The Real Losers In The Labor Fight Is Not You

Yes, this is another lockout article.  Seriously, there isn’t really much more to write about these days.  Another player analysis?  We don’t have a clue on what player/s will be here when all this over let alone when this will all be over.  Coaches profile?  Yeah, been there and done that.  Roster recaps, roster predictions, camp battles?  lol…Lol…LOL.

Let’s face it folks, until the players and the league owners find a way to get into a room and mediate an agreement, the 2011 season is as far away as the next Super Bowl.

Already the league has cancelled it’s first off-season event.  The rookie symposium.  I’m not sure I agree with the cancellation of the symposium as it really stands to help the rookies understand what they will be faced with in becoming NFL players.  From how to be fiscally responsible to league operations.  On the other hand, the league really isn’t in a position to spend more money without a source of flow coming in.  Or for that matter to do anything for the players at all.  Still, I don’t agree with it.  The league should have gone forward with that event because it serves a greater purpose long term than the lockout serves in the short.

The rookies are however, not the losers in all of this.  And neither are you or I.  The real losers in this mess are the hundreds or more employees of every NFL team that is taking pay cuts and or unpaid forced furloughs.  And if this doesn’t get solved before the start of the season and games begin to get missed, then these employees will lose more than a percentage of their salary.  They will lose their jobs.  Do you think the players care about that?  Apparently some owners don’t.

Why are you not losing in this mess?  Continue reading.

We all love football.  Many of us have played the game, we have curtailed our schedules around Sunday afternoons either at a game or watching it on TV.  We block time slots for our teams prime-time match-ups and we invest or money in NFL gear, memorabilia, and Sunday NFL Ticket subscriptions.  We pay for parking at the stadiums, food for our pre-game festivities, season tickets, single game tickets, gas to get to and from the game, and everything else in between.  Hell, I spend at minimum 8 hours a day reading and researching whatever I can find to simply write about daily, 365 days a year.

And if it’s gone.  I won’t lose anything.  If you own season tickets, you will get reimbursed.  If you buy a players jersey, well that’s your fault.  The truth is we will all simply find something else to do with our time and that may or may not have a lasting impact on our future viewing habits.  Consider the last baseball strike.  There are still many fans who have yet to go back to the game.  I am actually one of those.

I loved baseball.  I could watch it on TV, at the game, whatever.  I followed it from day one into October.  I knew the rosters of most teams and even played the fantasy games as well.  Now, I couldn’t tell you who is on my favorite team any more than who is on the Yankees.  I’m not saying that will happen with football, it won’t for me because it’s a different type of love affair.  But for those fans who don’t live and breath the sport will simply leave it behind.

So in reality, we, the fans lose nothing.  While both parties spend so much time trying to win the hearts and minds of the fans, the reality is we will all come crawling back when the first game kicks off.  Whether that is with week 1 or week 8.  Many of us have gone through this before in 1987 and we survived.  We will again.

The employees of those teams cutting salaries however, they have no choices in this matter.  It’s not their fault but they are being made to suffer.  And they are the ones who are losing in this mess.

The Miami Dolphins have tiered their salary cuts from 20 percent to 10 percent depending on an employees salary.  75K takes a 20% reduction, 50 to 75 takes a 15% reduction and anyone under 50K takes a 10 percent reduction in salary.  Many teams are not offering to reimburse their employees when this mess goes away.

While both sides bicker about numbers, the real folks that are suffering are working their normal hours for a lot less money.  These are the people that are like you and I.  Those that will never see million dollar contracts or even 6 figure salaries.  This is not guys like CEO Mike Dee or GM Jeff Ireland or HC Tony Sparano.  These are guys and gals who run the team websites, sell tickets, work at the stadium, host the radio shows, or even run the teams charity events.  They are the photographers who suddenly have nothing to shoot and the team writers who have nothing to write about.  Real people losing money in a bad fiscal environment because two sides won’t talk to each other and hammer out a new deal.

I will be writing an article on this a little later but I feel it deserves mention in this one as well.  The players have yet to respond to the last two offers made by the league.  In fact, the league in their last offer, agreed to the 161 million dollar cap number that the players demanded for year 4 of the deal.  This was the number that increased from 151 million by the players when they said that the 151 was a “bargaining rebate” and that when they decertified, that “rebate” was off the table.  They have yet to counteroffer either one of the leagues two proposals.  Instead they are waiting out the ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

And while they do so, the employees of many teams continue to take a hit.  It should be known that while I do support the owners in this labor fight, I do not support them taking away from their employees.  Cutting the salaries of CEO’s, coaches, and general managers is one thing.  Cutting the salaries of everyday people is another.

If the lockout is lifted by the 8th Circuit then the players will feel vindicated and they will, through the mouth of DeMaurice Smith, throw barbs at the league and how they “broke the law” and how the players were right all along.  They will say it’s a huge victory for the players, and a bigger victory for the fans.  In reality, the only winners in that scenario will be the only real losers in the current one.

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Tags: Miami Dolphins NFL NFL Lockout NFL Rookie Symposium

  • corners

    At least they will have jobs when the lockout ends. As fans we have already and are currently living through a recession. So please don’t tell us we aren’t losing as if we have no clue what its like.

    These pay cuts are temporary and at least most of them are still getting a paycheck unlike 7 million Americans that recently lost their jobs.Most of us could only dream of making $75,000, never mind $50,000 a year. So no, i don’t feel bad at all. The whole league knew the lockout might be coming.

    • BrassMonkey

      I don’t follow your logic… Many fans have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts through no fault of their own, so you don’t feel bad for other people who have to take a pay cut and may lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
      If that’s your point, I hope no one feels bad for you, either.

      $50k is not a lot of money to raise a family with. If you’re making less than that, it’s a great time to go back to school. Take student loans to help you get by, and look for an “in-demand” career. Jobs in the medical field like nurses, x-ray techs, and med. equipment repairmen are all in high demand and it will only get better as the “Baby Boomers” get older and sicker. You’ll come out making $50k-$75k easy in a couple of years.

      Man, I’m sorry if you’ve fallen on hard times but only you can pull yourself out of it. Just because things aren’t going well for you, that doesn’t mean that others deserve to suffer.

  • Brian Miller

    We are not losing money from this labor issue. The recession we dont control and they suffer higher gas and food prices as well. They will gain nothing from this labor stuff and have to eat it so the players and owners can grandstand.

  • beowulf

    Brian, I agree that the biggest losers are indeed the staff who are suffering loss of pay, and as I’ve said before, I have to wonder if that won’t cause some friction once the NFL resumes operations.

    All of this doesn’t mean that the fans aren’t “losing” as well though. Many of us get a great deal of pleasure from following the game, and have spent ridiculous amounts of money supporting the NFL and our team because of that fact. Besides the tickets, and various other items we buy, our communities have paid for stadium renovations and construction, so that this is actually a breach of contract with us! They OWE us a season!

    How many American workers refuse to work because the owner of their company is making more money than they are?

  • BrassMonkey

    When the owner / boss makes more money than EVERYONE ELSE COMBINED, you do have a problem, particularly when the “employees” lose 30 years off their life expectancy because the work is so dangerous.

    Don’t believe the hype… the players didn’t opt out of the CBA and start this fight, the owners did. It’s also unfair to portray this as “a fight between billionaires and millionaires”, as I keep hearing. Believe it or not, after taxes and miscellaneous agent/rep. fees, MOST players take home less than a million dollars over their careers. A typical player plays 1-3 years near the minimum ($300k before taxes/agent fees), gets cut, and tries to figure out how to make ends meet with no job skills, no insurance, and serious physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

    Golden boys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the exception, not the rule.