ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?

Posted: July 27, 2011 in NFL

Yes POS fans, you read the reports correct this week, NFL football will be back in full swing this year and I know everyone couldn’t be happier. Well except Roger Goodell, I’m sure he could be a lot happier. I for one am amazed that he has not fined James Harrison yet, if an employee of mine said half the things he did he would be fired instantly and never given the chance to reapply.

Remember when Paul Daley took a cheap shot at Koscheck after their number one contender fight? Dana White came out right away and said “Paul Daley has been let go and will never fight in the UFC again, never.” That’s the kind of firm hand from an employer I enjoy, you break the rules that badly and you clearly have no respect, as such you don’t deserve to be involved. There are no rights for employment in sports, you must earn and deserve those privileges.

Anyways enough about Harrison we all know he is a complete buffoon who feels he is some gift to someone, not sure who, but let’s move on.

The two sides, players vs. owners, have come out and said that they feel the deal is a win-win for both sides. I would agree mostly because everyone is still winning. As long as football is on everyone wins, the fans, owners and players. But more so the owners and the players as they are the ones making millions of dollars.

The main points of the new CBA are that the revenue sharing is more in favour of the owners this time around. In the new CBA the owner’s will now receive 53% of the $9 billion revenue pool that is generated each year, but there are more points that evens out this deal in my eyes.

The new CBA is 10 years long however this time there are no opt-out clauses for either side, which is probably why this took so long. I approve the no opt out situation in favour of the owner’s because they are just that, the owners.

This is their business, their league and without the owner’s involved we would not have these amazing teams, some of the amazing stadiums (as I am well aware that many have public money in them, but some have mostly private funds) and the job markets provided by these teams to their communities. I know they are the ones that opted out and initiated this lock out, but the player’s did not want to re negotiate the deal which I understand, so we had a lockout.

There are however a lot of player friendly additions into this clause. First off, according to ESPN, the player’s “persuaded teams to commit to spending nearly all of their salary.” This prohibits teams from pulling the junk that NBA owner’s were doing and hoarding extra money or dumping contracts to save on salaries. Money must be spent, and it already is.

The second big win for players comes in the practice area and rest. According to the same ESPN article player’s now have the right to five consecutive days off during a bye week. I would not have been happy about this as an owner or a coach. Bye week is for rest and healing absolutely, but what better war to secure a win after that bye then by training hard for 2 weeks and getting the edge on your opponent?

Free agency is another win, something that the player’s were concerned about. A big area of concern for player’s was that with the rookie deals being blown out of proportion to point of absurdity (see Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford, combined $91.7 million guaranteed). In order to make this work the player’s needed the rookies to earn their big contract sooner, if they weren’t going to score on their rookie deal.

Now I look at this one way, if I was a veteran and Stafford came out of nowhere to be the #1 overall pick and then hits the jackpot with $41.7 million in guarantees and I’ve gotten maybe $15 million over my career I’m irate.

Although this league is the most violent to your body of any sport, yes MMA I know you’re tough but you don’t provide a car wreck worth of pain every week, you still have to pay your dues.

However you can look at it the sensible way also, underpay the rookies like crazy compared to what they used to get. $10 million guaranteed for the first overall would still be a lottery win, they can earn the rest. If say the star is a running back prodigy like Adrian Peterson they will get a monster deal after four years of continued production, no worries about that.

And that is what the mega deal is supposed to be, it is supposed to be a reward for years of high level production. It is not a right because you were the #1 overall pick and someone, somewhere, felt that your collegiate statistics were a true reflection of what you can do within a league of monster men.

That is the thing that player’s need to remember for these rookies. They may come out of university with amazing statistics, but their competition is not the calibre they will face in the NFL and as such they should not win the lottery without proving their true worth.

The New York Daily News provided the following additional highlights of the new CBA:

2011 salary cap set at $120.375 million per team with additional $22.025 million in benefits.
– First day of training camp limited to physicals and meetings; second and third day no pads or contact; only one padded practice per day, limited to three hours; second practice can only be a walkthrough
– Limit of 14 padded practices during the regular season, one padded practice per week in the postseason
– Five consecutive days off in bye week
– $620 million Legacy Fund to be paid to former players
– Rookie contracts mandatory four years plus fifth-year club option for first-round picks; four years mandatory contract for rounds two through seven
– As a QB, first overall pick in 2011 draft can earn $22.03 million over four years with $14.3M fifth-year club option. That would pertain to Carolina’s Cam Newton, first pick in draft this year. Last year, the Rams gave QB Sam Bradford, the first overall pick, a six-year, $78 million deal with $50 million guaranteed. There is no limit on the amount of the rookie contracts that can be guaranteed.
– Offseason workouts limited to nine weeks

So more or less the new CBA focuses a lot on the safety of the player’s and the continued life of the league, which is something we can all be thankful for I’m sure.

What about us though? What about the fans?

This was another example of professional athletes taking their lives and jobs for granted. I don’t buy that “oh we just want what is fair” yadda yadda junk. What is fair is showing that you care about your paying customers, the source of all this revenue.

Do you think for one minute that without us watching every Sunday the TV stations could pay those insane TV contracts? That jerseys would still miraculously fly off the shelves?

We make the league and you better apologize for real. We deserve something back from this CBA, what about a more controlled ticket price so that every fan can have a realistic chance to see his/her team just once?

I am an Indianapolis Colts fan, regardless of what you think of the team or your misinformed judgements of Manning’s rightful place amongst the greatest players of all time, tickets are not cheap. I would have over an eight hour drive then hotel and about $200 for Ok seats.

That’s just for one game, so we’re talking almost $2,0000 for only eight home games but they sell out that stadium like many others well before the pre season begins. That is how much fans care about these teams, their players and the organizations. Where is our new CBA? Do we not get rights as supporters of these franchises?

I may be ranting, as I’m quite good at that hence starting this blog, besides wanting to keep everyone informed of what’s going on. But the player’s seem more relieved that their money is intact than anything else.

The private suit that was raised against the NFL that included the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees is what irked me the most. That was totally unnecessary, you are all champions, stars beyond imagination in your cities and richer than anyone else in the league could hope to be minus the owners.

Do not stick your face in this mess, what you should be doing is setting the example and saying “Hey guys, I make a ton of money but these linemen? The one that make me look so great who make maybe $800,000 a year and might not be here next year let’s set them up with some better wages I can settle for $14 million instead of $18 million.”

Show some sincere and honest concern for your teammates that help make you look good. They are the unsung heroes that get their bodies demolished and few make a fraction of what their stars do. They open holes for the backs and keep the pressure off the QB’s while incurring all the injuries. Help them out first before you start suing for your own needs.

In the end football is back, at the very least for another 10 glorious years of bone chilling hits, edge of your seat thrills and countless Sundays of heartache. I know I’m ready for some football, I just hope the player’s are ready for the fans.

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