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Union looks to be laying the foundation for political assault on NFL

We’ve previously pointed out that some within the NFL Players Association believe that Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and chief outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler hope to force a lockout, since that would give the union an opening to use the political process to squeeze the league, which some believe will be the best way for the union to get a favorable deal for the players.

And while Smith has plenty of connections in Congress, thanks to his years as a litigator with a high-profile D.C. law firm and as a federal prosecutor working under current Attorney General Eric Holder, the union has a full-time Congressional liaison who’s laying the foundation for what may soon come.

Technically, Joe Briggs is the public policy counsel and manager of government relations for the NFL
Players Association.  In a new profile, Politico describes Briggs as a “kind of fixer for football stars looking to navigate Washington.”

But, frankly, that’s just cover for what we believe his deeper mission to be:  softening up the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate for an assault on, for example, the NFL’s antitrust exemption that applies to television contracts.

“Our main goal is to educate members and staff about the business of
football and let them know how the business of football may effect their
constituents,” Briggs said.  “We talk to members and their staff about the
potential for job losses and the economic impact should there be a
lockout.  Our hope is to be another resource to them should they have
additional questions.”

Briggs already is reeling off the primary talking points that will be used if/when the time comes to sic Congress on the NFL.

“Even if no games are played [because of a labor dispute between the NFL
and the NFLPA] in 2011, the NFL would still receive revenue of $4.5
billion [from television contracts],” Briggs tells lawmakers.  “To us that looks like you’re setting up a piggy bank to continue
funding your operation even if your biggest expense is not present.”

Briggs also breaks out the favorite talking point of his boss.

“No one knows the financials of the NFL — including other team owners,” Briggs said.  “As partners in the game of football we don’t understand this hard
line from the NFL — it’s much different from the position taken by
other sports.”

The union’s argument in support of full disclosure of financial information remains their best overall argument, from a political and P.R. standpoint.  The problem is that, if the union digs in its heels on the issue, no progress of any kind can be made toward a new deal.

Working in the league’s benefit are issues like the rookie wage scale and the “enhanced” season, which will tend to pull the constituents toward the league’s way of thinking, and which will in turn make lawmakers less likely to get behind what could end up being an unpopular cause.

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83 Responses to “Union looks to be laying the foundation for political assault on NFL”
  1. Rick says: Jul 8, 2010 8:00 PM

    Billionaires vs Millionaires
    Screw the greedy pricks

  2. jimmySee says: Jul 8, 2010 8:00 PM

    While he’s at it, he might remind members of congress that salaries are so high that the average Joe can’t afford a ticket!
    And they’re all playing in taxpayer subsidized stadiums —
    So it’s really the taxpayers subsidizing all those salaries.
    The players better be careful what they’re going for!
    The law of unanticipated consequences could come into play here.

  3. mr.bozojones says: Jul 8, 2010 8:02 PM

    If Demaurice Smith worked for Eric Holder, he ain’t no damn good.

  4. theravenlives2 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:04 PM

    Wow, what a terrific idea! Pro-football isn’t screwed up enough without the clowns in the government getting involved!

  5. Old School says: Jul 8, 2010 8:09 PM

    I can’t wait for Obama to take over football, and appoint as a football czar, some marxist schmuck who once slept in the parking lot of the Metrodome.
    The NFL will quickly become another abysmal failure of the Federal Government; subsidized by the taxpayers, and playing to empty seats.

  6. Eric Q says: Jul 8, 2010 8:09 PM

    Yes, great. Let’s get Congress involved in this, too.
    In the war between millionaires and billionaires, there are no winners…and the fans are the ones who truly suffer.

  7. Mark0226 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:17 PM

    The Union may want to read the story of the Goose laying Golden Eggs before going too far down this path…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_egg_laying_bird

  8. TryTheVeal says: Jul 8, 2010 8:17 PM

    The union can say whatever the hell it wants, bottom line is, if they are dealing with politicians the politicians are always going to side with whomever has the most money, and thats the owners…Do they actually think because it’s football, they are going to sway career politicans who only got into politics for the money?…Your only as connected as the bottom line……..It’s politics….

  9. lqhybird25 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:20 PM

    I feel like our country is going to hell with politics. Sports was the best outlet from the stupidity of Capital hill. But no Now the Players Union is going to get Federal help…. Seriously!!! Come on!!!
    This makes me want to cry. Football is beautiful and the corruption in society and the greediness of players and owners alike kills the greatest sport. Ugh!

  10. numberfour says: Jul 8, 2010 8:20 PM

    in case yall hadnt heard any news lately, industry captain after industry captain has come out criticizing the commie foreigner in the white house.
    and a bunch of these guys voted for the pretender.
    duh smith is simply launching a last ditch gasp.

  11. Marcinik07 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:22 PM

    Florio, your a lawyer. Or was. Wouldn’t you make better money doing that, than writing everything that possibly comes to your mind? Hang yourself. Please.

  12. bwest4 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:23 PM

    That’s all fine and good for 2011, but if they continue to fight for more and more millions while us working for next to nothing get no football to watch because of them then they will be fighting to get a bigger piece of a MUCH smaller pie. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  13. chris says: Jul 8, 2010 8:26 PM

    AGAIN TO THE NFLPA:
    We the fans do not care what the owners make,period. Get over it.. Most if not all the fans will blame the Union for a strike or lockout or whatever the hell u wanna call it. We see you as ungreatful for the very large salaries that you the players are paid. If you do not like the pay leave the game. If you think by crying like little bitches to the gov’t is a wise move,try it. I have a voice too,remember i vote and i buy tickets and merchandise.

  14. buckeye044 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:34 PM

    Yaaaaaawn.

  15. benh999 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:36 PM

    Smith is a grade-A dirt bag. Do players still have to pay his salary if there is a lockout?

  16. Ryan35 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:38 PM

    Will the NFL still hold the draft? Do you think less Junior’s would declare eligibility?

  17. efangule says: Jul 8, 2010 8:40 PM

    This is what you ate doing “

  18. rjgreen3 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:43 PM

    love the game of football, after that the owners and players are all just a bunch of greedy ass millionaires and billionaires. the everyday man just wants to see the game played and maybe attend a game or two each year. hell it’s even gotten hard to do that, now!

  19. BigTony300 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:47 PM

    Wow, 4.5 Billion dollars even if there is no season. These guys are crooks. It’s funny how teams threaten to leave towns due to poor attendance and hold fans over a barrel when the truth is they make a mere fraction of their revenue from fan attendance. These owners get the city to tax the hell out of blue collar workers to keep a franchise in a town when they can exist anywhere and still make millions. Then they complain about athletes wanting to much when they are the ones who have made them accustom to the millions. I would hold out on my employer and make an ass of myself if I knew it was gonna make me 30 extra million. Makes you want to stop watching the damn sport.

  20. Midwest FB Fan says: Jul 8, 2010 8:54 PM

    If Smith wants to screw with the anti-trust exemption, Roger Goodell should begin the process of contracting the New Orleans Saints from the NFL. The Saints were a byproduct backroom deal between Pete Rozelle and a Louisiana Congressman that ultimately got the anti-trust exemption approved.

  21. DcNinerFan says: Jul 8, 2010 8:55 PM

    Unions trying to use the Feds to screw over free enterprise? Say it aint so!!!

  22. sabotslugs43 says: Jul 8, 2010 8:56 PM

    Lame. Where is Lebron going to go?

  23. wock says: Jul 8, 2010 9:01 PM

    If that’s the plan… the union should hurry.
    I predict they will have far fewer friends in congress come the first week of November, than they currently do.
    And I still don’t buy a league lockout. I think the union is going to have to strike… so bring on the replacements!!!! :)

  24. Osama Obama says: Jul 8, 2010 9:22 PM

    Come November 2010, Smith’s leverage in DC will be gone when the Florio’s Socialist buddies are voted out.
    It does make sense that idiot Eric Holder will go after the NFL when he won’t prosecute clear violations of federal law to include discriminatory election law crimes committed by the Black Panthers.

  25. cunn9305 says: Jul 8, 2010 9:25 PM

    Forget it … Barry has become a cartoon character and there’s going to be a lot more Republicans in Congress starting January 2011. They had their shot.

  26. BigBear123 says: Jul 8, 2010 9:31 PM

    Look for the Obama administration to take a controlling stake in the NFL just like they did with banks and Government Motors.
    Similar to Reagan firing pilots, Obama will say America without football cannot happen. Funny though, America without freedoms appears more likely than America without football.

  27. bucc19 says: Jul 8, 2010 9:45 PM

    If Smith wants to screw with the anti-trust exemption, Roger Goodell should begin the process of contracting the New Orleans Saints from the NFL. The Saints were a byproduct backroom deal between Pete Rozelle and a Louisiana Congressman that ultimately got the anti-trust exemption approved
    Give it up already crybaby Viking fans..give it arest already..the Saints won you didn’t.

  28. aj says: Jul 8, 2010 9:50 PM

    Don’t ya just love how they take the fans for granted during all this…. and we just keep coming back…

  29. rayg says: Jul 8, 2010 9:56 PM

    There is little more comical than to read football fans take on politics. Very entertaining. Anti-trust laws are in place for a reason. Both sides of the aisle understand that you can’t have one company controlling an entire industry. Exemptions to anti-trust laws are a sobering and delicate matter. The NFL walks a fine line on this issue and Congressional review from time to time is understandable and necessary.

  30. kingmj4891 says: Jul 8, 2010 10:05 PM

    Unions Suck! Free Enterprise is the basis for this country. The Feds getting involved will ruin football as we know it. Players are gonna regret this when us the fans hold them and their union accountable for destroying the greatest sport ever.

  31. Sinister79 says: Jul 8, 2010 10:11 PM

    I told you so!
    Rush

  32. schooney says: Jul 8, 2010 10:19 PM

    Send Smith to the war zone to look for land mines by walingthe fields what an idoit

  33. Tony A says: Jul 8, 2010 10:23 PM

    Thanx rayg, nice to hear a reasonable voice amongst the hullabaloo…

  34. stanjam says: Jul 8, 2010 10:24 PM

    Personally, if these guys can not find a way to divvy up Billions of dollars, then they are all jerks.

  35. BoltsFan says: Jul 8, 2010 10:29 PM

    The union needs to get slapped down, and hard. I almost barfed when that union parrot squawked about how he didn’t understand why “partners” are not allowed to see the teams’ books. PARTNERS? The idiot players are NOT partners…they are EMPLOYEES. They can do as they are told, and be paid what owners will pay them, or they can find another career. Unions love to position themselves as equals with business owners…dream on, you idiots. You are replaceable…as you are about to find out.

  36. JSpicoli says: Jul 8, 2010 10:30 PM

    The NFL has reached it’s peak of popularity and both sides are in the process of broiling the golden goose.

  37. PatsRPerfection says: Jul 8, 2010 10:35 PM

    Kind of like the political assault Florio has been putting on Brady and the Patriots the past few days?

  38. tomdog says: Jul 8, 2010 10:41 PM

    The union is making all the right moves,and a lockout puts egg on the owners greedy faces.
    Wont happen though,and this is all just talk before the settlement next march.

  39. NFL4EVER says: Jul 8, 2010 10:58 PM

    Anything involving Obama, Holder, De Smith and a bunch of hack politicians is bound to end up badly.
    I would not rule out anything with this regime either, think of the craziest, never saw it coming result you can and it’s not so far fetched with the group mentioned above involved.
    This ain’t good folks.

  40. RyanT. says: Jul 8, 2010 11:06 PM

    As usual, the union is too slow and dumb for its own good!
    The only way this plan will work is if the Democrats retain Congress!
    Fat chance of that happening!
    The House will definitely go Republican in November.
    The Dems may hold on by the skin of their teeth in the Senate, but just barely, and not enough to help the liberal thug DeMaurice Smith “shake down” the NFL.
    The Republicans will be on the NFL’s and fan’s side over the greedy players.

  41. RyanT. says: Jul 8, 2010 11:11 PM

    Is there anything more pathetic than the morons who log in and comment just to bash Florio on every freakin’ article???
    GET A LIFE!
    If you can’t stand what Florio writes about, why in the hell are you on this site to begin with?

  42. Bigbluefan says: Jul 8, 2010 11:11 PM

    If I were the players that is the last thing I would want to happen
    Look at the unemployement rate
    Look at the oil clean up
    Watch out they will find away to charge more taxes on the players income
    Watch your step your getting in way over your heads

  43. RyanT. says: Jul 8, 2010 11:18 PM

    If the players strike, the owners will bring in replacement players.
    NFL players selected a thug DC lawyer friend of Obama’s crony Holder.
    But, Congress is about to change hands!
    So, once again the owners have outsmarted the players!
    Funny how it always works out that way….

  44. RyanT. says: Jul 8, 2010 11:29 PM

    The NFL has only peaked if these things happen:
    1. A strike or lockout
    2. Goodell adds 2 extra regular season games
    The thing that makes the NFL so special, is that every game counts. Don’t mess with success! Don’t mess with 16.

  45. SpartaChris says: Jul 8, 2010 11:32 PM

    And while Smith has plenty of connections in Congress, thanks to his years as a litigator with a high-profile D.C. law firm and as a federal prosecutor working under current Attorney General Eric Holder, the union has a full-time Congressional liaison who’s laying the foundation for what may soon come.
    Good. Maybe he can ask AG Holder when they’re gonna prosecute the racist King Samir Shabazz and his buddy of the Black Panthers for election fraud.
    Oh wait, I forgot- the Obama administration’s policy is selective prosecution.. I get it now.

  46. Gratt says: Jul 8, 2010 11:35 PM

    Whether it is in an official capacity, or not, I feel confident that the league also has “liason(s)” to Congress.

  47. Mike Daly says: Jul 9, 2010 12:48 AM

    The Union has not offered a credible explanation for why “full disclosure” is necessary or why cutting the percentage of receit from league revenues from 59.4 % to 56 or 57% (my understanding of the number before the CBA) is detrimental in any way to the Union.
    The fact the owners agreed to the CBA even amid warnings that the percentage is unsustainable showed how mucn they WANT the players to get good money and WANT labor peace. How people forget that before the 2007 season there was real fear a new CBA wouldn’t get done.

  48. TexasBubba says: Jul 9, 2010 1:10 AM

    let the strike— lock out happen. we might learn to like FUTBOL Or watch paint dry about the same amount of excitement.
    Untill then
    GO DALLAS COWBOYS!!

  49. sharkattack says: Jul 9, 2010 1:19 AM

    God, I hate republicans. They bitch about everything, never mind the fact that their last president was the worst in history. I mean, they talk about greedy players, but W and Dick flew planes into buildings killing thousands, all so they could ‘help” people who didn’t and don’t want their help. (translate: gimme gimme oil.)
    Honestly, they blind themselves like turtles in their shells hiding from an invisible enemy who was never attacked, and never will. All the while the common soldier and blue collar workers suffer.
    If republicans retake the house or the senate, we are heading back to the ice age right as the snow shows signs of melting.
    I will be the first to criticize the Obama admin. because I voted him, but I wont try to shove lies based on American “x” words like; communist, Marxist, and foreigner down people throats.
    By the way this has absolutely nothing to do with the NFL. There will be no lock-out or strike, and I don’t care how much they make. As long as I can watch the games on Sunday, and Madden still drops every August (where are those ratings Florio?) it is serving its purpose to me.

  50. Coyle says: Jul 9, 2010 3:52 AM

    Just take a look at what the unions did to the big three auto makers. Ground them into hamburger, costing millions of jobs.
    If you can’t make a tidy profit being an NFL owner, who the hell will want to be an owner?
    Or does the NFLPA want to own all of the teams?
    Communism?

  51. steely devil hab says: Jul 9, 2010 5:25 AM

    Wow – lot’s of conservative/republican angst going on. Don’t worry kids, you still have Sarah Palin!

  52. famucancer says: Jul 9, 2010 8:17 AM

    steely devil hab says:
    July 9, 2010 5:25 AM
    Wow – lot’s of conservative/republi can angst going on. Don’t worry kids, you still have Sarah Palin!
    LMAO Exactly….nothing more hilarious than the ravings of the teab@ggers. They really need to learn to breathe while they do it, that lack of oxygen to the brain is showing in every post.

  53. The Real Shuxion says: Jul 9, 2010 8:26 AM

    sharkattack says: July 9, 2010 1:19 AM
    I mean, they talk about greedy players, but W and Dick flew planes into buildings killing thousands, all so they could ‘help” people who didn’t and don’t want their help. (translate: gimme gimme oil.)
    —————————————————-
    Are you retarded?
    # steely devil hab says: July 9, 2010 5:25 AM
    Wow – lot’s of conservative/republi can angst going on. Don’t worry kids, you still have Sarah Palin!
    —————————————————-
    Rather have her than the clowns your party trots out.

  54. tomdog says: Jul 9, 2010 8:28 AM

    The union supporters are working mostly blue collar jobs with no access to blogs like these all day,hence the sqeaky wheels here are the right wing con job GOP apologist big boss suckasses with computers(that they use to spend the bigbooses dime on,surfing the web) instead of growing daddys profit margin.

  55. longestlegs says: Jul 9, 2010 9:07 AM

    The comments on this thread are even more unreadable than normal. Which is saying something. Do football fans not know how unions work? Do they not understand that it does matter, for the benefit of current, future, and former players, for the union to gain more leverage?
    Players in the NFL may ‘make millions’, but they have the least amount of power as individuals in any pro sport. These dudes deserve more guaranteed money, more clauses protecting their health, a better pension system, and so on, etc.
    Any leg up is a good leg up as far as I’m concerned. Good for the players union. I’d gladly miss a season of football if it meant avoiding tragedies like Mike Webster, or John Mackey.

  56. longestlegs says: Jul 9, 2010 9:12 AM

    @ The Real Shuxion
    Really? You’d rather have someone whose only political experience is quitting the job of governor…of Alaska? Right wing nutjobs indeed. Partisan politics are nothing but detrimental.

  57. Patsfan1776 says: Jul 9, 2010 9:24 AM

    This is going to be a public relations nightmare, see MLB strike for reference. If the fans go a season with no pro football, listening to extremely wealthy owners say they have no money, and listening to players say stuff like “we need to eat”, they will lose 20% of the fans easily.

  58. The Real Shuxion says: Jul 9, 2010 10:21 AM

    @ longestlegs
    Over a bunch of Democrat lawyers who vote against sever prosecution for child rapists, yes.
    I am not the biggest Sarah Palin fan (Politics are fine but she has no chance of winning office), but I would take her over say Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Whitehouse, Dodd, Frank and such who are basically pulling a huge power grab at the expense of the people.
    The problem is the more political experience someone has, the more they are tainted by politics themselves.

  59. BonnieD says: Jul 9, 2010 10:23 AM

    Patsfan says: “This is going to be a public relations nightmare, see MLB strike for reference. If the fans go a season with no pro football, listening to extremely wealthy owners say they have no money, and listening to players say stuff like “we need to eat”, they will lose 20% of the fans easily.”
    I agree. MLB never totally recovered from the 1994 strike. A lot of us just basically quit baseball and focused solely on the NFL. That strike slammed the door on baseball as America’s favorite game. It is now football, for the moment, unless the same thing happens again. If the players union gets the govt involved, this is going to turn a lot of people off. Well, there is always the UFL. And nobody’s ruined hockey yet, have they? I guess I can switch to that. I draw the line at soccer though.

  60. kinghill says: Jul 9, 2010 10:27 AM

    As I recall, Mr. Floria played his liberal writer role in supporting the Whitehouse Communist. It was either gross stupidity or gross negligence on his part for not doing his homework.
    The players and owners need a sane resolution that rewards veterans more and rookies less. Congress will be unsympathetic next year because the scumDems are about to be thrown out on their collective butts.

  61. purpleguy says: Jul 9, 2010 10:59 AM

    Yeah, the 32 NFL owners and their employees have no comparable political connections or strategy.

  62. SpartaChris says: Jul 9, 2010 11:06 AM

    steely devil hab says:
    July 9, 2010 5:25 AM
    Wow – lot’s of conservative/republi can angst going on. Don’t worry kids, you still have Sarah Palin!
    ============================
    As opposed to Nancy “Unemployment creates jobs” Pelosi?

  63. armoderate says: Jul 9, 2010 11:32 AM

    Let me get this straight. You think the union would try to eliminate the NFL monopoly by convincing Congress to use the anti-trust statutes? I doubt if the players union is as stupid as this article insinuates. And the owners know it. Monopolies optimize profits way above a more competitive situation. Those excess profits are shared generously with the players. That’s why the average stadium fan pays ridiculous prices and players make enough to live like kings.

  64. Jim says: Jul 9, 2010 1:44 PM

    There is s simple solution.
    Stop gooing and stop watching! College football is much more exciting.

  65. edgy says: Jul 9, 2010 2:32 PM

    BonnieD says:
    I agree. MLB never totally recovered from the 1994 strike.
    ********************
    You do realize that MLB has been setting RECORDS for attendance the past few years — oh, that’s right – you don’t. Attendance has been down since peaking a couple of years ago but that’s more related to the economy than the 1994 strike; especially when you consider that they set records for attendance 13 years AFTER the strike.

  66. SOURKREME says: Jul 10, 2010 12:53 AM

    This is why the United States get’s anywhere on real issue’s that help out the day to day business for the common man. This is two companies ready to go to war. Who cares ! let them fight it out and let congress get back to getting jobs, health care, education and the other issue’s. The congress has no reason to be involved with the NFL problems or how the BCS needing a playoff system. Their is no way that this will disolve either company, so let them work it out and get your nose back to what is needed in America. Instead of defensive lineman lets worry about defending our borders. Our coach doe’s not want the war to end, look at how many people that are fighting it are going to go on unemployment. Why don’t we attack America for a change ? We have several area’s that need to be attacked. Our legislative branch get’s nothing ever done because of wanting to get into these type of situations.

  67. IceHaus151 says: Jul 10, 2010 3:21 AM

    sharkattack you have some serious delusions and if you really think the President and VP sent some plane into the Twin Towers you should go seek professional help now before you hurt someone.
    And edgy, maybe the total attendance numbers are up because there are 2 more teams than there were in 1994 and a struggling team moved from Canada back to the states. Stadiums are being replaced; nicer and larger stadiums are coming along, seating more people. That 1994 strike crushed MLB for quite some time. Sure the die-hards still ATTENDED the games, but the casual fan stopped watching as much. It took the league turning a blind eye to the Steroid Era and constant home runs to get the fans back in the game and re-attract the fans it lost. And MLB was setting attendance records in 1993 and 1994. It dropped 20% after the strike! And it took until 2000 to reach almost where it was 6 years prior.. Ya know, the Sammy Sosa (roided) and Mark McGuire (roided) HR race.. Here’s an article on it
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_25_16/ai_63323548/
    So I do not agree with the statement that MLB has never fully recovered, but it took some serious time. I’d like to see overall TV ratings relative to total population and total households with TVs since 1990-today. Thatd tell the real story since stadiums are bigger and newer, more teams than in 1994, and people will always catch some baseball games. Wonder how many people watch from their homes

  68. IceHaus151 says: Jul 10, 2010 3:29 AM

    Also, if there is a lockout, it’ll be great for college football. No Im leaving early after my redshirt sophmore or true junior season to go to the NFL. I prolly should stay, get my degree, and actually play football rather than sit around wondering why Im not getting paid and not playing football. I like college football much better anyway. Every game matters. NFL is great, dont get me wrong, and Ill dearly miss my fantasy football league, but I gotta look at the lone bright side. The college game could have some ridiculous seasons put up by NFL ready players who have no where to go.

  69. IceHaus151 says: Jul 10, 2010 3:48 AM

    1991- The World Series got a 24.0 TV rating
    1992 20.2
    1993 17.3
    Those were seasons before the 1994 strike.
    1995, first season back did well, with a 19.5 rating. 1996 was good too, getting a 17.4. Since then, nothing has been close. Not even last years Yankees WS, the 1999 Yankees, or even the 2004 RedSocks got above a 17.
    And lets look ever further bac, from 1968-1993, the WS ratings only dipped below a 20 rating 3 times. Only 3 times! And those ratings were 17.3, 16.4, and 19.4. Those would rank as 3 of the top 6 ever since.
    So just because MLB is setting attendance records because of more teams, better and bigger stadiums, etc., it doesnt mean MLB has totally recovered. It is apparent from the sports biggest event that people do not care about the World Series as much as they used to. Sure there are more channels to watch, and more options on TV than there was in say 1968 or even 1988, but 1991 drew in 35 million viewers! 2008 WS drew in less than 14 million viewers. And there are more people in America now than there were then.
    So argue attendance, Im going to argue amount of people who actually care about MLB like they used to.
    source… http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/10/26/how-high-could-world-series-ratings-go-this-year/31548

  70. Richard says: Jul 10, 2010 8:36 AM

    I am a fan of the NFL but not a huge fan as Professional Sports to me are a lot like a bunch of CEO’s, superior athletes stars that make a tremendous amount of money, as well as do the owners. I just hope that NFL football does not become like NBA basketball which I do not watch or buy merchandise. Lebron James, I do not care for whom he plays. If the NFL has a strike or lockout again, and especially if we let congress get involves in one more thing to screw up further, I may just quit watching the NFL as well. Maybe we can get the regional networks to carry a few college football games on Sunday and if not, play golf on Sunday instead of Friday PM and Saturday AM.

  71. edgy says: Jul 10, 2010 3:23 PM

    IceHaus151 says:
    And edgy, maybe the total attendance numbers are up because there are 2 more teams than there were in 1994
    ***************
    Here’s a lesson in math because you obviously don’t get it:
    Total attendance divided by number of teams equals average attendance.
    In other words, if there were 28 teams and they averaged 30,000 per game and there were 30 teams and they averaged 32,000 then it wouldn’t matter if there were 2 extra teams or are you going to dispute that fact? I didn’t make that statement based on TOTAL attendance but on average attendance. Average attendance peaked a couple years back at 32,000+ and now it’s dipped to 29,000+ but that’s because of the economy and NOT a lost interest in MLB. All the other sports are seeing a dip in attendance as well and they peaked in attendance around the same time as MLB.
    Ratings for ALL SPORTS is down from the past. Hell, the NBA’s Finals ratings peaked with the Bulls and the best that it’s ever gotten has been when the Lakers have made the Finals but it doesn’t even come close to what the NBA did during the Jordan years. The NFL’s RATINGS are down from the ’90s but there are more households since then so there are more viewers but NOT as many as there were in the ’90s. People are no longer captive to the Big 4 and they’ve got other things going on when their games are on. Ratings for ALL SPORTS IS DOWN – PERIOD. It’s gotten to the point that they no longer point to ratings/share when they talk about the games but at the number of people that watched the games. When Dallas was last in the Super Bowl, their rating was 46.0 and they drew 94 million in 1996 and the best that anyone’s done since then was last year when they drew 45.0 and in 2008, the Giants-Patriots game became the first to draw more viewers than they did 12 years EARLIER. Are you going to tell me that the NFL is less popular NOW than it was around the same time as when MLB had its strike? Before you try arguing about this, next time LOOK IT UP. You’ll find that YOUR ARGUMENT loses period because ratings are down SIGNIFICANTLY in ALL SPORTS since the mid ’90s.

  72. IceHaus151 says: Jul 11, 2010 5:03 AM

    Well I didnt look up average attendance, I looked up TOTAL attendance and thats what I went with because you just said attendance, did not specify. My apologies And my math still isnt wrong, if stadiums are bigger and-or newer, of course more people will attend! Moving a team from Canada to the USA means more fans too. And are we comparing 90 million people watching the superbowl compared to 15-30 million watching the World Series…
    And quit talking out of your $)%* with regards to NFL ratings. I at least listed my sources so you knew I wasnt making it up. You present your opinion as if it is fact and talk a big game. But you are wrong. Here is a SOURCE that shows the Super Bowl has consistently (not every year though) increased viewership over time, not decreased like MLB.
    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/01/18/historical-super-bowl-tv-ratings/11044
    And the NBA lost people with its strike, hockey never had tons of fans to begin with and Im sure they lost some as well due to their strike. Basically a strike would be terrible. MLB hasnt fully recovered. No matter what you say, the FACTS show not as many people care about the WS in the 2000’s as they did in the 70’s,80’s and early 90’s. The opposite is true with the NFL. The last 2 superbowls have been most watched ever, and the 2 before that are top 10 all time watched. Past 4 year SuperBowls all were watched by more people than your Dallas comparison. Nice try though. I do appreciate you coming out to play.
    And the NBA doesnt have the ratings anymore because of free agency and the resulting loss of dynasties (bigger of a reason than you think), the strike turned a lot of people off, etc. But we arent talking about the NBA here. MLB and NFL was the discussion, both which you were wrong about (except attendance… congrats on showing people still go to the games but the casual fan has still yet to return in full from the strike).

  73. IceHaus151 says: Jul 11, 2010 5:14 AM

    Also Edgy, I dont have the website up anymore, but as of the 2007 NFL season, it was the 6th str8 year the NFL had set a new record for total paid attendance. And as of last year average NFL viewership was up roughly 15% and are at a 20 year high. So it seems to me the NFL and its Superbowl keep increasing not only attendance, but actual people watching the games! the average viewership of a national NFL game last year was 17.2 million people. So the actual ratings of the Superbowl may not be setting records, but actual viewership is, since ya know, we keep adding people to the population of the country.. Look at the 2 graphs from my posts about NFL and MLB. Look at the difference in the graphs representing the Superbowl and the World Series. Id say NFL, even in this economy (as you would put it) is GAINING fans, while MLB is losing fans and only in years when big market teams make the WS are decent numbers being put up. Again, thanks for playing. Maybe next time you’ll have better facts to back up your weak and incorrect opinion.

  74. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 9:52 AM

    IceHaus151 says:
    Well I didnt look up average attendance, I looked up TOTAL attendance and thats what I went with
    **********************
    Super Bowl Ratings are consistently DOWN from the ’90s. They might be steady for the lower 41s but they were much higher before and part of that is because of the Cowboys. NBA ratings are down as well from the ’90s and that’s because of the demise of the Bulls dynasty.
    Ratings for EVERYTHING and not just sports are down SIGNIFICANTLY from the ’90s because of the proliferation of alternatives to the Big 4 (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX). A top comedy today would have been considered a joke 15 years ago and if you look at the numbers (please, go to tvbythenumbers, I’ve been there myself so while I don’t dispute your numbers, I dispute your ability to see the truth), you’d see that success today is measured in much smaller numbers.
    Do you honestly pay ANY attention to this crap before you write it? All of the ballparks that were built held SIGNIFICANTLY fewer fans than their old parks.
    New stadiums built since 1996 (Discounting Arizona and Colorado):
    Target Field: 39,500 vs 46,500
    Yankee Stadium: 52,300 vs 56,900
    Citi Field: 41,800 vs 57,300
    Nationals Park: 41,900 vs 43,700
    Busch Stadium: 46,900 vs 49,700
    Citizen’s Park: 43,600 vs 62,300
    Petco Field: 42,400 vs 67,500
    Great American Park: 42,300 vs 52,900
    Miller Ballpark: 41,900 vs 53,200
    PNC Field: 38,500 vs 47,900
    AT&T Park: 41,900 vs 70,000
    Comerica Park: 41,800 vs 52,400
    Minute Maid Field: 40,900 vs 54,800
    Safeco Field: 47,116 vs 59,200
    Turner Field: 50,000 vs 52,000
    That’s 15 ballparks built and not ONE replaced the old stadium with a bigger stadium. Even Washington, which took over for Montreal, moved into a bigger stadium than what the Expos played in but their new stadium fits less than what the old Washington stadium or the Expos stadium held. Again, NOT ONE of the stadiums were bigger than the original stadium. RESEARCH OUTSIDE OF TVBYTHENUMBERS, Buckwheat.

  75. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 10:07 AM

    IceHaus151 says:
    Also Edgy, I dont have the website up anymore, but as of the 2007 NFL season, it was the 6th str8 year the NFL had set a new record for total paid attendance.
    ***********************
    As of 2007? That’s 3 years so it couldn’t be 6 straight years, could it? Or are you saying that in 2007, the NFL set records for attendance for 6 straight years? You do realize that MLB was setting records for attendance back THEN for several straight years, as well. BTW, take away the Cowboys and their new stadium and the NFL had their problems last year. Attendance was — wait for it – down last year among teams that didn’t open a new stadium. It was a significant drop so are you sure about your beliefs or do you understand that the economy has hit most of the sporting world?

  76. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 11:11 AM

    BTW, after checking, this is the — wait for it – second straight year that NFL attendance has DROPPED and that’s with the Cowboys fancy new stadium that increased their average attendance by 20,000.

  77. IceHaus151 says: Jul 11, 2010 5:43 PM

    Yeah, 2% drop. Huge considering the average ticket is in the $70 range and regarding the economy, huh.I can go to a baseball game for $15. And total VIEWERSHIP of the superbowl is only increasing. So while maybe 2% less people are paying to see the games, MORE people are watching them. My point is basically proven. NFL is gaining in popularity, baseball may be growing again (finally) but they are still suffering from the strike.

  78. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 7:35 PM

    IceHaus151 says: July 11, 2010 5:43 PM
    Yeah, 2% drop.
    ***************************
    Wow, do you even think about this shit before you shovel it? Based on 8 and 81 games respectively, a $70 ticket will cost an NFL fan $560 while a $15 ticket will cost a MLB fan – wait for it — $1215. If you compare their average FCI a full season for an NFL fan costs $825.28 vs $3987.02 for a MLB fan. Obviously, prices vary from stadium to stadium but the fact is that it’s still cheaper to go to an NFL game for a full season, which is where they and MLB get most of their business. I can throw in a little extra for 2 exhibition games but it would still be less than what MLB fans pay.
    BTW, you do realize that in the last 4 championship series, the Big 4 have all seen increased viewership in ALL sports? Oh, that’s right, you don’t. The economy has hurt them at the turnstiles but not at the box office. The NBA was hurt in the first couple of rounds because they had a bunch of sweeps. Series in MLB, the NBA and the NHL get better ratings once they go beyond 4 because fans hate watching non-competitive series. To reiterate, ALL of the series or championships have had their BEST RATINGS in YEARS.

  79. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 7:53 PM

    I meant hurt them at the turnstiles but not on the tube.

  80. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 8:51 PM

    IceHaus151 says: July 11, 2010 5:43 PM
    Yeah, 2% drop.
    ***************** **********
    There is one thing that I forgot to address: the NFL’s attendance dropped DESPITE the fact that two new stadiums opened up in 2008 and 2009. Unlike MLB, those stadiums WERE significantly bigger than their predecessors. Funny how MLB’s new stadiums were supposedly bigger than their old ones and they weren’t while the NFL’s two new stadiums were and YET, attendance dropped and it dropped even more when you took both of them out of the equation. 17 of the 32 franchises experienced losses last year and that was on the average of 3600 for those 17 franchises with Jacksonville at 15.5k and Oakland at 13.5k leading the way.

  81. edgy says: Jul 11, 2010 11:31 PM

    One thing that you also need to take into account is that the TV ratings for both the regular season AND post season took a dump after CBS took over. Oh, you can talk about the 24.0 that they pulled in NBC, pulled in a 30 during after the 1973 and 1981 strikes. WS ratings went down after 1983 when ABC got involved and they didn’t exactly thrill the public with their coverage and then they took a dump in the toilet permanently once CBS took over. CBS screwed MLB fans when they took over because they only broadcast 14 games vs the 30 or more that NBC did AND they featured only the big market teams and ignored the pennant races completely and by the end of their contract, they had reduced the number of games even more. Hell, they went from 4.9 on the last year of NBC’s coverage to just barely above 3 by the time that their contract was over.
    After the failed Baseball Network, which ironically debuted during the strike fiasco, Fox took over and they “generously” upped the ante to 16 games — woo hoo. Oh and you couldn’t catch them broadcasting a game during the pennant races to save your life for the first few years. Yeah, that’s the perfect way to build loyalty.
    BTW, while the broadcast networks are losing viewers, ESPN has seen an increase over the years because they don’t broadcast 1 game a year ..er.. a month…er…every 3 weeks. Imagine how regular season NFL ratings would drop if you only carried 4 weeks of the games on TV. TV ratings don’t tell the who story about MLB’s popularity because if it did then the other sports are in trouble, too.

  82. IceHaus151 says: Jul 12, 2010 3:59 AM

    Yeah, 2% drop. Huge considering the average ticket is in the $70 range and regarding the economy, huh.I can go to a baseball game for $15. And total VIEWERSHIP of the superbowl is only increasing. So while maybe 2% less people are paying to see the games, MORE people are watching them. My point is basically proven. NFL is gaining in popularity, baseball may be growing again (finally) but they are still suffering from the strike.

  83. edgy says: Jul 12, 2010 9:23 AM

    IceHaus151 says:
    Yeah, 2% drop.
    **********************
    Did the system screw up and regurgitate your message or are you unable to think of a retort and have to recycle your material?

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