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NFL CBA Negotiations: Perception vs. Power

I really want to talk about the draft and FA and even how significant Carnell Lake would be as an addition to the coaching staff. But in lieu of the CBA deadline arriving tonight, I figured I would throw in my two cents to the 9 billion dollar pot before mayhem ensues and we are in the midst of a lockout that could last until who knows how long.

Money money money money money money:

9 BILLION. 9,000,000,000. Did I miss any zeros??? That’s the pot of revenue sharing, and the argument of how that money gets distributed is the thorn in the 20011/12 season’s side. Gene Collier from the PPG was kind enough to do the math for us.

There is no simple math to facilitate understanding any of this. I could tell you that 32 owners and 1,696 players splitting $9 billion comes to $5,238,649.59 per individual, or that even with the owners taking $2 billion off the top for operating expenses (that’s their position), it still comes to $4,074,505.24 per person, per year.

That’s approximately 66 million for each owner if they get their 2 billion scrape off the top.  66 mil. vs. 4 mil.  There’s enough money going around here to make Thurston Howell III blush.  I guess I can see why the players are upset about that.  But how far can that really go?  The 62 million split is for operating expenses.  Is that genuine?  You would hope that the NFL owners are nothing like the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob Nutting, who keeps relieving salary and operating costs just to pocket the money instead of making the team competitive.  You would hope that each NFL owner is maximizing their operation and rightly compensating for it.

It seems as if the NFLPA is fighting for two things – perception and power.  The power they are fighting for is similar to what is going on in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states:  We have our rights and you just can’t take away from us because you think you can.  But probably just as equally important is the perception the NFLPA desires: I am a part of this business, I play a very important role in the success of this business, and have the right to the spoils just as much as you do.  I think the union craves that perception.

Save the season? Save my life!:

Forget the money.  The union should just concede the 2 billion the owners want.  Give it to them.  Write up a note card with ’2 billion dollars’ written on it and hand it to them on a silver platter.  What the players really need to be fighting against is the expansion from 16 games to 18 games a season.  For Roger Goodell and the owners to even suggest such a thing at a time when player ‘safety’ is at the forefront of league policy is just disturbing.  That’s as if NASCAR says they are concerned about driver safety and take away restrictor plates, roll cages in the car and then letting the drivers have at it.  Boy will tho$e wreck$ look $pectacular.

All the league and owners care about is the bottom line.  It’s plain and simple.  There’s no competitive reason why the league should extend the season.  It’s all about the money, and the owners are willing to let the players go at it for another bone crunching, knee tearing, ankle twisting 120 minutes just to get more revenue.  Here’s a question – Will the players honestly see some type of prorated salary that was originally based on 16 games grow for 18?  Has that been talked about?

Get the owners to throw that out of the CBA that’s on the table.  Get them to do that and I think the players will start to shift the perception - the perception that they are an important part of this business and should be treated that way.  I’m not trying to defend and justify players’ salaries.  What I am saying though, is that the owners have come to a point where the perception of the players lacks compassion at a human level.  And I think most fans see that.

Give them the 2 million, throw out the extra 2 games, address retired players’ health issues – mental and physical – and let’s get back on the field.  Billions of fans are waiting – the people who made this a successful business.

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Tags: Gene Collier Lockout Negotiations NFL NFLPA Roger Goodell Union

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