Nikola Tesla had an idea of exporting free energy via one power source, which would have been based at Wardenclyffe Tower. Even he, in all his infinite wisdom, would be dumbfounded at the all-encompassing power generated by sports to blind and divert attention from real problems that exist to the trivial and superfluous.
The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most dynamic suppliers of energy to BRA, perhaps single-handily fueling the entire apparatus that leaves people incapable of standing up to this dynamic entity and leaving us but a nation of cowards.
People follow professional football with an intensity and passion once reserved for the Gods, devoting hours of wasted productivity debating the calls that sealed their teams defeat and Monday Morning Quarterbacking their beloved franchises inability to convert the big 3rd Down that brought ruin to their team.
The NFL even had the power to bring New Orleans Saints fans of all races and creeds together so that few murders were committed while they played last season.
This love, admiration and desire to consume as much of the game as possible by fans has been one of the primary catalysts for the acceleration of the average NFL franchise value from $125 million in 1993 to more than $1 billion today.
NFL television ratings for the new 2010 season are astronomical, yet an ominous cloud looms beyond the horizon that few people believe will eventually bring rain to wash away the good news and - potentially - damage irrevocably the one source of power which BRA derives so much energy from.
Those who are employed by the NFL as players pull in salaries once reserved for Kings and titans of industry, though the ability to hold onto that wealth is fleeting once these players retire from the game. 75 percent of players go broke upon retiring:
“I'm totally convinced that about 75 percent of all pro football players, they’re going to be broke in about three to five years after leaving the game," Jack Bechta said.We have discussed reasons for why this occurs at SBPDL in the past, and in attempts to rectify the inability to stay in the Black financially, the NFL Players Union is considering a strike if demands for increased salary cannot be meet:
Bechta places some of the blame at the feet of what he calls unscrupulous financial advisors. But a lot of it, Bechta claims, is the naiveté of the players, an unwillingness to take responsibility for the money they earn“You know, there's always that saying: learn from this person's mistake.
But that's not human nature. You're going to still make the same mistake, regardless of if the person does it right in front of you,” Bengals running back Cedric Benson said.Benson played professional baseball while still in college at Texas. He said he spent the money he made from that, and not wisely.John Thornton spent 10 seasons in the NFL, six with the Bengals.
“But you’ve got to understand, that the average career of guys is three years. So in three years, you don't really accumulate the money that you would think to be able to retire and not work again,” he said.Thornton says a part of the 75 percent of players who go broke is players at the bottom of rosters, players who are lucky if they get to spend more than a few years in the NFL.
Moments before the NFL christened its new season Thursday, several dozen players from the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings walked a few yards from their sidelines and held their index fingers aloft in what they later called a show of solidarity with their union.
The scene, shown on NBC's broadcast for a few seconds and repeated at some games Sunday, was a public acknowledgement of an increasingly tense, behind-the-scenes labor standoff between the NFL and its players union that could shut down the USA's most popular professional sport this time next year.
Negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement appear stalled, and unless an agreement is reached with the union by March, league owners appear ready to impose a player lockout that could imperil at least the start of the 2011 season.NFL players — whose average salary is $1.9 million, up from $483,000 when free agency began in 1993 — are balking at a proposed salary decrease.
The owners of the 32 teams think the current collective bargaining agreement, which began in 2006, was tilted too heavily in favor of the players, who receive about 60% of the revenue from an $8 billion industry.
That led the owners to opt out of the agreement in 2008. With the agreement expiring, the 2010 season is being played without the league's salary cap, or limit on what teams cans spend on player salaries (the cap was $123 million a team last season). It has set the stage for what could be a protracted labor fight and the league's first work stoppage since 1987.
Owners say a struggling economy has hurt their sources of revenue, citing a decrease in season-ticket sales in some markets. But players counter that the NFL's television contracts — one of the league's biggest sources of income — are as big as ever and getting bigger.
For example, a deal with DirecTV that runs from 2011 to 2014 guarantees the owners $1 billion a year, or about $31 million for each team. On top of that, teams get a slice of a $20 billion pie stemming from the NFL'smultiyear broadcast deals with CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN that began with the 2006 season and run until 2014.
Even so, the average value of an NFL team dropped this year from $1.04 billion to $1.02 billion, according to Forbes, the first dip in 12 years.
"We're seeing some uncertainty in the NFL for the first time in many years," Forbes editor Kurt Badenhausen says. "You have a bad economy that's (hurting) revenues for some teams, (and) you have a very uncertain labor situation."
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, one of the team's union player representatives (and also a member of the NFLPA's executive council, which includes 11 players), was hot and weary immediately after a recent practice but appeared to become even more so when asked about Goodell's visit to the team's camp.
"It's very disappointing," Fujita says. "I don't know what I expected … but I expected a lot more than he gave us. For instance, one guy, his wife's pregnant, he said, 'If there's a lockout next season, are we going to have health care? Will my wife and my baby be covered?' And (Goodell) said, 'I'm not sure, you'll have to ask your union.'"Guys are concerned. They want to know. And as the commissioner and kind of the mouthpiece for the owners, you would think he could provide at least some of those answers instead of almost being like an empty suit."
Fujita also had dinner with the commissioner that night for nearly an hour, and he peppered him with questions about how roadblocks in negotiations might be overcome."We talk all the time about (the league) opening up (its) books, and I said, 'Hey, if it gets a deal done, what's the harm? That would tell us whether profits are up or down or even flat.'
"He really couldn't provide an answer other than, 'You know, that's just how it is.' "Actually, the league does "open its books," but a complicated clause in the collective bargaining agreement requires an independent accountant agreed upon by the league and the union, largely to determine levels of the salary cap without examining outside income that is not part of the revenue-sharing plan and varies from team to team, such as income from stadium suites.
New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson, also a player representative, has heard about players' frustrations with Goodell's visits."I think he's well-informed on the issues," Richardson says. "I just think right now he is not negotiating; he is not in a position to show his cards."
But showing his cards was never the purpose of Goodell's tour, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says."The meetings were not intended to be CBA negotiating sessions," Aiello says. "Each side has its negotiating team, and our commitment with the union is to negotiate at the bargaining table. … (Goodell) told the players … there is a formal negotiating process, and he was not there to circumvent that. He was there to hear their questions and their perspective and to provide answers and offer his perspective when it was appropriate."
One thing the union has been stressing in recent months is that the league now takes about $1 billion off the top for operating expenses.
"So if it's $8 billion that we're supposed to split, you already have a billion off the top," Baltimore Ravens wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh says. "They want to act like that money doesn't exist. They're owners, they should be in it to make money, but the NFL isn't the NFL without players."
And those 1,696 players are working to earn what they can during what is an average 3½-year career, according to the union. Players are paid 17 times throughout the season; there typically is an additional stipend for offseason workouts that is included in each player's contract.
Now that they might be asked to play 18 regular-season games, a proposal that will be featured in the labor negotiations, players are balking at the prospect of doing so with no pay increases.
"Obviously, that's something that the owners really want," says quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints' player representative. "It's not just about adding two games and two game checks. … Your body is already worn out. What is going to be the increase in injury rate? Obviously, that will affect the longevity of guys' careers."
No deal in sightNew England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who bought the franchise in 1994, says he has little doubt there will be a new agreement."It's just a matter of when," he says. "We have a great entertainment product, as evidenced by our ratings on television. It's a responsibility on both sides not to mess that up. Our fans, they love this product, and the last thing they want to hear is about well-to-do owners and well-to-do players quarreling about money."
According to the NFL, average television viewership last season was 16.6 million for regular-season games, compared with 8.1 million for prime-time viewing among the four major networks. Average attendance was 65,000, with a high of 89,800 by the Dallas Cowboys and a low of 44,300 by the Oakland Raiders.
But filling stadiums is becoming difficult because of the economy, and at least 11 teams are facing the possibility of TV blackouts of games in their home markets this season. League rules require that a game be blacked out in the local market if the stadium is not sold out 72 hours before kickoff.
So some fans who can't afford to attend their teams' games won't be able to watch them on TV, either.
Says Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour: "When you think about the fans, many of them working 9 to 5 and struggling to make ends meet, I just hope we can do what's in the best interest of the game."
Smith, the NFLPA head, has hinted that the league wants a lockout and that there has been collusion among owners to go slow when negotiating potential new player contracts.
"I don't know at this point — I don't know that anybody knows," says Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who last week signed a four-year extension with a guarantee of $48.5 million.
Preparing for potential lockoutMeanwhile, many players are preparing for a lockout by saving more and spending less. Others not so much, as San Diego Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett acknowledges.
"Of course a lockout would change my lifestyle," he says, "(but) am I going to starve? Not at all."
Even so, Saints safety Darren Sharper says he's "saving 75% of my salary." Sharper recently signed a one-year deal worth at least $1.5 million.
Yes, NFL players are beginning to make life-style changes in how they spend (apparently only 25 percent of them dare invest their earnings so that they enjoy the power of compound interest) their money, so that they can survive a lock-out, when unemployment is rising in the country among the masses who follow the sport with an undying loyalty.Fujita is all but certain a lockout will happen."We've had 15 negotiation sessions, and not much good news has come out of any," he says.
The NFL is in the business of entertainment, yet what they peddle ensures that positive images of Black people (Black people comprise 70 percent of the league) endure, so that the reality of Thugreport.com is kept in the back ground of most Big Fan's minds.
Interesting though, Jeff Benedict's criminally neglected book Pros and Cons: The Criminals who Play in the NFL pointed out that similar patterns of criminality can be found among the Black players who are employed in the league. The college ranks aren't much better.
Funny: The continued growth in the housing market was fueled on loans given to people who could never pay the mortgage. That bubble burst, bringing down the world economy.
A sports bubble exists that has enriched NFL franchise owners to degrees that would make Bernie Madoff jealous.
If the players decide to strike at a time of mass economic uncertainty and when their league enjoys unparalleled popularity, the sports bubble will burst.
Worse, the BRA bubble goes with it. NFL games that are part of the league Blackout ruling now might represent the last sterling season before the bubble finally bursts.
Not even Tesla could save BRA now. No inches remain...