Joe Siclare gets his props for propping up labor deal

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If you have never heard of Joe Siclare, you’re not alone.  If I’d previously heard of him before reading Peter King’s recent Sports Illustrated blurb on the NFL’s treasurer, I’ve forgotten.

But when you’re sinking into that couch on Sunday, September 11 and trying to process nine games at once, you can thank Siclare for helping to make that happen.

On the thorny issue of splitting up the revenue pie, the two sides were getting nowhere.  Citing an unnamed exec in the room, King writes that U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan was blunt.  “Look,” Judge Boylan said, “you’ve got to come up with some new idea.  You guys keep talking past each other instead of to each other.”

So Siclare had an idea.  Give the players a bigger cut of the easy money, and less of the money that takes more money to make.

Specifically, the players get 55 percent of the broadcast money, 45 percent of the money generated via NFL Ventures (that’s merchandise and promotions), and 40 percent of local team revenues (tickets and stadium stuff).

“It wasn’t like inventing cold fusion in the sink,” Sinclare told King.  (Or, as the case may be, discovering plutonium by accident.)  “It’s just common sense.  For the owners, it recognizes the revenue areas that will require the additional investment to grow the game.”

In the end, it helped break a logjam that allowed the two sides to devise a simple, transparent formula that requires no trust or guesswork.