Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NFL Lockout: Billionaire Boneheads

by Tyler

Let me start by saying WOW.  I have so many questions and not nearly enough answers for what exactly is happening with the NFL.  Oh well, let’s just dive into this like the shallow end of the public pool shall we?  On a scale of 1-10,(1 being reprehensibly dumb, 10 being a stroke of underrated-genius-that-totally-caught-the-owners-off-guard) how would you rate the hiring of Demaurice Smith to represent the players?  What will we do during the fall?  Does anybody benefit in all this?  Finally, how can a group of supposedly brilliant BILLIONAIRES and a commissioner with an economics degree, not understand how HORRIBLE this is not just for their product and bottom line, but more damaging their public image?

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being reprehensibly dumb, 10 being a stroke of underrated-genius-that-totally-caught-the-owners-off-guard, where does hiring Demaurice Smith to represent the players rank?         
I’ve gotta say, probably a 15.  The real reason why we as fans and The League are in this situation to begin with is because for the longest time the owners knew, “at the end of the day Gene Upshaw cares way too much about the success of the NFL and football to EVER let an extended lockout happen ever again.”  The owners and the commish knew that they had one of their own in the room with the players.  Eventually a deal would get done.  Imagine if the British had former generals in the United States army during the American Revo…..oh wait, they probably did, didn’t matter, but I digress….
But oh boy did the players absolutely nail this one.  They got a guy that has no interest in preserving the league, and judging by his unwavering stance, clearly won’t be swayed by public opinion, which is a lead pipe lock to turn on the players, then turn on the owners, then back on the players, over the coming months.  Smith cares about getting his clients, formerly the NFLPA, now the NFL players as individuals, what they are looking for, and if he happens to up his retaining fees and notoriety it’s a win-win for him.  This is a stroke of genius and judging by the owners’ mystifying arrogance; they did not see this one coming. 
Granted, the owners did make these same players rich beyond their wildest dreams, however, the players I think rightly understand that no fan ANYWHERE would pay to walk into a stadium anywhere to watch anything but the best.  Ultimately and rightfully the players realize they should hold the power.  The players more than the owners, control the quality of the product because they are the product.  Great move, and if you don’t think the MLBPA, NBAPA and NHLPA aren’t paying VERY close attention, you’re more delusional than a Redskins fan…..wait a minute…..

What will we do during the fall?  
This is a pretty interesting question, one I’m surprised hasn’t been addressed much.  Ben and I have wondered aloud, “Wait a minute, what the hell, WHAT ABOUT FANTASY FOOTBALL!?!? (Mr. Roto and Eric Karabell, head in hands looking at a blank resume)  This is called the ripple effect.  When a billion dollar entity like the NFL ceases, the BILLION dollar industry known as fantasy sports is circling the drain for the year with it.  Playoff baseball is great, but it ends in November and I’m sorry but I cannot be sold on pre-season or early season NBA.  Fantasy Canadian Football League is out of the question because of one word…CANADA.  Which brings us to our next question:

Does anybody benefit in all this?
Every college president in America right now is wetter right now than a parole officer at a Charlie Sheen house party with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton providing the, “entertainment.”  Two scenarios here, let’s look at the first.  Imagine for a second, an expanded college football schedule…..  You know that 3-5 week gap between the end of the season and bowl season.  Yea, how about we fill that with games, give the college teams an additional bye week and tack on another game.  More guaranteed games, do you think TCU and Boise wouldn’t jump at the chance to squeeze in Texas or USC?  The best recruits go to more schools because hell everybody is on national television multiple times a year and every school gets more money from advertisers.  We could also move every marquee college football game, (WVU vs. Pitt, Michigan v. Ohio State) to primetime on Sunday night, ask the NFL how that’s been going……yea not bad….

Number two and much more appealing: These advertisers and college presidents realizes, HOLY SHIT we are the ONLY source of watchable football in a country that literally cannot get enough of it.  They finally and thankfully get rid of the abortion known as the BCS and fill it with….wait for it…..little more….a playoff system.  The college football regular season ends in the last week of November.  You get enough teams to fill out a bracket that would have 2 games every Saturday and Sunday throughout December and January until a National Champion is crowned the first weekend of February.  Oh and the season ending the exact same weekend as the BCS “let’s see which major school is the best, all the while totally ignoring potentially great other college teams,” Game, is no coincidence.  Should keep those bleeding heart academics quiet, haha.

How can a group of supposedly brilliant BILLIONAIRES and a commissioner with an economics degree, not understand how HORRIBLE this is not just for their product and bottom line, but more damaging their public image?
Can’t explain this one.  Never in a million kajillion (I know that’s not a number!) years did I EVER think these guys would voluntarily cut off their main source of income so they could fight over possibly getting another 5-10% of total league revenues.  Ever hear of pennywise and pound foolish?  It sure doesn’t sound like the owners have.  As far as public image, nobody looks good in all of this.  Think about this though, the owners have been saving for a lockout since last season, their current pot sits at 4 billion, enough to keep them afloat during a missed season.  Sure sounds like they were planning this lockout for more than a year.  Surprising that never came up on Hard Knocks, oh well.  

You'll have plenty of time for snacks now, Rex.

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