Friday, February 05, 2010

Roger Goodell Would Like To Remind You He Isn't an Honest Broker

The media likes to talk and think about the commissioners of various sports as if they are in the same model that they were created to be, which was a highly independent above the fray executive.

Roger Goodell seems to be going out of his way to remind folks that isn't the way it works anymore. (Bud Selig did a bang up job of that for baseball). Goodell is now publicly telling the players that is their turn to give in to the owners, because the owners got a bad shake in the last bargaining agreement.

Do you see? In what was probably the most successful era for a professional sport in the history of mankind, the owners didn't quite make enough money. The players union, rightly, is calling bullshit on that, and has been saying, over and over again, "Open the books, show us your real financials, and we'll go from there."

Goodell's response to that idea says everything: "We're all for transparency...Our players have a tremendous amount of economic data. Unfortunately, (opening up the books) is not the holy grail."

Let me translate that for you: we are not opening up the books. Also, as opposed to making sound like a reasonable first step to any honest negotiation, I'm going to compare it some mythological, impossible object of history.

No one on the player's side is claiming that opening the books magically solves the problem of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. What they are saying, and what any one with a modicum of honesty could see they are saying is that if you claim financial hardship, it is not unreasonable for your employees to see that hardship is real. If you work for Toyota, or Chrysler, you know when times are tough, because you see the assembly line slow down, or stop. You see product stack up. But what if the assembly line was ripping along, 24 hours a day, and the cars and trucks were flying out of the lots, and your employer came to you hat in hand and said, "Times are tough?" You'd be dubious, yes? Same thing with the NFL players. They see their product flying off the shelves. They see the draft coverage getting more and more intense. They know they are unquestionably playing the country's most significant and successful sport. Everyone can see that. Why the owners think the players won't see that is beyond me.

If you weren't aware of it yet, let's be clear here--2011 is almost certainly going to be the year of the NFL lockout. And next year's capless year is practically a certainty as well. Fun times ahead. And just remember--Goodell isn't a commissioner in the traditional sense of the word. He's more of the owner's (extremely powerful) PR guy.


Muumuuman said...

It's been great to have good Superbowls, and not just watch either the Cowboys, Niners, Giants, or Skins pound the shit out of some poor AFC team year in and year out (these four teams won 10 consecutive Superbowls, 1987-1996 by a combined score of 371-172). 1993 introduced free agency, and the cap came in in 1994. Since 1997 only one of the aforementioned teams has won a Superbowl - as a massive underdog. Oddly enough, good Superbowls have followed free agency and the cap and a variety of teams succeed in the play-offs. I rarely watch baseball, because without a cap it's not a real competition. Boo NFL boo, there's plenty of other shit to do on Sunday other than watching the same fucking teams win over and over again.

Andrew Wice said...

The way NFL owners are acting reminds me of the bad humans in the movie Avatar ... or Fern Gully ... or ...