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Old 02-01-2011   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

I think blog posts can be time capsules. The illustrate a particular feeling at a particular time. This is what my latest blog post is:

Roger Goodell goes Orwell: Why fans should be pessimistic about the NFL labor deal

This is my attempt to explain everything. Lots of good links and maybe information that even people following things closely may not have known.

And I get a little mad even though I rarely do in person or in print.

/Super Bowl buzz kill.
//Sorry, here's a beer
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Old 02-01-2011   #2
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

What a great article, Texans_Chick. It was something all of us should read. I totally agree with you about your misgivings for the 18 game season, I've been against that from the first I heard about it. You put up some excellent reasons against it, some I've not thought of.

+ rep to you.
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Old 02-01-2011   #3
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Steph, thanks for posting that.

Great article and sums up my thoughts as well. When I first heard about the 18 game season, as a season ticket holder, I liked the idea of not paying full price for 1 preseason game, instead replacing it with a real game. (Home, away should mean a diff of 1 home game)

But as I thought about the wear and tear of an 18 game season on the players, that didn't seem so important.

I just wish Goodell would read it also.
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Old 02-01-2011   #4
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Fantastic article, TC. You really brought this issue down to the bare essence, which is all about money. All the rhetoric about player safety by the NFL is just setting the stage for their agenda.

Goodell and these owners are going to kill the golden goose in increments. Watering down the product with more games, exporting games to place that have no business hosting real NFL games, and paying nothing but lip service to retired players all serve one purpose: making more money for the owners.

This line really nailed it: "The NFL is not re-doing its deal with the union because they aren't making money. They are re-doing it because they claim they aren't making enough money."

I am firmly on the side of players after reading your article. It's their bodies and ultimately lives that are at stake putting this product on the field. Just look at the health of Houston legend Earl Campbell. The players pay for it for the rest of their lives.

All the nonsense about financial risk is bogus when owners don't even fund their own stadium deals ("$6,378,800,000 of direct taxpayer money (not including indirect subsidies) has gone to building stadiums"). And with guaranteed money from tv revenue, the "risk" is negligible.

Very articulate, and thanks for writing it.
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Old 02-01-2011   #5
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

While I understand and respect the arguments AGAINST an 18-game Regular Season, it all seems quite overblown to me on several counts.

1. When the NFL went from a 14 game schedule to a 16-game one, these same issues surfaced. Guess what? The world DIDN'T end and both the NFL and the players prospered.
2. The total # of game remains the same. Yes, I'm aware of how much "rest" the starters normally get in Pre-season, but who says you don't simply give them one quarter to one half in the Two pre-season games?

3. The Steelers (who got a playoff bye) are playing their 19th game this weekend. the Packers are playing their 20th. I guess they'll be too exhausted, injured, etc to actually play the game come Sunday....right?

4. Less time to evaluate in Pre-Season. This simply means that you've got to evaluate your personnel better. Maybe certain coaches can stop playing favorites and actually play their best players, not the guy who looked good LAST year.

5. Expand the rosters. Yes, you heard right. That would actually INcrease the number of players that the NFLPA makes $ with. It would also help to offset those nagging injuries that the new "extended season" might bring.

6. This is a team sport, right? So what if your star RB, WR, QB, etc gets injured? Great teams not only overcome injuries, they learn to adjust their Offense / Defense to compensate. In many cases, they're a BETTER team because of it. (See Kurt Warner / Trent Green)

In short, the GAME can adjust just fine. You're simply adding another dimension to the roster choices coaches already have to make. Imagine a coach being able to take a 'longer view' and rest his star player another week or two to have them ready for games 15-18. These are all things that already occur within the existing framework.
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Old 02-01-2011   #6
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by disaacks3 View Post
While I understand and respect the arguments AGAINST an 18-game Regular Season, it all seems quite overblown to me on several counts.

1. When the NFL went from a 14 game schedule to a 16-game one, these same issues surfaced. Guess what? The world DIDN'T end and both the NFL and the players prospered.
2. The total # of game remains the same. Yes, I'm aware of how much "rest" the starters normally get in Pre-season, but who says you don't simply give them one quarter to one half in the Two pre-season games?

3. The Steelers (who got a playoff bye) are playing their 19th game this weekend. the Packers are playing their 20th. I guess they'll be too exhausted, injured, etc to actually play the game come Sunday....right?

4. Less time to evaluate in Pre-Season. This simply means that you've got to evaluate your personnel better. Maybe certain coaches can stop playing favorites and actually play their best players, not the guy who looked good LAST year.

5. Expand the rosters. Yes, you heard right. That would actually INcrease the number of players that the NFLPA makes $ with. It would also help to offset those nagging injuries that the new "extended season" might bring.

6. This is a team sport, right? So what if your star RB, WR, QB, etc gets injured? Great teams not only overcome injuries, they learn to adjust their Offense / Defense to compensate. In many cases, they're a BETTER team because of it. (See Kurt Warner / Trent Green)

In short, the GAME can adjust just fine. You're simply adding another dimension to the roster choices coaches already have to make. Imagine a coach being able to take a 'longer view' and rest his star player another week or two to have them ready for games 15-18. These are all things that already occur within the existing framework.
Some thoughts:

1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.

And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.

3. You would want the Steelers to have to play two more regular season games of regular season intensity before the Super Bowl? It is not the same. We are fortunate that Aaron Rodgers is going to be playing in this Super Bowl.

4. Yeah, the rosters will be expanded. So when Andre Johnson or Arian Foster or any of the players that you want to see have two more full games to risk to injury, we can see their backups play. Wooohoo.

5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?
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Old 02-01-2011   #7
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.
Hell yeah...bring it on. I love this line of thinking.

I am all for the increased season. I pay for 10 home games...give me 10 real home games.
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Old 02-01-2011   #8
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

First, I liked the article, even if I don't totally agree...

On a couple of your points:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.
But, using your logic, why do we have 16? Why not 14? or 12? Given the level of parity in the teams, I'm not so certain that we couldn't have just as good of a playoff set after 12 games. It would be interesting to figure out - what if you dropped X games from this past year - how would the standings have come out (e.g. say you dropped the inter-conference ones)?

Quote:
2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.
You know, this same argument could be used to argue why injuries that take out starters is not such a bad thing - it will give the Tom Brady's of the world a chance to play, when they otherwise would be stuck as backups.

Quote:
And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.
For starters, they're certainly not the same intensity, but for backups, I think they are maybe even more intense. I get the impression that a lot of those guys fighting for a roster spot are going at it a lot harder than they otherwise would (and in fact, I think you sometimes see examples of guys who star in the preseason by going all out, then getting more conservative once they've made the team)...

I assume someone has done actual injury analysis of injuries/game as the season goes on. Those would be good facts to look at (and I haven't seen anyone, on either side, pulling them out, yet). There would be a few things to look at:
  • does the total number of players out with injury increase during the season (almost certainly the answer is yes),
  • does the liklihood of injuries in any one game increase during the season (I don't know, and honestly, this is the thing I think you most need to consider when saying that additional games are much more risky),
  • and does the number of injuries in preseason games follow the same trend as the rest of the season (i.e. do we really go from a few-injury preseason to a sudden jump into higher injury rates during the season). I think if the answer here is no, then there's little room to claim that converting preseason games to regular season would have a significant impact on injuries, overall.
Quote:
5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?
It's not at all unreasonable that a longer season could make for a better product, overall. Just because what we have now is good, doesn't mean something else is better (not all changes are bad ones...).
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Old 02-01-2011   #9
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post
It's not at all unreasonable that a longer season could make for a better product, overall. Just because what we have now is good, doesn't mean something else is better (not all changes are bad ones...).
The beginning of regular seasons are already raggedy with a four game preseason, likely more raggedy with a shorter one. And the end of seasons already have too many games where one team is just coasting to the playoffs, leading to odd competitive situations that the Jets faced when they were able to play two playoff teams that rested their starters.

I think if coaches don't like a longer regular season, and most players don't like it, and an owner like Dan Rooney doesn't like it, then perhaps that should give us pause.

I'm all for change if something is done broke, but this I'm not a fan of. I want 16 games, with hopefully all the star players of my team making it through the season and into the playoffs, and having that happen while I still have all my teeth.
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Old 02-01-2011   #10
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Originally Posted by texanmojo.com View Post
Hell yeah...bring it on. I love this line of thinking.

I am all for the increased season. I pay for 10 home games...give me 10 real home games.
Are they going to be 10 real home games?

Or are they going to be two early games that look raggedity like preseason games sometimes do.

And games where starters sit in the 4th quarter.

And games where by the end of the season, you end up having more guys you have no idea who they are starting games, either due to stars sitting or being injured.

Oh, and you will likely pay for 9 home games, with the 10th one sent to Japan or Germany or San Antonio or some other place.
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Old 02-01-2011   #11
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Are they going to be 10 real home games?

Or are they going to be two early games that look raggedity like preseason games sometimes do.

And games where starters sit in the 4th quarter.
Maybe a bit raggedy in the beginning...but the players will play all 4 quarters. These athletes don't want off the field. They love the spotlight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
And games where by the end of the season, you end up having more guys you have no idea who they are starting games, either due to stars sitting or being injured.
And the difference with this and the preseason is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Oh, and you will likely pay for 9 home games, with the 10th one sent to Japan or Germany or San Antonio or some other place.
True...but at least the games that I do pay for will likely be legit games.
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Old 02-01-2011   #12
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by texanmojo.com View Post
True...but at least the games that I do pay for will likely be legit games.
Maybe, maybe not. The starters going full tilt for 16 games leaves some with nagging injuries going into post season. With 18 games that will likely increase the number of your starters either having to rest the last few games (taking away some of that ligit status) or them going into the post season with their nagging injuries even worse.

The teams most hurt by this are the ones still fighting for a playoff spot late in the season. They have to play their starters if they want a shot, increasing the likelyhood if they make the playoffs they will do so with damaged players. Those already with a play off spot can rest players, and those that aren't making it anyway don't need to do anything other than show up.
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Old 02-01-2011   #13
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

The starters aren't fresh going into the playoffs, but I don't see how two more full contact regular season games make the players look better going into the playoffs.

It's not.

I know it is hard to remember this as Texans fans, but the NFL is supposed to be about the playoffs. That every regular season game matters way more than the MLB/NBA, and then the playoffs are where players are supposed to shine.

They already limp in after 16 regular season games. Do you think the quality of the playoffs improves after 18 regular season games. I can't buy that argument.
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Old 02-01-2011   #14
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Some thoughts:

1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.

And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.

3. You would want the Steelers to have to play two more regular season games of regular season intensity before the Super Bowl? It is not the same. We are fortunate that Aaron Rodgers is going to be playing in this Super Bowl.

4. Yeah, the rosters will be expanded. So when Andre Johnson or Arian Foster or any of the players that you want to see have two more full games to risk to injury, we can see their backups play. Wooohoo.

5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?
1. Why not revert or 14 then, 12, or even 10? What makes 16 (and 4 pre-season) the sweet spot? If you're basing your worries off of injury stats, then it's obvious we need to play LESS than a 16-game schedule.

2. It's either LIVE FIRE or it isn't. Playing in a stadium with 100 guys on the sideline, a limited playbook and 20K in the stands isn't much more realistic than scrimmaging these same guys on the practice field. If every team gets the same two "prep games", then what's the argument for inequality?

3. Aaron Rodgers got injured well BEFORE game 16. With an 18-game schedule he might be healthier than he is now, as his coach might not be in as big a rush to bring him back.

4. Newsflash - Andre missed several games this year and years previous. Once again, with an 18-game schedule, you might risk resting him for more games.

5. Then why did they go to 16 games (from 14)? They needed Pepsi instead? As long as every team faces the same hurdles, it's not unrealistic.

Sorry, but I'm not buying into the whole woe-is-me mantra that the NFLPA is using to dismiss a potential 18-game schedule. For many years, the NFLPA didn't do enough for their players and they blamed the league for their "broke" brethren. When they finally got their act together, they finally started forcing their members to fund retirement options. These men CHOOSE to play a violent, physical sport. Most got free college educations in the process. If they don't think they're getting a fair shake, then take up another vocation like the rest of us.

You can get hurt in pre-season just as easily as regular-season, why not have your play count for something?
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Old 02-01-2011   #15
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Maybe, maybe not. The starters going full tilt for 16 games leaves some with nagging injuries going into post season. With 18 games that will likely increase the number of your starters either having to rest the last few games (taking away some of that ligit status) or them going into the post season with their nagging injuries even worse.

The teams most hurt by this are the ones still fighting for a playoff spot late in the season. They have to play their starters if they want a shot, increasing the likelyhood if they make the playoffs they will do so with damaged players. Those already with a play off spot can rest players, and those that aren't making it anyway don't need to do anything other than show up.
This is the logic that I was thinking about, as well. There will be the teams at the top that will secure a playoff spot in week 14 and have four more weeks to rest starters and have nothing but "homefield" to play for. The teams that it will hurt will be the teams fighting for playoff spots, as they play through week 18.

If they go 18 games, I think they should get rid of the bye week in the playoffs. Make it truly even and seed the teams for the location of the games, as well.

When players - current and former - and coaches all agree about something, I think it's worth a pause to think about it. Fans are selfish by nature (not saying it as a bad thing). We always want more of what we love. However, I think it is rather arrogant to simply dismiss the concerns of players with regards to the immediate and long term impact of two more games to the schedule.

There is nothing broken about the seasons right now. So I'm in the camp of not fixing what's not broken. But, that being said, I have no doubt that I'll watch two more games should it come to that.

Personally, my take is a 17 game schedule. Teams have either winning or losing records. No more of this .500 crap. 3 pre-season games seems like a sweet spot, as well.
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Old 02-01-2011   #16
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
This is the logic that I was thinking about, as well. There will be the teams at the top that will secure a playoff spot in week 14 and have four more weeks to rest starters and have nothing but "homefield" to play for. The teams that it will hurt will be the teams fighting for playoff spots, as they play through week 18.

If they go 18 games, I think they should get rid of the bye week in the playoffs. Make it truly even and seed the teams for the location of the games, as well.

When players - current and former - and coaches all agree about something, I think it's worth a pause to think about it. Fans are selfish by nature (not saying it as a bad thing). We always want more of what we love. However, I think it is rather arrogant to simply dismiss the concerns of players with regards to the immediate and long term impact of two more games to the schedule.

There is nothing broken about the seasons right now. So I'm in the camp of not fixing what's not broken. But, that being said, I have no doubt that I'll watch two more games should it come to that.

Personally, my take is a 17 game schedule. Teams have either winning or losing records. No more of this .500 crap. 3 pre-season games seems like a sweet spot, as well.
The bolded is a great idea, surely they could resolve the scheduling conflicts.
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Old 02-01-2011   #17
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

I am sure by adding two more games even more rule changes to help ease the injuries.
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Old 02-01-2011   #18
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

Interesting idea on the 17 game season DB. Since you have an uneven amount of games, one season you'd have 8 home, 9 road and then switch the next season to 9 home 8 road games. I can see how that would add to the compatition. I think. LOL

Add in a 2nd bye week to that 17 game schedule (and three pre-season games) and I'm sold on it. To bad it'll never happen. The owners are set on an 18 game schedule.

What I predict will happen though is a short to medium hold out/lock out with a shortened season next year, and then they go to the 18 game schedule in 2012 with two bye weeks and a small expanded roster size. I guess we'll find out in about a half a year or so.
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Old 02-01-2011   #19
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Interesting idea on the 17 game season DB. Since you have an uneven amount of games, one season you'd have 8 home, 9 road and then switch the next season to 9 home 8 road games. I can see how that would add to the compatition. I think. LOL

Add in a 2nd bye week to that 17 game schedule (and three pre-season games) and I'm sold on it. To bad it'll never happen. The owners are set on an 18 game schedule.

What I predict will happen though is a short to medium hold out/lock out with a shortened season next year, and then they go to the 18 game schedule in 2012 with two bye weeks and a small expanded roster size. I guess we'll find out in about a half a year or so.
I've always figured that they export the 17th game, so the home/away games are still even. Even though one team will get to wear home jerseys on the exported game, it would basically be a road game for both teams.

I like the idea of a second bye week. It helps to lessen the impact on the season that injuries might add.

I think a big issue that hasn't been mentioned much is the division among owners between the small market and big market teams. Right now owners are putting up a unified front because of the CBA, but I've read that many of the larger market owners want to significantly reduce the revenue sharing that is currently in place. I'm torn on this one, because I think it's been great for the league, but, the Texans are one of those larger market teams and would probably benefit over our division rivals if we had the ability to outspend them. Sort of a selfish take, but 9 years into it, I think being a little selfish about seeing some success in Houston is justified.
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Old 02-01-2011   #20
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Default Re: Everything about the NFL Labor Agreement

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I've always figured that they export the 17th game, so the home/away games are still even. Even though one team will get to wear home jerseys on the exported game, it would basically be a road game for both teams.

I like the idea of a second bye week. It helps to lessen the impact on the season that injuries might add.

I think a big issue that hasn't been mentioned much is the division among owners between the small market and big market teams. Right now owners are putting up a unified front because of the CBA, but I've read that many of the larger market owners want to significantly reduce the revenue sharing that is currently in place. I'm torn on this one, because I think it's been great for the league, but, the Texans are one of those larger market teams and would probably benefit over our division rivals if we had the ability to outspend them. Sort of a selfish take, but 9 years into it, I think being a little selfish about seeing some success in Houston is justified.
With that sir, I agree. It's been mentioned in print several times though I don't recall it being referenced so much in broadcast media.

So we have owners quarreling amoungst owners and then have to present a united front vs. the players. I don't like being a 'Henny Penny' but I see nothing positive coming from this. Really hope I'm dead wrong.
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