Friday, September 17, 2010

All That Implies...A Mini NFL Rant

I read ProFootballTalk a lot.  I check in daily.  I learned about Ryan Grant's season ending injury before just about everyone else in my office thanks to PFT.  It was the first place I read about Chris Cooley ripping Philly for trading McNabb.  As a guy in about half-a-dozen fantasy leagues, I rely upon it.

But, Jesus Christ, there are times, especially in the context of the continuing labor strife brewing under the surface, that they are ridiculous pains in the asses.

Most recently, among reports that the TV ratings for the NFL's opening weekend this past weekend is the best one they've had since the strike-shortened year in 1987, PFT lead writer Mike Florio wrote:

And perhaps the NFL and the NFLPA should take note of that fact.  It's taken 23 years since the last work stoppage to come close to the total Week One viewership enjoyed in the last Week One before football went away for a while.  So maybe the two sides should work toward preventing another work stoppage.

In another post, Florio writes about the possibility of a lockout by owners in this way:  "The mere fact that the possibility of taking our NFL football away is being used as leverage to help one side or the other get rich even faster should be enough to get us riled up.  If that possibility ever becomes reality, we all should be prepared to make our displeasure known.  Loudly."

If you've ever read "Dean" David Broder's political writing in the Washington Post, you may see a similarity here--a wise sage, this Mike Florio, who thinks that the problem with the two sides who have borderline intractable differences is that they don't understand that they should be working together.  "Holy shit," DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell presumably exclaim in unison.  "We never thought of that!"

Let's be clear here about who the bad actors are.  It is the owners who are trying to take money back from their players, even as the nature of their traumatic brain injuries become more and more clear.  It is the ownership of the Super Bowl hopefuls in San Diego that decided they'll punish the 7,000 folks who decided not to buy overpriced nosebleed seats for the home opener by making sure the game is blacked out in their local market.  Ask the Jet fans who find themselves assigned to nosebleed season tickets, after generations of great seats.  It's the "doctors" who decided to let Stewart Bradley back into the game after he came off the field like this (they stop boxing bouts after activity like that):

Did I mention that Florio said that the NFL had to "tweak" concussion procedures after that?  Tweak!

Florio gets worse when he attempts to delve into the politics of the labor issue.  The NFLPA, wisely by anyone who knows even a little about the power of labor solidarity, has enlisted other unions to their side.  Florio, because he understands politics so well, presumes that the NFLPA banding together with other unions is the equivalent of endorsing Nancy Pelosi:  "Even if the red/blue split among football fans is 50-50, the union's decision to openly recruit unions like the AFL-CIO and FOP could alienate half of the fan base.  And with the ever-swinging pendulum of voter discontent poised to push plenty of Republicans into Congress on November 2, the decision of the union to behave like a traditional union could end up being a huge mistake come 2011."

Get that?  Unions are exclusively the realm of liberals.  That's fucking hilarious!  Yes, the AFL-CIO has a tendency to vote Democratic, mainly because the Democrats don't actively campaign on fucking them over.  However, the idea that the fan base of the NFL would think less of the NFLPA for getting labor solidarity is comically stupid.  I'm guessing most Americans have a pretty good opinion of the Fraternal Order of Police, regardless of whether they voted Democrat or Republican in their last local election.

I wonder if Florio has spent time on a work site with say, the United Brothers of Carpenters--those crazy fucking liberals!  Why to hear them talk--it's far past time for DADT to be repealed, and why hasn't Obama gotten a 2-State Solution worked out in Palestine already!?  Union membership doesn't automatically equal "Blue" in our current political parlance, and anyone who doesn't get that really shouldn't be opining on labor issues at all.  Stick to injury reports and funny videos from training camp.

The idea that this is millionaires vs. billionaires is true, but not helpful.  What side should any sane person be on?  As Dave Zirin said, "You root for the player...because nobody ever paid $80 for a ticket to watch Jerry Jones run down the sideline."

Just cover the facts, ProFootballTalk.  You kind of suck at everything else.


Gabe said...

One of the best posts in a long time. Bravo.

Also to wit: the owners refuse to open their books during negotiations. Think about that. The players are asked to take the owners' word for it about their 'financial hardships'!

Look at what happened in Miami. Read this. Owner claims poverty. Takes city for $500M. Then it turns out he was turning a profit the whole time. These jerks should be in jail.

Related: a big argument owners are making in requesting a bigger piece of the pie that the poor old owners are increasingly being forced to fund their own stadiums rather than getting $500M giveaways from one broke city after another.

Poor owners. Having to pay for the buildings that house their very profitable enterprises of which they are the main beneficiaries and sole owners of.

Oh, and economists almost universally agree that communities never make back their $100M's of 'investments'. Not in tax revenue, jobs, or area growth.

Makes me want to punch an eagle. Or at least Dan Snyder.

Barnyard said...

To your smaller point:

Big Blue Monkey 2: The Quickening said...

Hey Gabe, thanks.

And thanks for that NYT link--the idea that the Astrodome hasn't been paid off yet is depressing as all get out.

Andrew Wice said...

Bravo to the post and the comments. One more thing that no one ever seems to mention.

Owners are complaining that players are making too much money and thereby wrecking the league.

Who writes the contracts? Who decided that $100 million was a reasonable price to pay for a defensive tackle? Who gives players over $40 million in guaranteed money, up front?

That the owners can blow their wads on players and set the market price, and then complain that they're spending too much money is ludicrous.