Greed

Greed

Gary Green

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, center, talks with associates pregame before Super Bowl XLIV. (MCT Campus/Gary Green)

There’s one football game left for the season. This is about the time when everything starts to become bittersweet. While we are thrilled for the Super Bowl, most avid fans aren’t relatively happy to have to wait until September to witness meaningful football again. Well, this year it’s extra bitter and not that sweet, as the pending NFL lockout means we might have to wait well past September to watch the NFL again. And even if the lockout doesn’t extend into the regular season we will likely miss out on free agency, or training camp, or the preseason, or even more, which makes some fans cringe. I’m going to set out some objective facts for everyone to absorb and get a better grasp on the CBA negotiations and the expected, imminent lockout.

1) The Players Want Nothing. While the owners are trying manipulate the public by saying it’s the players who are craving more and more and ultimately are the ones who are greedy and are the main cause of the problem, is inane and utter nonsense. All the players want merely is the Collective Bargaining Agreement – which was agreed upon in 2006 and the owners opted out of 2008– to be extended.  This unfortunately for the fans will not happen, and we know who has been the main root of the problem- not the players.

2) The owners have been planning for this moment, and have an insurance plan to make to make sure that the players won’t be paid, the stadium and staff workers won’t be paid and the fans won’t get to see their teams, the owners will stake tens of millions of dollars without football. The television networks will still pay the NFL over four billion dollars in 2011, whether or not football is paid.  The NFL will tell you that his money will have to be paid back, but that is a stretch of the truth. Three billion has to be paid back, but one billion– the billion from DirectTV– they keep. That’s over 30 billion dollars per club.

3) The players have acknowledged that the top drafted rookies receive an inordinate amount of money. They offered to take 200 million dollars from rookie pay, and redistribute it to current veterans, and retired players. The NFL players rejected this plan, and then when it became popular in the public, co-opted it as their own.

4) The NFL wants the players to take an 18% pay cut. This might strike you as reasonable, giving the current financial situation in the country. But what is true is that the NFL is exploiting the current financial issues to their benefit. What is true is that the NFL has been more lucrative and profitable than before and in fact the NFL–right now– is the most profitable pro sports league in the history of the world.

5) Any money that the player give up will not be passed along to the fan. This is not an attempt to make memorabilia more affordable. The NFL, and the league admits this, wants the money to build more stadiums and provide the owners with more money. Not so they can make the individuals richer but so they can enhance their image and build up their own product, while simultaneously making the workers take a pay cut.

6) The NFL wants to add two regular season games- which all the players and coaches indisputably disagree and proclaim it will be an utter devastation to the league. The league tosses up an argument point by saying that “fans hate the preseason” and “they already play 20 games.” This is a league that harps on the safety so to extend it would be simply inane and contradicting. Also, they say fans hate paying regular season ticket and parking prices for preseason games, but that needs to be repaired by cranking down the prices which are set at an egregious price especially given the state of the economy.

No one really cares, I get it, you don’t really have a say in what unravels. It’s billionaires fighting and manipulating millionaires over money. You think a year or even a couple months would be unfathomable and outrageous. Also, you think football players are overpaid, and it’s necessary for them to take a pay cut. Realistically, in a capitalistic society no one’s is overpaid but that doesn’t mean that can’t or deserve to decrease a portion of their salary. The richest football player doesn’t even makes 10% of the least richest owner. And even if the players do take a pay cut, that money saved won’t go to the teams or the stadium and their workers, it will go directly to their owners who will do nothing but store in their pockets for their personal use.

The NFL wants you to remain in oblivion and is planning on you not caring about any of this overhaul. They are banking on your ignorance or on your guttural feeling that athletes are spoiled and don’t deserve what they have. The fans can only do so much and one thing for certain they can’t do is not buy what the NFL and the pompous owners are selling.

A lockout is highly likely to occur and seemingly, nothing is going to change. The problem is all on the shoulder of distinctly the owners- no one else.