Take a trip back in time, to the 1980's. Baseball was America's Past Time. It was the sport that families gathered around to watch the games together, it was the KING of Pro Sports.
There was an MLB work stoppage in 1980, but there were no games lost, so it was not that big of a deal. It was the 1981 strike that, in my opinion, killed MLB. And it never recovered.
I was nine years old, and my dad, who was a Pittsburgh Cop, had finally saved up enough money to split season tickets with a fellow officer. We were going to get to go to half of the home games for the Pirates (they were better then, honest).
When the word broke that the players decided that they were not going to be playing, my dad had to explain to me that we were not going to be able to go to any of those games I had been looking so forward to seeing.
Try explaining to a nine year old kid that he does not get to go see his favorite team play simply because the players don't think they are making enough money.
Since that time, things are not quite different. The NFL is now the KING of Pro Sports in America, and it is not even close. The NFL Draft was run against the NBA Playoffs, and the Draft had higher ratings than the Playoffs.
The NFL Draft, where each team picks rookies to join their roster, drew higher ratings than the NBA Playoffs.
The Draft did so well, the NFL scheduled their first game ever to go head to head with The World Series. The NFL is going to have their last two Super Bowl Champions play head to head against the World Series, and guess who is going to win? And the NFL KNOWS it.
The NFL has decided that the players are making too much money, and they need to re-do the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). If this were to happen, it would be at the end of the 2010 season, and the NFL would have basically until August to work out a new agreement with the NFLPA.
There is now rumor that the players are considering walking out DURING the 2010 season, near the end of the regular season.
The minimum wage in America is $7.25 per hour. The minimum wage in the NFL is $365,000.
I understand that the players want to secure their financial futures. How many people are reading this could not afford to live on $365,000 per year?
The owners think that 60 percent of all revenue is too much to pay the players?
CBS is paying $3.73 BILLION to carry the NFL Games in 2010.
NBC is paying $3.6 BILLION to carry the NFL Games in 2010.
FOX is paying $4.27 BILLION to carry the NFL Games in 2010.
ESPN is paying $8.8 BILLION to carry the NFL Games in 2010.
Add to that the $1 BILLION that DirecTV is kicking in to air the Sunday Ticket, and it reaches a cool $21.5 BILLION to air the games of the NFL.
Divide that by the 32 teams, and it comes out to $688 million per team. After taxes, that comes out to about $350 million per team. That comes out to about $150 million per team to spend on players.
$150 million, divided by 53 men, is around $2.5 million per player, average.
Now, ownership would like us to believe that all that money has to go to building the new stadiums, and pay coaches, scouts and office people. But, the reality is, that is all paid for by the tax payers (stadium), ticket sales, concessions, and paraphernalia.
This is the part that, to me, is pathetic.
Today in America, as most of us know, the economy has been sacked. The times are almost as bad as the great depression. Millions of people are out of work. Families are losing their houses. Companies are going out of business at alarming rates.
The one thing that many of us look forward to is the start of the NFL season. Some people don't have much more than that. Even though, we don't have much, most of us still find a way to spend the $300 to purchase the Sunday Ticket from DirecTV.
We still watch the many commercials, and spend our money on the advertisers that are paying for the Networks to be able to pay the NFL.
What it all boils down to is that you and I, the hard working people of America, support these BILLIONAIRES, who in turn support the MILLIONAIRES that play the games.
We understand that you need to provide for your families. We understand that you need to take care of your companies. We understand that you need to build for the future.
What we don't understand is, how do you expect us—the people that pay your salaries, build your stadiums and wear your jerseys—to not get upset when we hear you cry about your millions?
Please NFL/NFLPA, PLEASE don't go the way of baseball, and ruin our America's Past Time. Find a way to work this out, before we have to start watching soccer.