[From the FanPosts. The gloves are coming off. -Joel]
Here’s to you Roger Goodell and Demaurice Smith, walking hand in grubby hand right off the labor negotiations cliff once again. Before you take your ill conceived leap today, I thought I would take a few moments to type some words that you may be able to see, but you clearly can’t hear. Your dirty hands the result of spending so much time dipping them into our collective pockets. It seems only fitting that your leap of faithlessness will land in the warm embrace of a Judicial System provided by our tax dollars. You can’t figure out how to divide up the money you make by squeezing every last penny out of your loyal customers, so now you need public funded services to force one side or the other into submission.
Bravo. Even Charlie Sheen says you’re winning.
Let’s start with you Mr. Smith. You and your legion of millionaires masquerading as our heroes. forever aligning yourself with the common man against the greed of Billionaire CEOs. This just in, we’re not buying it. You have not answered a single direct question about this negotiation and yet somehow you never stop talking. You speak in condescending bullet points that you seem to genuinely believe will win over the court of public opinion. I didn’t know who you were before this all started and I am sickened by what I see.
You tell us that the owners are locking out the fans as well as the players as if we’re all in this together. We’re not. You see, we’re smarter than you give us credit for. We realize that by refusing to make any concessions in this negotiation you’re sending the clear message that you’re determined to pull every dollar possible out of our pockets during the worst economic environment since the Great Depression. We’re smart enough to know what the end game is for you, so allow me to sum up your position. “If the owners want more money they should raise ticket prices and gather it from the fans.” That’s who you are. Own it.
You prattle on endlessly about the things you won’t give up. You won’t allow an 18 game schedule, you won’t reduce your share of the revenue, you want more of that money guaranteed and you want better long term benefits for you and your families. (I can’t wait to see how much ticket prices will escalate to provide dental care for Antonio Cromartie’s 18 kids) Why don’t you tell us about the concessions you are willing to make for a change? Oh, that’s right, there aren’t any. And don’t even think of trying to sell us that the rookie wage scale is a concession. It doesn’t lower the salary cap, so that money just gets redistributed to veterans, which is exactly what you want. Nice try. Thanks for playing.
You tell us that that people don’t pay to see owners, they pay to see players and therefore the players deserve every dollar they get. Well, you have a point. I wouldn’t pay a dime to see Bud Adams make an obscene gesture to a stadium full of paying customers. Guess who else I don’t pay to see. The 3rd string LB who only gets on the field during kickoffs. And yet, he sits on the bench and collects a million dollars every year. I don’t pay to see the emergency QB carry his clipboard and chat up the cheerleaders. I probably couldn’t find him if I wanted to. The view is obscured by his pile of undeserved cash. I don’t pay to see the $400K/year practice squad guys, most of which will never see the field in an actual NFL game.
And I sure as hell don’t pay to see you, Demaurice Smith. Get off my screen.
Oh and I haven’t forgotten about you Mr. Goodell and your team of spoiled billionaires holding out for that extra chump change you need to buy that 3rd Learjet and 4th Aston Martin. Excuse us if we don’t shed a tear while you whine and cry about how public funding doesn’t cover ALL of your stadium expenses. I recently asked my City Council to provide public funding for me to open a Fat Burger location. In spite of my promises to put in a wide screen so that my customers could watch NFL games while scarfing down a Double King topped with chili and egg, to my surprise, they said no.
And by the way owners, thanks for finally joining us. After 2 years of “negotiating” you finally managed to show up to some meetings this week. All it took to get you to the table was for the original deadline to actually pass. Great job staying out in front of this mess. I guess you couldn’t all make it. Robert Kraft is apparently vacationing in the Middle East. I suppose being surrounded by 3000 years of war and religious animosity would be a welcome respite from the stress of trying to figure out how to divide 9 BILLION dollars. Don’t forget to claim the trip as a tax write off for your Real Estate Development company. Just tell them you’re scouting out locations for a new “What would Jesus buy? Strip-Mall” in downtown Jerusalem.
It was great to hear this week that the league won’t be opening up the books to their employees. We wouldn’t want anybody to find out that you’re willing to shut down the game for a few extra millions that you’ll never be able to spend. Or maybe you’re just trying to hide the facts from the IRS. We wouldn’t want them to find out that the group of fat cats who collude to monopolize an industry are actually lying about how much money they make while doing it. Or maybe you just don’t want the public to know that with all the cash you rake in from over-priced parking, hot dogs, memorabilia and broadcast rights you could actually give away all the game tickets and still make a pretty penny.
I’m also enjoying Mr. Goodell constantly telling us that the NFL wants to hear what the fans have to say. It’s great to know you care, but something is obviously getting lost in translation. We tell you that we don’t want to pay full price for pre-season games. You hear “If you add more regular season games, you can sell us more nachos.” We tell you that we want to see more meaningful games in primetime. You hear “If you put more games on NFL Network we’ll be compelled to pay for it.” We tell you we don’t want a work stoppage. You hear “lock out those greedy players.”
Well, as long as we’re bringing more people to the negotiating table, allow me to suggest a few more. How about we get some cheerleaders in there. Maybe they can talk about how they get so little of the 9 BILLION dollars they all have to work other jobs. Or maybe some of the refs who get to work real jobs to supplement the pittance you pay them. Or how about the grounds crew guys making minimum wage. Maybe you should invite some of the front office employees you laid off because there MIGHT be a work stoppage. I got it! Invite that guy with the bulldog mask from the “dog pound” in Cleveland. You can look deep into his puppy dog eyes and explain to him why you are in such a hurry to collect his season ticket money, but you’re in no hurry to make sure there’s an actual season for him to watch.
This should work out great for you. With all these new people at the table, owners and players will have someone else to blame. Maybe we’ll all forget that the blood on your hands is turning green from ink lining the cash in your pockets. Those hands that only loosen their grip on a 9 BILLION dollar bankroll long enough to turn up a palm and collect the next round of green. Those hands that alternately slap us in the face then pat us on the back. Those filthy hands with the upturned palms.