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On the subject of player holdouts...

Swiss Cheezhead

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The "brilliant" comment is tongue-in-cheek, since I wrote the article. I did spend a ton of time on it, though, so I thought I'd share it with all of my Huddle brethren. Just remember a couple of things: 1. It could have been a lot longer. :D And, 2. It's not written with any particular player in mind -- it's a generalized look at the issue, since it's probably the biggest NFL story going right now.




P.S. The website on which the article is posted (www.footballdialogue.com) is pretty interesting. It's still in what you might call the "formative stages", but it's already the absolute best place to read interviews with many of college football's household names.


Also, Pat, the creator of the site, seems to be "dialed in" a little more than the average website owner. Former Pro Bowl Dolphins center Tim Ruddy occasionally contributes an article and Pat somehow gets in touch with a TON of NFL prospects -- even right before the draft.


Finally, if you want to read the other article I wrote for the site, it's about "Impact Players" who were selected after the first round in the 2005 draft.

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Personally I think it was a very good article but, in true huddle form I must disagree with a couple points;




With far less income generation, the other sports somehow find a way to compensate their athletes more.  That fact alone should at least cause some measure of pause before fans and sportswriters criticize a player for holding out.  Instead, most fans seem to believe (with much indignation, I might add) that there is something inherently wrong with any athlete being dissatisfied with any amount of money he is being paid to "play a game."  To those fans, I say: open your eyes and behold the mammoth.  That huge, glorious, financial beast only exists because that NFL player is able to "play a game" at such a high level that the fans consume his product feverishly.  If you do not like the money he makes, do not buy season tickets.  Do not watch him play on TV.  Do not buy his jersey.  On the other hand, at the very least, do not disparage the creator of the mammoth for wanting more mammoth meat at mealtime.


I own a modest business but, just because I may or may not make decent money from year to year doesn't mean my employees must make salaries that reflect a percentage of what my business brings in from year to year. Let my employees invest their money in the business and become owners as I and they may reap the benefits of ownership; along with the pitfalls. If I lose money, they still get paid. If the business goes out, so does most of my money I worked so hard for. I put in sometimes 70-80 hrs. in a week. And, if I agree to pay someone an agreed amount for a period of time (called a contract) that's exactly what I do. I don't say you didn't perform as I expected so we may need to renegotiate.


What about those players given large contracts and a huge signing bonus? Then they go bust. Does the owner get his money back? Look there's good and bad to it on both sides but, the players deserve exactly what they negotiate their contract to be. Instead of higher contracts maybe there should be portions guaranteed. There should be something given to players that get injured and can not play any longer. Some type of guarantee for a period of time or portion of their contract but, the contract they sign should be the contract they play for. There should be at least a period of time before they can actually break a contract or why even have muti-year contracts?

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I really like the article, but the section where you talk about "avg player salary" comparing the various leagues probably should have some clarification. I don't disagree with the premise that the NFL is underpaid, but it's not quite as clear-cut as those numbers make it out to be. For example, one reason the NBA is so much higher on average then other leagues is simply it's significantly smaller number of players.


In an admittedly rough estimate, the leagues spend (based on the averages you used and starting roster sizes of 12, 25, 22, and 53)

$1,764,000,000 on basketball

$1,950,000,000 on baseball

$1,188,000,000 on hockey (i could be way off here. i know near 0 about hockey)

$2,204,800,000 on football.


that's 360, 750, 660, and 1696 players, btw.


(i'm sure those aren't actually correct as baseball, in particular, has some non-starting roster people they pay who have retired etc. and still have contract money being paid, and football probably has very few in that catagory)


Should football make more? of course. It *is* the mammoth cash cow.


Should players have the right to hold out? Yep. Non-garunteed contracts mean loyalty is a 1 way street if players show it, and i wouldn't in any way "expect" them to provide owners any more loyalty then they get themselves.


(as an interesting venture, i wonder if those average salaries include merchandise sales, which in baseball i know the union handles paying out to players other then the scabs, and don't all the CBA's now in place have about the same % of revenue garunteed to players? i seem to recall all of them are in the neighborhood of 50-55% of revenue is to be spent on player salary....)

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Very good points, Perinon. Actually, I figured someone would mention the difference in roster size/starting lineups for each sport. I actually mentioned it in one draft of the article, but it didn't make the final cut. It's a valid point, but it still fell under the still-doesn't-make-sense-given-the-huge-revenue-difference argument. Nevertheless, it's one of the reasons it could have been longer.


Another reason it could have been longer was what you mentioned in the last paragraph. Originally, I started to go into all ticket, concessions, and merchandise sales. But, during the final shaping of the article, I realized I would need to do even MORE research to convey that point properly and the article was long enough.


Thanks for your input, though. :D

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