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Matt Birk takes issue with Barack Obama’s comments

Matt Birk AP

When President Barack Obama recently answered a reporter’s question regarding the labor dispute between the NFL and its players’ union, most assumed that Obama’s words would be met with scorn and disapproval from the owners.  Though some owners surely weren’t thrilled with the remarks, they’ve wisely said nothing.  At least one player, however, has made his disagreement known with a portion of the remarks.

“You’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars,” Obama said.  “You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars.  People are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making mortgage [payments]. . . .  The two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States intervening. . . .  [F]or an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way.”

Ravens center Matt Birk, in an appearance with our friends Steve Davis and Ed Norris of 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore, took issue with some of Obama’s words.

“He talked about the NFL being $9 billion, which is correct, but he kind of said it a little bit sarcastic,” the Harvard-educated Birk said, via the Baltimore Sun.  (If he’d gone to Yale instead, perhaps he would have used the proper term, “sarcastically.”  Sorry, Matt; we’re just being a little sarcastical.)  “I mean, the U.S. government brings in a couple trillion [dollars], don’t you think they’d know how to balance the budget? . . . .

“And ‘millionaire players’ isn’t really correct.  Most NFL players are not millionaires.  They don’t make millions of dollars.  But that’s OK.  You know what, that kind of right there is the general feeling. . . .  Billionaires and millionaires and nobody really cares about their problems. ‘Work it out.’”

Whether its billionaires and millionaires or billionaires and guys-who-make-$500,000-per-year, everyone involved in a fight that threatens to take away the current national pastime is making a lot more money than 99 percent of the people who follow the sport.  Thus, most fans can’t relate to the idea of making so much money that the two sides can’t figure out how to carve it up in a fair way.

Five days from now, we’ll all know whether they’ve avoided the embarrassment of failing to share fairly their embarrassment of riches.

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104 Responses to “Matt Birk takes issue with Barack Obama’s comments”
  1. chatham10 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:09 AM

    I think what Obama said is what most fans think but don’t have the name or clout to get it on the air or in print.

  2. punkaj04 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:10 AM

    Dear Matt,

    You don’t have to “make millions of dollars” per year to be a millionaire. According to Wikipedia, “a millionaire is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency.”

    If guys making 500k per year don’t have a net worth of a million dollars within a few years, whose fault is that?

  3. joetoronto says: Mar 6, 2011 8:10 AM

    All that paper money will be worthless soon anyway.

  4. flyerscup2010 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:17 AM

    Birk is right, but the point of what Obama said wasn’t really about the NFL labor issues, it seemed more like he was trying to blow off the question because they all make more money than most everyday Americans who are going through a recession (even if the government says the recession is “over”, don’t tell that to the 10% of the country that is unemployed and the even larger percent of the country that has way less income than meets the cost of living) and are struggling to just put dinner on the table each night.

    The bottom line is that it was stupid to even ask Obama about the labor problem. He’s got things that actually concern him to worry about. And so what if the players aren’t all millionaires? I support the players fully in this, but if Birk is picking that out of Obama’s statement, then he missed the entire point.

  5. bleedgreen75 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:24 AM

    Matt Birk made $6 million last year….pretty sure that makes you a millionaire…I am just saying…maybe you aren’t the best voice of the poor unfortunate NFL player….

  6. jwil444 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:24 AM

    Birk makes an obvious point, outside of creating trillions of debt, what the hell does obama/government know about running a real business?

  7. reidstinks says: Mar 6, 2011 8:28 AM

    Shut up Birk. Right because the lowest paid guy makes about $300k a year. With some semi smart investing opposed to driving fancy cars and buying big houses they would all be millionaires.

    I assume since you are Ivy league educated you understand that calling someone a millionaire doesn’t actually mean they have to make a million dollars a year? It could be cumulative.

    How about showing some respect to the ticket holders who are year to year fewer and fewer of the hard working Americans that allowed you babies to get so rich in the first place.

  8. oldbyrd says: Mar 6, 2011 8:31 AM

    Let’s just hope that The harvard Marxist Moron stays out of it.

  9. mannynh says: Mar 6, 2011 8:32 AM

    Technically he may be right, but the smart thing would have been to keep your mouth shut (which is a good rule of thumb in most cases). It would be like an owner coming out and saying “you know, we’re not all billionares, most of us are only worth hundreds of millions of dollars”. It still sounds ridiculous. But what do I know, I’ve only got a Plymouth State University edumacation.

  10. luckynumberlucas says: Mar 6, 2011 8:32 AM

    ” (If he’d gone to Yale instead, perhaps he would have used the proper term, “sarcastically.” Sorry, Matt; we’re just being a little sarcastical.)”

    Nice one!

  11. deanvernonwormer says: Mar 6, 2011 8:32 AM

    In a nut shell the revenue of some teams is greater than others. In the NFL the money is divided evenly among the teams. In order to continue to divide that money evenly the Owners want to take money, which should go to the players, and give it to the smaller market teams.

    Although the NFLPA is a hodge podge of criminals, abusers, whiners and malcontents (with a few exceptions see Chad Pennington)I have to say I’m with the players on this one.

  12. edenprairieballer says: Mar 6, 2011 8:32 AM

    And that would be the first time i have heard Matt Birk refered to as “Matthew Birk” That would be like calling Shaquille O’Neal “Shaq O’Neal”

  13. wryly1 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:33 AM

    President Obama hit the nail on the head in saying, “Just figure out a way to divide your billions. I don’t want to have to get involved and besides, I’m too busy with bigger problems to solve.” Makes perfect common sense to most fans – who ARE the ones picking up the tab!

  14. nflrulz says: Mar 6, 2011 8:35 AM

    Matt Birk: You can’t compare the NFL to the Federal Government. The NFL is greedy and Obama is simply looking out for the people. That’s why we elect Presidents who spend a lot of government money on us. So that we get rich like you!

    DUH!!

  15. triplepropalm says: Mar 6, 2011 8:36 AM

    The average (arithmetic mean) NFL salary in 2006 was $1.4 million.

    Obama said, “You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars.”

    Is Birk really arguing that a lot of players aren’t grossing a million dollars plus over their NFL careers?

    The overall median income for all 155 million persons over the age of 15 who worked with earnings in 2005 was $28,567.

    Suffice it to say, NFL players have it pretty good compared to the average Joe in the US.

    To try and play the “We don’t make THAT much…” card is not the smartest thing to come out of the mouth of someone from Harvard.

  16. trimgod69 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:37 AM

    musta been a slow news day

  17. dryheaveone says: Mar 6, 2011 8:39 AM

    As far as the players, I have no problem with the money these guys make or their wish to make more. My problem is with the way SOME of them SPEND IT. I remember watching the old “MTV Cribs” show once. They featured Ty Law. He had like a 40 room mansion and a huge garage with like 20 cars (trust me, none of them where Toyota Corollas)……of course they need more.more,more, to keep up that kind of lifestyle.

    Logan Mankins of the Patriots is crying because the Pats want to franchise him for 10 MILLION this year. Fact of the matter is, if he doesn’t go crazy he should be able to live very comfortably on that 10 million (even minus taxes) FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE…..and these guys want to know why some people can’t “relate” to their situation???

  18. cromartieslegitimatekid says: Mar 6, 2011 8:40 AM

    Probably best noone listens to someone running 1.5 trillion dollar deficits on how to run their business.

  19. imjinbrdgr says: Mar 6, 2011 8:40 AM

    “Whether its billionaires and millionaires or billionaires and guys-who-make-$500,000-per-year, everyone involved in a fight that threatens to take away the current national pastime is making a lot more money than 99 percent of the people who follow the sport.”

    Very will put. You could have added that the fans, who by the way are creating that mountain of gold, many are doing so from their deflated paychecks, unemployment checks, and savings.

  20. graham4jc says: Mar 6, 2011 8:40 AM

    I am not personally against people making big money, and am happy for them. Obviously, if I had a problem with it I shouldn’t be such a huge fan of the NFL.

    I just cannot identify with people negotiating over a salary level that is more than I expect to see in a lifetime. Meanwhile, my backyard neighbor here in Africa makes about $80US per month working 55-60 hours a week as a child care worker. And no, the cost of living in this country is not that much less than in the US. That’s not the fault of the NFL – I just think the millionaires have to take a backseat to the greater priority…

  21. redskins20633 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:41 AM

    Did Birk really try to compare the issues of balancing the budget of the United States of America and its 300 million citizens to a few hundred NFL players and owners?

    And he wonders why Obama sounded sarcastic?

    Yes, you guys are ridiculous Matt. Get over yourselves and make a deal.

    Harvard? Really.

  22. brasho says: Mar 6, 2011 8:42 AM

    I’m all for a Harvard-educated person slamming Obama and the crappy job he has done… but unfortunately, Obama is right.

    The rookie minimum is $325,000, the average first year salary for a college graduate is under $30,000. It would take a first year college graduate 11 years (barring substantial raises) to make the same amount of money that a guy that lasted one year in the NFL did. If that rookie NFL player made it to his 6th season, still making the minimum, he’d be making $625,000 per year.

    And then let’s say a guy makes the NFL minimums for 6 years then he’s out of the league, he would have made over $2,000,000 in that time…something that a guy working for 30 years could do if he averaged over $66,000 each year. That same guy, with the $2,000,000 he made in 6 years, would then be forced to go out and get a regular job, like the rest of us schmucks, with an education that he got for free…. I can’t feel bad for them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad for the billionaire owners either, but it is idiotic to side with the other bunch of guys that are living out their sports dreams, getting fame, and a TON of money to play a game that many of us do for free or for a fee.

  23. dawnlan7 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:47 AM

    This guy is a IDIOT. I don’t care if they dont make MILLIONS of dollars. They at least make $100′s of THOUSANDS still waaaayyy more than everyday working people make. Obama is right! I got a $380 gas bill last week. I have to try to make arrangments to pay that Feb bill, March’s bill, and whatever is due in April before they start turning off service in April. Does this guy have to deal with that? Does the the minimally paid NFL player have to deal with those things? NO. So don’t expect fans who pay $100′s for tickets to see these idiots play, to SYMPATHIZE because he doesn’t make millions… He only makes a half a million

  24. packattack1967 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:50 AM

    Jesus Mike, thanks for the liberal spin. wow

  25. bigtrav425 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:56 AM

    i think a lil bit more goes into running a country with hundred of millions of people then running a football team so im sure its not as easy….Obama is right tho its 9 Billion dollars dude… get it DONE! Especially if some of these players are worried about money,feeding there family (Latrell Sprewell dig)insurance etc even with making millions of dollars

  26. biggerballz says: Mar 6, 2011 8:56 AM

    hey newsflash no one cares about the plight of the guy who only makes the league minimum 300k and the avg 3.5 years they play for. That’s still a million dollars, it takes a avg chump making 50k a year 20 years to achieve that. So stop whining and play the damn game that made you, or quit because there are always players that are willing to play for anything.

  27. cmstrick says: Mar 6, 2011 8:57 AM

    I eat ramen noodles every day for lunch.

    Suck it, Birk. No sympathy here…

  28. zackd2 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:58 AM

    Go cry about it Matt

  29. skimbell says: Mar 6, 2011 9:04 AM

    If obama helps the NFL labor dispute by “working his magic” like he did in helping Chicago get the Olympics-we aren’t going to see any football for awhile.

  30. hedleykow says: Mar 6, 2011 9:05 AM

    I’m still trying to figure out if Obama got into this country with a fake ID or not. Now I’m even more confused.

  31. gbfanforever says: Mar 6, 2011 9:09 AM

    Hey Matt, ultimately the people who pay your salary are the fans, most of whom are middle class. The current (soon to be short lived) incarnation of anti middle class conservatives who rode into office under claims that they will create jobs, have the singular objective of making sure people making a livable wage will have to settle for minimum wage (they are working on lowering minimum wage too) work so that the wealthy plutocrats that pull their strings and own the media can buy an extra yacht this year. Bottom line is this, you better wake up and understand that with average americans getting poorer, we have less disposable income for luxuries like football tickets and jerseys. You should take the best low ball offer they make because lord knows they’ll just be asking you take less in 5 years anyway when their profits have sunk even farther.

  32. dabigbangclock says: Mar 6, 2011 9:10 AM

    The players have been winning the PR battle the last week, a comment like this can only hurt them in the court of public opinion… If a deal does not get done this week, NFL fans will be equally pissed at the players and owners (I know I will be angrier this coming Friday if a deal isn’t done than I would have been last week just because the current optimism has got my hopes up)

  33. eaglesnoles05 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:12 AM

    Ok, Matt. Let’s just start calling it “Billionaires vs Hundreds-of-thousands-aires” so everyone in the fight stops getting so offended. PS: Matt Birk is a millionaire.

  34. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 6, 2011 9:13 AM

    Obama went to Harvard too Matt. Maybe you look him up in the Alumni book and give him a call?

  35. grimsleeper78 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:21 AM

    Nothing against any profesional athlete, but, I wish I only made $500,000 a year.

  36. edgy says: Mar 6, 2011 9:25 AM

    Of course, we all know that billionaires and 1/3 of a millionaires doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely. :)

  37. arm57romg says: Mar 6, 2011 9:28 AM

    Aw….Matt, I’m so sorry for you. The biggest voice is saying exactly what the fans feel got ya butt hurt?

    Anyways, this all goes back to America.

    You expect to be screwed over by your boss, players. You should never screw over the people who made you millionaires in the first place.

    Selfish.

  38. spamrok says: Mar 6, 2011 9:36 AM

    Yes Matt, I don’t care about your problems. You know why? Because I work my butt off year round to support my family, and when I turn on the tv I have to hear you crybabies complain about every little situation. My 9 year old whines less then you guys. And I’m sure you care about my problems role player. Notice my sarcasty.

  39. bucks12965 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:41 AM

    If most NFL players aren’t millionaires, then they don’t know how to handle their $.

    Most NFL players have earned more than $1 million so far in their careers– so they certainly should be millionaires.

  40. packrulzm says: Mar 6, 2011 9:42 AM

    Seriously? I guess making $500,000 a year is just no money at all Matt. This attitude is part of the problem. This disconnect that owners and players have with the people who actually pay their salaries. The economy sucks and we have all felt the sting. Now, I’m supposed to shed a tear for you, Birk? Get over yourself.

  41. jf1339 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:44 AM

    “And ‘millionaire players’ isn’t really correct. Most NFL players are not millionaires. They don’t make millions of dollars. But that’s OK. You know what, that kind of right there is the general feeling. . . . Billionaires and millionaires and nobody really cares about their problems. ‘Work it out.’”
    ————————————————–
    With the league minimum of #325,000 in 2010, a player in the league for only 3 years is just about a millionaire. I’m pretty confident to say that most of the players in the NFL are millionaires. The players can call it what they want, but truthfully, it is billionaires vs millionaires. Don’t try to sell it to the fans that’s it’s something more than money.

    It’s always about the money.

  42. yeahman73 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:44 AM

    SHUT UP MATT BIRK!!!! Nobody wants to listen to you whine about what the president said! The president for once hit the nail on the head!! FIGURE IT OUT YOU SPOILED RICH BRAT!!!

  43. riderspantherssk says: Mar 6, 2011 9:52 AM

    He went to Harvard and doesn’t know the difference between a sports league and a federal government? Yikes.

  44. Kave Krew says: Mar 6, 2011 9:53 AM

    Hey Matt, the Prez is the Prez, but I think he was speaking as a FAN and all that he was doing was echoing the exact words along with the sarcastic tone that the fans are utilizing when discussing your poverty situation – and yes, I say “poverty” with a stadium full of sarcasm.

    Do us all a favor – just shut the £u{€ up and work things out.

  45. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 6, 2011 10:08 AM

    What don’t the Ratbirds complain about?

    Put Obama in a ref’s uniform and really watch this guy go off…

  46. sterilizecromartie says: Mar 6, 2011 10:21 AM

    Jeez, for a Harvard-educated guy he really is pretty stupid. Obama was spot-on with what he said.

  47. gophersnot says: Mar 6, 2011 10:30 AM

    Jimmy,

    Birk once played for Minnesota. You can’t let that go, can you?

  48. joepags says: Mar 6, 2011 10:31 AM

    cmon’ guys most of us on this board barely make 70,000 a year combined!!so to play a sport you love for 500,000 is great!! i will trade with any of those guys making that money!! in the end the NFL will go back to work, while some of us still dont have jobs!! I LOOK TO SPORTS TO ESCAPE THE WORLD BREIFLY ON SUNDAYS, LEAVE POLITICS OUT OF MY SPORTS!!

  49. iheartarmor says: Mar 6, 2011 10:33 AM

    actually you weren’t be a little bit “sarcastical”, you were being sardonic… but hey nice try

  50. runtheball says: Mar 6, 2011 10:38 AM

    The difference is Birk is not afraid to show anyone his Harvard transcripts.

  51. blitz1717 says: Mar 6, 2011 10:40 AM

    Sounds like a greedy guy to me. Doesn’t he make a little over 6 mil.

  52. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Mar 6, 2011 10:46 AM

    Nothing good happens when players speak. Shut up and get ready for next season or your new career including all fields requiring a weak mind and a strong back or running the 40 in under 5 seconds. Lots of jobs out there for you big boys.

  53. deeppurple23 says: Mar 6, 2011 10:53 AM

    If the methodology to becoming a millionaire is to add up all the money you’ve made over your lifetime…then there are more millionaires than we thought. And I’m sorry, I agree the US government’s budget should be balanced, it’s not like they have just enough money to scrap by.

    Oh not to mention that the average lifespan for an NFL player is in the 50s. I’m not sure that I’m giving up 20+ years of my life just to play football for 5 or 10 years (average is 3).

    So I guess I’m on the fans’ side first, then players.

  54. meattuperello says: Mar 6, 2011 10:58 AM

    Matt Birk is a dork. There is no other way to say it.

  55. leroy36 says: Mar 6, 2011 11:14 AM

    Bet the owners and players have an agreement before the government has a budget.

  56. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 6, 2011 11:26 AM

    jwil444 says: Mar 6, 2011 8:24 AM

    “..what the hell does obama/government know about running a real business?”

    Maybe we ought to consult this guy?
    The Failed Corporate Record of George W. Bush

  57. CKL says: Mar 6, 2011 11:30 AM

    dabigbangclock says: Mar 6, 2011 9:10 AM
    _____________________________
    HAHAHAAHA…as a Pats fan I love this name. +1 just for that.
    Only Pats fans will probably “get” it. :D

  58. hboilers24 says: Mar 6, 2011 11:44 AM

    some of you are missing the point. when the casual fan thinks of what football players are getting paid they think of the highest end (manning, brees, ect). the league is made up of guys making far less. is it much more then us outside of football are making? of course. however players having been facing the kind of job uncertainty that we all have been feeling now for much longer. if you get hurt at work you will get works comp, disability, unemployment ect. until you get well enough to go back to work. if one of these league min guys gets hurt that could be his last check EVER in the league and he has to enter this crap job market having focused likely his entire life to being a football player.
    im not saying to take pity on these guys, they make very good money and should be smart with it but you should be able to see the other side of the coin as well.

  59. nnagi says: Mar 6, 2011 12:15 PM

    Obama really needs to worry more about the economy and creating jobs…matt birk can shove his $6M a year up his a**!!!

  60. goforthanddie says: Mar 6, 2011 12:22 PM

    Dude’s absolutely right. TheRock needs to stop being a sports fanboy and play President.

  61. tcdun says: Mar 6, 2011 12:32 PM

    Let’s keep NObama out of the NFL mess ! He screws up everything he touches,so lets not make the mess worse by getting him involved !
    He should keep his simple minded mouth shut and let the two sides work out their own problems.

  62. vicksprman says: Mar 6, 2011 12:36 PM

    Matt Birk go away, and here I thought only guys that look like Antonio Cromartie were delusional.

  63. johnnyb216 says: Mar 6, 2011 12:40 PM

    Matt birk is now my enemy.

  64. icewalker946 says: Mar 6, 2011 12:43 PM

    This is where unions work….no way to take the NFL overseas or to Mexico.

    Oh wait……

  65. southpaw2k says: Mar 6, 2011 12:58 PM

    I don’t think Birk is trying to gain sympathy or compassion for himself or his family in his quotes. Yes, he definitely makes well over the league minimum, but nowhere did he say anything like, “Oh woe is me…..I have nothing in savings and still have to pay my mortgage payment somehow for the 50-room mansion I have and my 10 European sports car collection.” He doesn’t strike me as someone like Michael Vick who’s millions of dollars in debt. Birk is trying to tell the general public about the players who aren’t making top dollar in the league.

    I certainly can’t wrap my head around making $300K per year at my job, but even if someone makes that much for three years and is careful with his money, it’s going to run out pretty quickly (and that’s before even factoring into things like the player having a family to take care of). And I definitely agree with him that Obama has no business involving himself in the NFL’s labor negotiations. I’d go one step further and say that not only an administration that can’t balance its own budget has any business sticking its nose into other organizations facing similar issues, but the presidency is above such matters to begin with. This is not a matter of state. Sure, the economic impact of the NFL not having a 2011 season would be significant, but I would think international matters are far more important for Obama to worry about than the NFL.

    Plus, when the NBA and MLB CBAs expire, is Obama going to stick his nose in those negotiations as well?

  66. 3octaveFart says: Mar 6, 2011 1:00 PM

    tcdun says: Mar 6, 2011 12:32 PM

    “He should keep his simple minded mouth shut…”

    irony: noun \ˈī-rə-nē
    incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play

  67. reidstinks says: Mar 6, 2011 1:10 PM

    @hboilers24 – just checking to see if you’re actually serious? You mean I should see their side of getting a free $100k education but not taking advantage of it because they are so certain they will make millions playing a game. If they don’t take full advantage of a free education that is their fault – if they do, good for them.

    evne under your scenario they should have a few $100k set aside after two years in the league and in excellent position to succeed.

    1. NFL player on their resume
    2. A nest egg
    3. A degree with NO debt like the rest of us suckers
    4. Even if they never played in the NFL they still have no school debt a free college degree, and D1 collegiate athlete on their resume

    Sorry, you are right. I do see their side of the coin.

    you must be one of those people that thinks these very fortunate young men dont need to be as responsible for themselves as the 18 year olds that grew up in the ghetto and are either addicted to drugs are living a life of crime to get by.

    I think you should just join Birk in shutting up and stop defending these guys that no matter what have a better situation then 99% of the rest of all Americans.

  68. keyworta says: Mar 6, 2011 1:46 PM

    Thanks Matt for clearing things up. I wasn’t sure if I was siding with the owners or players. You certainly influenced my opinion. Oh, and don’t just evaluate things based on pay. There are other benefits you can receive. Like legal” benefits.” Maybe you have a teammate that got that benefit. Maybe?

  69. edgy says: Mar 6, 2011 1:51 PM

    jf1339 says:

    ****************

    You may be confident but you’re wrong:

    The average career lasts 3 years and for a guy that makes the minimum, that means that he GROSSES a little under a million for 3 years and with taxes and agent fees, makes just a little over half that. Most players make less than $1 million in any year and a guy that’s making minimum (which is more than you think), would have to put in 5 or more years to become a “millionaire” and that’s only if he doesn’t spend a single penny and we know that’s not going to be the case. Also, don’t just blame the “dumb” or “greedy” athlete because his family is also there to tap into his “wealth” and many guys don’t have it in them to keep mom or dad or little brother from taking some of their “wealth” to help them.

  70. backindasaddle says: Mar 6, 2011 1:53 PM

    I think Birks comments simply illustrate that he has no respect for Obama and as such wishes him to just shut up and stay out of it.

  71. qj1984 says: Mar 6, 2011 2:21 PM

    The average practice squad player makes 75k per year. 75k a year to practice with the team for 6 months.

    Go to hell Birk. There are families of 4 or more that are forced to live off of a quarter of what the lowest of the low NFL players make in half a year.

    Go bitch about the practice squad guys not being able to afford fancy suits and benzs elsewhere. We regular folk dont want to hear it.

  72. voxveritass says: Mar 6, 2011 2:31 PM

    Birk’s complaint was the inability to balance the budget. Based on the fact the last 3 republican administrations at least doubled the deficit and Reagan actually tripled it he might actually be a Democrat.

  73. giantfanintx says: Mar 6, 2011 3:31 PM

    Reading some of these comments, I see a lot of cry baby liberals. The usual, “I’m pissed that someone has more than I have, so therefore, they do not deserve it and I should have some of their share”. I’m not wealthy and I grew up in a blue collar household that averaged about 45k per year. However, I can’t stand listening to you liberal fools constantly cry and whine like someone owes you something. If you want the wealth, then go out and work for it. Stop bitching and making it sound like the people who have put the work in owe you something. I could be wealthy too, but I am not willing to put that much work in. That doesn’t mean those who have should give it to me.

    If you spent less time crying about what society owes you, you could be working towards obtaining your own wealth and providing a better life for your family.

  74. keyworta says: Mar 6, 2011 3:41 PM

    Matt, you get paid a lot of money to play a GAME. yes, a GAME. you are not running the United States you a-hole. Go sign up to potentially die for our country for a lot less or dance for us monkey for a lot more. Out of touch idiot…_

  75. axshusz says: Mar 6, 2011 3:43 PM

    Birk’s work and support of the “Legends of the Game” is one area I wish more current players would support. BUT NO PLAYER since the mid-80s falls into that category. Since FA player salaries have been generous enough for them to have protected themselves.
    NFL Stars through the 70s still had to have regular jobs during the offseason, although then they had a true offseason.

    I have ZERO sympathy for current day players, live under your means and prepare for life after the GAME. As NFLPA says the average career is less than 3 years, save aggressively. Heck this advice may keep you out of trouble and on a roster.

  76. Deb says: Mar 6, 2011 3:59 PM

    @jwil444 …

    What do you or Matt Birk know about running a government? The Democrat in office left his successor with a balanced budget and a long period of peace and prosperity. The last Republican in office left his successor–Mr. Obama–embroiled in two wars and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Please just put your face back in Rupert Murdoch’s backside and be quiet.

  77. realfootballfan says: Mar 6, 2011 4:18 PM

    voxveritass,

    When you point that out to people who blindly follow the Republican party with no question, there is always a reasonable explanation for why although 20 (Republican administration years) is greater than 11 (Democratic administration years) over the past 30 yers while the deficit has been increasingly out of wack during the majority of that time….then, you also have to consider that the last couple of years under the previous Democratic administration, there was a surplus.

    At that point, you have to understand that people like that would follow their allegiances regardless of reason to quite absurd levels.

    These are the same people who unquestioningly back candidates who tell them that they want to outlaw abortion, yet did nothing in that direction when they had all the power to do so.

    However, accountability only matters when it’s not who you like….like I’ve often asked, would most people in this country even know who to vote for if they’d get rid of the D or R next to people’s names on the ballot, lol?

    Our president is a great man who’s working hard for the people.

    he makes you proud to be from this country.

  78. achap39 says: Mar 6, 2011 4:21 PM

    Average US salary in 2010: $28,567 ($549/wk). League minimum salary: $300K ($5,769/wk). And fans that help PAY that salary are supposed to feel sorry for players that “aren’t millionaires?” Stop over-analyzing what people say, Matt Birk, and get a damn deal done.

  79. macjacmccoy says: Mar 6, 2011 5:19 PM

    axshusz says:
    Mar 6, 2011 3:43 PM
    Birk’s work and support of the “Legends of the Game” is one area I wish more current players would support. BUT NO PLAYER since the mid-80s falls into that category. Since FA player salaries have been generous enough for them to have protected themselves.
    NFL Stars through the 70s still had to have regular jobs during the offseason, although then they had a true offseason.

    I have ZERO sympathy for current day players, live under your means and prepare for life after the GAME. As NFLPA says the average career is less than 3 years, save aggressively. Heck this advice may keep you out of trouble and on a roster.

    Exactly, 3 years long is the average career with $500,000 minium salarly. If these guys cant live on $1.5 million and a college degree(or close to it) they dont deserve anyones sympathy.

  80. slickzmoney says: Mar 6, 2011 5:39 PM

    For those of you who like facts to influence your political views there have been only 4 years since 1969 where U.S. presidents have balanced their budgets meaning they did not finish with an annual deficit. Clinton 3 times ’98-’00 and Bush partII ‘o1. Every other year deficits.

  81. reidstinks says: Mar 6, 2011 6:19 PM

    @giantfanintx – that has to be one the dumbest statements i ever read, anywhere. In fact it appears you are so dumb that you think just because someone disagrees with you that it means they are a liberal cry baby.

    Please point to 3 statements where it explicitly says people are mad about these players being wealthy or that they shoudl have to redistribute their wealth?

    If anything, I would think a smart conservative like you would be angainst what Birk is saying. You know personal responsisbility and all. If these MEN fail isn’t it their fault regardless of whether they made $8 million a year or $300k?

    You’ll probably disagree because people like you typically choose hyprocracy over sticking to a consistent position like personal responsibility.

  82. oldhamletman says: Mar 6, 2011 6:19 PM

    this guy blatantly exposes how arrogant and greedy they all are…

  83. 1historian says: Mar 6, 2011 6:39 PM

    I am reminded of a quote attributed to panther owner Jerry Richardson. He said to one of the player reps – Peyton Manning? – “remember that you are just the cattle – WE are the ranchers!”

    Very true, Jer, but don’t forget this WE are the ones who decide whether or not to buy the beef.
    And WE can be pushed too far. Your contempt for us is pretty obvious, just don’t think that WE are so dumb that we don’t notice it.

    Because we do

  84. giantfanintx says: Mar 6, 2011 6:56 PM

    Thank you realfootballfan for showing me your lack of understanding of basic economics and free enterprise. It’s people like you who get to vote that scare the hell out of the people in this country that know how to read and write and make informed decisions. That’s ok though, because once his socialist agenda finishes up, you can thank him for private industry to be destroyed, wealthy business owners who will move their companies overseas to avoid paying ridiculous taxes and redistributing wealth, and we’ll be left with a nice slim selection of government jobs, while taxing the living hell out of the few of us left working so we can pay for them.

    Oh yeah, and facts might be a good thing for you to consider. While you go blaming the Repubs for the housing and credit meltdown, you might also want to read. You’ll find that Clinton’s mantra that it’s every American’s right to own a home caused the collapse. By opening the door to a bunch of folks who felt they were entitled to own a home, when it came time to pay the bill they didn’t have the cash. So who is going to pay for it? Oh that’s right, the people who work for a living and actually pay their bills. The Republicans have their fair share of the blame for the mess this country is in, but don’t go saying ridiculous comments that this president is a great man trying to right all the wrongs of the past. This is a man who is in over his head, has little understanding of how this country operates, and is planning on taking the money from those who have earned it only to give it to those who refuse to work for it.

  85. philriverslovespenis says: Mar 6, 2011 7:21 PM

    dawnlan7 says:
    Mar 6, 2011 8:47 AM
    “This guy is a IDIOT….”
    ————————————————–
    What is the definition of irony again?

  86. realfootballfan says: Mar 6, 2011 7:30 PM

    slickzmoney,

    That would actually require reason and using brain power. How the deficit is now such an issue when it really began to spin out of control beginning with the Reagan administration and went way off the rails during the previous 8 years to Obama taking office is way too comical to sit down and grasp the “concern” from these people.

    Now, the unemployment rate is starting to go down, so they’ll undoubtedly start looking for another way to demonize the man for doing what’s best for the majority of us as opposed to a few.

    I’m just glad a man with this much intelligence and such a great spirit is up to finishing his last 6 years in office as opposed to giving up on such a pessimistic situation.

  87. goldsteel says: Mar 6, 2011 7:57 PM

    I don’t have much pity for Matt Birk in his situation. I believe the league minimum is $250,000.00 and he makes much more than that. Actually, what the President said was that he is irritated like the rest of us are about the strategies employed by everyone in this power struggle called the CBA. And if all of you can’t get it worked out then eventually, he will step in and help you work it out. The President’s statement was a warning to everyone.

    Apparently, one doesn’t have to be a genius to make lots of money.

  88. chobes68 says: Mar 6, 2011 9:41 PM

    Last I checked, football players aren’t being paid by the hour. Don’t try to act that the average football player can relate to the average fan, when it comes to paying bills, etc. They live in a fantasy land, for the most part. As far as the owners, who cares what they make. They took the risk, and they should be allowed to enjoy the financial rewards when that risk is successful.

  89. deconjonesbitchslap says: Mar 6, 2011 9:59 PM

    you all complain about the money these athletes make, when in fact, YOU are the reason the athletes are able to be paid this much.

  90. cowboysandhuskers says: Mar 7, 2011 12:07 AM

    Obama is an idiot, Birk is an idiot and if you think either one can relate to or cares about “the people” then you are an idiot.

    Oh and by the way, McCain would have sucked too.

  91. oldhamletman says: Mar 7, 2011 12:28 AM

    the league should pull an air traffic controller response, issue employment contracts, and terminate anyone who doesn’t show up on time to work…. then draft like crazy to fill the holes…. Id be fine watching new talent that had to show up to work on time like me….

  92. txhc says: Mar 7, 2011 1:09 AM

    Cut him.

  93. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 7, 2011 11:46 AM

    This is another reason why Birk is my favorite player. Obama can’t do his own job; he shouldn’t comment on how anyone else does theirs.

  94. chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 1:24 PM

    Love it, Gov Walker said the same thing about Obama. Mind your own business Mr. President. The middle east is falling apart and our countries unemployment is realistically at 12%. Do you job sir.

  95. 420fan says: Mar 7, 2011 1:25 PM

    Do we really want the Government involved? They would just invade somewhere for oil anyhow. You can’t trust the government, even if we did some ‘change’.

    Ask the indians…they’ll tell you how much you can trust the Government.

  96. supashug says: Mar 7, 2011 1:31 PM

    this is a great thread, I just found out I am a millionaire while pounding a turkey sandwich

    Obama, should shut his pie hole and get back to work

    Birk, should shut his pie hole and start working on his long snaps

    I will now go back to work

  97. realfootballfan says: Mar 7, 2011 2:39 PM

    giantfanintxm

    Lol, you’re too funny but have no way to dispute the facts. If you want to cry about the deficit, do it consistently, which of course you wouldn’t and didn’t do when your “heroes” were in office.

    Like another guy posted, the only President who’s balanced the budget in the last 30 years was Clinton, so he should be the only guy you liked, lol.

    I laugh whenever I see Republicans cannonizing the great Ronald Reagan, who tripled the deficit, signed one of the greatest amnesty laws in this country’s history, and was involved in one of this country’s biggest scandals, Iran-Contra.

    Good thing he has that R next to his name in the history book so that you know what you think of him because I’m pretty sure if he were a Democrat, you would have disagreed with all of those points of his administration.

    However, you’re right, I’m the one who doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

    It’s a good thing that people like me are continually outnumbering losers like you who line yourself up with a party rather than great leaders who will do the right thing for America.

    You keep telling yourself it’s going back the other way…Obama won with 51% of the vote last time, it’ll be worse in 2012.

    He’s a great President.

  98. dbellina says: Mar 7, 2011 3:16 PM

    I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.

  99. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 7, 2011 5:02 PM

    realfootballfan says:
    Mar 7, 2011 2:39 PM
    It’s a good thing that people like me are continually outnumbering losers like you who line yourself up with a party rather than great leaders who will do the right thing for America.

    You keep telling yourself it’s going back the other way…Obama won with 51% of the vote last time, it’ll be worse in 2012.

    He’s a great President.
    _____________________

    Stick with football. You know nothing about politics. Anyone who thinks Obama is a great president is no non-partisan. You’re clearly a member of the Communist party.

  100. realfootballfan says: Mar 7, 2011 11:57 PM

    tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason,

    Judging by the screen name you’ve chosen, I know you’re not the brightest bulb.

    You’re not a real American if you can’t tolerate different political views from your own…you’re a Nazi loser and have no place in this great country of ours.

    President Obama is doing a great job and will continue doing a great job for the next 6 years…there’s nothing you can do about that but join us.

  101. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 8, 2011 5:15 PM

    realfootballfan says:
    Mar 7, 2011 11:57 PM
    tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason,

    President Obama is doing a great job and will continue doing a great job for the next 6 years…there’s nothing you can do about that but join us.
    _________________

    All I have to do is sit back and watch him resign in disgrace.

  102. badcallsfootball says: Mar 9, 2011 12:48 PM

    “the U.S. government brings in a couple trillion [dollars], don’t you think they’d know how to balance the budget? . . . .”

    touche Mr. Birk

    I’m not an obama hater like some, but he needs to stfu on this subject until him (obama) and his co-workers (other politicians) can figure out how to balance the budget of the richest country in the world. NFL is a business, if they can’t get a labor agreement done, that’s their problem.

    If politicians cant balance the budget, then they are failing to fulfill their duty that we elected them to do.

    Which is worse. Which one harms the American Public more?

  103. rockymtnphinfan says: Mar 9, 2011 1:22 PM

    Maybe we should consult the “Mama grizzly bear” Palin. I am sure she would have a very deep and insightful answer. (now thats sarcasmic!)
    I

  104. sf5x says: Mar 11, 2011 3:43 PM

    @bleedgreen75,

    You made a great point about Burk not being the best person to represent the “lower” salary guys, since he made $6million last year.

    I agree 100%. That was well said by you.

    Now think about how laughable it is when poor people actually believe a billionare Democrat politician is “representing” them in DC…..isn’t that hilarious?

    Funny how most people can get that concept when it comes to sports talk, but can’t even come close to understanding that concept in politics where it affects us everyday.

    Great post bleedgreen75

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