The QB Blast: Owners Don’t Look Out For GameMay 12th, 2011
Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson (1990 & 1991) writes The QB Blast column here at JoeBucsFan.com. Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson is often seen as a color analyst on Bright House Sports Network, and he trains quarterbacks of all ages locally via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.
Today, Carlson is angered by a syndicated columnist who claims the players’ role in the labor dispute is born from greed.
Throughout the offseason lockout I have listened to and been involved in many conversations with people of all walks of life and heard a wide variety of opinions on the causes and cures for what ails the NFL right now.
Then I read an idiotic story in Tuesday’s St. Petersburg Times’ TBT publication by guest columnist Ray McNulty, who surmised that the owners should prevail because they care more about the game than the players and that the players only care about themselves.
Let me shed a little light to this fight for Mr. McNulty and anyone that might have been swayed by this article.
The owners care more about the game than the players? Did the move of the Cleveland Rams (now doing business in St. Louis via Los Angeles and Anaheim) improve the game or help the ardent fans of Cleveland, while leaving the second largest television market void of football?
Was the midnight move of the legendary Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in the best interest of the game? When Art Modell left the city of Cleveland without a team for the second time really good for the game? Has the frequent travel miles of Al Davis and the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders been in his financial interest or for his love for the game and its fans?
Did the Bidwell family take the Cardinals to Arizona because they thought the dry heat was good for the game or was it simply the highest bid? Why did the Houston Oilers become the Tennessee Titans or the Dallas Texans the Kansas City Chiefs? All for the owners love of the game I’m sure.
The players only look out for themselves Mr. McNulty? Players are currently playing all around the country in the Arena Football League and other minor leagues for peanuts or less and they would play in the NFL for very little if that is what the market would pay.
Why? For the love of the game.
During the players strike of 1987, the owners put a poor excuse for a product on the field to pressure the players to break ranks (did they charge full price for those tickets, I can’t remember?) and go back to work for the minimum wage of $50,000, which was really not a big wage even for that time and plenty of players played for just that amount.
In fact, while Hugh Culverhouse owned this team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have led the league in minimum wage players while also leading the league in profit margin. We can all agree that he was certainly looking out for the best interests of the game, right?
Before the ’87 strike, and even after, players would get injured and teams would simply cut the player and he would have no recourse for getting rehabbed or paid during that rehabilitation.
Union representation was necessary for many issues like this, as owners were looking after the good of the game. After the “Scab” players broke the ’87 strike, the players had no bargaining power. But over the next few years, they collectively bargained a deal with the NFL owners that increased revenues and franshise values exponentially over the last 20 years. After taking over the title of America’s Game the last decade or so, the owners extended that same contract in 2006.
From what I understand through letters that I have seen from NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the players weren’t asking for much change moving forward, but the owners wanted the players to give them an extra billion dollars (to go on top of the other billion they already get) before the revenue sharing began.
It seems reasonable that if one side of an agreement wants to make a significant change, they should at least give you some evidence of the reason why.
That is what the players have been asking the NFL for since 2009, trying to avert the current situation. The owners have rebuffed the requests to show their finances and I don’t blame them, but you better come up with something to justify that billion dollars.
That billion dollars ain’t about the fans or bettering the game, it’s about the money, which is what players are always accused of only caring about, just like in this silly column.
Players will play and have always played for whatever the market will bear, just ask Jack Youngblood how much he was making when he came of of the University of Florida or while he was playing on a broken leg in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t a king’s ransom and if it was all about the money, he would have been on the sideline protecting his future earnings.
Which one of us would tell a potential employer that he can keep his $100,000 offer, because you love his company so much you would rather work for $7.15 an hour?
I’m not even trying to make a case that the players are right and the owners are wrong, I’m just saying that the guest columnist getting space in the TBT might want to think about writing on topics he has better evidence for which to make a case.
He says that when the players win, the fans lose. I say that when we read his column, we all lose.