THE OPTIMIST: Just Get Us 16 Games

March 2nd, 2011

THE OPTIMIST shares his lockout thoughts and reminds fans that nobody comes to watch owners play football. (Though Joe would love to see Bryan Glazer kick Arthur Blank's ass.)

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also wants you to know THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the team goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

Thank goodness I’ve been busy last three weeks working day and night on the new, because there really isn’t too much in NFL news these days that is NOT lockout related.

To be honest, it’s kind of hard for an Optimist like myself to be optimistic, especially having lived through 1982 and 1987 — ’82 was hard, there was just nothing going on for weeks at a time, but truth be told the ’87 strike wasn’t much better.

Oh sure we had something to watch at least, but was it really worth watching?

It makes it a lot easier if you can take a side, but which one do you choose? Do you side with the millionaires? Or the billionaires? 

The owners take $1 billion of the pie before it’s divided up 60 percent for the players and 40 percent for the owners. That sounds pretty fair, but now if the owners want to take another $1 billion out before they divide up the pie, the players’ new share would come out to about 48.5% of the whole pie. Not exactly half.

But who says an owner of a business has to give out half his revenue? There is no doubt the players are the driving force of the NFL. We don’t go to the stadium, or tune in to TV to watch Jerry Jones or other owners. That’s not to say that the players are the end-all/be-all either; that job belongs to us.

But so far, all we are hearing is posturing. The owners cannot take TV money out early, so the new stadium owners are going to hurt sooner. Players can decertify the union, making them no longer union members, but just plain old people.

If there is no union, they don’t work for the NFL anymore. They work for their teams, which means you now have 32 bosses, with 32 sets of rules, and that is more likely to land the NFL in some kind of trouble with the age-old exemption from antitrust.

None of that labor stuff is new of course. That info hasn’t changed a single bit from the last 30 years.

The only thing really new is the current issue like the 18-game schedule, rookie salary cap, and health care for players after they retire.

The health care is something that both sides should find a way to get done; Players only keep their health insurance for five years after they retire. They usually feel fine during that period. But once a player gets 10 or 15 years past their playing days, well that is another story.

Then you have the hypocrisy of the 18-game schedule. Listen, I don’t feel bad football players have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. They are getting paid millions to entertain us. Roger Goodell tells us we the fans want an 18-game schedule. Well, that’s not really the truth. We just are tired of the four preseason games that cost the same as a regular game. If you’re going to add two more games to the schedule, you need to make sure your paying these players for the games, and make sure your taking care of them for the damage an extra two games a year will do.

Last but not least, veteran players, owners, fans, want to stop seeing an unproven college kid from strapping a team for years of salary cap room because of what he did his senior or junior year.

Over the last couple years, you’ve noticed that teams do not even think about trading away their No.1 pick, because no one is able to do it! A lot of teams could use more than just one player, and throughout history would do just that. But not now; because now a No.1 draft pick is going to cost a team about 50 million dollars, and that goes against your cap (when it returns).

But if you’re going to get rid of that messed up system, and save yourself a lot of dough, you can’t just take that entire savings and put it back in your pocket! Some of that has to go towards players who actually DID deserve it via performance.

It’s a touchy subject, where there is so little black and white.  Whose side do we take?

Well how about football’s side. Please figure it out guys, no matter if its 16 games or 18, free hip replacements or free cold tablets. Our 3-13 football team turned into a 10-6 excitement capable of offensive fireworks, and we want to see them grow some more in August and September.

Make sure we get ALL 16 this time!

One Response to “THE OPTIMIST: Just Get Us 16 Games”

  1. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Very good article Nick.

    I prefer 18 games and only two pre-season games. That means the season starts two weeks earlier. For a fan, it’s a win-win period.

    And since they all claim this game is about the fans, then get the deal done by free agency start of March 5th (a huge fan following event) and add those two extra games.

    The fans truely don’t care about the money, because we don’t get any, we actually have to pay for this.