As much as football fans across America would love to not have the worry of no football being played in 2011, the cold, harsh reality of a NFL work stoppage is quickly coming upon us all.
Both the NFL and the NFLPA are doing their best to try to get us—YOU and ME—to take their side as to who is at fault for this.
Both sides say that they want to play football in 2011, and honestly, I believe them. I really don't doubt it for a second that they both WANT to work out a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) prior to the expiration of the current one on March 4th.
But do they REALLY want to more than they want to win the battle of the bucks?
I am not going to sit here and blame anyone for wanting to side with either the players or the owners. As many people have already said, myself included, this is a battle between the millionaires and the billionaires.
Most of us have no real understanding of that type of money.
What I would like everyone to do is put yourself into the shoes of both the owners and the players—and tell me which side of the table you are on. The opinion I am going to give you is MY opinion. If you disagree, PLEASE feel free to comment and tell me exactly why you do.
The NFL is a MULTI-billion-dollar business. The money that the NFL makes is unheard of to 99 percent of the population. The average NFL team, according to Forbes magazine, is worth $1.2 billion (yes, billion, with a "B").
With revenue sharing, each of the 32 NFL teams makes around $250 million per year. That is the money that they receive from DirecTV, CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC.
The $250 million works out to be right around 20 percent of the value of the team.
Of that $250 million, the teams pay the players roughly 50 percent, which comes out to about $125 million, which is about what the salary cap was prior to going away last year.
That means the profit margin dropped 50 percent. Add to that there is interest on the stadiums that have been built and renovated, in addition to what teams have to save for future upgrades and rebuilding. That comes out to roughly $50 million.
Then there is paying for building expenses, equipment, trainers, coaches, front office staff and the building these people all work in. They have janitors, mail room employees, secretaries, scouts and medical staff, all of whom have salaries. Some as low as $7.25 per hour, and others (coaches, trainers, scouts) make millions.
After doing a few Google searches, I came to the conclusion that the average NFL team owner's profit per year, under this formula, comes in around $50 million.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
Wait a minute. Sure, $50 million is a lot of money to you and me. Let me ask you a question. If you were to spend, let's say, $125,000 on a business of your choosing, you had to take out a personal loan in order to buy everything you needed to be a success.
However, after all of your hard work, your company made the same percentage profit as the NFL, which means you would $5,000 put in your pocket every year. Would you do it? I wouldn't.
With the exception of the players taken in the first four rounds of the NFL draft, many of the guys on a roster make a good amount of money—the type of money, as with the owners, that we don't understand. Let's look at the guys that are on NFL teams who we don't even know.
These are guys that sometimes don't even dress on Sundays. If we were told their names, many of us would say, WHO?
These guys make AT A MINIMUM $285,000 per year. The league minimum for rookies is $285,000—not for veterans, as they are all making AT LEAST $100,000 more than that.
But I want you to all think about that figure.
Minimum wage in America is $7.25 per hour. In order for someone working for minimum wage to make the $285,000 league minimum for rookies, they would have to work for MORE THAN 39 years.
Now, I want you to take a look at the hard road some of these players had to go through to get to where they are.
Almost all NFL players got there by playing college football. Some did not, but most did. While these guys were in college, most of them were there on scholarships.
That means they did not pay for classes (IF they went), they did not pay for books (IF they even opened them) and they did not pay for food, rent or any other necessary expenses they had.
I will not even get into the ones that took money, because to do so would get away from the point of this article. Let's just say that Reggie Bush is not the only person playing in the NFL that took money while in college.
Many of these young men, had they not been amazing at playing the game of football, would not only not have been given a free ride to college, where they could have gotten a degree in whatever field of their choosing (there are also many players in college football that are busts, but the schools cannot revoke a scholarship based on performance), would have at least paid for college. If not, they would be in the workforce right now with you and me, making closer to the $7.25 than the $285,000.
Many college players leave school early to earn the paycheck that the NFL provides for them.
I think it is pretty obvious who I side with in this dispute, but PLEASE don't think I don't want to be fair to the players.
Yes, the players are THE reason that the NFL is making the type of money that they do. They SHOULD be paid accordingly. Everyone is quick to jump about the fact that the owners are the ones that voided the CBA, which is true.
Do any of us know why they voided the CBA? Because even though they knew they would only be able to work under this agreement for a few years, they did so because it kept the games going.
Isn't that really all that YOU and I care about? Being able to watch the games on Sundays?
The players deserve to be compensated for what they do. I think this is how it should break down.
The players get 40 percent of the total revenue ($100 million). In addition to that, they should get health insurance for the remainder of their lives. The league also has to take care of the players from the past with the health issues and make sure that these guys have enough money to live their lives (the guys that played PRIOR to the millionaires; if these guys lose their millions, that is on them).
The players get to make the rules. The NFL was quick to say how many games are going to be played, how many preseason games and such. They also fine players for clothing violations and hitting people too hard. Allow the PLAYERS to make the rules about uniforms and how many games are going to be played.
The owners get an additional 10 percent more than they are currently making, which comes out to roughly 25 million more dollars.
For a MUCH better understanding of what I believe the players deserve, please check out THIS article. I think you will see that what the players get is MORE than fair.
Then you and I get to have our football, which is really all we want.