I know the tittle may have many of our NinersNations.com business owners and avid readers already foaming at mouth for a rebuttal, but please hear me out. In the drama that is the NFL off season sides are being drawn, anti player, anti owner, and anti everyone I just want football. At first I was very much in the anti everyone just give me football camp, however, the more I heard and read the more I became anti owner. Its not that I am pro player, because I'm not, its just that that the Owners, their commissioner and the Jeff Pash have done a lot to push me away. Please follow the jump to hear my reasons, or go ahead and post your replies why I'm a money grubbing fan boy of the communist party players.
Respect, however, only goes so far and will not gloss over everything. One of the owners complaints is players want to keep their current share of the pie and they don't think they should give it up to the owners. They want to renegotiate the players revenue share to a smaller percentage claiming increased expenses and financial hardship without offering a shred of evidence to back their claim. First off, they could have given themselves raises last year since they aren't sharing the books so no one could tell anyways. How hard is to form a paper company called Jerry Jones Maintenance, hire $6 an hour janitor and charge himself $20k every time a toilet is cleaned in the stadium? No one sees the books, not even other owners! Jerry shares less of his revenue with the other owners if he makes profits look down which was the ongoing battle before owners decided it would be easiest to solve this problem by giving everyone an extra dip into the players share.
At my place of employment if I'm asking an employee to take a pay cut I better float the rumor of layoffs for him to take me seriously. The fact that I'm asking him for a pay cut instead of firing him for someone cheaper hints I really need his assistance in my business. If I persisted and he didn't cave I'd eventually have to fire him or be laughed out of my own office, either way it's a lose lose situation because it's just as expensive hiring and training someone new.
As a business owner I shouldn't have to open my books, well except for banks, investors, suppliers, retailers or anyone else vital to my business operation. You see I had to share all my books with the bank to secure a 5 year business loan. When I tried to go back and renegotiate my contract with the bank 2 years later citing increased expenses they asked to see all my books immediately to assure themselves I wasn't an incompetent buffoon or attempting to skip out on part of the agreement, still the bank heavily considered terminating our relationship. I'd try that ploy with suppliers but giving them the hint I might not be able to make a payment could end all shipments. I'd try that with retailers too but if I hint I don't have enough money in the bank to cover stocking taxes on unsold merchandise they would pull my product from the shelves immediately. Luckily I have employees who will buy the ploy and an incompetent, often lacking self confidence public who will loudly scream my claim of no right to the books despite arguing against their own self interest. It's why I pay the women of my company only 80% of what I pay the men and my son is paid 500% more than the other vice presidents who actually earned their voice in my business. This goes show how far removed the NFL owners have become from reality, they are actually getting resistance unlike dealing with the average person.
Although I'm sure I could have come up with a clever satire and retort for several of his points in this upcoming paragraph I thought I would just reprint it. Come on, gonna listen to a dollar and cents argument from a guy who gives the strong impression he thinks a 5% interest savings accounts means 5% interest per month? $100k savings results $60k in accrued interest after one year? Umm, $60k / $100k = 60% interest, not 5%. I do agree, if the player could accrue 5% return on his investment each month he's a fool for wasting his time in the NFL. But I will mention players only get paid for games. Basically give their labor away free the entire spring and summer risking injury. When they are injured they don't receive the same compensation and hardly anyone making the minimum salary plays every week to get paid for all 16 games. Also after getting kicked out of the NFL in 4 years are at a significant disadvantage for jobs compared to the rest of their graduating class, many of whom are 4 years removed from college and playing football isn't an impressive highlight on a near empty resume.
Say our football player plays four years, and saves nothing after the first year. For those of you who will say that he doesn't get the check all at once, by the end of his first year of playing football he can pay off his 225,000 house and 60,000 car free and clear. So after the first year he has no savings, say he puts away 100,000 and spends 225,000. Say he only gets 5 percent interest a month on his 100,000 so that's 5,000 a month in interest which in a year comes out to 60,000. He makes 60,000 a year in interest so at the end of year 3 of his career he will have 160,000 from his previous balance plus the 100,000 he puts away. So at the start of of his fourth year he will have almost half a million dollars saved up and living off of 225,000 a year. Again that's only base pay, no incentives, no shoe deals, no endorsements. I really can't feel for the players when they bring up how much money the owners all ready have. A 26 year old who has no college debt, played 4 years in the NFL, spent 225,000 a year as disposable income and has almost a half million in the bank has no room to talk about money. Again by 26 years old this player will have made more then most people will in 20 years. This further demonstrates just how far from reality the players have drifted. They live in a world of millions while the rest of us live off what they make in interest or less a year.
The last point I will make is in regards of owners risking their own money. I'm sorry but that doesn't hold much water with me. Here are zero other industries without a single operation going out of business in the last 50 plus years, four record holding television contracts with the four biggest television networks and their own television network to boot, special business exemptions from the federal government and many of whom still operate in public financed stadiums and have the audacity to cut off the television feed to citizens, bars, restaurants and hotel lobbies taxed to pay for the stadium when their isn't a sellout by Thursday. All the other industries, who don't make any where near what the NFL makes actually risk going out of business. I know football is a hardcore sport to manage but there are many more businesses that are just as grueling for smaller profit margins and higher bankruptcy rates (well actual bankruptcy rates). They operate in a special exemption bubble, cost of business subsidized by tax payers that has no real world counterpart. Would any of these owners manage a safer bet anywhere else in this world? Then add in the comments of capitalism and free enterprise business like the NFL operates in the rest of the modern world. I'm sure Worldcom and Lehman Brothers get the first pick of Princeton, MIT, Stanford, etc. graduate draft to help their floundering business plan and instill confidence and capital from investors. When these businesses fail they get revenue sharing from Microsoft and Goldman Sachs to keep them afloat and treated like celebrities in their own owners stadium suites.
I do love the game of football, and I have man crushes on many of the 49ers, its just hard to see the owners point of view. Without a bit of common sense and money management skills many still manage to hold onto their franchise for generations. They could retire today and sell their franchise for a record profit near $1 billion dollars instead they turn their operations over to their 30 years old sons. Christ some fan bases have been begging their entire lives for their owner to sell or go out of business instead of living the high life off the NFL revenue fat. Yes, I'm speaking in tongues about you Bidwells, Browns and McCaskeys. Yet all we hear is how greedy the players are. The players, those young men who have trained their bodies on their own dime since junior high, high school and college risking their own future health, without their specialized labor the NFL wouldn't have an entertainment product to sell and you owners wouldn't be making millions off a pseudo business.
As I said I don't hate the owners or love the players, I just find it hard to sympathize with the owners on any of their points. As a business owner myself I wish they would stand up, grow some balls and crush the players union instead of this legal footsie battle. If they can force significant wage decreases against a financially stable, organized labor force armed with A list labor lawyers on an absolute sham of case during all time record revenue period than what chance does everyone else have against their employer? There are plenty of ex-soldiers already under paid, working two jobs and saddled with debt I can strong arm with even more leverage if they can push this through. I'm pissed cause the NFL owners are being such babies. All of Wall Streets books were pubic for everyone to see, didn't stop them. Huge bonuses, shifted bad investments to everyone's 401k , got a government bailout for the rest, coerced no legal investigations for fraud and finally rewarded with additional tax breaks. That is how you put the own in ownership. Screw it, I'm going to demonize the players because they make more money than me and I happen to know one is a real prick because we went to the same high school. Does that make a sense, isn't that a strong argument?