Posted on: March 21, 2011 9:29 am

Forget who's wrong - the Winners & Losers:

Forget who's to blame.  Who will be the real winners and losers?  Here's one author's list (read why in the whole article via the link below) and I've added some of my ideas.  I know you have yours - add 'em!

The Real Winners and Losers of the NFL Lockout
      Monte Burke    March 18, 2011         Link -> WinLose

You know those parents who throw birthday parties during NFL games, right? They'll be winners!  There’s a pretty good chance that there will be no 2011 NFL season. If the unthinkable really happens, there will be some big winners and some big losers.

The Winners:

1)      College football, the Canadian Football League and the United Football League
2)      Other American pro sports leagues
3)      Jim Nantz.  He needs a break
4)      Peter King.  Him, too.
5)      Those parents who schedule birthday parties for their children on Sundays in the fall at 1:30 PM eastern time
6)      Brains: That is, the beleaguered brains of the players.
7)      Tattoo parlors.  Idle hands...
8)      Some athletic trainer you’ve never heard of before who will suddenly become a media star
9)      The Movie Industry: Sunday matinée, anyone?

The Losers:

1)      Bars that carry the NFL’s Sunday Ticket
2)      Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee’s
3)      NFL fans and fantasy football players: Duh.
4)      Beer companies
5)      Reebok
6)      Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith
7)      Showtime
8)      The NFL Network
9)      Bookies

More losers:

- Commentators, lame pregame shows, graphics designers and makeup artists
- Sports agents who's only contribution is to drive up the costs to fans
- Ex-jock knuckleheads who think what they say matters
- CBS daily story authors who have to write something and think what they say matters
- Airlines, taxis, hotels, mini bars and desperate female groupies
- Makers of athletic tape, Gatorade, foot fungus meds and body paint
- Wives and family of cranky die hard fans
- Wives and family of cranky die hard players
- Parking ripoff artists who hawk "closer" spots that aren't even theirs
- Kingsford charcoal brickets, makers of bratwurst and anything with lots of cholesterol
- Golf courses, after the stampede

I'm sure there are many more - fire away

Category: NFL
Tags: fans, owners, players
Posted on: March 7, 2011 2:17 pm

I hate to burst your bubble, but ...

Insult is no longer allowed to be added to injury.  Greed needs a boundary.  The dot.sports bubble is about to burst.

Billionaire NFL owners and millionaire players insult our common sense as they cut up a 10 billion dollar revenue pie paid for by foreclosed fans.  Squeezing literal blood from a stone, owners have extracted huge TV prepayments, sent layoff notices to staff and invented "personal seat licenses" (the infamous mortgage derivative of sports) this year.  Help me understand:  I pay for my seats, I pay shipping and handling and parking and overpriced concessions and logo'd merchandise and, in addition, I have to buy the right to be reamed for a price *larger* than my actual tickets?

Why?  To pad the vault before a pending lockout designed to prevent the players from cutting a bigger slice of the pie - despite overwhelming evidence of the premature deaths and shortened life expectancy of players.  Hello, injury... meet insult.  Football may be the most obvious right now, but baseball and other pro sports share the vastly inflated economic disparity vs. the fans.  Bread and circuses?

Not that the players are underpaid (well, the Pittsburgh Pirates, maybe) - rather, undertaxed. Due to tax breaks for new construction, some players in new top condos in NY pay *one fifth* as much tax as a couple in Queens pays.  Hello, insult?  We forget that players work half a year, not fulltime.  And many duck local taxes in the "home" towns of their ballparks through high-priced advisors. 

And the owners are rigging the game.  Consider this:  DirectTV would have actually paid the owners *more* if there were a lockout than if games were played.  Apart from the TV deals and away gate ticket sales the league divides, owners collect from their stadium (gate) receipts for home games, naming rights, sponsorships, luxury suite revenue, concessions and local broadcast rights.  In addition, your own stadium brings in extra money for concerts, events, a pro shop, and $12 hot dogs. And the trend has clearly been for private stadium ownership.

When owners saw the market trend move from individual fans to corporate buyers a few years back, they raised prices, expanded luxury boxes, and brought in arugula (the aromatic salad green).  Let companys treat clients and vendors from their subscription, right?  And serve wine and brie, right?  Nevermind that the crowd sounds different and TV shots are filled with empty seats, right? 

Wrong.  As the economic bubble burst, companies can't afford overpriced seats and those that still might are *embarassed* to be seen as spending frivolously.  The warning signs are visible during many baseball telecasts.  The bubble burst.  Then the housing bubble.  Then the mortgage derivative bubble.  Then the Madoff bubble (can you say Wilpon?). Then the jobs bubble.  Soon the public pension bubble.  And state budgets.  Is DoubleBubble next?

New Rule:  Team owners want a hefty percent of everything?  Ok, the pain too.
1)  Since each concussion costs 2 years lifespan, here's the fair way: Team owners must experience exactly the same concussion in their luxury boxes that any player sustains on the field.  Use automated hydraulic helmets or retired players with ball-peen hammers to invoke the "neuron-for-a-neuron" clause of the new collective bargaining agreement.  Have owners and players share the same health plan (like maybe senators and citizens should?). 

2)  Since PSL's are basically a real estate transaction, shouldn't owners pay a tax like we do?  Like a developer selling condo units.  Sales and capital gain per every PSL.  40,000 seats @$10k PSL per = $400 million revenue... what's the fair local tax on that?  25% = $100 million.

In the last few years, most people have seen their pensions and long-term benefits disappear - most corporate workers large and small, as well as teachers, firemen, policemen in the public sector  - the promises were unrealistic and impossible to sustain.  Players may be "entertainers" and push for whatever contracts the market will bear. But the money eventually comes from or is passed on to the public - a broke public, and a market that can't bear it anymore.

At what point is economic disparity so extreme that stadiums are empty... or better - they will look like the streets of Cairo?  Can you say Twitter?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or