Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Is Supposed to Be My Off-Season

Writing an NFL blog is a time-consuming task.  Particularly in a year when your team wins the big dance.  Like the Packers themselves, I was spent at the end of this season.  My creative juices were squeezed.  I was ready for a little R&R.  Maybe watch some March Madness.  Get ready for the NFL Draft.

But NOOOOO...  Instead, I have to listen to hours of endless bickering between millionaire players and billionaire owners about financial disclosures, union decertification and collective bargaining agreements.  It's enough to make your head explode.  Last week, the proverbial shit hit the fan as both parties walked away from the negotiating table.

Although I've speculated that a lock-out may, theoretically, help the Packers, I'm already growing impatient for this blood feud to get resolved.  For those of you with the good sense to tune out the madness, here's a recap of where things stand:

  • The NFL owners decided they wanted a bigger piece of the $9 BILLION that the NFL makes, so they opted out of the existing "CBA" or collective bargaining agreement.
  • Presently, the owners skim $1 billion off the top before the revenue is split with the players.  The NFL owners want to double that to $2 billion under the argument that they are losing their shirts paying for all the expenses of running an NFL franchise, like hot dog vendors and towel boys.
  • The NFL Players Association has asked, for two years, for the owners to provide some evidence that their expenses have, in fact, doubled.  But the owners are un-willing to share their financial information.
  • At the deadline (which was extended one week) for negotiation, the NFL owners brilliantly forced the NFLPA to decertify their union.  This action enables players to sue, but it also allowed the owners to claim the high ground -- asserting that it was the players who walked away, when, in fact, it was the owners who triggered this whole thing.
Now, we're in what one might describe as a "f*cking mess!"  Words like "sham" and "liar" are being thrown around by parties on both sides.  It's feeling increasingly likely that this will end up in court, which would be like watching a slow-motion car wreck -- too horrifying to watch, but too intriguing to turn away.

Here's my bottom line on the whole thing: you guys are arguing over about 10% of the pie!!!  Just come to a frickin' resolution.  Please, look to Major League Baseball or the NHL, or your own disastrous player strike in 1987, to understand how quickly you can destroy value in your game.  As you bitch about this billion dollars, this 10% of the pie, ask yourselves how quickly you can destroy that much equity in the league.  It's not worth it!

You are pulled up to a ridiculously bountiful trough at a glorious, never-ending buffet and you're whining about who gets to put his napkin in his lap first.  For God's sake, shut up and slurp down on the river of money that we fans, through our tireless devotion, have created for you.  Don't turn the game we all love into... baseball.  You assholes.

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