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Union poses 10 questions to NFL

Commissioner Roger Goodell recently acknowledged that meetings between the NFL and its players’ union have been sparse of late.  If the two sides won’t be communicating in person, why not post questions to each other on their web sites?

Really, what could go wrong?

Earlier this week, the NFLPA listed 10 open questions to the league.  Questions aimed, in our view, not at getting actual answers but in coaxing the media and/or the fans to start asking the same questions.

Here they are, with our observations after each one.

1.  Will you guarantee to the players and the fans, today, that there will not be a lockout at the start of the 2011 season?

Our take:  The union knows that the NFL will never do this; the threat of a lockout creates leverage, especially since NFLPA Executive Director De Smith has persuaded the players that a lockout is coming.  So even without the NFL ever having to utter the word “lockout,” the players will believe that the alternative to not taking the best deal is a lockout, regardless of whether a lockout ever would be imposed.

2.  Why did the players have to sue the NFL on behalf of small-market teams, which were owed approximately $20M, to maintain the Supplemental Revenue Sharing program?

Our take:  This question contains clever, but misleading, drafting by the union.  The NFLPA didn’t sue “on behalf of the small-market teams.”  The union sued on behalf of the players, and the small-market teams received a benefit that, presumably, they didn’t want.  The league intended Supplemental Revenue Sharing to end upon evaporation of the salary floor, since a per-team salary floor based on the total football revenues of all teams drives up the relative labor costs of the teams earning far less than the teams that earn the most.  Apparently, the lawyers screwed up when writing up the language regarding the expiration of Supplemental Revenue Sharing, and it gave the union a way to force more money into the pockets of the small-market teams — which bolsters an eventual claim of collusion if the small-market teams don’t spend their unexpected windfall on players.

3.  Why did the NFL tell the public that the players never proposed an increase in former player benefits and health care when every CBA meeting has included such a proposal from the players?

Our take:  This question apparently responds to the March 9, 2010 letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, a copy of which recently was posted at NFLLabor.com:  “[W]hen the union last week informed us that it was willing to make a new deal under certain conditions, there was no mention by them of increased benefits for retirees.  The union leadership was willing to make a deal without any improvements for retired players.”  The deal that was proposed by the union was aimed at freezing the salary cap in place for another year; it wasn’t a comprehensive offer aimed at addressing every issue.  On this point, then, the NFLPA apparently has a good point, and it’s very unfortunate that the league took the union’s last-ditch effort to avoid an uncapped year out of context.

So why did the league do it?  For the same reason that the NFLPA routinely suggests that the league wants a lockout in order to collect $5 billion in guaranteed television revenues.  Both sides are trying to win the P.R. battle instead of focusing exclusively on doing a deal, and both sides are taking periodic liberties with reality in order to do so.

4.  Where Dat [sic] Billion dollar expense credit go to that is deducted directly off-the-top of all league revenues?

Our take:  This question is irrelevant to the broader question of whether the league believes management should retain a bigger piece of the pie, in the hopes of growing a much larger pie.  But it’s an effective way of reminding the media and the public that the league already removes $1 billion before cutting up the current pie, and of coaxing the media and the public into asking why the league needs more than $1 billion per year off the top.

5.  Why is a deal which generated close to $9B in revenues and produced record profits worth messing with?

Our take:  The deal didn’t generate $9 billion.  The game did.  Also, the profits were hardly record-setting.  Indeed, last month Executive Director De Smith scoffed at the notion that the Packers’ operating profit dropped from $34 million in one year to $20 million in the next.  That’s a dramatic drop, but Smith essentially laughed off the obvious concerns that such a drop triggers.

6.  Why did the NFL and NFL team owners embrace an uncapped year and not preserve a salary cap system that gives every team a chance to win on any given Sunday?

Our take:  Why did the NFLPA for years use the threat of the uncapped year to get a new deal done?  In 2006, in the face of a threat from the late Gene Upshaw that once the cap goes away it’s never coming back, the league accepted the union’s “take it or leave it” proposal a year before the uncapped year would have started.  The tables have now turned, and the union doesn’t like it.  Also, given the tools of the uncapped year aimed at preserving competitive balance (such as the expanded use of restricted free agency and the “Final Eight Plan”), the system that caused the Rams to go 1-15 in 2009 and the Lions to go 0-16 in 2008 and the Dolphins to go 1-15 in 2007 is still in place.  For better or worse.

7.  Why are NFL players not given the opportunity to share in the financial risks and rewards associated with owning any NFL franchise that (according to Forbes) increased on average by 500% in the past 15 years?

Our take:  We’re not sure what this means.  Do they want partial ownership in the teams?  Moreover, it’s our understanding that some factions within ownership are trying to engineer a deal that simulates the risks and rewards of holding equity in the teams.

8.  Why does the NFL not tell its fans how much each franchise makes in profit?

Our take:  This question blatantly panders to the fans, and it reflects no real sense of how a business operates.

9.  Why does the NFL not tell its fans, especially DirecTV subscribers, the full details of the guaranteed media and network contracts?

Our take:  The “full details” (or, at a minimum, the details relevant to the payments that would be made in the event of a work stoppage) have been reported publicly, and the key details have been subtly misrepresented by De Smith, who has suggested that the league deliberately has created an incentive to shut down for a season in order to collect a $5 billion windfall.

10.  Why does the NFL continue to claim expenses have grown faster than revenues when it continuously refuses to provide audited financial statements as support?

Our take:  It’s a great question — and we continue to believe that true partners would and should share this information freely.  We realize that the league has reasons for not wanting the information to be released and then scrutinized, especially if there are owners whose family members draw a sizable salary in exchange for allowing their names to appear on the door of an office they never visit.  Still, the league deftly has created a sense that it’s losing money without coming out and saying that it’s losing money, since the league knows that doing so would create a legal obligation to open the books.

The better approach would be for the league to explain candidly that, yes, its teams are profitable but, no, the current levels of profits are not acceptable given the value of the businesses and goal of continuously growing the worth of each franchise.  Though it’s the truth, such an admission would be used by the union as further ammunition in the battle for the hearts and minds of the fans.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter.  This is a fight between millionaires and billionaires; the folks who live paycheck to paycheck but who manage to set aside enough cash to go to one game per year and/or purchase NFL Sunday Ticket or the RedZone channel or at a minimum watch the games on “free” TV (and thus drive up the ratings points) aren’t going to pick sides in a fight between millionaires and billionaires, no matter how much more the billionaires have than the millionaires.  Both sides have far more than 99 percent of the fans, many of whom regard someone with $100,000 in the bank as being every bit as rich as someone with $100 million.

The public wants their NFL football, and the public will blame both sides equally if their NFL football goes away for all or part of a season.  When both sides realize this, both sides will stop trying to get the public on their side.  And maybe, just maybe, a deal that’s fair to everyone will emerge.

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53 Responses to “Union poses 10 questions to NFL”
  1. last starfighter says: Mar 25, 2010 8:44 AM

    My take-
    PFT has taken an anti-player posture and loves the big boys that pay his salary. How about some full disclosure Florio. You are paid by a network that has a enormous NFL contract.

  2. Chapnasty2 says: Mar 25, 2010 8:45 AM

    “4. Where Dat Billion dollar expense credit go to that is deducted directly off-the-top of all league revenues?”
    The simple fact that the union actually said “dat” proves not only their stupidity, but embarasses them beyond belief and they cannot be taken seriously.
    “The public wants their NFL football, and the public will blame both sides equally if their NFL football goes away for all or part of a season. ”
    Not so much, with crap like this, I blame De Smith and the union completely. They are greedy millionaires who just want another million added to their net worth. For the life of me I cannot understand why the union can’t understand how a business works.

  3. JAJ says: Mar 25, 2010 8:48 AM

    So I’m guessin’ Vince Young wrote & submitted question #4…….

  4. bigtrav425 says: Mar 25, 2010 8:48 AM

    Sorry to much for a guy with ADD to read lol….im tired of Greed in sports honestly especially nowadays…they can lock themselves out for forever for all i care

  5. RaiderClay says: Mar 25, 2010 8:51 AM

    Who loses more if these 2 can’t make this system work? The players. They have an average career of what? 4 years? Take away the game for a year, and you’ll see most players lose 25% of their careers to this nonsense.
    Veterans will return once an agreement is reached to find a massive NFL Player draft occurring – what will they do? 14 rounds of talent? It’s going to be incredible. I really see no way the Union isn’t forced to cave on this thing.

  6. milehiclown says: Mar 25, 2010 8:52 AM

    Worst. Post. Evar.

  7. jl says: Mar 25, 2010 8:57 AM

    Why anyone would think that pandering to the fans while we are in midst of a terrible economy and high unemployment is crazy.
    The average fan just want the games played. I’m sure we will see equal PR from the owners in the future. The reality of the last work stoppage is that fans associated with the players more. But one of the consequences of free agency is that is now nearly impossible.

  8. LivePsalm91 says: Mar 25, 2010 8:57 AM

    EXACTLY! You are correct; we dint care about ANY of this. We just want football. Stop trying to sway us one way or another, just work it out and get on with preparing for next season. Great article and fabulous finale!

  9. Citizen Strange says: Mar 25, 2010 9:03 AM

    Yet the public is continually made to pay for stadiums for billioinaires.
    This is also why the owners don’t want to disclose their jaw dropping profits.
    It is easier to trick the public into paying for a stadium when the owners are claiming they are going broke than if there is a legitimate audit and they are asking for taxpayer money when it is known that they are making hundreds of millions in profit.

  10. GirthyOne says: Mar 25, 2010 9:04 AM

    I can’t wait for the questions that come back to the Union. Very entertaining.

  11. GoBrowns19 says: Mar 25, 2010 9:04 AM

    The last part of that is absolutely right. The problem is they are not able to fathom a person that lives paycheck to paycheck. Behind closed doors and when they talk amongst each other, they probably refer to “us” as jealous losers. Lazy bums who aren’t as smart as they are. They will never understand the fans. Just look at the kids that came out of the ghetto and are now millionaires. They treat fans like pests alot of the time.

  12. Bob S. says: Mar 25, 2010 9:06 AM

    And eventually the airhead fans will realize that this year’s non-signing of RFAs is because owners colluding with themselves as they don’t give a damn about their own team or their own fans – only then when fans stop watching this crap being pulled by the Maras, Tisches, Jones, and their lacky Goodell – then the goose will be cooked!
    And it’s only a seat licensed replacement player away.

  13. Juicer says: Mar 25, 2010 9:06 AM

    The last two paragraphs of this post are the truest words you ever wrote. I just want to watch foozball!

  14. The Real Shuxion says: Mar 25, 2010 9:08 AM

    I am not a pro-union guy (They were useful back in the day however the fight of those men have provided less of a need for a union today) but they seem to be taking the right path with these 10 questions, it is all a PR game right now.

  15. Get A Job says: Mar 25, 2010 9:11 AM

    Thanks for the report.
    Do you have any idea why the NFLPA would word question 4 as it did? It stikes me as very unprofessional… even if the question was originally submitted with that language.

  16. palewook says: Mar 25, 2010 9:15 AM

    “4. Where Dat Billion dollar..”
    did someone from New Orleans submit this question?

  17. Devils Advocate says: Mar 25, 2010 9:15 AM

    I heard Jerry Jones quoted response to this was “up the NFLPA’s patooty!”

  18. russrpm says: Mar 25, 2010 9:17 AM

    I suppose this post means that you will parse every utterance of the commisioner with the same amount of disdain. Face it, this is an equal opportunity disaster in the making.

  19. Douchebaggery says: Mar 25, 2010 9:18 AM

    Ok maybe it’s just cause I was up half the night drinking and I’m really hungover, but it seems to me that about half of those questions were written by an illiterate person. #4 in particular makes no effing sense to me.

  20. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Mar 25, 2010 9:22 AM

    “PFT has taken an anti-player posture and loves the big boys that pay his salary. How about some full disclosure Florio. You are paid by a network that has a enormous NFL contract.”
    And Florio knows that carrying the NFL’s (and therefore NBC’s) water would be the best way for readership of this site to dry up.
    Frankly, the union gets hammered here because they deserve it. While I’m no Roger Goodell fan, he’s at least shown some professionalism in this process that Smith has not. Most of these questions are either irrelevant, deceptive, or crafted solely for PR purpose. The only relevant one – an for which Florio gave them credit – is about opening the books.
    Otherwise, this exercise is useless. Smith is clearly more interested in his own image and profile than getting a deal done. His tactics so far have been to get his face on TV rather than work behind the scenes to get a deal done. I think there’s a bit of a disconnect between his interests and those of the players.

  21. Dano50 says: Mar 25, 2010 9:25 AM

    A player who makes 2 million a year is considered cheap, a real bargain. Where a select few make upwards of 15 to 20 million a year. I don’t feel one bit sorry for the players. It’s like people that work for all the banks go on strike because the banks are making so much money, and they get paid like mear mortels. It would be a joke. Players, sign a dam contract, and get your greedy asses out there and play some football.
    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 25, 2010 9:30 AM

    “Frankly, it doesn’t matter. This is a fight between millionaires and billionaires; the folks who live paycheck to paycheck but who managed to set aside enough cash to go to one game per year or purchase NFL Sunday Ticket or the RedZone channel or at a minimum watch the games on “free” TV (and thus drive up the ratings points) aren’t going to pick sides in a fight between millionaires and billionaires, no matter how much more the billionaires have than the millionaires. Both sides have far more than 99 percent of the fans, many of whom regard someone with $100,000 in the bank as being every bit as rich as someone with $100 million.”
    Or even Season Ticket Holders, Club Seat owners, and even some suite owners that are not going to renew. The NFL is leaving a bad taste.

  23. DocBG says: Mar 25, 2010 9:31 AM

    De smith is a piece of trash just trying some very old tactics to strip as much money as possible away from those that produce it.
    these team owners can invest in ANY other industry and see similar profits, these football players likely can only play football, maybe a couple other sports in rare circumstances, but with the game THEY would be the ones suffering.
    If De smith was able to play the owners as good as he does the players that pay his salary, he’d have them owning the teams in a short time. Get this lackey outta here, bust the union, and get a little free market involved to fix these people’s problems, you think if the owners had a coal mine, or a chain of eateries, that they’d be paying 59+% to their employee’s (59% is just the players, what about front office?) they’d never spend more than 40%. De smith is a douche thats willing to let his personal greed and arogance destroy the sport.

  24. Bill In DC says: Mar 25, 2010 9:33 AM

    Why are they attempting to negotiate this deal through their website?

  25. realitypolice says: Mar 25, 2010 9:35 AM

    Chapnasty2 says:
    March 25, 2010 8:45 AM
    “4. Where Dat Billion dollar expense credit go to that is deducted directly off-the-top of all league revenues?”
    The simple fact that the union actually said “dat” proves not only their stupidity, but embarasses them beyond belief and they cannot be taken seriously.
    =======================
    I agree completely. I actually followed the link to the NFLPA site to make sure they had actually wrote the question that way and it wasn’t Florio being cute. But the union actually worded the question that way. Why the hell would they do that and how do they expect to be taken seriously?
    Gene Upshaw would never have allowed something that stupid. Call him an owner’s lackey if you want, but GU understood that the league and the players were partners and player salaries skyrocketed under his leadership.
    If the clown running the union thinks the NFL will cave in to this kind of nonsense, we are in for a long lock-out.

  26. TrueN0rth says: Mar 25, 2010 9:41 AM

    7. Why are NFL players not given the opportunity to share in the financial risks and rewards associated with owning any NFL franchise that (according to Forbes) increased on average by 500% in the past 15 years?
    This question is intended to bring into the discussion the notion that NFL owners have been profiting substantially just by owning the franchise, even if it is breaking even every year. It’s a good point. If the owners are going to say that profits aren’t sufficient given the large investment, then the appreciation of the franchise itself needs to be brought into the discussion.
    If an NFL owner buys a team for 200 million, and it makes 10 million a year, he’s happy (5% return). 10 years later that team has appreciated to 1 billion, turns a 20 million profit, and the owner is complaining about the 2% return on his investment. Fair math, but not the whole picture to be sure.

  27. tonyinmd says: Mar 25, 2010 9:41 AM

    Why should the league have to “open it’s books” to the union and public?
    Can I demand that the CEO of my company open it’s books to me and my fellow employees if I’m not satisfied with my raises?
    IMHO, no amount of BS spewing by the players is going to placate me…the owners will win this…as every labor dispute except for baseball, because so many millionare players are somehow living paycheck to paycheck…just like in the last NBA lockout.
    The owners run the show…that is why they are owners and players are employees…well compensated and with more benefits than the vast majority of the American public. I am not going to shed a tear for those guys.

  28. Supersuckers says: Mar 25, 2010 9:44 AM

    Very good article Mike. nicely done.

  29. Gautam says: Mar 25, 2010 9:46 AM

    I’m still not sure what question #4 means.

  30. WingT says: Mar 25, 2010 9:47 AM

    I would be curious to know what the NFLPA thinks would be a fair profit for a $1B company.
    Both the owners and the players should be ashamed at how they both have neglected the crippled retired players – these guys should get much, much more.
    Guaranteeing approximately $40M to an unproven rookie is asinine.
    The NFLPA should take over all costs associated with drug rehabs, counseling etc.. or at least recognize the owners efforts here.
    The financial statements of the teams is none of the NFLPA’s business.
    No one is stopping the NFLPA from forming a new league and building stadiums and “sharing” in the profits of that venture. For the NFLPA to complain that they aren’t allowed to share in the financial risks and rewards of the NFL is just way over the top.
    I hope the owners do lock out the NFLPA.

  31. akuehn713 says: Mar 25, 2010 9:56 AM

    “Indeed, last month Executive Director De Smith scoffed at the notion that the Packers’ operating profit dropped from $34 million in one year to $20 million in the next. ”
    Let’s not forget that the Packers were $20 million under the salary cap that year as well, so had they spent up to the cap, they would not have made a dime.

  32. AllThat says: Mar 25, 2010 9:58 AM

    I think De Smith should meet with Big Ben in a Milledgeville restroom. DAT might work!!

  33. leatherneck says: Mar 25, 2010 10:01 AM

    11. Why doesn’t the NFL just level with the union, the fans, and everyone, and just admit that projected revenues are down because of the economy?

  34. cbatchel says: Mar 25, 2010 10:14 AM

    This is not a standard business. People keep saying that these employees should just shut their mouth and take what they get are just clueless.
    This is a very specialized business in which profits rely on the talent. The talent is the product they are selling not a service or object. This gives these employees a lot more leverage than 99% of employees in the US when it comes to wages. Without them the owners have no product to sell. It’s not like they can just fire them and hire someone else. The public are not going to shell out their hard earned money to watch a scrub they want to see P. Manning, Brady and AP.
    So with boths side having so much power their has to bea negotiation. My problem with the owners and florio touched on it in #10 is that they say they are losing pofits but don’t want to show any books to back it up. Hard to negotiate between two parties when one will not show full disclosure. The players are not going to take a 15% paycut just because the owners say they are losing money.

  35. shaunypoo says: Mar 25, 2010 10:21 AM

    For the union to blatantly misrepresent the situation in most of these questions, as well as the travesty that is #4, wouldn’t give me any confidence as a player. How do they expect the owners to truly take them seriously when they behave like this. IMO, the league is looking better in all this just by keeping their mouth shut. I respect players that keep their unhappiness and contract negotiations behind closed doors, and I would respect the union for the same thing.
    In the long run, it looks bad for everyone for there to be no football.

  36. tonyinmd says: Mar 25, 2010 10:26 AM

    Please, EVERY business rely’s on the talent they hire. Are you saying that business like Microsoft can survive without the programmers and engineers?
    And yes they can replace the players…there is a draft every year and while it would be tough sledding for 2 years or so, the new players coming in through the draft would replace the talent over time. The league survived before todays stars and will survive after.
    Do I agree that they should say that profits aren’t acceptable instead of hints of losing money…sure, but really is it that hard to beleive that in this economy, 60 percent just might be too much? Especially when you consider all the other expenses of your front office, coaches, scout expenses to travel the country, support staff etc…that has to be accounted for.
    Sorry, but I don’t feel bad for employees that get the types of salaries/benefits that these players do…I could see if they actually had legit issues such as poor benefits, bad working conditions, severe movement restrictions etc…but they have some of the best in the world. They are crying because they want more cash…at the expense of the greater good of the league IMHO.

  37. realitypolice says: Mar 25, 2010 10:26 AM

    GoBrowns19 says:
    March 25, 2010 9:04 AM
    The last part of that is absolutely right. The problem is they are not able to fathom a person that lives paycheck to paycheck. Behind closed doors and when they talk amongst each other, they probably refer to “us” as jealous losers.
    =============================
    You’re exactly right. I have made this point in other posts. Every time there is a work stoppage, the hardcore fans wring their hands and say “how can they do this to us?”.
    Because they don’t care about you.
    The owners actually care more about the casual fan who watches from home because they make more money from TV than they do individual game tickets. And they care ALOT more about corporate entities that could care less about the game but buy luxury boxes for business purposes.
    The players don’t care about you because they see you as a pain in the ass. Dogging them for autographs and pictures, criticizing them when they don’t play well, taking pics of them in clubs and sending them to TMZ, harrassing them when they play on the road, etc. etc. Believe me, if the players could make the same amount of money without ever having to deal with fans, they would.
    That’s why, no disrespect intended to any of you, I wonder why people would invest themselves so deeply in a certain team and live and die with them. It is the most one sided relationship you could ever be in. Would you be in a relationship with a person who couldn’t care less about you and treated you like dirt? Then why do it with a team?
    I gave up being fanatical about any one team long ago and have found I enjoy football much more now. I will watch any two teams play and just root for a well-played, close game. I don’t expect any of you to agree with me, just putting it out there as a possible answer to all of the BS you put up with from whatever team you’ve been tortured by.

  38. Hap says: Mar 25, 2010 10:32 AM

    These questions suggest WEAKNESS on the part of labor.
    They are throwing darts because they know they are dealing from that position of weakness.
    Im not taking sides, I just want this crap taken care of soon.

  39. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Mar 25, 2010 10:49 AM

    “If an NFL owner buys a team for 200 million, and it makes 10 million a year, he’s happy (5% return). 10 years later that team has appreciated to 1 billion, turns a 20 million profit, and the owner is complaining about the 2% return on his investment. Fair math, but not the whole picture to be sure.”
    Right, but franchise values don’t go up for no reason. Value and profitability are connected – equity growth reflects an increase in actual or projected profitability. If the franchise value goes up 5x, it’s a reflection of the team’s projected ability to grow earnings somewhere on the order of 5x.
    If, on the other hand, we have a labor deal and economy that will prevent teams from making much money for the next 5-10 years, you will very likely see equity *losses*. I’d be so bold as to guarantee that the average NFL team’s value will be no better than flat over the next 10 years, due to the economy, labor issues, local governments not building more stadiums, and current franchise values being already too high.
    For that reason, I expect that owners will be very interested in operational profits, because the days of being able to print money from equity gains in team value are over. Think of that rapid increase in franchise values as a mini-bubble similar to the housing markets. It can’t last forever.

  40. Mattiturd says: Mar 25, 2010 11:00 AM

    Owners are going to lose…Labor is going to lose…Fans are going lose. This sucks.

  41. Terry says: Mar 25, 2010 11:00 AM

    A desperate and in turmoil Union resorting to desperate measures!

  42. Fan of Football says: Mar 25, 2010 11:13 AM

    “Indeed, last month Executive Director De Smith scoffed at the notion that the Packers’ operating profit dropped from $34 million in one year to $20 million in the next. That’s a dramatic drop, but Smith essentially laughed off the obvious concerns that such a drop triggers. ”
    Don’t worry De Smith, you are not the only one to laugh at the Packer organization since TT took over.

  43. JoeSixPack says: Mar 25, 2010 11:24 AM

    Regarding the question of why the NFL does not disclose where it spends every penny they make to the public:
    When the players start doing this, the NFL should as well.
    I’ll be more interested to see how many players with childsupport payments are blowing their millions on bling.
    This might not be a net positive for the players over management. The NFL might want to up the ante here.

  44. lawdjayee says: Mar 25, 2010 11:35 AM

    Of course, it doesn’t matter at all to the optics of this story that a) football fans, and NFL GMs and owners, are overwhelmingly white and players are overwhelmingly black, and b) players salaries form a sizeable portion of media coverage of the NFL (including what, 1/3? 1/2? of stories on this site), while verifiable information on the profits and personal fortunes of owners, and contracts and actual compensation of GMs and coaches is rarely discussed; and never discussed in the context of player contracts.

  45. Sociofan says: Mar 25, 2010 11:43 AM

    Last year, Walt Disney made $3.3B in profit, down from $4.4B and $4.7B the previous two years. And yet ticket prices continue to rise, concessions continue to rise and the price for movie admission/DvD puchase continues to rise. Sound familiar?
    But Disney workers do not get to bargain collectively to reap any particular percentage of Disney profit even though they clearly contribute to the experience for which people pay big money. And we are not outraged about either their prices or their workers.
    The NFL has proven that people will still attend games even if they must hire “scrubs” to fill the rosters and play the schedule. And just like with Disney, we continue to pay and pay and pay.
    As fans, our ONLY concern should be whether or not we can afford to enjoy the experience. If not, we should find a new source of amusement and keep the dollars away from the the corporation that costs too much. Some guys can afford to take a pleasure cruise into space, but we cannot all afford that. Some people can afford a suite at Texas Stadium…not all of us. Some of us can afford the nosebleeds at FedEx…not all of us. At some point the price becomes prohibitive for too many people. The corporation will fail to make a profit and the prices will drop.
    Vote with your wallet and let the company and its employees fight it out among themselves. Taking sides at the behest of Goodell or the NFLPA is silly. If the NFL shuts down, there is some incredible excitement and great hitting in the NHL.

  46. SpartaChris says: Mar 25, 2010 11:48 AM

    7. Why are NFL players not given the opportunity to share in the financial risks and rewards associated with owning any NFL franchise that (according to Forbes) increased on average by 500% in the past 15 years?
    ============================
    See this Edgy? Even the union recognizes that owning an NFL franchise is risky. Perhaps this will help you get that clue you’ve been missing.

  47. tonyinmd says: Mar 25, 2010 1:20 PM

    What the hell does race have to do with this? I’m black and the “players are majority black while owners are white” comment has nothing to do with collective bargaining. And coaches and GM’s salary are not discussed on the level players are because there is no salary cap for coaches and GM’s.

  48. NinerNation says: Mar 25, 2010 1:22 PM

    The NFL needs to lock the players out. If the players are locked out, the first person to go is DeMaurice Smith…which will be a step in the right direction for the players, and a major win for the owners. Smith is an idiot, and it’s questions like these that prove his hiring was a mistake. If the NFLPA is smart, they’ll bounce Smith ASAP, accept a lesser deal, and every player will send ‘Thank You’ notes to their employers for allowing them to make so much money. Without football, these guys are either criminals, or flipping burgers.

  49. WingT says: Mar 25, 2010 3:10 PM

    Maybe Obama can fix this

  50. edgy1957 says: Mar 25, 2010 5:41 PM

    8. Why does the NFL not tell its fans how much each franchise makes in profit?
    Our take: This question blatantly panders to the fans, and it reflects no real sense of how a business operates.
    ***********************************
    Really? You know what, I’ve worked for several companies and guess what, I knew how much profit they made because – gasp – they posted their statements for the shareholders (Oh and I also helped massage the numbers for one company). Why is it that you seem to pander to people who seem to be too stupid to understand that they can get info about their company a lot easier than you make it? If you’re a shareholder or an employee in a company and you don’t take the time to learn how to read the statements that the company puts out then you deserve to get screwed over when management blows smoke up your ass.
    Oh and BTW, what problems that the Packers might have had when they went from $34 mil to $20 mil had more to do with their INVESTMENTS and not the NFL (They lost $50 mil of their portfolio. Source: Forbes).
    Finally, SpartChris, you moron, the players are tweaking the owners’ noses but you don’t understand what they’re saying. The owners keep talking about risk and yet, their franchises have gone up in value by leaps and bounds (You might look at how LITTLE the other leagues have grown in value compared to the NFL during that same period of time. You will find that outside of the teams in the 3 biggest markets, most of the rest didn’t even come close to what the NFL did minus those same three markets, especially since they did in MINUS LA and even if you compare all the franchises, the NFL is kicking their ass by a lot). There is NO risk involved and the players are saying that if there IS risk then they’re willing to give up the money in return for the rewards that they KNOW will be there. NO owner had built a new stadium to replace an old one because it was too decrepit, they did it to add in more luxury boxes or club seats. Hell, Lambeau Field was simply renovated and they added more seats and suites around the structure that’s been there forever. Soldier Field built on top of the old stadium and it wasn’t to add more seats but more luxury boxes. The “New York” teams built a new stadium simply for the extra revenue because they could have saved money and renovated the old one but wouldn’t have been able to put in more luxury boxes. Jerry Jones was going to renovate Texas Stadium but he decided to go with a more expensive plan that nearly doubled from its original price tag of $650 mil. Despite the fact that he didn’t spend any of his money on his palace, he’s getting a ton of money that will NOT be shared with the owners, who gave him $150 mil or the players, who helped raise the $150 mil (as well as the $10 mil per game that he gets) with the value that they gave the league to the television network (Raise you hands, every one of you financial geniuses, who believes that Jerry Jones could build that stadium if he was the owner of a UFL franchise). The players aren’t recognizing “ that owning an NFL franchise is risky”, they’re calling the owners’ bluff.

  51. edgy1957 says: Mar 25, 2010 6:18 PM

    BTW, SpartaChris, they’re tweaking the owners’ noses with all 10 points.

  52. Bob S. says: Mar 26, 2010 2:58 AM

    PFTiswhatitis says:
    “Frankly, it doesn’t matter. This is a fight between millionaires and billionaires .. .. ”
    Yes it sure does look like as clear as black and white!

  53. shaunypoo says: Mar 26, 2010 10:01 AM

    “Sociofan says:
    March 25, 2010 11:43 AM
    As fans, our ONLY concern should be whether or not we can afford to enjoy the experience. If not, we should find a new source of amusement and keep the dollars away from the the corporation that costs too much. Some guys can afford to take a pleasure cruise into space, but we cannot all afford that. Some people can afford a suite at Texas Stadium…not all of us. Some of us can afford the nosebleeds at FedEx…not all of us. At some point the price becomes prohibitive for too many people. The corporation will fail to make a profit and the prices will drop.”
    Thank you, I think this will be in my next post defending why I am not able to help prevent a blackout for my team.

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