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.


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

See you Tuesday.

Category: NFL

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:12 pm

The Daily Shoutout

How long do you think it would take for NFL players to start selling out High School, then JC, then college stadiums if they went barnstorming.
Typical shallow minded blogger.

Yea, I can see the players paying for advertising, insurance, security, staff, concessions vendors, stadium rental, coaches, trainers, equipment, etc..

Most of these NFL players are living paycheck to paycheck and forget to pay their car registration.  Look how many are broke soon after leaving the NFL.

Please please just a little bit of thinking before you post a ridiculous idea like the one above.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:05 pm

The Daily Shoutout

Right, Soopafly. And how many employees do you have?  And what is your guaranteed income in your business?

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 12:49 pm

The Daily Shoutout

Open a business Strahan. Pay your employees a very good compensation packages. Once you have your profit, come and tell me if you will share all your profit.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 12:10 pm

The Daily Shoutout

lastlionsfan perhaps you miss the irony of calling men who make their living on a football field 'field hands.' Perhaps if I called them 'line workers' of the entertainment industry, churning out the mass distraction you might not bristle so, and might even be able to explain what huge financial risk the owners are taking... c'mon you can do it!

How many owners are courageous enough to build their team a new stadium when it needs one and not blackmail their local governments and communities with relocation if subsidies are not granted? The list is short- Jerry Jones. I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years and watched the owners try strong-arming into building a facility before they would even commit to putting a team in it. Big risk-takers, these guys are. 

No, you can't. The whole reason the owners DON'T want to open their books is then everyone will see how freakin much money is being made- even by the inept organizations! Won't it be a kick in the pants for ownership when Judge Doty freezes their guaranteed TV money for the upcoming season because, after all, that TV contract was signed while there was a CBA in effect and a portion of that money belongs to the players. Who do you think insisted on a salary cap? The players? Is that a free-market principle? And as far as players being free goes, what part of restricted free-agency do you not understand? 

And as far as all those corporations you listed at the end of your post goes- the publicly traded ones are REQUIRED to open their books on a regular basis.

I challenge Capitalist apologists like you to to push away from the FoxNews trough, take a hard look at your reality, and realize you are spending all your energy defending the very people who are sucking us all dry in every area of our lives. Or maybe you ARE a corporate vampire yourself.  

Since: Feb 6, 2009
Posted on: May 16, 2011 11:11 am

The Fans are going to need mediation!

The thing about this lockout is the players and owners are fighting over revenue not yet earned. They are not bickering over what the other makes and they certainly do not care that the starting price for a single ticket averages over $50 a seat. Both groups are fighting over feelings! The owners are FEELING like they do not want the "workers" telling the "Bosses" how they are gonna run "their" show, and the players are FEELING disrespected. They know that they are still going to make a ton of cash at the end of the day. Remember, the average player still makes over a million dollars over their career, will you? And that is working with the average player's career spanning 3 1/2 years.
Now, Here is the rub. Regardless of the the outcome of mediation, and they might not come to an amicable result that allows them to play football this year, football will return sooner or later and so will we! And when they do return, the price of those seats will average over $55, and the price of the other stuff will also go up. Where else would you pay $9 for a beer, $6 for nacho's and $20 for the right to park your car to get into these money eating events. What? Did think that they would lower everything and not try to make up the lost revenue? The best way to settle this dispute might be for us, the fans to go on strike.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:35 am

The Daily Shoutout

lastlion, you seem like you have a good point, but its fake.

Based on REALITY....Owning an NFL team is one of the "LEAST" risky business ventures in the world.

Nice to "SAY" things like "RISK" but when you put up the objective numbers, NO WAY.

Example: Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys for $140,000,000 US with a stadium 20 years ago, and today, even after the 2nd worst recession in US History,  The Cowboys are worth 1,850,000,000 with a stadium worth 1.2 billion which is now only leveraged at 20% of franchise value after only 2 years.

If anything in the world is BULLET PROOF its the NFL. ( if the Owners don't screw it up by trying to be greedy )

Its not the players fault that the NFL has owners like what's his face who owns the Bengals who "CHOOSE" not to maximise is profits and is proud of it.       

Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:22 am

The Daily Shoutout

tymxposure, you seem to be missing the point.  The owners take a huge financial risk, the players do not. Yes, they get hurt, their careers could end on any play, but they have purchased insurance, and there is an injury buyout in every contract, so they (the players) will get paid. 

You suggest the players go off on their own and sell out college and high school stadiums.  I'm sure they will, and I'm also sure they will not like the idea of playing fo $50.00 per game.  Your process is flawed.  The owners and the players are equally stupid in this venture.

One more thing for everyone out there who is already doing it:  STOP PLAYING THE SLAVERY CARD!!!  There is absolutely no comparison between what NFL players are going through right now and slavery.  It amazes me that this issue has been brought up by several bloggers and player alike.  Do they not understand the concepts of slavery?  They can always quit the system, go to canada or the arena league and play (oops, that would be for less money wouldn't it?), jor they could fall back on their college degree and join the workforce.  No, NFL football is nowhere near slavery, and to compare the two is ridiculous.  It is also interesting to think that this comparison would have never happened if the players were paid more, so it can't be quite that bad huh? 

I challenge those players who really believe this to help all those workers who are forced to make less money.  Band them all together and march on Walmart, Ford, GM, Meijer, McDonalds, etc.  and demand a greater share of the profits, demand to see the books over the last 10 years.  See how far that gets you, then join the real world you whiners>

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:32 am

Don't call the NFL a free-enterprise system.

I don't hear the players complaining about how much the owners make nearly as much as I hear the owners complaining about how much the players are getting. I think that is at the heart of this lockout by the owners.

The logic gaps in this argument achieve the status of laughable. First, please explain what risk NFL owners take by owning an NFL team. There is a guaranteed income in the form of each team's share of television revenue, divided equally among all 32 teams. Further buffering the owners is the salary cap system, which protects them from themselves as they attempt to outspend each other for the services of their 'ungrateful' field-hands. The biggest risk owners face is not losing money- the biggest risk is failing to make money as fast as the rest of the owners. Even if an owner is completely incompetent, failing to make an acceptable return on his investment,he can still sell out and make a few million just for having been an incompetent owner for a few years. The NFL at this point in its existence is about as close as you can get in our great 'free-market' economy to a no-risk investment. Thats why the cost of franchises jumped through the roof over the last 20 years. Whatever risks that MIGHT have been taken by those lucky enough to amass a personal fortune of several hundred million dollars happened long before they were in a position to apply for membership in the NFL owners' club. Add weighted scheduling, which gives weaker teams easier schedules, the draft which rewards the worst teams with the first chance at selecting the best incoming players, and the NFL starts looking really... socialist.

As far as the players are concerned, perhaps it's time to stop thinking of them as 'employees' and start thinking of them as business partners in a (possibly) mutually beneficial financial relationship. In fact, don't even think of them as athletes- their role is really more that of entertainers. And these entertainers do something Tom Cruise and Beyonce never do- they put their ability to perform on the line every snap of the ball. Actual physical risk... Think about that when you are trumpeting all the 'risk' the owners are taking. Sure, the players have gotten a larger slice of the pie as the pie has gotten huge in the last few decades. The players are the show. there will always be room to argue who needs whom more. How long do you think NFL stadiums would stay sold-out with UFL and arena league players filling the rosters? How long do you think it would take for NFL players to start selling out High School, then JC, then college stadiums if they went barnstorming. Fans pay to see the players, not Jerry Jones. If you want to get into a measure that better represents your precious free-market ideology, you might consider applauding the players for having the gumption for recognizing their leverage in this business and insisting on every penny they can get for their goods and services in what is by any definition a high-risk enterprise. Isn't that the nature of capitalism?


Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:29 am

The Daily Shoutout

Snake Farm,

You are way off base.  The NFL is clearly a great deal for the fans compared to other games. My 30 yard line seats to the Packers are 83 dollars.  A season pass for a family of four is 3200 bucks .  This is not that bad to see a complete season.  i live in Chicago and four season tickets to the bulls or hawks are 16,000 and up for comparable seats.  For the Cubs it is even more.

Ratings say you are wrong about the TV.


Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:19 am

The Daily Shoutout

that was Trolls not Tolls

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