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Old 05-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #76
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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.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:29 PM   #77
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http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-01-3...ension-players
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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...unction-blocks

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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.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:43 PM   #78
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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.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #79
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The league could go on, and hardly miss a beat, if every current player was fired. They have very little leverage here.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #80
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:59 AM   #81
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:29 AM   #82
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:31 AM   #83
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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."
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:02 AM   #84
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #85
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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?
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:20 AM   #86
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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?
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:35 AM   #87
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:22 AM   #88
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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..
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Old 05-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #89
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:32 AM   #90
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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...
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:36 AM   #91
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:55 AM   #92
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:26 PM   #93
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baseball and European soccer are examples of an utter lack of competition, not competition problems.
Wrong


The Capitalism of Soccer

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, is a great new guide. It combines a diary of an obsessive with some penetrating thoughts on globalism. It's as if Nick Hornby, author of the brilliant soccer book Fever Pitch, 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, 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, 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, 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, the Egyptian-born immigrant who bought Harrod's, purchased London-based soccer team Fulham FC, 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.

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?"
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:42 PM   #94
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:30 PM   #95
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #96
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:42 PM   #97
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #98
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:36 PM   #99
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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.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #100
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Would you watch a Broncos team starring Maurice Clarrett and Marcus Vick? they are both available.
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