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Blog Entry

The Daily Shoutout

Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:38 am
 
THE POLITICS OF WEALTH: Michael Strahan, the former New York Giant, recently raised an interesting point on Twitter. This is what he wrote:

"Why is it that athletes can be overpaid but owners aren't? Is there a basic logic behind that?"

I've always considered Strahan one of the smartest athletes I've ever covered and also mostly fearless. As happened several times during Strahan's career, something he said ignited a passionate debate. After re-tweeting Strahan, my own Twitter exploded, turning a sleepy and rainy Saturday afternoon in the east into a fiery one.

The 200-300 tweets sent to me seemed equally divided. Half said owners created their own wealth and deserved every penny while the other half said players were a rare resource who did things few on the planet can and deserved to be paid well for it. I think Strahan's overall point is a viable one. There does seem to be far more resentment over players making millions from football than owners making millions from football (if not a lot more). Perhaps the biggest reason is that we see and read about the players daily. They're closer to us. They're ubiquitous. Owners, with the exception of Jerry Jones, are mostly invisible.

Some fans also feel that they're just a heartbeat away from being a pro athlete which is, of course, laughable.

We also don't seem to have dislike for actors who make $15 million a movie but we have disdain for players who make a great deal of cash. Ben Stiller earned $53 million one year. Ben Stiller? Have you seen him act? Ben Stiller and myself have something in common. Neither of us will ever win an Academy Award for best actor.

Strahan's tweet was an interesting jumping off point in this lockout battle for hearts and minds and I don't expect this debate to end any time soon.

MEDIATION RETURNS: Yippeeee!

PLEASE. STOP IT: Donovan McNabb's career isn't over. Not yet.

See you Tuesday.

Category: NFL
Comments

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:37 pm
 

The Daily Shoutout

 The player has the opportunity to turn himself into a millionaire. While the owner really takes a chance at going bankrupt if he fails. If the owner runs a team into the ground or the team does poorly or the market just isnt good in their particular city they can possibly lose hundreds of millions they invested!
This is the most ridiculous thing I have read in this thread! Can ANYONE name the last NFL franchise that collapsed and left the owner losing miliions?

Never.

The last NFL franchise to fold was the Dallas Texans in 1952- after trying life as the Boston Yanks, New York Bulldogs and New York Yankees, it finally collapsed when you could still buy a franchise. The owner? It was the league itself. The original owner was bought out by the NFL. And franchises were 10's of thousands of dollars- not hundreds of millions.

Today, owners are at risk of minimizing their profits- nothing more. Read THIS and open your eyes, if not your mind... 
In every other buisness the owners make the majority of the money and the employees make a salary. This should be treated no differently.
In every other business there are strict regulations about monopoly and anti-trust activity... rules the NFL (and other sports leagues) are exempt from. So why again should they be like every other business?

And while players like Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell might be fun to snort at and use as examples of why players don't 'deserve' any money they get for their services, good or bad, the REAL example we are given is that owners can't save themselves from making bad decisions... and for that they want others to pay. 



Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:51 pm
 

The Daily Shoutout

Based on your opinions, tymxposure, I still think you may be a current or former player that just signed up to post. You never denied that yet.
I deny it. What I am is a little worker bee who has worked as a wage employee in both union and non-union situations, currently runs my own business, and has gotten fed-up with reading so much crap in regards to labor in this country by laborers themselves! I don't care if it's a $20 million dollar a picture actor, a 20 million dollar a year quarterback, a 30 dollar an hour line worker for Ford, or a 25k-70k public school teacher. We all shriek that somebody else is making more than they deserve... based on what? Does a CEO deserve 300% higher pay than the people who actually make the items his company sells? . Why aren't people up in arms about that? I am hard pressed to think of another country where the working class so regularly attacks its own and chooses to cheer on the very people whose job it is to squeeze as much out of workers for as little compensation as possible.  

The players are NOT business partners. They are employees.
In regards to the CBA, as the league represents the interests of both the owners and the players and has an obligation to maximize revenue for both, in regards to this particular point their relationship is more of a partnership. It was in this regard that the league was found to have harmed the players in favor of the owners- a decision since reversed on appeal. We shall see if a blatently business-friendly Supreme court even chooses to hear the next appeal from the players.

I understand your point and the point in the article but the 3 to 3.5 year average is highly skewed by players that are signed but get cut in pre-season and never make an active roster.  The average length of a career in the NFL is much longer when you only factor in the players that make it on an active roster.
Well then perhaps we should find a study that specifically only includes players who have made an active roster. I will leave that to you as I have to leave for a dentist appt. and go coach the local youth for their track meet. Since the study was basing it's 'averages' on players making the league minimum for 3 years, I would assume the focus was on players who actually made rosters for 3 years. Re-reading the article, it SEEMS the focus is on guys who were making at least the league minimum. 





 



Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:19 pm
 

The Daily Shoutout

Sorry Soopafly, but that is a very stupid statement.  First, most owners were born in money.  second, they are joining forces, and they are holding the larger end of the stick.  That is not just in the NFL, but all industries.

what's wrong with the players joining together to achieve their goal?  That's what they do on the field right?

When you have a handfull of owners joining forces and controlling the budget of the industry, it is practically impossible to compete against them.  The only way you can negotiate is with leverage.  The owners control the money, the players control the service.  If the owners join forces, the players need to do the same. 

You argument is bogus.  The employee at McDonalds does not work their because it's a choice.  They can't just quit if they don't like the salary, they are stuck at that position mostly for justifiable reasons.  That's why you need the mass population to help negotiations.  That is how the minimum wage was introduce.  If you think pure Capitalism is the best system, go live in China for a while.  Trust me, you can't go far with 50 cents an hour.  



Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2011 11:34 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

Mr. Freeman and Mr. Strahan:

The difference is not the amount of money in question.  The difference is that you rarely hear about a $15 million/movie actor complaining that they don't get paid enough.  You don't hear about that wealthy owner whining that he can't support his family on what he makes.

Sure, they're ALL overpaid.  So are university presidents and athletic directors, many lawyers, and insurance magnates.  That's not the problem.  The *resentment* comes from the fact that so many pro athletes complain that they simply can't live without that money... that they can't support/secure their family with anything less (or even with the amount they make)... that they are flat broke within 2-3 years of retirement.  In short, unlike the actors and musician and owners, the athletes seem to want our sympathy despite making so much money.  THAT is where the resentment comes from.



Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2011 10:28 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

The owners absolutely deserve to make the majority of the money! They are the buisness men that payed hundreds of millions to buy a pro franchise and they should see a major return for it. These men earned the right to make millions every year and alot of the players have not. How many players signed huge first round contracts with enormous signing bonuses and were all out busts! Jamarcus Russel essentially made 50 million for 12 college games. Because the twelve college games he excelled in was the reason for his first pick and his huge signing bonus, and he did nothing for the team.  The opposite can also be said for the players that earned there money, but the point is the owners have everything to lose and the players have nothing! If a player turns out to be a bust he just leaves the league and doesnt lose any money. If anything he takes money he didn't really earn with him. The player has the opportunity to turn himself into a millionaire. While the owner really takes a chance at going bankrupt if he fails. If the owner runs a team into the ground or the team does poorly or the market just isnt good in their particular city they can possibly lose hundreds of millions they invested! In every other buisness the owners make the majority of the money and the employees make a salary. This should be treated no differently.



Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 9:30 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

I fault them for breech of the previous CBA
Oh yea I missed a very important correction.  The Owners did NOT breech the previous CBA.  The CBA had an opt-out clause in it that the Owners chose to use.




Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 9:25 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

they need to lower the players' portion of the shared revenue
None of the current players under contract will get less money.  The only difference when the owners take more money immediately off the top is that the following years salary cap will not go up as high.

Also the owners would like some sort of Rookie salary cap which is a good idea in my opinion.  If there is a Rookie salary cap then new rookies may not get the insane $60 to $80 million contracts that have been given out so they will make less money initially but then again they are not current players.  Current players will not make less money.


just passing their financial 'risk' on to their business partner- the players.
The players are NOT business partners. They are employees.


the average NFL career lasts just three years
I understand your point and the point in the article but the 3 to 3.5 year average is highly skewed by players that are signed but get cut in pre-season and never make an active roster.  The average length of a career in the NFL is much longer when you only factor in the players that make it on an active roster.


The owners will win this battle and get most of what they want in the end. They will even leave the players feeling like they got some things too.  The sad part is, as you stated, that the fans will not get lower prices on tickets, parking, concessions, memorabilia, etc.  The owners and the players are still screwing the fans.

Based on your opinions, tymxposure, I still think you may be a current or former player that just signed up to post. You never denied that yet.




Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 7:59 am
 

The Daily Shoutout

 I dont care what you say, and what links you bring up. But if you make $2millions a year. You can comfortably own a nice decent house in for $300,000. Instead of taking on mansion and buying 5 cars, and living above your means. I am not responsible for any player finances. Personally I hope the NFL goes on Lockout for this year and the year following. So that the players and the owners will learn their lessons especially the players.



Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:28 pm
 

The Daily Shoutout

I don't fault the owners for fighting for a new agreement. I fault them for breech of the previous CBA and an apparently systematic attempt to coerce revenue from the broadcasters for the 2011 season whether there were games being played or not:

And isn't bargaining predicated on the concept of a level playing field for participants? If I were selling you that car and knew I had put two bottles of block seal in that motor in the last 2 months, but didn't tell you that, would we be on a level playing field? If I am the owner of a football team and know I am going to be receiving my shared revenue check come the beginning of the season whether I have a team playing games or not, will my bargaining strategy be the same as if I couldn't count on that money? 

Well, a federal judge seemed to find such a situation not only unfair, but in fact a breech of trust that even the NFL itself couldn't sugarcoat on its own website: And here's a key point made in a video which few people ever stop to consider:Robert Boland is well versed in the world of Sports management, as well as labor law and anti-trust law. If you listen through to the end, he makes the point that sports labor unions NEED to be strong because the leagues in which they play are granted such broad anti-trust exemptions. 

And finally, is anyone hearing  that the reason they need to lower the players' portion of the shared revenue is that the owners themselves will be taking a hit because they are lowering ticket prices to help combat the on-going decline of attendance at games. Now that is an argument the owners would get some support on. But insisting on a higher percentage of shared tv revenue from a deal they made with less than rigorous exercise of the  fiduciary responsibility they owed the players is just passing their financial 'risk' on to their business partner- the players.  



Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:02 pm
 

The Daily Shoutout

And I am completely baffled as to how writing on the internet has suddenly shifted the burden of proof from the person making a statement- a time honored tradition in academics, journalism... anyplace an argument is being made except the internet- to the reader. 

I get your point, and am well aware of the reasons the league actually mandates rookies attend a program before they ever go to their first camp. One of the topics is finances.

To further quote from the article to which you provided the link:

"The 78 percent number is buoyed by the fact that the average NFL career lasts just three years. So, figure a player gets drafted in 2009, signs for the minimum and lasts three years in the league: He will have earned about $1.2 million in salary. Factor in taxes, cost of living and the misguided belief that there will be more years and bigger paydays down the road, and it becomes a lot easier to see how so many players struggle with money after their careers end. Nobody plans on playing just three years in the NFL, you know?"
 nd thank you for your admission as to the other items which were
#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement&n
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