Business. How exactly does it work? I’m not a business major, so as I move through my college education, the only insight I can give about business is from my observations. I recently had a personal experience with running into the wrong side of a business decision, but overall, most of what I have learned has come from sports.
In this time of global recession, what I have learned about business is simple. Money talks. In the end, it all comes down to money, but is this the right way to run things? Should money really be the be all end all? What happened to doing the right thing for your employees, or even the word that is always thrown around yet never seems to be followed anymore: loyalty?
When you look at successful businesses, you will usually see the same formula. Owners treat their employees right, employees are happy. Happy employees equals happy customers and clients.
Customers flock to the companies with happy employees. Treat people with respect, and they will treat you the same way.
A small personal example: When I was in Boston last winter, I was walking to breakfast and two different homeless people asked for my change. One of them demanded it, and cursed me out when I kept walking, the other greeted me with a smile and opened the door to Dunkin Donuts for me. Can you guess which one got my change?
So why do good business practices not apply to sports anymore? I thought of this today when I read Jimmie Tramel's article on former Jets long snapper James Dearth: http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?subjectid=216&articleid=20100829_216_B4_THISIS270339
Not only is James Dearth the ultimate good guy, but he plays one of the most valuable positions on the field, long snapper. Since 2001, the Jets have never been undone by a bad snap on a late field goal thanks to Dearth.
I remember watching the 2002 Giants implode at the end of the season and lose their first playoff game because they couldn't find a long snapper. Yet the Jets released Dearth just to save a few bucks and find a younger, cheaper option.
This comes after an offseason where the Jets released their leading rusher from last season, released a player who made up the best offensive line in the league, and traded arguably their best playmaker of the last two seasons, Leon Washington.
I understand at times you sign a better player to upgrade your team, and a good guy has to go. I was more then happy to see Thomas Jones go, and I was okay with the Washington trade because who knows how he'll come back from injury. But is cutting costs in certain areas helping or hurting the Jets? Are they losing too many of their good guys in exchange for more talent on paper?
On the first week of HBO's Hard Knocks they focused on the battle for the Fullback position. The incumbent is 16-year pro Tony Richardson. The battle is between him and second round pick John Conner.
Even though Conner is trying to take Richardson's job, Richardson has been there every step of the way to mentor Conner and help him get better. That is the kind of player you want on your team. However, if Conner wins that battle, knowing the Jets, Richardson could be on his way out.
Every time another player was released this offseason, more and more reports came out saying how the players were upset because they lost another good locker room guy. Isn't that what a team needs? Not just talent, but locker room guys and leaders, and the Jets are getting rid of them left and right to save some money.
This is why CB Darelle Revis is holding out. He's seen that the Jets will get rid of anyone as soon as their production drops just to save money. He's trying to guarantee himself as much money as he can.
There is no doubt that the Jets are one of the most talented teams on paper, but have they let so many of their leaders go that they have lost the trust of their players? Tony Richardson is a guy they need to keep around, James Dearth was one too. I just hope they don't lose a big game on a bad snap.