Is the sky really falling in the NFL?
Last Monday (a week and a half ago) a federal appeals court ruled that the NFL’s lockout remain in place. The next hearing for that case is June 25. All three of the judges who ruled on Monday’s decision were appointed by former Presidents of the United States… who have nothing better to do… during an economic meltdown… than to try to alleviate the pressure between the rich guys and the really rich guys, so the person who actually pays for the product can see it. Ridiculous.
The sound has always been there. The gentle flutter of the money machines counting each $100 bill. 24 hours a day. 7 Days a week. Since the last work stoppage in 1987. It’s like a quiet fan on a hot summer day. Always there but never noticed.
It’s easy to hear now that the roar of the crowd has been evacuated.
That sound has got to drive the players crazy as they conjure up images of owners dancing through parades of money with top hats, canes, and monocles.
Remember that the average player makes just over 1 million a year, and plays for about 3 years. Before you snort with judgment and mumble, “must be nice,” remember how old these guys are and what you might have done with that money at that age. Now I’m sure guys like Aaron Curry, who received $34 million in guaranteed money, are going to be fine, but what about David Hawthorne? He made $298, 000 in 2008 and $391,240 in 2009. Although Hawthorne signed a recent extension for 1.38 million, he won’t see a dime until the lockout ends. And any games he misses due to the lockout will bring down his new contract number.
I know this is much more than most of us will ever make, but that’s not the point. Regardless of how much a person makes, they usually spend close to that amount by the time they are paid again. Sure you might have a few investments, a modest savings, and a retirement you can’t touch, but how many months could you go without a paycheck?
This is the big question. At what point do the majority of the players, who will need the money soon, begin to bend and eventually break.
If the players are unsuccessful in acquiring a portion of the the lucrative television contract signed by the owners, they will begin to splinter in their support of one another, and you better believe the owners are counting on this.
I’m not saying I am on the side of the players. I am on the side of football, however, if the players comeback begrudgingly as a result of losing this power struggle to the owners, I can’t help but think this will have some impact on the product.
Is the sky falling in the NFL?
No it’s not, and eventually it will all work out. My biggest fear at this point, however, is that it won’t be the same game I remember.
Bitter players and thankless owners sounds too much like baseball during its post strike years to me.