Saturday, March 08, 2014

Consider this (stadium edition)

David Beckham's proposed MLS team is looking for investors because they want to privately fund the stadium.

But the potential investors want to have some assurances that the stadium will be occupied as many days as possible.

So, the consortium has turned to the University of Miami.  Their aim?  To get UM to agree to play their football home dates at this new venue.  UM is reportedly listening and might be interested because the stadium could very well be closer to campus and the lease deal may turn out to be better.  Plus, because the stadium will be somewhere in the 25k - 40k range, it would be easier to fill.

My question, then, is what does this mean for the Dolphins and their stadium organization? Other than the Dolphins and Hurricanes, there aren't many other events at the stadium as it is.

Keeping history alive?

The Dolphins are unique in that they have the lone undefeated season in the annals of professional sports.  And yes they should be lauded for that.  But that success came more than 40 years ago. 

And otherwise in the nearly 50 year history, their legacy has been mixed. The year before the undefeated season was really good, and they followed it up with another great one.  But then came the period between 74-81 where not much happened.  Yeah, they won more games than they lost, and played in the playoffs a few times.

And certainly the 82 season was a success.  And then came the Marino era, where for 10 years anything seemed possible.  But the last half-ish of the Marino era wasn't as successful and not really memorable.

And then you have the decade plus that started in 1999, where there really was no history of any note.

But the Dolphins decided to create a position called "Vice President, Historical Affairs" to celebrate this mixed history. Harvey Greene moves into the role and he released a statement made me scratch my head a bit. It reads:

The organization is making a concerted effort to make our unique tradition and history a more meaningful complement to our current team and its fans, and my new responsibilities will entail developing major initiatives to continue that process. Having been a part of the Dolphin organization for 25 years, the institutional knowledge and relationships I built during that time will serve me well to head this initiative. I will concentrate on developing historical programs that will highlight our special  heritage and enhance and expand our historical displays and commemorations; including an upcoming 50 year anniversary celebration.

Okay then.  Lets celebrate the time we went to the SuperBowl and Dan forgot to turn the laces out...

Why Ryan Tannehill will be the starter in 2014

Maybe he was good. Maybe he deserves to be replaced. Maybe he deserves more time.

None of that matters.

What does matter is this one stat: his jersey was #9 on the list of top-selling jerseys in the entire NFL. That makes him a marketable commodity and that is way more important than wins and losses.

So no way do the fins want to disrupt that trend in sales. In many ways a popularity contest wins.

The NFL's tax exemption

The rationale for wanting to remove the tax exempt status is not about individual taxation. Its not about "trickle down economics". It's also not about job creation (or loss).

It is about the multi million dollar NFL not paying taxes as a corporation and essentially using the not-for-profit status as a tax shelter.

You can read more here: http://sportsfans.org/2012/03/why-is-the-national-football-league-given-tax-exempt-status/

But there's also another piece to this as the NFL attempts to use it's clout as a not-for-profit in order to not pay taxes when there's an NFL event - such as league meetings and the Super Bowl. That is, avoiding taxes on rented facilities and hotels. More often than not it works, and in that sense they are shafting us - because they get a tax break AND we are the source of their income.

So it only makes sense that they have the same corporate obligation as any other company.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

NFL pays Goodell $44.2 million a year? We call "Flag on the Play!"

Dave posted a link to a petition about the NFL.  I signed, and I recently got this update, so I wanted to share!

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Congratulations Change Makers!

We have over 358,000 signatures on our petition requesting Congress revoke the tax-exempt status of the NFL, making http://www.change.org/NFLnonprofit?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=supporter_message the most signed sports petition in Change.org history! Because the tax giveaways for the most profitable sports league in the world have been so under the radar that only 13% of Americans are aware of them, we need to keep this going viral.

Perhaps nothing so illuminated the absurdity of the NFL's tax-exempt status as the recent announcement that Commissioner Roger Goodell made $44.2 million in 2012. That's twice as much as the highest paid player in the sport and puts Goodell as likely the highest-paid leader of a nonprofit organization in the country. An enterprise so profitable that it can pay its head that kind of money does not need hard-working Americans picking up their tax bills.

BECAUSE YOU SPOKE OUT, PROGRESS IS BEING MADE

-> In November, Sports Fans Coalition started lobbying Congress for our cause. At that time, Senator Tom Coburn, author of the PRO Sports Act, which would bar sports leagues making over $10 million from claiming nonprofit status, was our lone champion. We can now announce that Senator Angus King has signed on as cosponsor of Coburn's bill, and Congressman Jason Chaffetz has agreed to present the companion bill in the House.

--> You were first to know about the launch of SackNFLTaxBreaks.org via our last petition update. On the eve of the Superbowl we were joined on a press call by Senator Tom Coburn, King of Sports Author Gregg Easterbrook, and Andrew Delaney of the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Their backing provided us ample gravitas as we presented the media with hard data and anecdotal evidence proving it is time for Congress to end tax-payer subsidization of the NFL.

---> Only days ago, Congressman Dave Camp, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, proposed a new tax reform plan that incorporates language from the bipartisan PRO Sports Act that would strip the NFL of it's nonprofit status. The fact that the #1 tax writer in the House has endorsed our issue makes clear that our elected officials are hearing us and we have an opportunity to effect change!

ACT NOW TO KEEP OUR MOMENTUM GOING

1) Keep sharing the petition. The more signatures it gets, the more weight it carries.

http://www.change.org/NFLnonprofit

2) Join the http://www.SackNFLTaxBreaks.org Social Media Campaign.

Like: https://www.facebook.com/SackNFLTaxBreaks

Follow: https://twitter.com/SackNFLtaxbreak

3) Publicly thank the Champions of Our Cause. Feel free to use the sample tweets provided, or write your own!

Dave Camp: https://twitter.com/RepDaveCamp
Thank you for including a provision to #SackNFLTaxBreaks in your Ways & Means Tax Reform Package, @RepDaveCamp. #PROSportsAct

Tom Coburn: https://twitter.com/TomCoburn
Thank you for working to #SackNFLTaxBreaks by authoring the #PROSportsAct, @TomCoburn.

Angus King: https://twitter.com/SenAngusKing
Thank you for signing on as cosponsor of the #PROSportsAct to #SackNFLTaxBreaks, @SenAngusKing.

Jason Chaffetz: https://twitter.com/jasoninthehouse
Thank you for working to #SackNFLTaxBreaks by sponsoring the House version of the #PROSportsAct, @jasoninthehouse.

Thanks again to YOU for signing the petition. I hope you will stay involved and help us bring home the WIN!

Lynda


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Miami Dolphins Free Agency Primer - D-Backs

The first major off-season event has passed with the franchise tagging process.  Miami did not use the tag and instead they gave Brent Grimes a solid 4 year deal. I know it is a bit risky with his age and injury history but I feel it was the right move. Miami is now pretty well set at the corner position coming into the season. I don’t see then doing anything else there until after the draft unless it is a very favorable contract for the team.  Grimes and Patterson will likely be the starters on paper with Taylor and Davis competing for a starting spot as well as handling the nickel and dime packages. Jimmy Wilson is a valuable veteran player that can play about every position in the defensive backfield which allows Miami to carry one less defensive back in general.  Keep in mind this group should be greatly improved as I would expect they will all be healthy now coming into training camp. It would be nice to get Nolan Carroll back for depth but he is now looking for a 2nd contract. Taylor and Davis should have a better grasp of the system and pro game and be ready to go.  Miami will probably just bargain shop for a veteran after the draft or maybe draft a CB in the middle rounds.  It is possible the team could look to restructure Patterson’s deal by lowering the cap hit and extending it or may ask him to just take a cut. However, I think this is unlikely. Patterson has no guarantee and they can cut him at any point without any dead money. It makes the most sense to go to training camp to make sure that Patterson is fully healed and they can also evaluate where Taylor and Davis are at before they make any other moves. If Patterson is not the #2 CB in training camp either because of health or being out performed, then they will ask him to take the pay cut or he will just get released and Miami will sign another less expensive veteran for depth. 


The safety position opposite Reshad Jones is very much up in the air. I would be very surprised if Chris Clemons is back before the start of free agency.  Miami wants to try to acquire a faster higher ceiling player at safety.  What I would really like to see is for Miami to bring in a more physical safety. I know the league rules have changed a lot but you just don’t see Jones or Clemons coming up and hitting a running back like Louis Oliver used to do. I think Clemons also lacks the speed you want to see in your safeties. This means more zone defense and less ability to cheat safeties up because of the inability to recover into coverage. I don’t see Miami putting the money out for someone like Jairus Byrd. They have too many needs on the offensive line and other areas to burn a huge chunk on safety. Also, Kevin Coyle is very good at developing players in the secondary. So I would guess they are going to give him a player that is raw but high on talent to develop.  So look for them to use a draft pick to bring a young safety into the mix and then sign a veteran later in free agency. That veteran may very well be Clemons but unless Clemons is willing to take another 1 year contract I don’t expect to see him return to the team.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Brent Grimes signes a 4 year deal to remain a Dolphin

One of the top priorities this off season was to resign Brent Grimes, the Pro Bowl corner who was arguably the the best offseason move last season. In addition to the four year deal it also allows the Dolphins to use the franchise tag on a player if they choose too now that Grimes has been signed. It is good to see the new GM start off on a good note, and I am excited to see what other moves will be made next.