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Old 05-10-2010   #1
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Default A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

Didn't find any NFL Lockout threads, so I want to pose my question here: What if the lockout happens, but the NFL Draft proceeds anyways. You have a whole crop of players, and heck...think about it: EACH of those guys will get a spot on a roster due to the veterans walking off.

There should be nothing for the NFL to lose, IMO. Yeah, you lose a whole bunch of premiere players. The product on the field is going to suffer a little bit in the first few seasons. But I don't see how a lockout is going to hurt the NFL. It seems it's going to endanger the livelihood of the current players, and any other NFL-related positions that choose to walk off due to a lockout.

The NFL holds all the cards. Every single card.

The new guys coming out of college are most definitely going to desire to play. They didn't play all those years of high school and college just to be faced with never playing again. They haven't hit a payday yet. There's no incentive for them to walk away from a chance to play in the NFL. And with the veterans walking off, there's a chance for every single player taken in the draft to get on the roster and maybe even start those games in their rookie year.

I just cannot see how the NFLPA and its members think they can survive this. It's not like there isn't a way for the NFL to, in the end, crush them when it's all said and done.
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Old 05-10-2010   #2
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

The risk comes when a rival group of billionaires decides to give all of your premiere players exactly what they want and start their own league.

People are gonna rather tune in to see Peyton Manning instead of Jake Locker.

By the time the talent catches back up for the NFL they may already be defunct in that sort of scenario.
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Old 05-10-2010   #3
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
The risk comes when a rival group of billionaires decides to give all of your premiere players exactly what they want and start their own league.

People are gonna rather tune in to see Peyton Manning instead of Jake Locker.

By the time the talent catches back up for the NFL they may already be defunct in that sort of scenario.
I don't think that would be the problem. NFL already has it's TV Contract. And where do you suppose these teams play?
Its not that easy to start a league from scratch, and then to have to pay the Mannings and Bradys out there? Not gonna happen.
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Old 05-10-2010   #4
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
The risk comes when a rival group of billionaires decides to give all of your premiere players exactly what they want and start their own league.

People are gonna rather tune in to see Peyton Manning instead of Jake Locker.

By the time the talent catches back up for the NFL they may already be defunct in that sort of scenario.
Yes, that's the potential problem.

I think the NFL, though, has the better leverage when we start talking about the long-term history and product "branding" of the game. You're going to have the Green Bay Packers and their entire fanbase probably staying true to supporting the Green Bay Packers...rather than, let's say supporting the Wisconsin Cheddar Heads with former Packers players on it.

I can't see people flocking to Dallas Sharpshooters games when Jerry Jones owns the Cowboys and has THAT stadium underneath his team. Most teams also own their own stadium, so the owners are not going to let up-and-coming startup teams play there.

By the time the startup league would be able to build any true momentum, it's going to be a USFL vs. NFL situation all over again. The USFL was unable to sustain the needed expansion and growth due to the long-term strength and endurance power of the NFL. It was a redundant product that ultimately collapsed under the lack of consumer desire to make it the preferred product.

I do agree with you, though, that this is probably THE biggest risk involved with shutting the veterans out altogether and moving on without them: You risk losing them to an upstart league. Especially if prices for consumers was adjusted and made it easily the cheaper and better product of the two.
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Old 05-10-2010   #5
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

Upstart leagues need stadiums to fill seats to pay premium players. This is a non issue as far as I can see. If it took 3 years for the NFL talent to reform, it would take at least 3 years for an upstart league to have proper facilities.

It might take radical rule changes or even changing parts of the sport itself to make people interested in it. IDK....maybe you could like eliminate fair catches or something?

ha.
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Old 05-10-2010   #6
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

My quick thoughts. Both the NFL and the NFLPA are absolutely dumb if they let a lockout happen. I also don't see any other start up league "poaching" off NFL players unless there was already an established league.

I think the USFL didn't last in part because it didn't stick to many parts of the original plan like keeping a realistic salary cap and sticking to a spring/sumemr schedule.

If I was going to make a start up league here's how I would do it.

1. Start looking at mid sized cities instead of your typical big market teams. I would think a city for example El Paso that has over 750,000 people with only basically a college team that has a decent season every once in a while with a few minor league affiliates would be more likely to support a team than say a a team starting off in Dallas that has name recognition in the NFL already.

Other places I'd look: San Jose, Austin, San Antonio (which already has a stadium in place), Columbus, Las Vegas, Portland, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Albuquerque, Sacramento, Omaha 0r Lincoln, Birmingham, to name a few.

While some of these might not have the typical population something like the NFL wants, I'd look at how a some states would react to having a pro-football team. For example adding a franchise to Dallas might end up with meh results, but putting a team in say Lincoln or Omaha might possibly stir up support from the entire state or region.

2. Stick to a spring summer schedule. It's not just competing with the NFL it's also college football.

3. Don't use gimmicks. One thing that kills league ideas like the XFL or whatever is they look to exploit some weird gimmick to get people to show up. IMO the game sells itself without adding stuff like adding whatever you want on jerseys, allowing body slams, or I swear some day some team is going to add weapons or something crazy. Problem with the AFL IMO is it's so offensive heavy. Sure on occasion you'll see a "defensive game", but its overwhelmingly an offensive league. It's not like the game is copyrighted, play close to the NFL style as you can.

4. Play in an actual stadium. IMO again, a problem with something like the AFL is you lose the feel of an NFL game. It's indoors, the the field is shortened and less wide. In some of the towns I mentioned there should be a decent college field to play on. I feel confident that a team could work out a decent deal that would work well for both the team and the college who would get another source of revenue. I think of things like minor league baseball and hockey games is yeah you do pay less per ticket, but the game itself FEELS the same.

5. Another thing I would think about is looking at how well being publicly owned has worked for the Packers and see if you can't raise start up costs for a franchise by going public with it. I would think this would work well for keeping a salary cap in place and it would create personal interest in the team's success both on and off the field.

Just a few ideas.

One thing I think would be interesting is IF the NFL does finally get rookie salaries under control does that open the door for another start up league? I mean at this point it's like work like hell to get that 1st and 2nd round contract in the NFL. If they become more reasonable and you think you're going to slip into the second or third round of the NFL draft, but looking at another league you'd likely be a first round pick and get the associated money. Do you break for the other league?

Just another thought.
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Old 05-10-2010   #7
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by Goldensilence View Post
My quick thoughts. Both the NFL and the NFLPA are absolutely dumb if they let a lockout happen. I also don't see any other start up league "poaching" off NFL players unless there was already an established league.

I think the USFL didn't last in part because it didn't stick to many parts of the original plan like keeping a realistic salary cap and sticking to a spring/sumemr schedule.

If I was going to make a start up league here's how I would do it.

1. Start looking at mid sized cities instead of your typical big market teams. I would think a city for example El Paso that has over 750,000 people with only basically a college team that has a decent season every once in a while with a few minor league affiliates would be more likely to support a team than say a a team starting off in Dallas that has name recognition in the NFL already.

Other places I'd look: San Jose, Austin, San Antonio (which already has a stadium in place), Columbus, Las Vegas, Portland, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Tucson, Albuquerque, Sacramento, Omaha 0r Lincoln, Birmingham, to name a few.

While some of these might not have the typical population something like the NFL wants, I'd look at how a some states would react to having a pro-football team. For example adding a franchise to Dallas might end up with meh results, but putting a team in say Lincoln or Omaha might possibly stir up support from the entire state or region.

2. Stick to a spring summer schedule. It's not just competing with the NFL it's also college football.

3. Don't use gimmicks. One thing that kills league ideas like the XFL or whatever is they look to exploit some weird gimmick to get people to show up. IMO the game sells itself without adding stuff like adding whatever you want on jerseys, allowing body slams, or I swear some day some team is going to add weapons or something crazy. Problem with the AFL IMO is it's so offensive heavy. Sure on occasion you'll see a "defensive game", but its overwhelmingly an offensive league. It's not like the game is copyrighted, play close to the NFL style as you can.

4. Play in an actual stadium. IMO again, a problem with something like the AFL is you lose the feel of an NFL game. It's indoors, the the field is shortened and less wide. In some of the towns I mentioned there should be a decent college field to play on. I feel confident that a team could work out a decent deal that would work well for both the team and the college who would get another source of revenue. I think of things like minor league baseball and hockey games is yeah you do pay less per ticket, but the game itself FEELS the same.

5. Another thing I would think about is looking at how well being publicly owned has worked for the Packers and see if you can't raise start up costs for a franchise by going public with it. I would think this would work well for keeping a salary cap in place and it would create personal interest in the team's success both on and off the field.

Just a few ideas.

One thing I think would be interesting is IF the NFL does finally get rookie salaries under control does that open the door for another start up league? I mean at this point it's like work like hell to get that 1st and 2nd round contract in the NFL. If they become more reasonable and you think you're going to slip into the second or third round of the NFL draft, but looking at another league you'd likely be a first round pick and get the associated money. Do you break for the other league?

Just another thought.
I like all of what you posted.

It would work IF everyone could stick to the same script the whole way through. (1) Mid-sized markets that want a pro team, (2) College gets a supplemental "donation" that helps pay for things, in return for leasing the stadium, (3) Spring/Summer schedule to maximize viewership and avoid competing with others, and (4) keep things NORMAL on the field.

What you didn't list, that I think might draw more interest from fans in thos smaller market cities is this: If owners would make an effort to draft or sign players who went to the college(s) nearby. There are a lot of college football fans who would buy season tickets to see Johnny Terrific get to continue playing football for years to come. It would also preserve that college-vs.-college rivalry that exists. The rivalry continues!
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Old 05-10-2010   #8
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

I vaguely remember us having replacement players. Wasn't it a good time to be a Houston fan? Weren't we winning more with them?

I remember thinking that I was going to break into in the NFL by walking onto the field out of nowhere and kick ass. I thought replacements were the greatest thing to ever hit the NFL.
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Old 05-10-2010   #9
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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I vaguely remember us having replacement players. Wasn't it a good time to be a Houston fan? Weren't we winning more with them?

I remember thinking that I was going to break into in the NFL by walking onto the field out of nowhere and kick ass. I thought replacements were the greatest thing to ever hit the NFL.
LOL. Yeah, every guy who ever played even one year of football suddenly attends the tryouts.

I just want to go and watch one of those tryouts, for fun. Watching a bunch of Uncle Rico (from Napolean Dynamite) guys throw the ball around and try to out-do one another in the drills.

If you go, please sport cut-off bluejean shorts and a mullet. And match it up with a mesh tank-top and no shirt underneath. And take a photo, and mail it to us. make sure you have a half-burnt Marlboro sticking out the side of your mouth, too. LOL. That would be classssic!
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Old 05-10-2010   #10
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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I like all of what you posted.

It would work IF everyone could stick to the same script the whole way through. (1) Mid-sized markets that want a pro team, (2) College gets a supplemental "donation" that helps pay for things, in return for leasing the stadium, (3) Spring/Summer schedule to maximize viewership and avoid competing with others, and (4) keep things NORMAL on the field.

What you didn't list, that I think might draw more interest from fans in thos smaller market cities is this: If owners would make an effort to draft or sign players who went to the college(s) nearby. There are a lot of college football fans who would buy season tickets to see Johnny Terrific get to continue playing football for years to come. It would also preserve that college-vs.-college rivalry that exists. The rivalry continues!
Yeah from doing research on the USFL seems the biggest problem was keeping all the owners on the same page and finding a place to play.

I know some people might not like the city/public backed idea, but I think it would cut down on having a rogue owner going over spending caps. Could you imagine a Jerry Jones or Steinbrener backed team in this situation?

I mean in the short run the idea wouldn't bring an owner a quick turn around on their investment. It would be investing in the long term success of the league. Now, do I think it would generate the kind of profits you'd see in the NFL?

No, but I'd contend that if it survived the first couple of years and stuck to the spring/summer schedule it'd survive comfortably.
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Old 05-10-2010   #11
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
The risk comes when a rival group of billionaires decides to give all of your premiere players exactly what they want and start their own league.

People are gonna rather tune in to see Peyton Manning instead of Jake Locker.

By the time the talent catches back up for the NFL they may already be defunct in that sort of scenario.
This is exactly what I was thinking!
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Old 05-10-2010   #12
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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I don't think that would be the problem. NFL already has it's TV Contract. And where do you suppose these teams play?
Its not that easy to start a league from scratch, and then to have to pay the Mannings and Bradys out there? Not gonna happen.
lol, And then I started to think about this!
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Old 05-10-2010   #13
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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What if the lockout happens?

There should be nothing for the NFL to lose.
Approximately 50% of a team's revenue is earned from media contracts. With no games played, there would be no revenue from broadcast companies, adverstisement/endorsement revenue, etc.

The other portion of revenue is earned through ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, etc. etc. Most of which would diminish drastically if no games were played.

Approximately 70-80% of revenue is shared between the teams. I think the NFL League Offices (a non-profit entity) still shares in this revenue or earns income from the various franchises from a "management-type of expense". I don't know if that's true but that's my guess.

The League Offices have to have income to pay for all the employees' salaries, benifits, rent on their corporate headquarters on Park Ave. near Times Square, NY ($$$$)...

So where does the league earn enough money to pay for all this if there's a lockout? Will they still charge the individual franchises? Again I'm assuming they earn enough income from the teams/merchandise sales/whathaveyou to cover their costs.

Do you think the Teams would turn a profit if 0 games were played? If they still had to pay their employees, debt service on stadiums, equipment, etc.

I'm partly asking because I don't know. I find the financial aspect, business side of the major league sports (particularly nfl) so intruiging. My thought is if you cut off the games, you cut substantially all of your income yet your not exactly cutting all of your costs.

What happens if the government tells GM they're not allowed to sell any cars during 2011? Not good stuff... I think it's in the Owners and the League's best interest to continue selling their product... err I mean playing the game.
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Old 05-10-2010   #14
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
The risk comes when a rival group of billionaires decides to give all of your premiere players exactly what they want and start their own league.

People are gonna rather tune in to see Peyton Manning instead of Jake Locker.

By the time the talent catches back up for the NFL they may already be defunct in that sort of scenario.
I don't really see this as a short-term risk. It takes so much time and money to get a group of investors together to form 1 team much less create an entire league. Which means you have to pool THAT many more investors. It takes time and money to find places to play, draft contracts with stadium sites, naming rights, etc. The investors that would be interest in doing something like this aren't going to invest a substantial portion of their money without proper due diligence which would cost even more time and money. There's going to be focus groups, marketing reports, all the usual due diligence required before making a substantial investment like sports franchises. Plus a governing body would have to be formed just like the NFL League office, even if they incorporate all the current rules... that's even more time and costs associated with voting in the members/commissioner, establishing the offices, getting organized, etc.
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Old 05-10-2010   #15
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Approximately 50% of a team's revenue is earned from media contracts. With no games played, there would be no revenue from broadcast companies, adverstisement/endorsement revenue, etc.

The other portion of revenue is earned through ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, etc. etc. Most of which would diminish drastically if no games were played.

Approximately 70-80% of revenue is shared between the teams. I think the NFL League Offices (a non-profit entity) still shares in this revenue or earns income from the various franchises from a "management-type of expense". I don't know if that's true but that's my guess.

The League Offices have to have income to pay for all the employees' salaries, benifits, rent on their corporate headquarters on Park Ave. near Times Square, NY ($$$$)...

So where does the league earn enough money to pay for all this if there's a lockout? Will they still charge the individual franchises? Again I'm assuming they earn enough income from the teams/merchandise sales/whathaveyou to cover their costs.

Do you think the Teams would turn a profit if 0 games were played? If they still had to pay their employees, debt service on stadiums, equipment, etc.

I'm partly asking because I don't know. I find the financial aspect, business side of the major league sports (particularly nfl) so intruiging. My thought is if you cut off the games, you cut substantially all of your income yet your not exactly cutting all of your costs.

What happens if the government tells GM they're not allowed to sell any cars during 2011? Not good stuff... I think it's in the Owners and the League's best interest to continue selling their product... err I mean playing the game.
There was a PFT article a while back that stated the NFL will get paid it's multi-billion dollar t.v. deals regardless of if football is played next year. The catch is that if there is no football, they would have to pay it back the following year.

However, how can the NFLPA compete monetarily with its meager lockout fund with the NFL's 2+ billion dollars from t.v. contracts alone? The NFLPA really doesn't have any leverage in this situation...and I'm afraid they're going to screw it up (I am too young to remember the last lockout/work stoppage but everyone is saying this will spell doom for the NFL).
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Old 05-10-2010   #16
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by TheCD View Post
There was a PFT article a while back that stated the NFL will get paid it's multi-billion dollar t.v. deals regardless of if football is played next year. The catch is that if there is no football, they would have to pay it back the following year.

However, how can the NFLPA compete monetarily with its meager lockout fund with the NFL's 2+ billion dollars from t.v. contracts alone? The NFLPA really doesn't have any leverage in this situation...and I'm afraid they're going to screw it up (I am too young to remember the last lockout/work stoppage but everyone is saying this will spell doom for the NFL).
That's interesting about the 'tv contract', I'll have to try and find it. It makes sense if the league negotiated this in the event a lockout would occur. Kudos to the league's attorneys. LOL

I don't remember what all went on with the MLB strike? or hockey strike? But when I have the time really want to dive into it. I'd be interested in what others have to say about those eras.
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Old 05-11-2010   #17
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Approximately 50% of a team's revenue is earned from media contracts. With no games played, there would be no revenue from broadcast companies, adverstisement/endorsement revenue, etc.

The other portion of revenue is earned through ticket sales, concessions, merchandise, etc. etc. Most of which would diminish drastically if no games were played.

Approximately 70-80% of revenue is shared between the teams. I think the NFL League Offices (a non-profit entity) still shares in this revenue or earns income from the various franchises from a "management-type of expense". I don't know if that's true but that's my guess.

The League Offices have to have income to pay for all the employees' salaries, benifits, rent on their corporate headquarters on Park Ave. near Times Square, NY ($$$$)...

So where does the league earn enough money to pay for all this if there's a lockout? Will they still charge the individual franchises? Again I'm assuming they earn enough income from the teams/merchandise sales/whathaveyou to cover their costs.

Do you think the Teams would turn a profit if 0 games were played? If they still had to pay their employees, debt service on stadiums, equipment, etc.

I'm partly asking because I don't know. I find the financial aspect, business side of the major league sports (particularly nfl) so intruiging. My thought is if you cut off the games, you cut substantially all of your income yet your not exactly cutting all of your costs.

What happens if the government tells GM they're not allowed to sell any cars during 2011? Not good stuff... I think it's in the Owners and the League's best interest to continue selling their product... err I mean playing the game.
Wouldn't you use new players and play the games as scheduled?

Frankly, I hate unions. Maybe I am not as nuanced and educated as the people who think unions are awesome. But the main aspect of the union that I dislike is that an employee gets to dictate to the employer the terms of engagement.

That's backwards, to me at least. The employer can freely employ whom he wants to employ. The employee can freely LEAVE and pursue other employment at any time he so chooses. It's the freedom to do what you want. There's freedom on either side.

Capitalism is the best model (yet, at least) that allows for competition in the marketplace/business sector. If Company A is a crappy company and treats its employees horribly, Company B wil find a way to make their environment the best place to work in (thereby gaining better employees). This will eventually lead to Company B surprassing Company A at some point in time.

The NFL, to me, appears to be a pretty good company. It's not a monopoly. You can go play in the Canadian league. You can play in the Indoor leagues. With the money and fame the NFL players acquire, they need to find a way to get what they can and then also leave well enough alone.

I'd like to see better fund reserves for players to be given proper medical treatment once they reach their elderly years. And I'd like the rookies to sacrifice their stoopidly outrageously inflated contracts to fund that elderly reserve. Because chances are, those guys are gonna' use the fund some day.

[/rant]
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Old 05-11-2010   #18
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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Originally Posted by GP View Post
Wouldn't you use new players and play the games as scheduled?

Frankly, I hate unions. Maybe I am not as nuanced and educated as the people who think unions are awesome. But the main aspect of the union that I dislike is that an employee gets to dictate to the employer the terms of engagement.

That's backwards, to me at least. The employer can freely employ whom he wants to employ. The employee can freely LEAVE and pursue other employment at any time he so chooses. It's the freedom to do what you want. There's freedom on either side.

Capitalism is the best model (yet, at least) that allows for competition in the marketplace/business sector. If Company A is a crappy company and treats its employees horribly, Company B wil find a way to make their environment the best place to work in (thereby gaining better employees). This will eventually lead to Company B surprassing Company A at some point in time.

The NFL, to me, appears to be a pretty good company. It's not a monopoly. You can go play in the Canadian league. You can play in the Indoor leagues. With the money and fame the NFL players acquire, they need to find a way to get what they can and then also leave well enough alone.

I'd like to see better fund reserves for players to be given proper medical treatment once they reach their elderly years. And I'd like the rookies to sacrifice their stoopidly outrageously inflated contracts to fund that elderly reserve. Because chances are, those guys are gonna' use the fund some day.

[/rant]
Yeah, Im not a huge union fan myself.
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Old 05-12-2010   #19
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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It's not a monopoly. You can go play in the Canadian league. You can play in the Indoor leagues.
LOL - yeah and a Ferrari is in competition with a Yugo.

And fyi - the NFL operates under an anti-trust exemption from Congress.

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With the money and fame the NFL players acquire, they need to find a way to get what they can and then also leave well enough alone.
And the way they do that is through the players union. The owners would universally disagree with your union rant in this instance. They need a single entity to sign a uniform set of rules for all players and teams to live by.

And why only rant against the players. The NFL is a union of 32 teams. You don't see them negotiating for national TV money individually because they know they can leverage more for everyone by working together, aka in union.
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Old 05-12-2010   #20
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Default Re: A way the NFL could circumvent the lockout?

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LOL - yeah and a Ferrari is in competition with a Yugo.
Purchasing and employment are two different things.

Your example is weak sauce. LOL.

Purchasing: I can drive a Yugo if I want to. I cannot afford a Ferrari. Makes no difference, though, because I have the ability to drive SOMETHING.

Employment: Players in the NFL can play football elsewhere: Fact. The different wage and/or fame is of no consequence to this. If they play in the NFL, their value to the team is determined by what value THEY [the players] add to the team, even if it is perceived value or actual value. They benefit based on the strength of the NFL.

If players' salaries are not handled, and if the NFLPA tries to leverage against the NFL, then everybody pays for it. I don't see the NFL treating the players badly. They don't work 16-hour shifts in an environment of poor lighting and ventilation.
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