NFL Lockout Rant: Players Must Present a Fan-Centric Deal
Personally, I would not consider Carl Eller a very reliable source on CBA talks. And even if Eller was right, do we really think the owners are going to submit a fair deal now that they finally came out on the winning side in a courtroom decision?
I doubt it. Owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder likely view this ruling as a chance to tighten the screws on the players and pressure them to accept an owner-friendly deal. Players representative DeMaurice Smith will do everything he can to keep all the players in line and continue pursuing a player-friendly deal.
In other words, a lot happened on Monday, but not much changed. There’s still no football and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.
Even though it annoys me, both the owners and the players continue trying to win over the fans during this whole mess. I am anything but a labor expert and I only pretend to know what I’m talking about regarding the NFL lockout, but if I were Smith, and I felt that winning the PR battle would somehow help get a deal done, here is what I would do:
I would immediately submit a proposal with financial concessions favorable to the owners. I don’t know what the exact numbers would be, but it would be obvious to most fair-minded observers that the players made significant concessions and the raw financial numbers favor the owners. It wouldn’t be completely lopsided like the owner’s original proposal, but it would be a win for the owners nonetheless. However, those concessions would come with some fan-centric provisions.
- Owners would have to lock in season ticket prices for the next three years;
- All teams must offer at least 1,000 tickets to every home game at $10 apiece;
- Any team-owned parking facilities may not charge more than $25 to park on gameday;
- If teams charge fans money to tailgate, they must forfeit two games that season. If they charge money and limit the hours that fans can tailgate, the franchise is contracted and the owner is arrested;
- Soda, bottled water and hot dogs will be $1 at every stadium. Beer will cost no more than $7, $6 if it’s the watered-down crap they serve at most stadiums;
- The NFL Sunday Ticket package would be made available to all cable/satellite providers;
- There will no longer be commercials after a touchdown, then the kickoff, then another commercial. The league must decide to either run a commercial after the touchdown, or after the ensuing kickoff, not both;
- No more Thursday night games;
- A rookie pay-scale will be instituted;
- Any team that considers signing Brett Favre will be fined $20 million.
How are you supposed to enforce some of these proposals? I don’t know. For example, what would the Green Bay Packers do about the $10 ticket provision when all of their games are sold out for the next 100 years on a season ticket basis? How would the league renegotiate with Direct TV regarding the Sunday Ticket provision? Would contracting teams for limiting tailgate hours be legal? Ditto for the Favre Fine?
I don’t know, and I don’t care. The owners keep talking about long-term sustainability. The only way the NFL remains sustainable is with fan support, especially fans that buy tickets to games. How is the NFL supposed to cultivate younger generations of fans when parents can’t afford to take their kids to a game or pay for the Sunday Ticket package?
You can argue that fan interest continues to rise no matter how much owners raise prices, but how sustainable do we think that is? Home prices kept going up for a while too, and we all know how sustainable that ended up being. You can only keep poking at people for so long before they punch you in the face and walk away.
Obviously, I am idealist. In my perfect world, Smith would propose this deal tomorrow, the owners would have an epiphany, sign the fan-centric deal, and the world would have football again. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
Instead, we’ll get more BS and less common sense. Oh well. As long as Favre stays away, I guess it all can’t be bad, right?——————