Saturday, March 19, 2011

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Since I ran my cheer-off this year, and the Dolphins are doing the
same sort of a thing now for March Madness
(http://thefinsiders.com/blog/cheerleader-madness/), I will take full
credit and say "thanks for copying" and "you're welcome for the idea!"

This is all so petty and stupid

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.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fwd: Letter from Roger Goodell

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National Football League

Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players' union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players' union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that was, among other things, designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players' financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union's actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our League. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.

 

Yours,
Roger Goodell



Roger Goodell - Commissioner

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Letter From the CEO

I'm not sure what to make of this, exactly, but I thought I'd share. 

I'm not at all surprised the dolphins ownership said it was all the players fault. But that just underscores the larger problem.  


Letterhead_Top.jpg

Good afternoon:

Yesterday, the National Football League announced that all official business between teams and their players would cease until the NFL and the NFL Players Association can reach an accord on terms for a new collective bargaining agreement. We reached this impasse because the NFLPA chose to abandon the collective bargaining process late on Friday afternoon and instead pursue their interests in the court room. Please click here to view the NFL's official statement on the events of last Friday.

On behalf of Steve Ross and everyone in our Dolphins family, we regret that the process has reached this point. We completely understand your unhappiness over the inability to maintain labor peace at a time when our sport has reached unprecedented popularity. We are fully aware that fans don't care how owners and player manage their business and that this temporary stoppage only distracts and detracts from what is most important to us all: the game. We certainly hope that an agreement can be reached soon so that all of us can return our sole focus to the 2011 NFL season.

We do know that football operations will resume at some point and we are doing everything we can to be ready when that takes place. Our front office staff is diligently preparing for the draft and the coaches are hard at work so they can hit the ground running when a new agreement is reached.

Going forward, we will correspond with you on a regular basis to keep you fully informed on all developments. Please also stay tuned to Dolphins.com and The Finsiders (weekdays 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. on 940 WINZ-AM and TheFinsiders.com) for official daily updates from the NFL and the Dolphins.

As a season ticket member, the Dolphins commitment to provide you with the highest level of customer service and support remains unchanged. Our office will remain open and ready to assist you regarding any questions you may have about season ticket renewals and any other service issues. Should you have a question, you can contact us at 1-888-FINS-TIX, option 2.

We are deeply appreciative of the relationship that we have with you and thank you in advance for your patience while we work through these important challenges facing the NFL. Our hope is that this dispute will be worked out long before any football is missed in 2011.

We sincerely thank you for your ongoing support of the Dolphins.

Mike Dee
Miami Dolphins CEO

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