Deep Thoughts

Why does anyone extend keepers more than a two years in leagues where each additional season entails a $5 bump? Every additional year cuts into your present profit, increases your downside risk and depreciates due to the time value of money. Plus, once you start looking far into the future, you have to worry about global catastrophic events like nuclear war, Super Volcanos, etc. I have Cliff Lee at $5 this year, and I'm going two years at $10.

Does anyone see the merit to the NFL owners' argument regarding the lockout? The NFL is more prosperous and popular than ever, the owners are all billionaires, some of their stadiums are publicly financed and the players subject themselves to severe bodily risk and permanent brain damage that's likely implicated in recent suicides. Yet the owners want a a bigger share of the pool and want to dilute the regular season to 18 games (increasing health risks), something that fans don't want? The argument that they should try to get more simply because they have the power to ignores the major reason their franchises and the league have value at all: that people love and identify with their teams. Most of the current owners are people of no importance whatsoever to the prosperity and popularity of the game. Replace them with 32 random business executives, and hardly anyone would notice or care.

Your health insurance company is essentially a bookie who tries to weasel out of paying up when he loses a bet on your health. Compared to it, a Vegas sports book (or your "guy") is a model of fairness and trustworthiness. Ironically, illegal sports betting arrangements are based on mutual trust whereas legal business ones are typically based on distrust - hence the need for lawyers and contracts.

I get why there are two Steve Smiths, Mike Williams and Chris Carters, but how is it possible there are two Adrian Petersons and two Ryan Brauns? And remember when there were two Jeff D'Amicos?

Why wasn't Steve Howe named Phil Coke?

Did Josh Outman have any choice but to be a pitcher?

Does anyone else think it's suspicious that right after 9/11, the "Patriots" out of nowhere won the Super Bowl and became a dynasty? And that the "Patriot Act" expanded the state's surveillance powers far beyond the law's previous limits, something coach Bill Belichick obviously applied to his own franchise?

David Akers always points to the sky after he makes a field goal, so why doesn't he point down to the ground when he misses?

Does the devil wear a Miroslav Satan jersey, or a Rae Carruth one? Either way, it's pretty obvious what the mascot is.


By: Mark Stopa
On: 2/22/2011 4:22:00 PM
I'd argue the NFL would be better if all 32 owners were replaced with business executives. I suppose some of the current owners are good, but getting rid of Ralph Wilson, Al Davis, and a few other old cronies would be good for the league.
By: Evolsdog
On: 2/22/2011 4:28:00 PM
Oakland recently offset their pitching situation with Josh Outman by acquiring Grant Balfour.

Yesterday I got a speeding ticket for going 65 mph. But I think I can fight it because I had only been driving 20 minutes.
By: lvtdude
On: 2/22/2011 4:37:00 PM
Many of these billionaires worked their butts off to get where they are. How many years does it take to get where they are? I have a real problem with a kid coming out of college and making $10 million per season. There needs to be a hard salary cap for rookies and more money set aside for injured veteran players. The pay structure right now is ridiculous.
By: Erik Siegrist
On: 2/22/2011 4:53:00 PM
Right on, lvt. The owners should all Go Galt if they don't get their way, and withhold their valuable smarts from their franchises. The NFL would collapse without the likes of Dan Snyder at the helm.
By: Jason Thornbury
On: 2/22/2011 5:02:00 PM
The argument isn't over a pay structure for rookies; that's an easy negotiation. The problem is the owners want to take an additional $1 billion off the top of revenue. Revenue is currently something like $8 billion, and owners get the first billion with the remainder split between the owners and players. The owners want to restructure that and take an extra billion off the top. What self-respecting employee would let that happen? Yes, the owners assume risk in fielding a team. But the players arguably assume more risk because their lives are literally at stake. And on top of it, the owners want to tack on an additional two games!

One small quibble with the deep thought on bookies. Illegal sports books aren't based on trust. They're based on fear. As in, if the gambler doesn't pay, bad things happen. Legal business replace fists with contracts.
By: Poincare
On: 2/22/2011 7:38:00 PM
"Most of the current owners are people of no importance whatsoever to the prosperity and popularity of the game. Replace them with 32 random business executives, and hardly anyone would notice or care."

Great point Liss. I couldn't agree more.
By: Kevin Payne
On: 2/22/2011 8:03:00 PM
I'll be a weasel and play devil's advocate even though *I don't agree with the owners*. If you bought a company at the floor level and it took off more than your wildest dreams, why would you feel a need to reward your current employees or shareholders for the risk you took? Because the company is doing so well in the present and they're getting in now? You took the initial risk and despite whatever low number people will quote you at for when you bought into the team, at the time it was likely a big risk, possibly everything you and your family current and former worked for.

That being said, I have a personal family member who took a somewhat big risk years ago leaving her "secure" job and taking a higher-paying but more volitale position at her current spot. Luckily, it's worked out and the employees both new and old benefit from *excellent health care* and besides above average wages, nice bonuses at year's end. However, profit sharing, bonuses and future compensation should the company be sold would be considered on a weighted basis as any business-run company should be.
There's a lot of small points here to be argued, it'll be figuring out what the meat of the issues are and I think Thorn was spot on about that.

Should Pete Rose have been named Oscar Gamble?
By: lvtdude
On: 2/22/2011 8:09:00 PM
What should have Barry Bonds' name been, Juice Newton?
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/22/2011 8:18:00 PM
Good point about Balfour offsetting Outman, Evolsdog.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/22/2011 8:21:00 PM
Thorn - most bookies aren't going to break your legs if you don't pay. It's too risky and easier to eat the loss and cut the deadbeat off. They'll start new guys small and won't let them bet big until they build trust. At least that's the way the guy I talked to did it. He said his original boss "Ernie" was old school and lifted some dude up by his tongue. But (and he was a large guy) didn't do it that way these days. Then again, he's a devout Christian. But his business was entirely based on trust.
By: Mark Stopa
On: 2/22/2011 8:36:00 PM
I run a business that has really taken off recently, so I can see that argument, Kevin. What it comes down to is whether and to what extent your employees are replaceable. Do I want to lose any of my staff? No. But could I replace them if I had to? Yes. When that's the case, it makes no sense to break the bank for any one staff member.

But the NFL is different. The owners can't lose their employees. Sure, they could find other guys to play the NFL, but the talent level wouldn't be the same, and the bottom line would be affected. We know this from the days of replacement players.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/22/2011 8:51:00 PM
The NFL owners can always sell their appreciated franchises and keep all the proceeds if they want to cash out. No one's arguing that the players will get a portion of the proceeds. But every owner (check the link above) has taken public money for stadium construction, renovation or other improvements and every owner's franchise has grown in value for a lot of reasons, none of them having much to do with their personal management skill. What they're asking is to catch a break in their operating costs - namely for labor. But the league has been hugely profitable, and labor isn't asking for a ton of new things - the owners (as Thorn said) want to shave another billion in profits off the top apropos of nothing (I believe revenue was $9 billion last year). In my view, they're trying this because they think they can - players have small earning windows, aren't always responsible with their finances, and fans will probably come back. Plus, their TV contracts are locked in even if there's no season. Whether the owners succeed remains to be seen, but in my opinion the cities in which they reside ought to pass laws clawing back all the public funds should the owners lock out the players and cause any missed games. The teams belong to the cities - the owners can buy and sell them at a profit, but ceasing to operate the league should bring about draconian measures.
By: Kevin Payne
On: 2/22/2011 9:15:00 PM
Without me trying, you kind of fell into my trap. Look at our Bills as an example. They caught lightning in a bottle with Fitz, haven't had another good QB since Kelly. Should you break the bank for him? Good business says no. Until Wilson is gone, the Bills will never have a good team, put a team on the field, yet him (Wilson) and his family will reap the benefits. Was I arguing for the owners?

Liss- again I'm playing devil's advocate. You wanted to take one side that no one would go against. A bunch of owners took a huge risk at taking their franchise and see no need to cave in which is my point. Are they right? No, IMHO.

*But for any draconian measures to take place it (IMO), it would be an egegious decision to make a stance given what should be an equanimity among all parties.*

Trust me, as Mark said, Ralph Wilson is looking at profits, not a winning team.

In an unrelated note (It's Shoe's B-Day :)), I'm still loving today's comments (which you'll never hear from Ralph Wilson), "Starting today, the reason for the Buffalo Sabres existence will be to win a Stanley Cup." - Terry Pegula, new Sabres owner.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/22/2011 9:19:00 PM
I don't get your point about the risk, Kevin. Owners can reward themselves by selling the franchise at a profit. The players don't see any of it. But owners are trying to guarantee themselves two billion in revenue off the top, before splitting the remainder with the players.
By: vtadave
On: 2/22/2011 9:37:00 PM
Don't forget the two Kareem/Karim Abdul-Jabbar's and the pair of Grandmamas in KC and NY.
By: Erickson
On: 2/22/2011 11:36:00 PM
There's one component not mentioned here, with the NFL labor battle. There's a huge divide among the owners that's driving their push for more of the revenue off the top. While every owner has received some form of public subsidy, a handful really have sweeter deals than others. For instance, Mike Brown and the Bengals basically had their new stadium handed to them, whereas Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson (one of the owner hawks) shelled out a lot more for their respective stadiums. Meanwhile, Mike Brown still gets a revenue sharing cut from Jones, despite Jones investing a lot more.
By: Kevin Payne
On: 2/23/2011 5:09:00 AM
The NFL can be viewed as any other business. Big companies (GM) and small receive public/government support via tax breaks or via subsidy, just as owners get stadium help. Jones and Richardson didn't get in at the ground floor for the league, so I have no problem with them having to share some revenue. The Brown family got in very early and re:risk there was no guarantee that the NFL would take off. Had it failed, would anyone have been crying for the owners? Too much is made for how much the owners originally paid for the franchises back in the day but it was a lot of money. Sports teams are no sure thing to make money, just like any business. Again, I'm on the players side in all of this (the current health care and an 18-game schedule are ridiculous), but I think someone needed to defend the owners.
By: psxsteve
On: 2/23/2011 6:03:00 AM
For me, nothing will ever beat two Abraham Nunez's.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/23/2011 8:03:00 AM
Good point about the Nunez's, Steve.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/23/2011 8:04:00 AM
Jeff - the owners should work that out then. Has nothing to do with the players or a lock-out.
By: seps
On: 2/23/2011 8:08:00 AM
Payne, what have the owners really done but step in sh*t? They may have been successful in other lines of business but how does that translate into the NFL? Was Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, a good San Diego Padres owner? Being good at 1 thing doesn't entitle you to take more than your fair share in another business... Stopa makes a great point about players being more valuable to the NFL than regular employees in a corporation. Some could argue that Dan Snyder has actually hurt the product on the field with his "fine" management. And by the way, the shareholders of a company own it, not the founder or CEO. By going public, the owner cashed out the vast majority of his interest in selling stock.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 2/23/2011 10:33:00 AM
Josh Scobee and Josh Scobey. That's the best I got.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/23/2011 5:15:00 PM
If you're going to go that route, then you have to mention Curt Warner and Kurt Warner, though admittedly those names are more common than Scobee and Scobey.
By: stamfordprivee
On: 10/3/2011 3:56:00 AM
Money is what always matter to the people therefore they do things which are different and try to get more and more benefits out of it.Fund and Trust Structures

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