Are You Ready for Some Football (Lockout, That Is)? Reason.tv Breaks Down the NFL Labor Lockdown Mess

Reason.tv originally released the video above on February 14, 2011, weeks before negotiations between National Football League owners and NFL players deteriorated to the point where the NFL Players Association moved yesterday to decertify itself as the collective bargaining representative for the guys whose bones get crunched every Sunday during a good chunk of the fall and winter months (less so, of course, if you play for Detroit).

Make no mistake: This is the labor dispute that you'll still be talking about in six months. Like a Twilight novel, it pits vampires versus werewolves, is filled with a ton of adolescent drama, and will likely end with the taxpayers and fans somehow stuck with even more of the bill in the form of increased ticket prices, subsidies, and (arguably worst of all), homilies from sportscasters about how this never used to happend back when it was all just a game.

A month ago, Reason.tv's Austin Bragg explained how we got here and, in a stunning display of prescience, how things just may turn out.

Here's the original writeup for the video:

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it's time for the really big game: the labor battle between National Football League owners and players.

The NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which governs how much players can make, what teams can spend on payrolls, and much more, is set to expire in March. Despite sweetheart deals with publicly financed stadiums and hefty national television contracts, owners say they are being bled dry by runaway salaries and tight economic times. They're looking to extend the regular season to 18 games and for players to forego $7 billion in potential pay increases over the next seven seasons. The players, represented by the federally certified NFL Players Association, want to see the owners' books, more pay for extra games, and other concessions.

Given the amount of money in play, Vegas oddsmakers are betting heavy that the owners will lock out players for the first time since 1987, when a work stoppage shortened the season by a game. In 1982, similar problems led to just nine regular-season games being played.

But don't mistake this for a classic showdown between management and labor hashing out differences on an even playing field. Given the amount of public money in play through stadium deals and the fact that individual players must negotiate collectively through the government-certified NFLPA, federal regulations have almost guaranteed a nasty, sudden-death battle.

How things will shake out is far from certain, but this much is a lock: If the 2011 NFL season is scrapped in part or in whole, the real goat will be government meddling in what should be a purely private negotiation among millionaires and billionaires.

Approximately 3 minutes.

Produced by Austin Bragg.

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  • DNS||

    But don't mistake this for a classic showdown between management and labor hashing out differences on an even playing field. Given the amount of public money in play through stadium deals and the fact that individual players must negotiate collectively through the government-certified NFLPA, federal regulations have almost guaranteed a nasty, sudden-death battle.

    This cannot be repeated enough as this will get lost in the fog when the media tries to conflate public (re: the WI teacher's union strike) and private sector unions. This passage is textbook why the highly touted "Government and private sector partnerships" are doomed to fail, almost without exception. Exceptions I will grant relate to national defense, and even then, that is rife with moral hazard.

  • sevo||

    "Exceptions I will grant relate to national defense, and even then, that is rife with moral hazard."
    They're not only rife with moral hazards, they stink. But defense is one of those things where we admit we haven't found a way to do it without government action and hold our noses.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    But defense is one of those things where we admit we haven't found a way to do it without government action and hold our noses.


    This is true.

    The government has made quite a lot of mistakes in defense, such as killing noncombatants. But privatize it and we would have private militias that would bomb civilian populations and ignore the laws of war without a second's thought.

  • zoltan||

    we would have private militias that would bomb civilian populations and ignore the laws of war without a second's thought.

    Sounds familiar, almost like something publicly-funded militias do.

  • GSL||

    But privatize it and we would have private militias that would bomb civilian populations and ignore the laws of war without a second's thought.

    I know. Thank God we have a military that's never bombed civilian populations or ignored the laws of war.

    Oh wait . . .

  • Rather ||

    But defense is one of those things where we admit we haven't found a way to do it without government action and hold our noses

    So is the case with health care

  • rather retarded||

    I think we have never had healthcare that was not government provided or mandated. I guess that's why they call me rather retarded.

  • ||

    Good. Let them all fail, greedy bastards. Thugs and robberbarons.

  • Rather ||

    Are you talking about the 'Koches'?

  • rather retarded||

    All men have small Koches, except for my daddy.

  • MNG||

    "individual players must negotiate collectively through the government-certified NFLPA"

    The owners desire to negotiate collectively as well, that's what the salary caps and such are about. They want to collude and agree on collective rates for labor.

    With the lockout likely to ruin the season I think the NCAA should think about moving a couple of games to Sunday evenings. I just want football to watch, I could care less whether it is pro or NCAA (though it is crappy they don't pay the college players).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The main concern for the league is maintaining competitive parity, which many owners think is key to the NFL's success. At least, that has been the thinking for a long time. That might be changing - some of the the large market owners would give up the great deal they currently have in order to be able to do whatever they want without any restrictions, and the small market teams are being killed financially by forced revenue sharing. Having to automatically share over half of revenues while covering all expenses kills a lot of money making and brand building opportunities for smaller market teams.

    IMO it would hurt the players if the NFL called their bluff and went to a total free market. No money for retirees beyond whatever has already been set aside, and without automatic revenue sharing it's likely that the players would get an overall smaller cut than they do now, even without a salary cap.

  • MNG||

    How is revenue sharing killing the small market teams? If not for the bigger market teams sharing with smaller market teams in MLB the latter would probably not make it, something the Yankees owner pointed out recently.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The difference is that baseball does not share TV revenue.

    Outside of TV, revenue sharing in the NFL is better described as expense sharing. Thanks to the TFR model, expenses are shared among all teams, but non-TV revenues are not. So when the Cowboys make a 10 million dollar deal, all teams are forced to share over half of that with players - but they get no revenues.

  • MNG||

    "The main concern for the league is maintaining competitive parity"

    NFL games are routinely some of the most watched events in the national entertainment market, charging some of the highest ad fares. That's a weak claim.

  • Kolohe||

    Really? I think it's the strongest claim. The 'any given Sunday' aspect is what makes the NFL must see TV, vice your typical Bulls-Wizards matchup.

  • MNG||

    I thought what he meant was the NFL as a product versus other competitors seen broadly as other forms of entertainment, an anti-trust term, my bad.

    I think comparative parity is in the sense of 'any given sunday' to be a good thing for the NFL, yes.

  • ||

    Yes, MNG, he was talking about competitive parity between the teams, not the NFL and other industries.

  • Kolohe||

    That said, 'maintaining competitive parity' is *not at all* what the owners' side is fighting for in this particular dispute. It's for embiggening the pie, which wouldn't be a big deal in a normal market, but in this one will put worker's health at even more risk for very little additional remuneration or other compensation to the workers.

    (and on the other side, the players are fighting for additional long term and explicitly deferred compensation - which I'm sympathetic towards, given the recent studies on the lasting effects of all the head trauma)

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OK, let me clarify this.

    MNG was talking about the NFL's desire to bargain collectively. My point was that the NFL's desire to bargain collectively is primarily driven by a desire to maintain parity. No bargaining = no draft or cap = no parity.

    However, what is going on behind the scenes is actually a little more complicated. The revenue expense sharing model in the NFL is broken, and the easiest way for the NFL to "fix" it is by changing the agreeement with the players and/or adding some extra games. Right now, the large market teams are raking it in, and the small market teams are struggling. The large market teams have little interest in increasing non-TV revenue sharing, and the small market teams don't have the clout to force them to. They would rather drag the current system out as long as possible. That's why the extra two games are important. More TV revenue for small market teams without hurting the large market teams. Or, if they can get the players to take a smaller share, that will work as well. Until the next crisis, anyway.

  • MNG||

    OK, I think I'm beginning to understand what you're saying here, sorry for the delay.

    Wouldn't it work to have the large market teams that are very successful just change their sharing with the smaller market teams to help them out more rather than embiggening the entire pie and/or cutting into the players share? You note the current revenue sharing plan which is more like an expense sharing plan doesn't do the trick but wouldn't a true revenue sharing plan do it? It's in the interest of the large market teams to keep at least some of the small market teams (you can't have the Steelers vs. the Cowboys every week).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Wouldn't it work to have the large market teams that are very successful just change their sharing with the smaller market teams to help them out more rather than embiggening the entire pie and/or cutting into the players share?

    Yes it would, and back in the days of "league-think" it would have been a no-brainer. That time is past, though. The large market teams don't want to share revenue. For the most part, they like things the way they are. They would rather keep the smaller markets viable by adding games or lowering the players' take a bit.

  • Ted S.||

    Is it all the big-market teams, or just the parvenu owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder?

    I've always been under the impression that the Maras (owners of the Giants) still tend to be on the same side as the Rooneys (owners of the small-market Steelers).

  • Kolohe||

    the small market teams are struggling
    This is news to me; not saying it's not true, just I didn't know, and didn't think it was so.

    My impression is that the NFL model was much better for small market teams than every other major sports leagues (and most of the labor disputes in the other sports leagues were an effort to be 'more like the NFL'. (and which they've had limited, but also ambiguous success).

    The small market teams in the MLB, NBA, and NHL are all struggling far more visibly and publicly than the NFL - for example, one of the NBA teams has been 're-possessed' by the league, and everyone in the bottom third of the NHL is losing money
    http://www.forbes.com/lists/20....._land.html

    So maybe it's a problem with the 'small-market' sports model.

  • Ted S.||

    The Packers have to make their books public.

    I believe the most recent books revealed they still made a profit, but it was a reduced profit based on significantly higher player expenses that outpaced revenue growth.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Moreover, and I think it's already been covered, but isn't most of the profitability in owning an NFL team in its long-term appreciation, what you can sell the team for 10 years down the road to a greater fool? I remember owners like the DeBartolos (back before idiot sister took the keys from Eddie) being happy with running a small loss y-t-y, as they had other profit-making businesses to make up the shortfall, and could always sell the team if need be.

    Clearly this won't apply if your team gets contracted and you don't get a greater fool to sell to. As far as troubled small-mkt NFL teams, weren't Jacksonville and Buffalo always the ones bandied about?

    I'm still waiting to see how Doty rules on where the pre-paid T.V. money goes: into escrow, back to the T.V. networks with rescission, apportioned to the players as damages? Also, given that he's been involved with NFL labor litigation for the last 20 years or more, how long should it really take for him to rule on the players' motion to enjoin a lockout, or the League's various actions against the players' old union? I don't see either side moving to a resolution until some of the legal preliminaries in his court are cleared up. At least the players have a bit of a shot now since Doty ruled the T.V. contracts were negotiated in bad faith.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What Kolohe said.

  • DNS||

    (though it is crappy they don't pay the college players).

    An athletic scholarship is not a form of income?

  • MNG||

    A pittance compared to what they are worth. Some programs pull in many millions.

  • DNS||

    A pittance compared to what they are worth. Some programs pull in many millions.

    Those millions go to not only fund their sports programs (including the ones that cannot survive financially on their own merits) but also to fund educational pursuits. I would think someone who is a die-hard fan of egalitarianism would be for such arrangements. "Worth" is concretely defined by the institution, also a concept highly touted by Utilitarians such as yourself.

  • MNG||

    Their performance brings millions into the program, they should be compensated for that. I should think an individualist like you could appreciate that.

  • DNS||

    they should be compensated for that.

    They are in the form of athletic scholarship and the opportunity for a higher education, and that's in addition to the ancillary social benefits that accompany membership in a sports program. The universities are pretty clear cut on their offer. What are you suggesting, a college football players union? Good grief, is there nothing you collectivists can't screw up in the name of stratified benefit?

    I should think an individualist like you could appreciate that.

    I do. If the player does not receive a benefit he or she does not like, then they should be free to investigate other universities. If none exist, tough.

  • MNG||

    I don't know how to break this to you but NCAA sports is a far cry from a free market.

    The players perform and their performance makes the colleges millions and they aer "paid" in pitiful scholarships. Now realize that because of agreements between the pro leagues and the NCAA many do not have the option of bypassing college and selling their skills on the professional "market" (which in many pro sports is not much of a market due to owner collusion and CBA restrictions). If they want to play pro they have to dance with the NCAA which pays the coaches and collects checks from the networks and Nike but does not really pay their employees that put on the product.

  • DNS||

    Now realize that because of agreements between the pro leagues and the NCAA many do not have the option of bypassing college and selling their skills on the professional "market" (which in many pro sports is not much of a market due to owner collusion and CBA restrictions).

    This sounds remarkably, like...wait for it...a union. Now, if I was an owner of a pro sports team, you're darn tootin' I will want to see how the product is going to perform (or at least give me a reasonable level of confidence thereof) before I shell out a multi-million dollar, bennie laden contract. I fail to see how it's either the school's responsibility or fault if the undergrad's primary focus is to break into the big leaugues in lieu of a marketable skill. You takes your chances.

    I also notice that you are glossing over the primary function of universities, and that is to provide tuition. If the university has a kickass football program, then they should be able to set the standards of both consideration and benefits.

  • Xenocles||

    "The players perform and their performance makes the colleges millions and they aer "paid" in pitiful scholarships."

    They also get four or five years of high-quality training to help them get ready for the pros. IOW, they can build on whatever raw talent they have and actually become able to play in the NFL. That's pretty valuable if you consider the potential return of a pro career.

    If they didn't have the talent out of high school to make it in the pros, why should they be paid like pros? If they did, the door's open. I typically see a few starters claim a high school rather than a college when they introduce the lineup.

  • 4chan||

    That's only if you're assuming the 'high quality' training is what a professional team is looking for.

    The goals of the college teams and the professional teams differ for the players regulated to the 'college' game. Player development is only needed to win games, and generally only to that point. College coaches want to and need to win games, professional teams want to see the players develop. Winning is a side benefit to it.

    The problem for pro teams is that there is so much emphasis that college teams will put on areas that clashes or contradicts what is needed to play in a professional league or in some cases outright ruin a player (i.e. pitchers in College baseball), that the main reason why professional sports tolerate it is because its a 'free' farm system.

    The NCAA system is fraught with inefficiency, waste, and corruption, and needs to die a quick death.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Agreed. Player development in college football is often to the detriment of their employability in the NFL, thinking of the prevalence of spread-formation quarterbacks in college. One of the reasons Luck would have been a no-brainer #1 is that Stanford was utilizing him in a largely pro-style offense.

    My solution to the issue of college athletes' "amateurism" is to toss aside the hypocrisy that these guys are here to go to school. Pay them with a tuition/room board voucher on a year for year basis, for when they are done with athletics and want to go back to school and learn. While they are athletes, pay them like MLB minor leaguers (i.e. a pittance)---or just ignore it when boosters choose to pay the athletes---make them take classes on financial management, etc... If this means fewer colleges can afford D-1 BCS or whatever they're calling it this week, so much the better.

    Also, there are many athletes who would no doubt love a shot at professional athletics right out of H.S. Unfortunately, football and basketball won't allow that. Thank you Sonia Sotomayor. So we have the ridiculousness of one-and-done in college hoops, where if the student does it right, they don't even have to go to class. I cheer when HS students give the finger to the NCAA, and go to Europe/Asia pro leagues to learn their trade.

  • MNG||

    "Player development in college football is often to the detriment of their employability in the NFL, thinking of the prevalence of spread-formation quarterbacks in college."

    And think of the possibility of injury that would snuff out a pro career before it even starts!

    Look, if kids could go pro in some meaningful way outside of the NCAA like in MLB then I would bitch a lot less about not paying the players for putting on a performance which makes dough for everyone involved except themselves. But that's not what is going on now in many areas.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Now realize that because of agreements between the pro leagues and the NCAA many do not have the option of bypassing college and selling their skills on the professional "market"...

    This is true for football, and to a lesser extent basketball. Baseball teams often draft kids from high school to their rookie leagues.

    Nevertheless, the point about the NCAA being a de facto minor league for the NFL is a decent one. However, IIRC, a player only needs to play one full year before declaring eligibility if he wishes. That few do so shows that many value whatever they get in college. Absent a viable minor league for football (e.g., the WFL), it would be a hard system to change.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Don't they often pay graduate and postgraduate students involved in grant funded or money making research? Seems like something similar could be done for football players.

  • DNS||

    Don't they often pay graduate and postgraduate students involved in grant funded or money making research?

    The key words here being "graduate" and "postgraduate."

  • cbmclean||

    Wait a minute, aren't we the people who mock the claims of things being "worth" differently than the buyer and seller agree to? I mean, if the colleges implicitly offer the scholarships as a form of compensation for playing, and the players willingly accept it...

  • ||

    yes, but price controls are price controls, whether they are instituted by government or someone/thing else. saying a high school basketball player is required to play a year of college ball before he's eligible for the draft is nothing more than a quota or import restriction. it doesn't make the player better off -- it only makes the schools, their coaches, their fans, the networks and pro veterans (by allowing one more roster spot) better off. it keeps the player from earning an income (unlike other sports like baseball, golf, and tennis that allow younger athletes to be professional) and exposes them to potential career-ending injuries in the process.

    my opinion on saying the athletes are compensated with education is that most of their compensation for those who have a real shot of being professional is the chance of becoming professional (if that makes sense). no one can be drafted by the nfl (the nba is a different story; think about brandon jennings) without playing in college; there just aren’t other viable options. the players know this so they go to college. many of them don't value the education itself very highly -- they value the probability of making it to the nfl. (another reason they might not value the education very highly could be that they know what a sham it is at many schools.)

    i wonder how many people who think the free tuition is fair compensation would also think its fair to pay someone who works for a mining company in, say, coal or rock. Just because the education/room/board is worth $45k/yr to someone doesn't mean it’s worth that to everyone. Just because rio tinto thinks that pile of coal they just dumped on your lawn is worth $45k doesn't mean its worth $45k to you. Certain infrastructure needs to be in place to get the full value of that coal. Rio tinto has it; you don’t. many of these kids come from homes and high schools that haven’t prepared them for college, which, for them, means the infrastructure isn’t in place. Sure, sometimes people (like Michael oher) can have that infrastructure built later on, but that’s very expensive (not just in money) and isn’t going to happen for very many people.

    gratefully, no one here is advocating for the government to intervene. my goal is education.

  • MNG||

    Government has already intervened in the NCAA is a quasi-public entity. I'd like to see anti-trust laws break up the set up whereby NFL teams can only draft players after they've jumped through NCAA hoops...

  • Charles 3E||

    Moving college games to Sunday would be a mistake. It would reinforce the notion that college football is just NFL-lite, only a substitute for the real thing. Especially with its own varieties of off-the-field drama, the NCAA doesn't want its product to be viewed in the same way the NFL is. Plus, it would mess with tradition, which is one of the big things cfb has going for it.

  • MNG||

    A great historical reminder why we have players unions is the history of the reserve clause, which I submit is a textbook case of problems in laissez-faire "freedom to contract" demonstrating how that "freedom" can lead to unfairness, less competition and a lower quality product.

    http://www.baseball-reference......rve_clause

  • 4chan||

    Its all economies of scale. The way the major pro sports are set up, if you want to own a team, you need the permission of the other owners, and they place restrictions on you that will hurt your ability to make a profit such as territorial rights, revenue sharing, etc.

    Pro sports, if anything are not free markets, but tightly controlled markets created to extract as much wealth as possible for the few individuals that are able to exploit it.

  • ||

    Fuck the NFL.

    That is all.

  • Restoras||

    Seems to me if you are making over $50,000/year then a union is just an excuse to rape the people paying the bills - regardless if those paying are fans or taxpayers.

    Fuck the players - it's a priviledge, you greedy dickheads, not a right to play any professional game. Get over yourselves you fucking losers.

    Fuck the owners - what, you bought an expensive toy and it doesn't work anymore? Oh wait, let me call you a wahhhmbulance while you are figuring out yet another creative way to bone taxpayers that couldn't give a shit about your boring, twisted, and hopelessly corrupted form of rugby (a far superior game).

  • Jerry Jones||

    This is what I've been wanting all along. Can't wait until the courts strike down the salary cap as an unfair restriction on wages. Fuck all those small market bitches. Get ready for the 2012 Cowboys now featuring Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Andre Johnson. I'm finally going to get another ring. About damn time.

  • zoltan||

    I will commit seppuku if I see Andre Johnson in a Cowboys jersey. The mental image itself is terrifying.

  • -||

    I stopped watching the NFL out of boredom. I loved it as a kid, before I had the wisdom to notice that for every minute of action there were 17 minutes of inaction (replays, time-outs, commercials, more commercials, analysis, huddles, cheerleaders, more analysis, guys standing around doing nothing, coaches yelling at the guys standing around doing nothing, more replays). The game itself is flawed. It's a scam. It's best understood and appreciated by drunken louts keeping company with other drunken louts who are otherwise distracted by food and booze and betting. But the NFL will not die. We are too stupid to let it die. It will emerge from the chaos bigger, louder, and more idiotic than ever. Look for a squad of animatronic Beatles (complete with 1965 Shea Stadium costumes) to play the first post-apocalyptic Super Bowl Halftime Extravaganza before a squealing mob of imported Beatlemania drones, the cameras zooming in on the adorable pre-picked tween mouthing, "I love you, Paul!"

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Replays don't count as action now?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Can't wait until the courts strike down the salary cap as an unfair restriction on wages.


    Is there a legal basis for it?

  • ||

    How is it an unfair restriction on wages if it's agreed to in the CBA?

  • Almanian||

    What P Brooks said - fuck the NFL. Scab ball back in the 80's strike year was the best - those guys were TRYING.

    I'll watch college ball till these dickheads sort it out.

  • ||

    If there's one thing I'm more disgusted with than the protesting public employees in Wisconsin, it's professional athletes who already have everything handed to them on a silver platter pissing and moaning about only being able to buy a medium-sized mansion.

  • Cynic||

    To be fair, the average career in the NFL barely exceeds three years. That probably won't buy you a mansion, but it will buy you a temporary entourage, lots of needy homies, dependent children you never knew you had, free concussions, crippling injuries and the happy knowledge that once upon a time you played for the National Football League. Leave a message. They'll get back to you.

  • juris imprudent||

    Like a Twilight novel...

    You owe me one new monitor and keyboard for that beer-spewing line.

    On the other hand, my sinuses are very hoppy.

  • GSL||

    I have to agree: fuck the NFL. I grew up in a town that takes it VERY seriously, so each year I get sucked in by enough hype that I watch the first Sunday's slate of games. And am bored to tears by it. By week 2 it sinks in that the NFL is 1% compelling sports and 99% hype and off-field soap operas. At that point, the next time in the season I think about football is when I'm deciding what kind of chili to make for my Super Bowl party.

  • Restoras||

    mmmmmm.....chiiiiiillllliiiii.....

  • GSL||

    Oh yeah. This year I made one with cubed pork, cannellini beans, and chopped jalapenos. It got a better reception than the game.

  • juris imprudent||

    is 1% compelling sports and 99% hype and off-field soap operas

    Sounds more like pro 'rasslin'.

  • GSL||

    No argument on that, but have you followed ESPN or SI during the football season? I can understand recapping the games and looking ahead to key upcoming matchups for various teams. But why am I supposed to give a fuck about whether Terrell Owens is getting the ball enough, or how great Brett Favre is, or the depth of Bill Belichick's genius, or whether America needs to forgive Michael Vick, etc.? Because these sorts of inane debates are what the mainstream sports media focuses on almost exclusively during the year.

  • cbmclean||

    But why am I supposed to give a fuck about

    You aren't "supposed" to care, but there are millions who do. Therefore, there is a market for supplying information about such things. Therefore ESPN and SI make money supplying this market.

  • ||

    Why don't both sides do something for their goodwill while they battle it out in court like let the season continue and have both the owners and players take all profits/wages for the season and donate it to the retired NFL players retirement/healthcare funds. The retired players of yesterday built the NFL to what led to the revenues of today but so many of them could use better healthcare as the sport was too rough on their bodies (as the recent concussion studies have shown).
    If a today player or owner doesn't want to take part, then let him sit at home for the season. I am sure the public would step up to reward those owners and players that kept the season going and helped out our heroes of yesterday.

  • zoltan||

    Heroes my ass.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...everyone in the bottom third of the NHL is losing money... (Kolohe's link above)

    Let's see... Florida (Ft. Lauderdale) Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, Phoenix Coyotes. Anyone see a pattern here?

    Admittedly, The NY Islanders and Buffalo Sabres are in that group, while the 3 California teams are in the middle group. The only team in the top 10 from a "non-traditional" hockey area was the Dallas Stars. The Original Six were all in the top 10.

    And in any event, fuck pro sports. I like football, baseball, and hockey, but so long as their owners (and by proxy, their players' unions) remain rent-seeking cocksuckers, they can all go to hell. I hope all sports go on season-long strikes, and get people to lose interest so support for public funding of stadiums becomes far more contentious than it is now.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Re-reading what I wrote, I'd like to apologize to cocksuckers. Gay men and straight women do not (necessarily) deserve to be lumped in with the rent-seeking scum involved in pro sports.

  • zoltan||

    Thanks, Baked Penguin, from suckers of cock everywhere.

  • juris imprudent||

    get people to lose interest

    Careful - you are tampering with the mob's desire for circus.

  • Rather ||

    Football is so boring, I can't even read a whole thread about the game.

    The NCAA is a racket like the HC lobby, and sadly the exchange of talent for education is often unfulfilled. Schools are caught giving 'football easy' classes for a reason

  • rather retarded||

    I made a football shaped pickle with my cunt once.

  • Obvious||

    That's funny every time!

  • ||

    I'm bored to death of both sides of this dispute (and those like it in other pro sports) throwing tantrums at each other over the division of their profits. A pox on both their houses.

    Let's push through a bill making it illegal for government at any level to subsidize any sport with our tax money (or even tax breaks). After that, I don't care how long they stay out on strike or lockout.

    That includes the NCAA, which would probably do better without its federal money. Let schools start openly paying their players and/or no longer bother to pretend they're studying, and it'll not only improve the show at college stadiums, it'll also improve the reputation and worth of the degrees the colleges are handing out. Especially if they can also do away with "affirmative action" in admissions while they're at it.

    (Why do fewer minorities qualify? Mostly because high schools don't do their job for minorities - a problem that only school choice can cure.)

  • Ted S.||

    That includes the NCAA, which would probably do better without its federal money.

    College football, yes.

    The sports that are around only because of Title Ix, not so much.

  • PantsFan||

    @EricStangel: They should just organize the NCAA tournament around Gus Johnson's schedule. Let him do every damn game...

  • ||

    OK, now thats what I am talking about. Wow. Very good stuff.

    www.anon-tools.es.tc

  • ||

    On the positive side this will hopefully end that weird sport, rugby will be a better alternative. If the sexy cheerleaders are also moved over to Rugby, I doubt anyone would care if the unions and owners fight it out for the next few decades.

  • juris imprudent||

    So Boies has joined the NFL/owners legal team. I am now putting 1 large on the players (given his track record against Microsoft, for Gore and for SCO).

  • ||

    If I believed in God, I would be on my knees praying that they NEVER reached an agreement, and that the arenas paid for by hard-earned tax money confiscated from citizens at the point of the barrel of a gun be turned into modern day Roman amphitheatres where the elected officials who voted for these facilities are used as wild bear bait, then left to rot in the sun whilst even vultures circle above in the sky, declining even to partake of politician meat due to its toxicity. The most gratifying sight would be watching enraged feral hogs evicerate those fat, bald, white, bug-eyed mayoral types who are ever to be heard braying about the need for professional sports in their town, always at the expense of somebody other than the owners who give new meaning to the term welfare cheats.

  • chaussures puma||

    oh

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