

Though this point doesn’t have as much pop as “let’s take it from them” because Kraft obviously wasn’t addressing physical risks, in this game of high-stakes contract poker the slightest slip can be used by the other side. The only real surprise here is that it took the players so long to do it.

But, hey, better late than never. And though Foxworth may be grossly out of touch on a couple of other issues (more on that later this morning), he has done a good job of giving the rank-and-file a quick and easy way to characterize the league’s objectives.

Instead of taking it from each other, let’s take it from them.

Domonique Foxworth was right! Now Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is trying to fleece the public! Handouts to billionaires like Jerry Richardson

––––––––––––––––––––

Leaked NFL Documents: While Owner Cried Hardship, Carolina Panthers Had $112 Million Profit Over Two Years (http://deadspin.com/5988893/leaked-nfl-documents-while-owner-cried-hardship-carolina-panthers-had-112-million-profit-over-two-years)

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/183mxcxsddee9jpg/avt-small.jpg Tommy Craggs

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18grtrbxyaciijpg/medium.jpg (http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18grtrbxyaciijpg/original.jpg)

In 2010 and 2011, as the NFL prepared for and staged a lockout of its players, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was among the hardest of the hardliners, urging his fellow owners to "take back our league" by demanding a more management-friendly collective-bargaining agreement.

Meanwhile, according to an audited financial statement obtained by Deadspin, Richardson's Panthers were making more than $100 million in profit over the fiscal years covering those two seasons.

The statement is for the years ending March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Over the first period, as Richardson argued that the NFL's business model was hopelessly broken and steered the owners toward a showdown to extract more money from the players, the Panthers recorded an operating profit of $78.7 million. The team had gone 2-14 on the field, but Richardson and his partners were able to pay themselves $12 million.

Over the following year, after the owners had won their lockout and reduced the players' share of league revenue from 50 percent to 47 percent, the Panthers brought in $33.3 million in operating profit. Richardson began lobbying for public subsidies to renovate his 17-year-old stadium. The team went 6-10.

The pro football business was very good in Carolina in those two years, even if the pro football wasn't. That much is evident from the document, which can be found at the bottom of the post and which offers a rare look inside an NFL club's books.

Team financials in all sports are closely guarded documents, particularly because so much league business—stadium deals with municipalities, negotiations with players unions—relies on obscuring the owners' financial picture. During collective bargaining in 2011, the NFL players union repeatedly asked owners to open their books. They were repeatedly denied.

"These franchises are a license to print money," says Dennis Howard, a business professor at the University of Oregon, who looked over the Panthers' financial statement at Deadspin's request. "This team is pretty damn healthy," he says, and its financial outlook is "very bright," citing the new, owner-friendly collective bargaining agreement and the league's fat new TV contract, signed in 2011, which kicks in next year. Under the terms of that deal, Howard estimates, the Panthers could bring in an additional $60-$65 million in annual TV revenue alone.

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18gs7kvkojrrojpg/medium.jpg (http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18gs7kvkojrrojpg/original.jpg)

Richardson's public posture over the past two years certainly hasn't suggested a man presiding over a twentysomething percent profit margin in one of the NFL's smaller markets. He was management's point person in labor negotiations. A witness told Yahoo's Michael Silver about a March 2010 meeting at which Richardson addressed his fellow owners (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-ownerrankingsparttwo090310): "Jerry said, 'We signed a [expletive] deal last time, and we're going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it.' He was practically yelling. It was amazing, and it set an incredible tone." In one memorable press conference (http://www.panthers.com/media-vault/videos/Front-Office-Press-Conference/79ee84d5-981c-4429-a407-873e6f1ae2bf) before the work stoppage, Richardson, now 76 years old, drew a crude pie chart that showed the players swallowing up a preponderance of league revenue.

"I don't think many business schools would say that's a model that's going to sustain itself," Richardson said, claiming that team owners had "a negative cash flow of $200 million."

In 2011 and 2012, however, the cash position of the Panthers was healthy: $8.3 million and $38.4 million, respectively. Assuming Richardson's number has any basis whatsoever, it's likely he was factoring in an accounting sleight-of-hand known as the roster depreciation allowance (more on which later). "If one is searching for a reason for the early termination of the CBA and the lockout in 2011," writes Roger Noll, a sports economist at Stanford, in an email, "financial distress is not it!"

Last fall, the team began drawing up plans for renovating Bank of America Stadium (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/09/19/3542137/city-to-weigh-money-for-stadium.html), which was built largely with Richardson's money and which opened in 1996. The Panthers figured renovations would cost $300 million, $200 million of which, they'd hoped, would come out of the public till. Charlotte has been eager to help, to the tune of $144 million. But the state thus far has been less accommodating (http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/queen_city_agenda/2013/03/carolina-panthers-still-seeking.html?page=all), and with good reason.

"Based on the team's financial condition, there is absolutely no justification for such a large public subsidy," Howard writes in an email. The financials "show unequivocally that the team has the capacity to finance the improvements on its own. The team could easily pledge a portion of the anticipated increase in TV revenues to finance the debt service for the improvements."

A few other notes about the Panthers' financial statement:



Why the big gap in operating profits between 2011 and 2012? The Panthers decided to spend money on talent (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/26/charles-johnson-stays-with-panthers-gets-32-million-guaranteed/). Player payroll jumps from $78 million to $100 million, and amortization of player signing bonuses goes from $24 million to $54 million.

If we shuffle around the line items on page 5 in the viewer below, we can get a broader sense of where an NFL team's revenue comes from. The Panthers' local revenue—game receipts, luxury suites, and so on—was $95 million in 2011 and $98 million in 2012. (Incidentally, Carolina's ticket prices are among the lowest in the league. (http://www.fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/blog_pdfs/entry0000018_pdf000.pdf)) Revenue from the league—national TV contract, NFL Ventures (http://deadspin.com/5821386/audited-financials-operating-profit-for-nfl-ventures-lp-rose-from-999-million-to-13-billion-last-year)—was $150 million in 2011 and $155 million in 2012. In other words, the league kitty accounts for more than 60 percent of the Panthers' operating revenue. Why is that important? Local money lay at the heart of the lockout. The impetus behind the work stoppage wasn't so much player costs as it was a widening gap among teams in stadium-generated revenue. The lockout, as we've written many times before, was actually an intramural dispute that the owners chose to take out on the players instead. At bottom was a growing imbalance between those clubs with new, revenue-rich, luxury-box-fattened stadiums, many of them built through the league's G-3 financing program (http://deadspin.com/5819427/exclusive-weve-obtained-audited-financials-for-the-nfl-league-office), and those in older facilities.

Richardson's claim of $200 million in negative cash flow is difficult to fathom, says Howard, who a decade ago had access to profit and loss statements for NFL teams and recalls only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders, suffering operational losses. One possibility is that Richardson was figuring in the infamous roster depreciation allowance. The RDA is an accounting gimmick whereby a new owner of a sports franchise gets to write off 100 percent of the purchase price of the team over a 15-year period, on the specious logic that a roster depreciates the same way, for instance, that your office's new fax machine does. That tax deduction shows up on the books as an operating expense, even though it's a pretend-loss that exists only in the quirks of the tax code. Thus, Stephen Ross, who purchased the Miami Dolphins for $1 billion, can claim an operational hit of nearly $70 million. "It has a huge impact on the bottom line," Howard says. "You're able to transform a real profit into an operational loss."

On page 7 of the viewer, you'll see an $80 million loan repayment in 2011. That's explained on pages 16 and 17. The NFL offers revolving credit to teams at very low interest rates, another perk of ownership.

Regarding the $12 million self-payment (page 6, "Distributions to partners"): We don't know if this is typical without access to other teams' financials. But given the Panthers' financial success under Richardson, Howard says, "I think he's extracting his fair share." You can find the team's organizational chart and entity listing here (http://deadspin.com/5989285/carolina-panthers-organizational-chart-and-entity-listing).


Carolina Panthers, 2011 & 2012

[Download as PDF (http://edge-cache.deadspin.com/deadspin/richardson.pdf)]

cmhargrove
03-07-2013, 07:47 PM
Did not read.

Awesome 2 year bump skillz