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Which is right side of NFL labor dispute? Our side

The NFL labor dispute is, to put it delicately, crap.

The sides are vying for your support of their cause now and I would advise you to do to them what both have done to you -- turn your back on them. Dismiss them both. Be disgusted by both. Disagree with both. In a tug-of-war over money, collapse the middle of the rope and make them both pay!

I know, most media have come down on the side of the players, while fewer have agreed with owners. I cannot find a tent in either camp.

Owners are crying the economic collapse that befell the country just over two years ago made the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed in 2006, obsolete. They argue they are in financial pain. Yet, they don't want a fully transparent review of their financials by their employees to prove what they're saying is completely true.

I suspect this is because the owners are crying poverty while still turning a profit. They're still flying their private jetliners, still collecting enormous sums from TV revenue, still enjoying overwhelming popularity at the turnstiles, still watching their franchises rise in value, and most notably, still making gobs money.

I present to you the last Super Bowl in Dallas. The same NFL which is asking players for a substantial give-back and rollback of shared revenues made a record amount of money from its latest championship game. It was a financial monster compared to other Super Bowls, a league source is telling me. That, and that alone, is the reason the Super Bowl will likely return to Dallas within a decade or so.

Money. Lots of it.

So how is a league that pays its commissioner $12 million annually hurting for money, again? How is a $9 billion business that is perpetually in the black strapped for cash?

The players, meanwhile, have tried to bind themselves to a bogus class-warfare argument that is specious at best, and an outright lie at worst. Their argument is that they are fine with the last agreement and all they want is the continued good of the game. Their argument is that it is the greedy owners who are asking for give-backs, thus it's the owners ruining things for the fans. They reject the notion that this fight pits millionaires versus billionaires because many of them don't make a million dollars. Their argument is they're just faithful employees trying to do good work at a fair wage.

And that is ridiculous.

First, the economy did tank in late 2008 and throughout 2009. It's not very much better now. The price of doing business is up. Business all around the country are cutting back. That affects workers. Some got laid off. Some got furloughed. Some got fired because their jobs disappeared. Business in America is hurting to some degree or another.

So what makes NFL players believe they should be immune from those truths affecting practically everyone else?

I also have a hard time buying the players' classic class-warfare approach when, indeed, they are paid more now, enjoy more power now, collect more benefits now, and have more opportunities outside the sport now than they've ever had in their history. I have a hard time buying these guys are just like you and me. These guys are at a level the average American cannot even begin to comprehend.

The union filed a lawsuit against the league on Friday. Among the faces of that suit were Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Let's see, last I saw Brady, he was vacationing in Rio De Janiero with his super model wife. Yeah, he's hurting. Last I saw Manning, he was a cartoon figure on a Reebok commercial that his multi-million-dollar endorsement contract allows him to do, thereby augmenting his multi-million-dollar NFL contract.

And what about the schlubs at the bottom of the salary totem pole, you ask? The NFL minimum salary in 2010 was $310,000.

Despite collecting more than that, New York Jets offensive lineman Matt Slauson felt compelled to move himself, his wife and his baby in with his mom recently because he was worried he wouldn't be able to make ends meet during a strike or lockout.

It was sobering that this grown man is so concerned about his family's immediate future. But I really wonder what he did with the $390,000 he made last year. Or the estimated $410,200 he collected in 2009 as a rookie -- signing bonus included, of course.

Think about this for a second: How long do you think you can live on $800,200? Suppose Slauson spent half of that the past two years. If he were to pay himself $200,000 per year -- a comfortable living by any standard -- he could wait out an NFL lockout or strike for two years.

Oh, and when this labor crap is over and everyone is earning again, Slauson still has $1 million left on the final two years of his contract.

Other players? They're not hurting, folks.

Go on twitter and search out 100 or so NFL players on the social media site. Their timelines show they're flying to the NBA All-Star weekend, they're traveling abroad, they're buying cars, they're going back and forth between their in-season and off-season homes.

How many of you have spent the past couple of months doing that?

These guys don't live in the real world but they want you to believe they're like you to gain your support and sympathy. The financial gap between them and you is as wide, in most cases, as the athletic gap between them and you. (And I know that's wide because I doubt any of you can run a 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash and bench press 225 pounds 20 times.)

I say all that to say this: This labor dispute will get resolved. It is ultimately about money and the only reason it is happening now is because this is the dead time for money in the league. Players aren't getting paid their base salaries now and owners aren't collecting game-day revunues.

To put this labor dispute in real-world terms, it would be like 9-to-5 workers striking and a factory owner locking the doors of the plant at around midnight and calling that a shutdown.

Me? I'll start worrying about this thing around 8:59 a.m., or about the time work is actually supposed to begin. That's when folks are actually going to start being invested in the situation because their money will then be at stake.

All the barking you hear about NFL lockout and union decertification has, frankly, no bite. It is a negotiation tactic between the parties. And when they turn to you for support, shouting that the game is at risk, it is basic, straight-up fear-mongering.

Me? I have a hard time being upset that the millionaires are upset about income in their post-career years. You know what? Live off the money you earned and hopefully saved during those God-gifted years you had in the league. Or, here's a real radical idea, do like the rest of us and get a job. A real job. One that pays less than $100,000 a year like the rest of us. Use that college education that your athletic skills got you for free.

Me? I also have a hard time feeling compassion for the owners. Are you kidding me? These guys were sooooo invested in these negotiations, a majority of them never attended a mediation session for whatever reason. These guys all own franchises worth between $700 million and $1.5 billion. Sell if you don't think the business is lucrative enough. Get out!

Me? I think I'll concern myself with things that actually matter right now. The Middle East is on fire. Significant portions of the Far East are under water and under threat of nuclear plant meltdowns. Politicans over here are crooks and liars. In South Florida, a little girl was found murdered in the back of pick up truck. Those are real problems, folks, not this NFL labor strife.

I'm more concerned with what's happening on FOX and CNN than on ESPN and NFL Network. I'll concern myself with my faith and my family. My football? It will not go away despite all the rhetoric and legal wrangling you'll be hearing in the coming weeks.

Football will be back in the Fall as surely as the seasons will change. That's when it'll be time to root for someone again. Now, during this ludicrous labor dispute? I refuse to back either side.

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Good article, couldnt agree with you more. Frankly this whole thing is ridiculous and for myself I will not be attending any games this year, nor I am renewing my NFL pkg. I will watch with casual interest and enjoy the games they way they deserve to be for FREE and from the comfort of my living room.

Am definitely with the players!

Three cheers Armando. I'm sick and tired of the prima donna's on both sides. The bottom line is they have too much to fight over. Here's a novel idea: Let's shrink the pie by lowering ticket prices and the other associated fee's so that the average Joe can afford to take his kid to more than one ballgame a year. Do that as a tip of the hat to the blue collar fan base the comprises the bulk of NFL fans and they could double the loyalty factor through good will for decades. Both sides need to spend extensive time in the real world trenches with real world salaries to regain a sense of "who" is supporting them.

Armando, you make your living off of the players on any team u write about. If it weren't for them you'd have no subject
matter. Don't forget. The players are all not making millions, sustain life changing injuries and have short careers which they then pay the price for the remainder of their lives. What would you consider fair in terms of benefits and insurance for them later in life when you are relaxing on the couch, pain free in your warm tropical environment and they're in hospitals and treatment centers
trying to pay the medical bills I'n addition to supprting their families?

F*** em both!

I have my own problems!

Armando loved the article I agree 100%
some of your best work

Awesome! Someone is on OUR side. Thanks, Mando.

Damn, Mando! Well put but tell us how you really feel!

One of the best peices you have written Armando. COuldnt agree with you more. Nice work homie.

ARMANDO AT LAST WRITES A GREAT POST REQUIRE US ALL TO SUPPORT HIM ................. FOX AND CNN WILL BE GONE IN NO TIME AND THE HERALD ALSO........... THE INTERNET AGE .

De Marius said yesterday that players and owners are partners...partners in what?? the owners are the ones that put their money at risk. If the players don't like what they're paid, they better look for another job. I'm with the owners.

WHEN I LISTEN TO ARMANDO SHOW,IT'S NOT ONLY ABOUT FOOTBALL,IT'S ABOUT THE HEAT AND OTHERS WHICH MEANS MORE PEOPLE LISTENING .


RADIO AND THE INTERNET IS THE FUTURE BUT THE INTERNET DOESN'T PAY ANY MONEY,ALL THE MONEY GOES TO GOOGLE .

Mando!!!! Well said buddy

Mando,
Well said but I still think you have a Jets fetish!

best article of the year!!!!

this is happening because the lawyer running this players gamet is the same one the hockey locket had years ago. They played hardball for the sake of politics and a message.

thats it. Now they play commercials to you through media to vye for your support.

I will be calling Directv to get rid of my NFL package.

Great article, Armando. If people weren't so small minded, it would be great to see a massive demand for refund by season ticket holders. That would set the owners straight.

As far as the players go, i'm more inclined to side with them. The fact that the owners refuse to open their books makes them look like they're hiding something. Until they make their financial records public, I have to assume that the players have a case.

Either way, you're right that it's all bullsh-t. The fact that this organization can't split 9,000M is mind-boggling. I deal with companies on a daily basis worth anywhere from 1.5M to 100+B and there's a reason that the companies worth billions of dollars don't have labor disputes. It's because they're making gobs of cash and everyone is (relatively) happy.

And here's the thing: the NFL is one of the ONLY organizations where the employees are making the type of money they're making. How many top pharmaceutical sales reps are signed to 5 year 40 million dollar contracts? I believe the "veteran minimum" for those guys is about 26,500. And that's dollars, not millions.

Great article Mando. I have a hard time feeling sorry for either of them. As far as the union is concerned it's a farce. How can you possibly "decertify" to get what you want only to "recertify" once your demands have been met. They shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. Financial transparency??? Go ask your boss to open his books and see what he/she says. The players are afterall employees and they would do right to keep that in mind. The owners should remember that without the players they wouldn't have a game so quit bickering realize that you both are in a far greater position than 90% of Americans and shut the Hell up!

Great work Mando. But this shouldn't be a blog post, this should be on the front page.

Also, didn't the Dolphins actually lose money last year? I thought they were in the red.

I WISH ARMANDO WROTE THIS ARTICLE BEFORE THE CRAP OF JASON TYLOR DEad agent AS IF HE FELT HE HAS TO GIVE US SOME THING WE WANT ,I HOPE HE'S SINCRE .

Great article Mando.. I would be curious to find out the Dolphins financials?

The union decertifying is a complete 'sham'. They should not be allowed to do that and then reform after their terms are met

A lot of the problems with the players comes from what's happening with math education in urban areas. I'm a math teacher in Maryland and I've taught Joe Haden and his brothers and many other kids like him, and they don't know jack about financial literacy and they get tossed millions of dollars and they don't know what to do with it. And the rest of my students who have no football skills all think they're gonna be in the NFL and be millionaires too, so they think they don't need to know the stuff I'm teaching. It's a big problem all over the U.S.

Just read a great article on espn.com by Howard Bryant. He suggests the FANS have the power and WE need to send a message - a financial message. By the way, Brady's name is at the top of the lawsuit against the NFL owners and he seems to be so worried about everything he's in Brazil dancing around in the streets like the little fairy that he is ( sure you've seen the video ).

AMEN, Armando!

DC jeff, Agreed if in were'nt for pro sports half these guys would be incarcerated. They figure the only math they need to know is how to sell a rock for!

Mando great article I agree 100% plus if players don't like the way the NFL spends its moneys they can go play to the CFL for all I care. And I find it deeply offensive and not to say unsensitive that they call themselves 'unemployed' I wonder how many unemployed ppl out there have ferraris in their drive ways and are hosting a party in South Beach like Ochocinco or Revis are...

AND IF THE OWNERS WEREN'T NFL OWNERS,THEY WOULD BE IN A RACE TRACK .

OMG,

If we don't have football this season what are j-lo, Jimmy Buffet and the Williams sisters going to do if they don't have that beautiful orange carpet to parade up and down.
I guess now Ross doesn't have to worry about listening to the Dolphins fight song!!!

Passion and populist appeal, and I certainly understand the sentiment, because I too feel VERY discouraged by the ability of these people to take by far and away the best professional product on the planet and screw it up. HOWEVER -- in my mind, and I guess it's not a surprise you see it differently Armando, as you have described yourself as a conservative thinker -- there's a simple dynamic at work here. You can grouse about the millionaires and billionaires and private jets and that they're not hurting financially, but it's missing the point. It really is. The point is, these two groups share revenue. The owners want a bigger slice of it and want the players to agree on a "trust-us-we-need-it" basis. That's ridiculous. Who in their right mind would simply give up $1 billion without doing their due diligence? You can argue hypotheticals, like what the players response would be if the owners DID open their books -- but until that happens, there's only one group who really dropped the ball. And that's the owners.

Agree 110% great article! You are my new hero!

As fans we should be more compassionate. I am truly worried that some of these players may starve while they are out of work. I THINK WE SHOULD DO OUR PART AND START A CANNED FOOD DRIVE AND TAKE ALL OUR COLLECTIOS TO THE STADIUM AND HAND THEM OUT TO THE POOOOR PLAYERS!!!!

SOME PLAYERS WILL SUFFER,

1-HENNE
2-SOLIAI

I can see your republican leanings collide with reality, affecting your analysis. Stick to the beat and stop letting your bias taint your view of reality.

FINS,

CROWDER HAS A JOB ON THE SIDE ,SELLING EVERY THING FROM PIZZA TO TERMITE KILLER ... HE SHOULD BE FINE .

Aloco,
You just got voted head can collector!!!!

You have to remember these are not hourly employees. The owners are like contractors who subcontract work out to the players. They all have specific jobs to fulfill just as in building a house or commercial building. Together they form a team.

As contractors the owners should not be responsible for players healthcare post playing days. They knew the risks coming in.

As far as money, those players(sub-contractors) that take thier craft serious enough will inevitably make money and the slouches will inevitably make less. Isnt that how it basically works on any American job?

I also totally disagree that owners(contractors) should be held responsible because the Players(subcontractors) totally squandered thier money during thier earnings career. After all, the lowest paid of this bunch will make in one year what it takes the average hardworking American 10yrs. to earn.

If they are indigent at the end of thier playing careers its thru non fault but thier own. Finance 101 should plainly state: "Money really doesnt grow on tree." So these guys should stop spending like it does.

Great piece, Dude. IF both sides are so trying to work this out then why don't they submit to binding arbitration?

Please send your donations to feedtheNFLplayers.com!

HEALTH CARE ?


WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE POOR GREAT PLAYERS WHO PLAYED IN THE 70'S ,80'S,90.S and made NEXT TO NOTHING ,THESE ARE THE PLAYERS DESERVE THEIR HEALTH CARE TO BE PAID FOR BY THE OWNERS , AFTER ALL THIS IS THE FANS MONEY NOT THE OWNERS MONEY .

If I were an NFL player and made as little as $600,000 my 1st season. I would treat it like making $60,000 a year. That way I can still live comfortabl for 10yrs($60,000 X 10yrs = $600,000).

If you make $600,000 in one year and even spend half of it in that one year. Your definitely bordering on financial foolishness and ruins.

PLEASE SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO feedtheNFLowners.com.

db,


THE AVERAGE TIME FOR NFL PLAYER IS 6 YEARS,HOW CAN ANY ONE LIVE COMFORTABLE ON 60,000 UNLESS HE'S LIVING ON CAN FOOD AND AND 65 YEARS OLD ?


HENNE....... 60,000 A YEAR

Armando is a conservative republican. His political leaning is obvious from this post.

lafinsfan wrote it up well, Armando thinks it's reasonable for the players to take a billion$ pay reduction on a 'trust us we need it' basis.

This is a lock out by billionaires who want more money.

Unless you area billionaire, ignorant or a republican there is only one side to be on in this 'debate'.

When did this become a POLITICAL debate......

Armando,

Excellent article. Seriously good writing and it seems it is from both the heart and mind. Way to go!!!!!

and WHO gives a crap about Armando's political views.....

ALoco,

Those players in the past made elaborate amounts of money. Because of the value of the dollar being far stronger in the 70's, a player making $300,000 a year in the 70's is fairly equivalent to a player making $3,000,000 today.

Remember, the inflation adjustment rate is about 3% per year. All of those players would be very well off today if they hadnt blown a predominant portion of it on fine wine, women, over abundance of houses and cars, baby momma's, making it rain at the strip joints, etc...etc... Very few made wise investments into thier future.

So why should the owners be on the hook for that? In the mid 70's a brand new cadillac cost about $9000 and a 2000 sq ft home about $35,000. So even if you made $300,000 you had about $3,000,000 dollars in "buying power in today's money.

Great piece of journalism Armando. For all the areas we may disagree, on the subject of what is important in the big picture we are in absolute agreement.

While I am convinced the players walking away and leaving a very fair deal offered by the owners on the table is palatable evidence they were seeking litigation and not a CBA agreement all along. A deal that included yielding on the two main sticking points, a 18 game season and the $1 billion off the top being relinquished. It is clear that both the owners and players have lost touch with the realities of who they are in this business to entertain. And in essence... who really pays their salaries and life styles.

I would not mind in the slightest if the owners did as they did in 1987 and place new players on the field. NO EMPLOYEE should have say so in the ability of the business they have been given a job by to stop that business from moving forward. All that is in the end is a form of Mobster black mailing and union thuggery. If you do not like your employer and his rules... My advice is find another job.

Decide what side of the fence YOU fall on based on YOUR experinces and background.....

Three cheers for Mando, well said ! We as the mere mortals of society rute for these gifted athletes, but more so for the franchise, my favorite player is still Larry Czonka. But at the end of the day its just entertainment, and my wife would be real happy if I didnt plan next fall around my beloved dolphins. Yea, we as fans need to exercise our influence on the sport, that is after all dependent on us, no fans no revenue. So as for me, I'm on my side in this issue, not given my sympathy to either of them especially considering the times in which we live. Prayers go out to the Japanese and the family of that little girl you mentioned in your article and all those with legitamate concerns' in the real world

DYING BREED,


THANKS FOR OPENING MY EYES ON THAT ANGEL OF THE SUBJECT .THE VALUE OF THE DOLLARS THEN AND NOW .
CARSON PALMER HAS 80 MILLION IN THE BANK ........
P.MANNING................. MUST HAVE MORE IN THE BANK
TOM BRADY............................... 110 MILLION IN THE BANK
PEPPERS....................................... 72 MILLION IN THE BANK
HENNE........................................... 37 DOLLARS IN BANK

Let them all go out and get real jobs!!

The only issue I agree with players on is better health care and we really don't need 18 game season if they can't keep players on the field and healthy.

We don't need the NFL!! Get out and support high school and college football in your community!!

Maybe if we all stayed away from NFL games, refused to but jerseys and $8.00 beers in the stadiums we could return to the day when a family of blue collar means could afford to attend a game!!

WHINERS!!! ALL OF YOU!! I won't support either side. I can barely support my own family!!

SOLIAI....... AFTER PAYING HIS LAWYER FEE'S RE HIS PAST TROUBLES HE HAS ......... 344 DOLLARS IN THE BANK.


HE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE GAME TO RESUME.

ALoco,

In 6yrs, even if a player makes only $600,000 a year(600,000 X 6) he's still made 3.6 million in only 6yrs.

The avg player is 22yrs old when he comes into the league. So in 6yrs he's 28yrs old. Even if he suffers a career ending injury at 28, he still isnt listed as disable and he can go out and get a job just like the evg American citizen.

Isnt that the primary focus behind attending college? It's only those who treat college as a sports factory that will suffer most. Plus @ $600,000 a year for 6yrs, that player still has a 3.6 million dollar headstart on the avg American.

If he blows that huge financial headstart its of no one's fault but his own. It's still time to get a "real" job. Just as any other red blooded American citizen has to do. If a player doesnt pre-plan for this very real possibility, he screwed himself right from the start.

Armando,So if your bosses at the Herald requested that you take their word for it that they are losing money and you need to give back around 15-16% of your salary would you do it?

DB,

THIS ANGEL OF A PLAYER AFTER HE FINISHES HIS PLAYING DAYES,HE STILL CAN GO OUT AND GET A JOB IS A REAL GREAT ANGEL OF THAT SUBJECT .


ANTOINE WALKER......EX CELTICS AND THE HEAT IS BROKE AFTER MAKING 110 MILLION DURING HIS PLAYING YEARS.

GORGE,

NOW YOU R ASKING A BAD QUESTION TO ARMANDO , OF COURSE NOT HE WILL NOT TAKE A CUT , B/C HE'S THE ONLY WRITER IN THE HERALD WHO CAN WRITE .LOL

Bring on the replacement players!

TIME FOR WORK.....TOMORROW

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