So, at the risk of stepping of Jeff's toes, I figure the biggest thing coming out in time for this posting is the few details of the possible NFL CBA that the press has been able to get. The plus side to this is that they could end up beating my pessimistic beliefs that we'd miss some games this season. Nice to see both sides on better terms.
If you haven't found the article here's a bulleted list of details I got from ESPN.com: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6687485
• Players get 48 percent of "all revenue."
• Players' share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated.
This seems fair to me. I realize that the players generally aren't putting their money at risk, but they are putting their own health and well being on the line. Many have criticized the players for being greedy, but if the owners can certainly live off what they get from the team. Besides, as you will see later on down the list, the owners don't have to put up much of their own money on the stadium. They get that straight from the local tax base.
While they are playing, and even after, players should be able to benefit from the use of their names and images. Most people are rather shrewd about that and are seldom criticized as much for it.
Odd history note, Charles Darwin took considerable effort to point out that the theory of Social Darwinism had nothing to do with his theory of evolution through natural selection and was quick to point out that he in no way agreed with Social Darwinism.
• Teams required to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap.
I imagine this is good news to fans of small market teams like Buffalo, but the owners of these clubs are probably sweating it out. It doesn't seem to allow much for future planning and I wonder if it may lead teams to overpay. I imagine most would eat the fine rather than the alternative. What makes it harder for lower bracket teams is that beyond spending close to the reported $120 million salary cap, they'd have to put more money forward in the form of benefits. This may bring about some changes in ownership and I wonder if it may lead to some relocation down the road as the gaps widen.
• Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being "tweaked."
Not sure of any further details here, but I agree with the veterans on this. It was a hard pill to swallow some years ago when Matt Stafford came into Detroit during the height of the recession making around $41.7 million before ever playing a down. A few years before Jamarcus Russell signed a then record $68 million deal with around $31 mill guaranteed. A number of vets, including player rep Kevin Mawae, decried these rich contracts for players that had never stepped onto the pro stage. It is indeed tough to swallow Russell making more than most proven NFL QBs. Should be interesting to see what they can agree to on this issue.
• Four years needed for unrestricted free-agent status. Certain tags will be retained, but still being discussed.
I am not sure what this really says, though I imagine it applies to any new deals and not to existing deals. I believe it calls for a four year minimum. I figure the players want to ditch the franchise tag, as few seem to be pleased when they are placed under it.
• 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal.
Shouldn't even be negotiable in my eyes. I think people should be satisfied with 16 games. Why risk further injuries and stretch rosters even thinner? I hear a lot of talk about shortening other seasons and I don't see why anyone wishes to lengthen the NFL season.
• Full 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2014.
I dislike this as it only serves to pimp the NFL network and get more money out of fans. You get about a minimum of $40-50 even for a crappy seat and have huge contracts with ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC, why keep pushing money out of the fans by requiring them to buy your network?
• Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums.
The union estimated that revenue will double to $18 bil by 2016. How is that not enough to build your own stadiums? Keep on squeezing.
• Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016.
This is my favorite item that the players are fighting for. More sports need to stand up for their past greats. I can't help but recall the story of George Mikan when I see this. Many hall of famers have recently joined a class action suit against the league. While in these current times, it may be hard to think of pro athletes getting a pension when most people have lost theirs, but these are guys who played before the money got so big. Good to see football recognizing the people who built the game to its current and projected level.
Odd piece of hockey news, as Jagre is reportedly interested in coming back to the NHL. He played the last few seasons in the KHL. The Wings were reportedly suitors, but that ship may have sailed. At 39, he's not exactly a hot prospect and the Wings are old enough as it is. Most folks here are looking for the team to get younger (other than Lindstrom coming back). Jagre is now calling on the Pens. Sounds like a nice use of their money and cap space to me.
The most interesting aspect I've seen about the NBA draft is the Spurs putting feelers out about trading Tony Parker. The Spurs are reportedly talking with The Kings and Raptors about trading up. Seems like breaking that group up was inevitable and Parker is probably the guy you can get rid of that would cause the least imediate impact. I can't help but wonder if the Spurs should have won more, but I fondly remember all they accomplished in the face of the NBA business and the Lakers.
I'd like to close by once again thanking Harvey and Lanz for their recommendation of The Teammates. The book was a great story about baseball and freinships and I couldn't help but agree with the suggestion that modern baseball seems to have taken the air out of teammate bonding anything close to what used to be common. Still, a great story told in a riveting style. I highly recommend it to any Gabbers that have not had a chance to read it and have the time. I imagine it would be even more compelling to all the Boston fans out there.
I leave you as always with the word of the week inspired by Fan82.
MTV affect, noun
When a themed channel goes off course, and ends up turning into nothing but pop culture and reality TV. Some channels that have suffered this are MTV, VH1, and G4.
Due to the MTV affect, Some channels now show endless marathons of reality TV shows, and nothing that has to do with games, music, or what ever the channel was supposed to be about.