Saturday, May 16, 2015

Garo RIP

A fellow fan sent me this...the necktie mention was interesting so I dug around. Found this article which is a nice tribute...and it's true. How random and interesting.

Nice article about the passing of Garo dude.

Loved the card too and it prompted me to look out my own!  On the back of one it says he made neckties during the off season. Not sure if these were facts or random jokes at the time.

Thought I'd share anyway. :)


Garo Yepremian

Sadly, we learned about the passing of another player from the undefeated team. The Cypriot who had the funny accent, and who once said "I keek a touchdown" and who famously tried to throw the ball in the super bowl (and who Csonka famously said he would kill if they lost), passed away at 70.

May the football gods welcome you with feasting and song.

for the record, this is my favorite football card ever...the car, the field, the number 47...what's not to love?

Friday, May 15, 2015

A cynical view

...or "its all about the money"

During the offseason, we saw a couple of things happen.  The first involved the Dolphins.  The owner made a decision to renovate the stadium with "his money" (in quotes because its his - until he gets it back from the local government). The genius in his plan was to change the seating in the stadium, in quantity, configuration, and price point.  Gone are many of the cheaper seats, installed are more of the premium seats, and moved are many ticket holders so that the price point could go up in some areas.

Why is this genius?  Because premium seats aren't revenue-shared.  He sells some number more of those tickets, and gets to keep 100%; while reducing slightly the amount he contributed to revenue sharing (that is, not selling a ticket that is shared meant there was no income at all, so a 10% reduction in the revenue shared seats where some went unsold, means the income remains about the same from them).

Furthering the ingenuity of it all, he spread the construction out over two years.  I talked with a friend last night who was saying he was going to buy season tickets this season because he looked forward to sitting in the shade.  Except, of course, that's coming next offseason.  And that's when it hit me that he gets another possible boost in sales next year with the canopy.

Plus he had the added bonus of signing the biggest name free agent to get people talking about the team.  Make no mistake - he has had his staff doing the rounds on radio, TV, through ad sales, and even telemarekting to try and let people know how he's opening the wallet and spending to get better. Except that there's a salary cap and a salary floor.  So its a range he has to spend in; he was in the upper 3rd before - now he's closer to the top....he spent a little more, but there were a lot of cap casualties.  And Tannehill and Suh make up a large portion of the difference.  So take from that what you will.

Second, it involves the NFL.  There was a lot of talk about the NFL itself being a not-for-profit organization and not paying its share of taxes. The teams, of course, are for profit.  And with the exception of the packers, the revenue is a pretty closely guarded secret.  New rules in the not for profit arena would have made it so that they had to disclose what the owners were making - and rather than give up that obscene number, they decided to become for profit....simply to protect the secrecy of how much they make!  For reference, about a decade ago, Forbes got ahold of some of the information about Wayne Huziengas valuation, and estimated that his profit - after all expenses were paid - was around $200 million per season.  On a team that was mediocre.  Certainly the number has changed, but it gives you a sense of why they want to hold on to the secret.  They couldn't cry poor and say they're losing money with a straight face if you knew they were making that much.

Third, the NFL did away with the blackout rule after the FCC told them it was no longer relevant.  The NFL enacted the rule in response to possible assertions that they were violating unit-trust and because it made sense to try and sell more tickets. When the TV deal didn't compare with ticket sales, the rule made sense.  In recent TV deals, the money from TV far exceeded the ticket sales.  But there was still this pesky prospect of anti-trust, so teams would often agree to buy unused tickets (moving money from one pocket to another) to get around the rule.  The FCC changing the rule made it an easy decision - now the local team is always on, and the almighty advertising dollar can be had...people with HD screens were going to watch "a game" and if it meant that it wasn't your local team, that could mean they buy less product.  Another smart money play by the league.

And finally, its about this whole deflated football thing.  As a fan of the Dolphins in the years after the perfect season, I know the haters exist.  Saw it first hand.  You get good and everyone hates on you.  Happened to the cowboys, the steelers, and others,  There's something different about the patriots, though.  Sure, you can be a hater just because.  But with teams of the past, they reveled in their glory but were still somewhat humble.  Their coaches were likable.  The star players were approachable, and seemed nice enough off the field.  Its not the case with them: they're smug and arrogant and they maintain an aura of "we're better than you"....and its peculiar.  Its also peculiar that its gone on this long.

There were stories I've reported on in the past about how their methods went beyond the things they were accused of; about how the spygate thing wasn't at all what it seemed.  And here we sit looking at deflated footballs, and as I listen to people blather on about it, it becomes cleat that there's something more going on.  That deflated footballs are window dressing for something else.  I don't know what that "else" is, but in the sense of it being all about the money, the singular thing the NFL has to do is protect the shield.  The brand.  They have to do anything they can to make it seem like the integrity of the game is intact.  Imagine for a moment that its as simple as deflated footballs giving them an advantage of some small nature - like 1 fewer fumble per game.  That could have a statistically significant advantage over the course of a season - or several.  It might win you a game over the course of 10 (I didn't look up the stat, its just a guess) Now imagine if it was something more - something that gave 2 wins over 10 games.  And that something was not within the rules (or was just at them)....wouldn't that make bettors afraid that the game was fixed?  And might people stop watching or believing in the product?

Think about it.

And don't forget that the NFL hired the enormously expensive Ted Wells to investigate.  Same guy who did the bullying scandal.  They wouldn't hire him if they didn't want a version of the truth, but perhaps with a few key things glossed over; that's seems to be how it works.

Now one last thought on the deflate thing.  I heard about a group that was trying to collect money to cover the $1 million fine.  They started an online campaign to cover it, because they want to help.  A. What sort of people are apologists of that sort?  Its a sports team that you may like, and they were winning, but....really? B. $1 million, that's like 20 years worth of salary for the average person, and something the team - and Brady - can afford to lose and then C.  who in the heck would they give it to if they collected it?  Certainly the recipient would see red flags everywhere and would direct them to donate it to charity, so its all for naught anyway.

And that's my cynical view of the offseason.

Monday, May 11, 2015

4 Games For The Golden Boy...

Are you as disappointed as I am?

This 4 game suspension for Brady is a joke. In my honest opinion, it should have been for the entire season.

He got caught cheating and refused to provide his phone or emails or anything to clear is so called "innocent" name. Why do you think he didn't?!

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has a beak like a duck then it DEFINITELY IS NOT A CHICKEN!

Look at it this way, goal posts are 18.5 feet apart, if a kicker kicks 5 field goals right down the middle in a game but it turns out the goal post was 19 feet apart did they gain a competitive advantage? Probably not, BUT THEY STILL CHEATED! Does it make it OK? Apparently so...

The deflated balls did not matter much in the Colts game, but what about the Baltimore playoff game the week before? That was a close one. Would the Patsies even have been in the super bowl this passed year?

A 4 game suspension is a joke. I also think it's ironic that he is coming back to play the Colts, which just so happens to be the team who busted his deflated balls. Can you say ratings anyone???!

Then of course you have the 1 million dollar fine to Robert Kraft. Why even fine him that? He probably donates more than that to charity to write off in taxes. I would have much rather seen another significant draft pick taken rather than that lousy fine. 

All this being said, what did we all honestly expect though? Brady is the golden boy of the NFL. Greg Hardy was put on some sort of disciplinary action by the NFL and missed an entire season before he was even proven guilty or innocent. Brady was proven of guilt as well as trying to cover it up but he gets 4 games and still gets to practice and participate in team activities. What a joke. 

Sean Payton got suspended by the NFL for bounty gate and he had no clue of what was going on, but Belicheat gets off Scott free? Mr. Goodell is on record stating that ..."ignorance is not an excuse", That's great Mr. Goodell, keep up the biased, ahem, I mean "good" work...

I say we have a rookie tell the ball boy rub butter on all the opposing teams footballs, claim innocence, let the rookie take a suspension, have Mr. Ross pay some pocket change to the NFL and call it a day after we win the super bowl!