Looking ahead- NFL strike next season?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Trajan, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    please, no.

    anyway, points of contention; bad 2006 deal, more games, shortened pre-season, rookie compensation etc....

    it seems to me that if owners are stupid enough to pay a rookie 30 million guaranteed money and hes a bust, then that counts against their cap and they have to suffer for their foolhardiness.


    Will the Lights Go Out in the NFL?
    On the eve of the playoffs, Roger Goodell, the league's commissioner, explains why there might not be pro football next season.

    The great Washington Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen once likened his job to "holding group therapy for 50,000 people a week." By that measure, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell holds in his hands the mental health of tens of millions of Americans. Which is quite a burden—especially since he may soon have to deliver some very bad news.

    The 51-year-old Mr. Goodell represents the owners of the most valuable sports league in the world, which today begins its playoffs. For the moment, fan attention is on the road to the Super Bowl—on the perennially favored New England Patriots, the defending champion New Orleans Saints, the resurgent Philadelphia Eagles and their quarterback, Michael Vick, of dog-fighting infamy.

    But the highest-stakes action isn't taking place on the gridiron. It's out of sight, in boardrooms and over telephones, as Mr. Goodell and league owners are trying to get the players union to agree to a new collective-bargaining agreement. Negotiations have gone on for two years and if they're not settled by March 3, the NFL will suffer a work stoppage. The roughly $9 billion-a-year enterprise, in other words, might take next season off.

    It's come to this, Mr. Goodell says as we sit in his midtown Manhattan office, because the owners made the mistake of signing a bad collective-bargaining agreement in 2006. The deal, he says, raised players' pay more than was healthy for the league, and left owners with insufficient cash to invest in their product. From 2006 to 2008—when owners decided to opt out of the deal, setting up this showdown—player costs outpaced revenue growth and owners' cash flow declined by $200 million.


    On top of that, the commissioner says, new revenue sources are hard to find. The prime example he offers is the cost of building stadiums now that credit is hard to come by and high-tech amenities are increasingly needed to lure fans from their 60-inch, high-def home televisions.

    "We signed this new collective-bargaining agreement in 2006—we haven't had a stadium built since then," says Mr. Goodell. The new complexes in New York and Dallas, he notes, were already under construction before 2006. Since then, owners have considered new stadiums to be too much of a strain on their scarcer resources. "That's not good for the players, it's not good for the game, it's not good for the fans," he says.

    The difficulty of building new stadiums, Mr. Goodell argues, is why for 15 years there hasn't been an NFL franchise in Los Angeles—the country's second-largest market. "We need to get back to a system that allows us to make those investments to grow the game," he says.

    Another impediment to growth, the commissioner says, is that the 2006 deal failed to address the exorbitant compensation of rookies. Too often, top draft picks get enormous sums of guaranteed money only to underperform at the professional level. "I don't like to name names," Mr. Goodell says with characteristic politesse, but readers may think of JaMarcus Russell, the quarterback drafted first overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. The Raiders guaranteed Mr. Russell $31 million, and after three disappointing years he was no longer playing in the NFL.


    In an open letter to fans this week, Mr. Goodell cited a recently published list of the 50 highest-paid American athletes. Five were NFL rookies. "Every other athlete on the list was a proven veteran," he lamented. He also noted that "in 2009, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field."

    "The money that we're paying to rookies in our current [salary] cap system should be going to proven veterans," he tells me.

    Proposing to revise the collective-bargaining agreement in order to shift the pay scale toward veterans and away from rookies is, as far as labor negotiations go, relatively inoffensive. More controversial is Mr. Goodell's desire to extend the NFL season to 18 games from 16, by shortening the preseason to two games from four.

    "The one clear message we get from our fans is they don't like four preseason games. . . . As they're challenged from their own financial standpoint, they don't want to pay for lesser-quality product—that's preseason games," Mr. Goodell says. The league estimates that going to an 18-game season could generate $500 million in additional revenue.

    But it could also increase injuries to players, which is why the idea is generally unpopular in locker rooms. As is, the average NFL career lasts barely more than three years. "We're not automobiles; we're not machines; we're humans," said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis last year. "You've got to ask yourself how many people are truly healthy in 18 games." For players to accept a longer season, union officials have said, the league would have to offer concessions like reduced off-season workouts and increased health-care benefits.

    article continues at-
    The Weekend Interview with Roger Goodell: Will the Lights Go Out in the NFL? - WSJ.com
     
  2. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Any figures for how the net worth of NFL owners has fared since 2006?

    Players play.

    Fans pay.

    Coaches coach.

    (Sports)writers write.

    Owners...parasite?
     
  3. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    its in the article george.
     
  4. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Dave Zirin's take on Roger:

    "In the letter, Goodell seems to be following a tried and true strategy: blame the union and sow resentment between the fans and the players they pay to watch.

    "But in taking a closer look at his musty missive, Goodell also establishes himself as a stalking horse for a broader, systemic strategy being used by governors and captains of industry across the country.

    "It's a strategy that for all the focus-tested language has one end-goal: getting workers to work harder for less."

    Dave Zirin...
     
  5. driveby
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    driveby Gold Member

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    It will be a lockout, not a strike .......
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  6. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    thx for the workers unite angst, meanwhile every players a millionaire, but you can keep flying the flags of discontent.
     
  7. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    "...Fans have limited budgets and rightly want the most for their money. I get it.

    "Does he get it?

    "There is nothing about lowering prices for tickets, concessions, or parking."

    Dave Zirin...
     

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