Goodell on the possibility of a complete shutdown

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During today’s ProFootballTalk Live, which featured a return visit from Commissioner Roger Goodell, I wanted to give him a chance to address the rumor that, if the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the lockout should be lifted, the league is considering shutting down all operations until a new labor agreement is negotiated with the players.

My goal was to give Goodell an opportunity to remove this inflammatory, controversial, and potentially catastrophic option from the table.  As Rosenthal pointed out earlier today, Goodell opted not to do so.

Here’s the specific question:  “We caught wind over the weekend of some talk that one of the potential alternatives in the event the lockout is lifted would be for the NFL to just cease all operations completely until a deal is reached with the players.  Is that an option that’s on the table for the National Football League?”

Said Goodell:  “Mike, the only thing I’m going to say in regards to any of these rumors — there’s all kinds of reports — is that we’re considering a variety of different alternatives based on the court decisions.  We’ll have to do that, and we’re prepared to do that, and we’re going through that process.”

When it comes to issues such as, for example, the use of replacement players, Goodell hasn’t been reluctant to explain that the league isn’t considering that option.  By not taking the shutdown option off the table — and by not even offering up a perfunctory “that’s not in our current plans” — it remains on the table.

Even if it’s an exercise in leverage, the fact that the option remains on the table is unsettling.  In matters influenced by ego, emotion, and testosterone, sometimes things that are on the table but that were never meant to be used end up getting used.

The full interview with Goodell can be viewed at the PFT Live home page, and the audio is available for download via iTunes.

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64 responses to “Goodell on the possibility of a complete shutdown

  1. Take the loss like a good sport and get this season started already. How many times is the circuit courts going to lift the lockout just for the crybaby owners to pout about it? Bunch of babies.

  2. Translation:

    “The NFL doesn’t know what it wants to do (or can do) – other than to NOT concede to the players at all costs.”

  3. If you are a season ticket holder for any team in the NFL, you owe it to yourself and your family’s financial health to call the team in question and ask for a refund.


    If Goodell wants to play hardball with other people’s wallets, wait till teams already teetering on the edge have a few hundred (a few thousand would be better,) season ticket cancellations and refunds.

  4. I for one am glad it’s on the table. It goes to show that the owners will only be pushed to a certain point and the players can’t just have whatever they want. The owners are willing to walk away.

  5. Or, it shows that the owners were not actually “greedy billionaires” at all and truly are losing money in some cities. For them to even entertain the notion of a shutdown, with the PR hit that comes with it, means that they are seriously desperate and the players union is unwilling to budge.

    By the way, I remember when Saturn was a thriving car brand with employees making good wages. Then, they unionized. How’d that work for them?

  6. Dumbest Idea ever.
    It is a 9 billion dollar industry and the entire NFL organization is going to shut down and risk its existence? If they ever shut down and ignored the governments rulings they better be ready for the brush back when the NFL restarts.

    Wave goodbye to that anti-trust exemption!!!

  7. why wont these two sides stop acting like stubborn fourth graders and give in from what they want a little. Its not like they are all sme ofthe richest people on the planet or anything…

  8. I like the idea. Maybe then the players will get serious about working out a deal. The players are the ones that walked away from the table and decertified. The owners only reacted to what the players did.
    Ten years from now this group of players will be gone. The teams will still be here.

  9. If the NFL does shut down forever I will just have to be content rooting for my Penn State Nittany Lions!

    SPOILER ALERT: We’ve got (unnoticeably) new uniforms this year!


  10. “Even if it’s an exercise in leverage, the fact that the option remains on the table is unsettling”

    Why is that so unsettling that the league has an nuclear option? The players played their nuclear option the first chance they got. The owners have the ultimate nuclear option BECAUSE THEY OWN IT!

    I’ve said this time after time here, there is no win option for the players. If they lose in court, they will take a worse CBA than was offered before. If they win in court, the NFL will go in to the toilet which will hurt the players. The issue here is that the player THINK they are just as important as the owners, but they are not. They are transient employees who ultimately hold no card other than those that may cause mutually assured destruction. Let’s all hope for ther sake of teh league that owners prevail at all levels.

  11. Here’s the best scenario. Goodell and Smith kill eachother. Owners and players come to an agreement. We get a brand new commissioner. All Fans, Players, Owners are happy.

    If the Lockout continues or the league shuts down…

    Owners will lose A LOT of money.
    Players will be practicing to say “WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT?”

  12. I for one would like to see the shutdown. What would De Smith do then? Some players are already coming out against him and have said he is not serving the best intrest of the players. They are quickly hushed by other players. The NFL will call the players bluff.
    Why can’t the players agree to a 50% split in profits? They were going to get a retirement, helath insurance for life. This would also take care of the older players who came before. Stop being greedy! Start by kicking De Smith to the curb before he ruins the game that many love.

  13. Good for him, how else could he possibly respond other than saying all options are still on the table and are being considered? Another commenter compared this to the Mutually Assured Destruction theory and that is a good analogy. The players have launched their nuclear missiles already why should the league refuse to press their red button, too?

  14. If the NFL shuts down, the players will go to court to prevent them from shutting down. Then the owners will change the NFL from the National Football League to the National Foosball League and get all new players. The players will get nothing and the owners will win, and that’s the important thing.

  15. Of course Goodell and the owners are gonna threaten the players with a complete shutdown. Only threat they will have aganist the players for getting a FAIR deal for both sides if the stay is lifted. They don’t shut the league down the players have all the leverage and how does the saying go? If you let the inmates run the asylum… MLB survived a strike, NHL survived a lockout (took both leagues a few seasons), the NBA will survive their lockout and so will the NFL. People are kidding themselves if they don’t think that as soon as the NFL lockout is lifted they won’t be glued to their TV sets for football. The owners know this, the players know this…

  16. Although it sounds like a horrible option, it’s really just a different version of the “lockout” strategy. The lockout was NFL teams saying that they weren’t going to play football until a new CBA was reached with the Union. Once the players decertified their union, the new “equivalent” move is for the owners to simply “close their businesses” until a legal settlement is reached (in order to avoid the courts being able to force them to play by lifting the lockout). For the fans it’s really just semantics. I would think that the only difference would be if, by “shutting down”, the teams had to go through some sort of time-consuming process to open their doors back up, which could then delay the start of a new season. But this is the path that the players chose when they elected to decertify….it should have been obvious what the next move would have to be by the NFL. If the owners are really serious about locking players out, then it stands to reason that they should be equally serious about a “complete shutdown”.

    I do think the suggestion of a “shutdown” needs to be on the table just in case the players believe that, somehow, the courts can force the NFL/owners to arrive at a deal. They can’t. The NFL can simply choose to go out of business (albeit temporarily) until they get a deal that they find acceptable, which is similar to what the lockout was. If the players are operating under the assumption that these court victories are the answers to all of their prayers, I think they may be wrong. This entire matter will only be solved through negotiation…..something that I think the owners are more aware of than the players. A shutdown would simply be a representation of the level of commitment by the owners to getting a deal that they like.

    And that puts everyone back at square one, which is….who will break first? Most people are guessing it will be the players once a few checks are missed. A shutdown would put this whole thing right back on that course….

  17. The owners and players are so stupid and arrogant that they think they are needed instead of merely wanted.

    I hope you shut the whole thing down you dumb jerks. You deserve it. When you come crawling back, tickets and concessions will have to cost a whole lot less or you’ll have a lot of empty stadiums. Idiots.

    Meanwhile, some exec over at DirectTV is thinking about climbing onto his windowsill.

  18. Why at this point should the owners take that option off the table why the NPLPA* led by De Smith and Kessler are challenging free agency, franchise tags, salary cap, and the draft.

    Did De Smith rule out challenging the draft? No, he deflected the question by making references to the 2011 draft being held in a couple of days.

    A total and complete non-answer.

    So if shutting down the league is an option to owners then why take it off the table? The option may be remote and distasteful to even the owners however it may be in the owners opinion a viable option to getting financial control in place.

    If the NFLPA / NFLPA* is not going to negotiate in good faith and continue to engage in litigation then it may serve an option to owners.

    If this was simply a case of greed as some have accused the owners then perhaps folks may need to reconsider their opinions, which would result in ZERO football revenue!

  19. What makes the league think that someone else won’t step in and try to take over. I am sure we can find 20 really rich guys who wouldn’t mind splitting $8 billion instead of 9. And if the money is right, the players will follow. Fans love the game. Not the NFL. If someone else puts on a better product without the crap, fans will be up for it.

  20. If the NFL decides to use its nuclear option, and completely shutsdown, they will be BURIED. and I mean BURIED by the media and fans.

    The NFL can operate perfectly fine without a union. Even if it means the NFL turns into an MLB type system (which I would HATE) at least there would still be football.

    I’m sorry, the NFL’s nuclear option is a bazillion times worse than the NFLPAs. Never gonna happen.

  21. So the players are allowed to exercise their “nuclear option” (decertification) while the owners aren’t? The owners should rule this option out, because it is an”inflammatory, controversial, and potentially catastrophic option” ??? What kind of an editorial do you run? This article is obviously biased against owners !

  22. Being that the league owners and their organizations come crying to the taxpayers to assist in fundingstadiums— maybe it’s time for the Government to step in and appoint a Panel to serve as REAL commissioners for these leagues? —

    I’m getting sick of these commissioners being hand-puppeted by their league owners.

    Get a non-biased person to split the Gold Pot— we’re (taxpayers) paying for it anyway in the Court’s time.

  23. Neither side is acting in a manner whereby the lockout ends with a positive outcome right now. The players are waiting for the court to side with them. The owners have to wait for the litigation process to respond.

    The players can cry victim here, but in actuality they are the employees, not actual partners sharing financial risk as the owners (employers) are when the capital they’ve invested in their business is at stake.

    The players do have physical risks, of course, but openly embrace those risks by signing a contract and agreeing play NFL football. They are not being put at risk, they choose the risk against working in other industries or careers.

    And when should the employees fault the employers for wanting to make a profit that exceeds what they pay their employees? Why should it be up to the players to dictate terms and act as though they’re not getting a fair share compared to the owners?

    I don’t fault either side for wanting to get the best deal possible, but stop acting like victims. You’re in this together, just as you are when you’re making your millions as an athlete, or profiting from your investment as an owner.

    There’s enough to go around for everyone. Put the massive egos aside, accept your place as an owner with financial risk, a player with physical risk, and come to an agreement before everyone’s worse off than they would have been had they come to an agreement sooner.

  24. We all make comments on this lock out as Pro-Players or Pro-Owners. Yet as FAN’s we have no say on the game we are so passionate about The NFL.
    Maybe it is time we show our passion for the NFL as FAN’s and rally at the site of Monday’s negotiations. If 100,000 or more show up someone will take notice Owners, Players, or Governmant for this is not there game it is ours for without the FAN’s where would the Owners and Players be…. Unemployed just like the rest of us.

  25. Here is what I want:

    2. The NFL Draft
    3. Free Agency
    4. Franchise Tags
    5. Rookie Wage Scale

    As long as we get these I dont care how they negotiate a deal, just git-r-done!!

  26. You know the longer this drags out nobody benefits from it. Goodell’s reputation as commissioner is going to sink. D Smith already has some players turning against him by trying to get in contact with other law firms to get involved with the labor talks. Both sides say they want football but everyone is just doing finger pointing at the other.

  27. You know the longer this drags out nobody benefits from it. Goodell’s reputation as commissioner is going to sink. D Smith already has some players turning against him by trying to get in contact with other law firms to get involved with the labor talks. Both sides say they want football but everyone is just doing finger pointing at the other

  28. I agree with the shutdown strategy, though I would think the risk is the players go running to Congress and Obama weeping and with great gnashing of teeth and the Federal Government extends its totalitarian reach into professional sports!

  29. I hope they do go forward with a complete shutdown of the NFL if they lose in court. I don’t understand how a court can order a business to “open it’s doors” even when doing so would be against the best interest of that busines??

    If the players already used their “nuclear option” to decertify, why shouldn’t the NFL be able to use their “nuclear option” and go to a complete shutdown? Maybe then these spoiled players can hit up to see what it’s like to be “freed from slavery” and find themselves a job on the open market like the rest of us non-slaves!

  30. It’s easy to understand why the players love the current deal: they get a fixed percentage of the overall pie, no matter how large that pie gets. No other workforce gets anything similar to that.

    If you were a well paid employee of a company (let’s say, in the top 5% of all American wage earners), but your company’s profits doubled this year, do you think you’d be entitled to a 100% raise next year? Of course not. Sure, you might expect a decent raise and perhaps a bonus that was commensurate with your contribution to making the company successful (and the company would be incented to do that if keeping you was important to their success). But you wouldn’t be ridiculous enough to believe your salary was going to double.

    That’s what this fight is about. The owners believe that the players should be well paid, but that 50 or 60% of an ever-growing pie is just too much money. The players think they are “partners” and are entitled to a fair/equal share. The players are wrong, and the owners are right. No other business works like that, and for good reason: it’s not why owners become owners (of any business)! I’m not saying that I love the idea of billionaires becoming more and more wealthy, but hey…..THEY OWN THE TEAMS ! They have a right to maximize profits. If they can do so while providing high-paying jobs (which surely NFL players have), then that’s even better.

    The players should be angling for regularly increasing salaries, life-time health benefits, retirement benefits, guaranteed contracts, high salary floors, and every other benefit they can think of. But the days of them getting 50-60% of all revenues are over, and are never coming back. If the owners have to lose a season of football in order for that to be the case, then that’s what they’ll do. The sooner the players realize A) how good they’ve had it, B) how good they’ll continue to have it (even under a lesser CBA), and C) what the future reality is eventually going to be, the sooner this thing will be over.

  31. give me a break, you on the owners side, when do you think negotiations for this all started? 3 years ago, the players realized that there would have to be a give back, its the owners who are greedy, how do you think they got to be billionaires? the step on the little people, case in point the Miami Dolphins owner cutting staff pay (others aswell) now do you actually think they had to do this, nope they did it because they can, greed. the owners have been planning this for years, they know exactly what they are doing (i don’t thing the old age owners would stoop to these type of efforts, but this is the new breed of owners) and again i go back to the t.v. contracts that were set up in case there would be no football in 2011(their plan) they NEVER intended to bargain in good faith, the players did what they had to to get the owners attention of course the owners knew every step the players made and continue to make, they want the share to be 80-20 and everything by their rules, the game you see when this is all done wont look like Pete Rozelle’s nfl

  32. snowpea84 says: May 11, 2011 4:06 PM
    I for one am glad it’s on the table. It goes to show that the owners will only be pushed to a certain point and the players can’t just have whatever they want. The owners are willing to walk away.

    haha. you think the owners would just walk away from the NFL?!?! they have a hard time negotiating 9 BILLION dollars and you think they are “willing” to walk away. lol

  33. I agree that the owners are greedy. To be sure, given how much money they make, cutting employee salaries is outrageous. They could certainly carry those types of costs while this mess gets sorted out, and they’re happy to use it as an excuse to not pay people (and most of those front office employees aren’t paid all that well to being with). But don’t confuse the issues. NFL owners are no different than any other business owners…..they are in it for the money. If that offends you, then you should vote with your wallet. If enough people do so, then you’d likely see a change.

    I guess my point is that if NFL customers (i.e. fans) were so outraged by owner greed (as manifested by ticket prices, concession prices, jersey prices, etc.), they could stop writing checks for season tickets, and they could turn off their televisions on Sundays, and they could stop buying those jerseys. But until they do so, there’s no reason to expect the owners to act any differently. Saying that the owners “have known what they are doing all along” isn’t exactly a reason for criticizing them. They panicked over the expiration of the last CBA, and they are looking to correct that mistake this time around. I think that, given the current financial dynamics of the NFL, the old-school owners would be doing the exact same thing right now. The money has gotten too big…’s past a threshold at which “equal sharing” makes sense for them. It can be both understandable AND distasteful to the common fan all at the same time.

  34. No matter how you spin it, If the players had given a counter offer rather than just grip about the offer they didn’t like and decertify, we would have a deal done by now. I blame the players on this big time. Now I will admit the owners are not making it easy now, but like Rambo, the players drew first blood

  35. I think we’ll find out on May 16th (or 17th, or 18th) when mediation begins anew if the players take this shutdown threat seriously. If they do, they will begin to work toward an agreement. If they don’t, it’s going to be a long summer.

  36. Goodell works for the owners. Plain and simple. Him trying to be the go-between is like having my mother-in-law negotiate my divorce. We all better start liking soccer a lot more.

  37. We the fans are the ones who are gettin bagged. Our taxes fund the stadiums, WE pay for the overpriced tix, overpriced merch, $8 beers…and we have to listen to this crap? If you’re not angery, you should be. rally to end the lockout.

  38. more former nfl players go broke than those who don’t. how many of these owner people are losing money so bad that they become pennyless? because they’re smarter with money? or because they are lying about their real profits?

  39. @indyeagle …

    Skipping your ridiculous oversimplification of the Saturn failure, the National Football League is not an auto manufacturer, nor does it operate on the same business model. The league has signed the most lucrative contracts of its existence in the last five years and reaped its biggest profits under the last CBA.

    This battle did not begin because the players demanded more. It began because the owners–or to be more specific–a group of owners demanded more. Those are the same owners that have wanted to unravel revenue-sharing and other strategies that allow smaller teams to compete. Has the players’ union also made mistakes? Yes. But the league is facing the antitrust suits that threaten the draft, etc., because of the machinations of a handful of greedy and disengenuous owners. Goodell–who is supposed to represent all owners, players, and fans–is their hatchet man.

    This threat of a complete shutdown is nothing more than an elaborate game of chicken. The owners may kill the 2011 season, but all they’ll accomplish is guaranteeing a doomsday ending to this labor action–which is what some of them have wanted all along. They want to undermine the stability of small-market teams because it means more for them. Then we’ll send teams to LA and Toronto, get rid of teams in places like Jacksonville, Cincy … Green Bay. The enemy isn’t the players. It’s the Joneses and those owners who want to keep up with them.

  40. I think I wrote the same thing yesterday. Glad PFT finally caught up. Listen folks the current NFL labor model is broken from the last CBA. If you listen to the owners they will tell you what is going on. Roger Goodell is just a “mouth piece” for the owners, nothing more, he doesnt have any power except to punish players.
    Last month Dolphin owner, Steven Ross, stated “untill the current NFL model is fixed there will be NO football”. Right or wrong they own the teams, not the NFL.
    I suggest everyone get a new past time, fishing, scuba diving, playing with the babys momma. Stuff like that. Football aint everything,,,,

  41. I been saying this for 2 years Goodell is a rat and can’t be trusted and now everyone is finally listening to me! Goodell DOES NOT CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL OR THE FANS!
    Football will shutdown for the 2011 season, Goddell will resign Jan 1,2012 and leave a new commish to clean up his job!

  42. i think their should be a complete shutdown, I telling you once both sides start loosing serious money they will wrap this up so fast our heads will spin.

  43. Hard to believe the owners would be that dumb, but we shall see. Logically, for the total shutdown to come to pass, you’d need over half the league losing money or on the verge of doing so…and that’s clearly not the case. Would Jerry Jones or guys like that really put themselves at risk because a couple small market clubs are struggling?

    And a total shutdown would clearly wreak havoc. There’d be layoffs, they must have countless vendors who’d be affected…how many lawsuits would that produce? Biting off your nose to spite your face isn’t ever pretty.

  44. I’m sorry Deb, weren’t you the same person calling for the league to open their books? How do you explain your sudden knowledge of the profitability of the league? Are you suggesting that just because revenues are at an all-time high, profits must be as well?

    Who’s oversimplifying now?

  45. @ deb..I agree on some of your points, however, take the time to look at the teams income and net profits as listed on Forbes. Green Bay, by its SEC filing, made about $5M last year, down 78% in the life of the last CBA, and they received no revenue sharing funds. Assuming, (I know…ass outa you and me) the other teams are in similar situations, say + or – 25%, How long can the current structure of the businesses continue with that rate of decline and not go insolvent? As a business owner, which I presume you are, how long would you be able to operate with an AVERAGE decrease in profits of approximately 20% per year?
    Under the current structure, Green Bay, with its DOCUMENTED decrease in profits, will be underwater next year, and possibly insolvent the next year.
    Perhaps the owners, who are looking at long term, say 20 years, see trouble on the horizon. The players, who are looking at 3.5 years(the average length of the NFL career per the NFLPA’s own statement) could give a damn about the long term beyond their own careers.
    No business, as you know from personal experience, can suffer an average 20% decrease in profit margin and survive more than a very few years before they go bankrupt and cease to exist.

  46. Oh, and the owners didn’t “want more” as you so flippantly throw out there. They wanted to “give the players less”.

    Let me explain in terms you may understand. If I am giving my son $25 to mow our lawn, while I pay for the mower, gas, his shoes, clothes, trash bags, etc.. and I notice that the cost of all of these things is going up, so I ask my son to do it for $20. See, I didn’t ask for more, I asked for him to take less. You see how that works?

    Now, by asking him to take less, am I making more profit? Doubtful. But I’d be an idiot to offer him to see my books if I was. However, I say to my boy, “here is 5 years worth of expenses to prove that I’m not making more and I need you to work with me (as my partner) on this. ”

    He says no, I get rid of him and hire the neighbor for $15. Game Over!

  47. Mr. Goodell is just doing his job which is look good, spout an endless number of corporate platitudes and make stupid decisions. I’m going to get a lot done this fall.

  48. So, shut it down. Maybe then the greedy players will accept the owner’s offer and come to their senses. Get them off the spot, maybe then the players will realize how stupid the decertification and litigation is.

  49. @indyeagle …

    I envy you the nickel-and-dime prices you pay for landscaping, but with your simpleton’s understanding of economics, no wonder you live on a lot the size of a postage stamp. (See … I can be condescending, too. Isn’t this fun?)

    No, I didn’t demand the owners open their books. They wouldn’t need to open their books if they’d stop poor-mouthing about losing money while revenues are increasing. However, as long as they insist on making their profit margins the centerpiece of the argument, then they should have to provide proof of shrinking profits. It’s absurd to pull numbers solely from a small-market team like the Packers.

    Yes, the owners pay the costs associated with staging the performance of the game. To cover those expenses, they take $1 billion off the top of the revenue pie before it is divided with players. Now they’ve demanded an additional billion dollars off the top. I call that demanding more; you call it asking the players to take less. That is just semantics. Either way, the demand is coming from the owners.

    It also should be noted that the players’ share covers not only salaries, but pensions, benefits, and care for retirees who were screwed by the owners before the NFLPA came along. In most companies, current employees don’t take care of former employees. That’s management’s job.

  50. @willycents …

    We can’t assume the other teams are in the same boat as Green Bay. For example, stadium profits aren’t included in revenue-sharing. So the profits Bob Kraft earns from his stadium complex and those Jones will earn from Jerry’s World will go solely to them. They won’t be shared with players or with other teams. So some organizations are considerably more profitable than others.

    I’m sure there’s room for compromise. But this isn’t the way to go about it. According to a history of the dispute Mike posted several weeks ago, the players made a proposal that would have put their share of revenues back to 2002 levels. That was long before decertification when no one could drag the owners to the table. They weren’t interested in compromise. They thought they had the players by the short hairs and didn’t seem to believe things would go this far.

    These sports league exist on special exemptions that won’t survive if push comes to shove in a courtroom. Either the owners are so accustomed to getting their way they can’t wrap their egos around that reality. Or some of them actually want the doomsday scenario to play out.

  51. If the league losses the appeal and shuts down completely I will never buy another legal article of NFL merchandise. Im not blowing smoke like everyone who says I wont watch anymore or go to the games bc we all know they will. So I wont say that because I cant stop going to games or watching them. But what I can do is bootleg the hell out of em.

    Jerseys – BootLegged
    T’s – BootLegged
    Hoodies – BootLegged
    Jackets – BootLegged
    Button Ups – BootLegged
    Boxers – BootLegged
    Beer Cozzies – BootLegged
    Everything Else – BootLegged

  52. Madness, just plain madness.

    “Hello, Mr. Jones? Country Wide Mortgage here. We were looking for you last two payments on the stadium. Yes, we spoke to Mr. Polian and Mr. Mara. they told us to call you. When can we expect our money? Yes, we know you shut down the league. Seems kind of shortsighted now does’nt it? Sir, if we don’t have full payment today, we are going to turn that palace into the worlds largest Taco Bell. No Mr. Jones, we won’t take a check. Go down to the Piggly Wiggly and send us a money order today. Thank you.”

  53. @h2ocean61 …

    In what company do employees divide revenues with owners according to a pie-chart formula? For some reason, you guys insist on seeing this as GM. The NFL is not a factory and players aren’t regular Joes.

    The NFL cannot exist without these players. The reason the league is earning the billions it does today is because the talent has developed to such high standards. That’s why the owners bid millions for the best players–they’re not easily replaced.

    The relationship here is like author to publisher. The publisher covers all expenses associated with bringing a book to market; the author supplies the product. When an author reaches Stephen King’s level, he’s comparable to an elite NFL player. And his portion of the pie is very large because he generates tremendous revenue.

    That’s why players earn so much–it’s based on what they bring in. If his publisher suddenly told King they needed to take more off the top–and give him less–because profits were down despite increased book sales, you’d better believe King’s lawyers would be demanding to see the books. And the courts would back them up.

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