I've heard both sides of the argument.
I've heard fans and commentators take sides.
And I'm just sick of it.
On the one hand you have BILLIONARE owners who have taken our money in taxes to fund their stadiums. And taken money out of our pockets for tickets, concessions, parking, and merchandise. And they cry poor, oh boo hoo, woah is me. As they stand on their luxury yachts or on their private jets. F--- them all.
On the other hand you have the players. Nearly 100% of whom had NOTHING when they were in college, and suddenly they're millionares. And as a result, they become spoiled. They say ("Its modern day slavery") and do (like being at a nightclub with your posse and there's a shooting) kind of stupid things. Its a difficult fence to straddle with them - I feel for them to a point because they became rich overnight, many without much eductation, and they're just getting paid well because they happen to be good at a sport, and they themselves are just "lucky" to be there. But it is just a sport and seeing them get paid that well is ludicrous. And since they were represented by a union, I say F--- them all too.
We the fans are screwed in all of this. And we have no voice.
How about this compromise? Lower ticket prices. Lower the cost of merchandise. Cut your TV revenue by some percentage. Do away with charging at all to see the preseason games. Set a rookie wage scale with the midpoint in round 5, such that the average of all salaries is the median US income (ie, about $50k). The veteran players can make no more than $5 mil per year, and the total salary cap is $30 mil per team.
Setup a 401k for the players. 50% contribution by the owners, 50% by the players. The team can pay for long-term healthcare through a standard HMO, with the co-pay and dedcutible paid by the players.
And for the owners, their take is the same as the players. Say about $40 mil per team. They have to contribute to the players costs, and pay office and coaching salaries out of that.
Take an amount after that to fund research into injuries, and to look at better means to increase safety.
After that, an amount should be contributed to fund equipment for high schools and smaller colleges.
Any overage that's made in operations is placed into a fund at a banking institution, where the number is made public and accounted for. Owners can BORROW from it to fund constuction. But they have to pay it back WITH INTEREST. There has to be a means for players to borrow small amounts from it as well, but you don't want them walking away from their obligations.
And in this scenario, the players lose and the owners lose. But you and I win. No more stupid money out of our pockets.
This "sport" has ceased being that, and people are quibbling about large sums while you and I make very little, all the while providing for them.
I've been thinking about this a lot, and I still love football. But I'm hating the monster that has become the NFL. I've already started (and invite you to join) my protest:
(1) purchase no merchandise / wear no merchandise
(2) boycott the traditional advertisers (the ones during games on Sundays)
(3) spend no money on tickets now, or at all this season.
I'm thinking about expnading on all of this to span a longer time. I'll let you know.
And something else...a friend of mine had a son playing flag football this winter. On his team was Daunte Culpepper's son. Daunte, it turns out, is a pretty decent guy, very personable, and he seems to have gotten a raw deal from the NFL and the Dolphins. Maybe even I didn't realize it at the time...
So, for now my new team is the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions for whom Daunte is the QB. Rooting for them is kind of the antithesis of the NFL and Dolphins. Its an upstart league with a player who the Dolphins screwed over.