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Rick Reilly: NFL owners' false labor pains


adam@section118

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http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6177574

Are you the kind of person who loves hearing the bug zapper?

Who likes it when the highway paves over a few neighborhoods? Who secretly wants the tank to flatten the kid with the flower?

Then you're going to love the NFL owners in this mess.

It's hard to find anybody to like in this coming distraction known as the NFL lockout. But look closely. Yes, some of the players are millionaires. But half of the owners are billionaires.

Their estimated combined net worth is well over $40 billion, which is more than the GNP of 150 nations. Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks, has a 414-foot yacht called "The Octopus" with two helicopters, two submarines, a swimming pool, a music studio and a basketball court. He also has two backup emergency yachts.

You're really worried about his wallet?

Yes, many of the players are diamond-coated knuckleheads. But have you ever met Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder? He's worth $1.1 billion and yet, two years ago, the Redskins sued a 73-year-old grandmother for not keeping up on her season-ticket package payments.

This man also got caught buying stale peanuts from a defunct airline and reselling them at games.

For the owners to lock out the players at this time in American history is unconscionable. You don't like the players? Fine. There are still nearly 9 percent of Americans out of work. Think of the people who've lost their homes, lost their cars and can barely pay the rent. Watching an NFL game on a Sunday -- and getting ready for it all week -- is sometimes literally the only thing keeping them going.

Do you realize what having no NFL season would do to the economy? According to the NFLPA, it's estimated it would cost each NFL city $160 million and 3,000 jobs. That's 93,000 jobs nationwide. For what? Another Aspen chalet?

Question: In 10 years, do you think you're going to find New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft wandering the streets because of the 200-plus concussions he didn't know he had from his time in the NFL? You figure Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford will end up with ringing in the ears and depression the way former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson did? Within the past year alone, two former players killed themselves.

You recall any NFL owners killing themselves lately?

The players aren't asking for more money. They deserve what they get, and they get it for an average of only three years. The Bidwills have owned the Cardinals for 79 years. The Rooneys have owned the Steelers for 78 years. Nine NFL owners inherited their teams. There's no easier path to permanent hot-and-cold running jets than your dad handing you an NFL team.

On the other hand, nobody hands NFL players anything but a chinstrap. With what we know about the dangers to brains now, would you exchange jobs with an NFL player?

This isn't baseball. These guys go to a job every day in which safety is Job 1,379.

The people asking for more money are the owners. They want $1 billion more out of the deal they have now.

...........

Locking out the players now would be unjust, unfair and as indefensible as Al Davis' wardrobe. There is so much to go around, it's obscene. A billion back? These guys have that in cash.

Malcolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, once bought a $14 million Palm Beach mansion and never moved into it. He later sold it for $24 million.

Bud Adams, owner of the Tennessee Titans, has 10,000 head of cattle.

Jennifer Lopez, part owner of the Miami Dolphins, has offered to auction off her twins' clothes because they're not allowed to "repeat" outfits.

When's the telethon?

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Segue semi-off topic: does anyone remember the "charity basketball game" the NBA players put on a while back.

It was during the NBA work stoppage, and the "charity" was the players themselves, who needed financial help to make ends meet until the season began.

Unless i'm losing my mind, something like this happened.

Oh, and Rick Reilly's a tool.

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I am definitely not on the side of the owners, but the players don't deserve the money they get. If they do, then our soldiers who are getting concussions from RPG blasts deserve it as well (and they do deserve it).

Unfortunately, the money the players make isn't about "deserving it". Its about supply-and-demand. And the services that they are capable of providing net them the ridiculously high income.

And unfortunately, soldiers may "deserve" the pay (although then you'd have people joining the military for all the wrong reasons), but their services don't run on a similar supply-and-demand system. They aren't entertainers.

Its the same reason that Natalie Portman can get paid millions to be in a movie, just because she's beautiful and is naturally better at crying than you or I. No offense, Natalie. You know I love you.

Its unfortunately not about right and wrong, or deserving. Its about economics.

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I am definitely not on the side of the owners, but the players don't deserve the money they get. If they do, then our soldiers who are getting concussions from RPG blasts deserve it as well (and they do deserve it).

And if NFL players made what Soldiers did and the cities themselves actually owned the teams we'd pay 50 cents to watch NFL games.

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And if NFL players made what Soldiers did and the cities themselves actually owned the teams we'd pay 50 cents to watch NFL games.

And football would suck because every decent athlete would play something else that paid better. Also while soldiers don't get cash check out the budget size of defense and veterans affairs. Compare that to the NFL's budget.

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"This man also got caught buying stale peanuts from a defunct airline and reselling them at games."

Wonder how long until the lawsuit.

How do you think these guys became wealthy? You generate your personal wealth by providing society what it values while using resources you value less than society. You get the biggest bang reducing your costs rather than increasing your revenues. Also, reducing your costs often increases your revenues anyway while increasing your revenue often increases your costs.

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I am definitely not on the side of the owners, but the players don't deserve the money they get. If they do, then our soldiers who are getting concussions from RPG blasts deserve it as well (and they do deserve it).

Since our soldiers don't make more, they OBVIOUSLY don't deserve more. What you deserve is the intersection of what your willing to take for your resources and what society is willing to give for those resources.

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For the owners to lock out the players at this time in American history is unconscionable. You don't like the players? Fine. There are still nearly 9 percent of Americans out of work. Think of the people who've lost their homes, lost their cars and can barely pay the rent. Watching an NFL game on a Sunday -- and getting ready for it all week -- is sometimes literally the only thing keeping them going.

***** please! (to the bold section of the quote)

This whole thing is ridiculous. The fight should focus more on heath risks, salary cap and other parts of the NFL that needs tweaking .

In the words of Biggie "Everybody getting cream, no one considered a leach." Make it happen

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I am definitely not on the side of the owners, but the players don't deserve the money they get. If they do, then our soldiers who are getting concussions from RPG blasts deserve it as well (and they do deserve it).

Which has nothing to do with anything. I doubt there are many people on this board who "deserve" half as much as soldiers do. Are you all going to donate your salaries to them? If not, retire that ridiculous argument.

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Which has nothing to do with anything. I doubt there are many people on this board who "deserve" half as much as soldiers do. Are you all going to donate your salaries to them? If not, retire that ridiculous argument.

Maybe I am just biased cause I grew up in a military family, but I would gladly donate $50 or $100 out of every paycheck if it helped out a man or woman in uniform.

That is a discussion for another day, though.

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This column rests on the presumption that it is impossible for a successful person to deserve more than a somwhat less successful person. It's not really about football or the CBA, it's just mud slinging for the sake of mud slinging. It belongs more on the Huffington Post than ESPN. At least those guys don't get paid to write so writing pointless pieces is excusable.

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Maybe I am just biased cause I grew up in a military family, but I would gladly donate $50 or $100 out of every paycheck if it helped out a man or woman in uniform.

That is a discussion for another day, though.

I don't mean to veer off-topic, but what is stopping you? I'm sure you could donate $100 per month to plenty of worthy causes which support our troops.

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I don't mean to veer off-topic, but what is stopping you? I'm sure you could donate $100 per month to plenty of worthy causes which support our troops.

Nothing.

I donate every 2-3 months, to a number of charities, a couple of which support our troops (USO being one I can think of off the top of my head)

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