To The Players Of The NFL

To the players of the NFL,

So the NFL owners wouldn’t give in and show you their books huh?  That sucks.  I mean, don’t feel bad, my boss wouldn’t open up their books and show me either.  In fact, they simply stared at me like I was crazy.  Imagine that.  Of course, I can’t sue them for that.  So now the NFL will likely try and lock all of you players out and you will file an “Anti-trust” lawsuit against them because for now, your not a union.  Even though when all of this is over you will simply re-form the union.  Maybe one of you can explain that to me.  How can you be a union only when it serves your purpose and then not be a union when it doesn’t serve your purpose knowing that you will simply become a union again when it does?

In the meantime, we as fans, your customers whom without would make your careers obsolete, get to start watching baseball again.  You know the sport that had a work stoppage and thus lost the title of “America’s game” when a slew of their fans simply didn’t return making the NFL the most successful professional sport in the world.

I do have some questions for you though.

Maybe one of you could answer them (my email is located in the “ABOUT” section).  See I really have no problem with you making $285,000 as a rookie or first year player at league minimum or a veteran making more than that at league minimum.  I also don’t have a problem with some of you “millionaires” making far more money than you probably should (and likely perform at…right Albert H.?)  It’s the entertainment industry and you should get paid to put your body out there like you do.

One of your fellow co-workers said via Twitter yesterday that at no time did the players ask for more money, that’s a fact according to Drew Brees.  But is it not also true that at the outset of this issue a little more than two weeks ago, a member of the NFLPA team conceded that the players got the better deal during the last CBA negotiations?  So why would you ask for more money and why would you not expect the owners to try and gain some of that money back?  Without having to open their books?

By your own admission they (the owners) got screwed.

This brings me to the question of the salary cap. Why does it go up each year? I hear it’s to adjust for inflation.  If so, then why is it that the salary cap will go up 4 to 8 million annually for inflation but the owners don’t get more back off that 9 billion to adjust for their operating expenses? Which by the way also increase each year due to inflation.

Seems a little unfair to me.

I also hear that, according to DeMaurice Smith that the players and “fans” don’t want an 18 game schedule.  I think it would be great to add two more games, increase the rosters, and add another bye week.  But that’s just me.  I know, I know, there is an issue of player safety.  After all, players are getting seriously injured playing this game.  But of course you knew that was a job hazard coming in correct?  But I guess my question about it is this:  If the players are so worried about getting injured in those “2 extra games” then why is it that they take so much exception to rules implemented, not by the NFLPA, but by the NFL to curb issues with say, hits on defenseless receivers?  I mean, according to James Harrison, he simply can’t do his job and should consider quitting because he can’t go for someone’s head without getting fined.

Isn’t that a rule instituted to protect you players from undue injuries?

Seriously?  Does that make sense to you?  It doesn’t to me.  Players don’t want to play two more games because they could get hurt but they don’t agree with the NFL putting measures in place to protect the players from that actually happening.  It was also said that the players wanted a longer off-season with less mandatory workouts.  But isn’t that part of conditioning so that you don’t get injured throughout the season?  Correct me if I am wrong here.

Another issue that I heard about was a rookie salary cap and that one I simply don’t understand.  Maybe it’s just my opinion but does a rookie really need to be guaranteed some 20 to 25 million without stepping on an NFL field (which by the way, the owners maintain for you)?  I’m just saying.  See what gets me here is that the rookie wages count against the teams caps.  So if the salary cap is 130 million and a team pays out 10 million to rookies under a rookie cap, then 120 million is still available to pay veterans.  Correct?  And considering that the owners must spend a minimum of 85 % of each years cap, how is that money not going to anyone but the veterans?

The way I see it from my chair here is that if a team is going to spend 130 million why should any player care who they spend it on?  I mean it would make sense to me to lower the outrageous money paid to the top half of the first round in the draft thus allowing teams to spend more re-signing their own players or in free agency.  Again, that’s just me.

I do realize that there is probably a lot more to this CBA stuff that I simply am not privy too.  That’s fine, I understand that.  I mean is the NFL wanting to cut your insurance benefits?  The last I heard the NFL was willing to spend more money on retired players, is that wrong?  If so, that sounds like a good thing to me.

So I guess what I am asking is this.  Why the hell should I support you, the players, in this soon to be litigated labor dispute?  Why should I shell out my money for NFL Sunday Ticket, or season tickets, or player jerseys, or, well you get the idea.  See the gas prices are the same for me as they are for you only I don’t make any where near what you do and while neither of us make anything close to what the owners make, the fact is they have all the risk.

See, it’s really like this.  You are a great athlete and you got a college education to go with it.  In many cases with a full scholarship because of your athletic ability.  So if the NFL suddenly ceased to exist or ran into dire financial straights, you would have a degree to fall back on.  The owners on the other hand, invest their own money into buying the team, paying your salary, the coaches salary, staff salary, attendants salary, stadium employees,  upgrades to your locker-rooms to make you comfortable, your medical expenses, retirement, stadium upgrades, and literally food to feed you with and yet rely on you to perform at a level that will get people like me to buy tickets, pay for parking, by food and beer, merchandise, and everything else in between.  And only 53 of you win the Super Bowl each year.

So given all that, if the NFL suddenly folded like say the UFL, who would take the investment hit?  Surely not you, because you don’t invest your own money in the stadium or the team.  You invest it in restaurants and vintage automobiles…I kid.  Of course the local fan populace would take a hit.  I mean we would still  have to pay the taxes for the new stadium renovations…even if no one, like you, were playing in the stadiums.  Correct?  I mean, you don’t pony up money to help the owners pay for stadium or training facility upgrades, do you?

So can one of you, any one of you, please explain to me in real terms, why it is that I should support you in this endeavor you are about to undertake?  Knowing damn well that when this all gets sorted out by the courts and the next CBA is done, and you all go back to being a union, and games are going to be played again, that I, the fan, will have to pay more out of my pocket to keep you happy and more out of my pocket to keep the owners in a position to pay you and continue to operate.

Just one of you.

I can’t and won’t speak for all fans.  But I do speak for myself as a fan.  And until YOU, the players, convince me otherwise, I’m sorry, on the field, I support you 100 % but off the field, this go around, I don’t support you at all.

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Tags: NFL NFL CBA NFL Lockout NFLPA Players Decertify Union

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