Trouble In Paradise NFL Owners Squabble

Updated: November 16, 2007





One phrase that will never Grow Old

” Things are not what they appear to be ”

As all the NFL Big Wigs fly their private jets into Detroit Airport to enjoy “sports longest biggest most lavish party” it will not only be the weather that will be unusually Cold for a SuperBowl.

The Kings of the NFL

The Owners

are at each others Throats

split into Two Groups

The Haves and

The Have More

The current collective bargaining agreement that binds the NFL, owners and players together in one very profitable Orgy is about to expire. And it is proving to be a problem crafting a new one that certainly needs to be in place before the 2006 regular season. If not a lot sooner.

The dispute which we will explain in a moment is not in itself the most fascinating issue. The invisible issue shadowing it is. That is if the African American players are smart and conscious enough to realize it.

That may be a Stretch

worse yet with Gene Upshaw

in charge of the players union

Here is the Great Divide. The richer owners who control the most profitable franchises like the Dallas Cowboys, New Jersey Giants, etc. reap far bigger profits than the smaller market teams even though all 32 teams equally share in the NFL Money Pot. Most of all the multi-billion dollar broadcast revenues.

What is not shared equally. In fact not at all is what is referred to as “local revenues.” The money each team makes from parking fees, concessions, naming rights, licensing. A host of items not covered in the collective bargaining agreement. Estimates are these excluded “local revenues” came to a total of $1.6 Billion for the 2004 season. Or a very significant 26% of total NFL revenues.

The smaller market teams are arguing now that these “local revues” are no different than the other revues included in the general pool all teams draw from equally. That just as broadcast revenue is shared equally based on the logic that 1) it is the quality of the League itself composed of 32 teams that brings in so much broadcast loot, and 2) by equally sharing revenue all teams are successful resulting in a competitive League which increases fan interest.

The Big Boys like Dallas owner Jerry Jones don’t agree. Their view is that with “local revenues” it is each individual team’s ability to market itself and make its own lucrative deals that results in some teams doing far better than others in revenues.

And that they don’t want to “subsidize” teams that don’t market themselves as well. In their self serving view. Although it’s hard to explain why that is any different than broadcast rights which if each team sold their own some teams would make far far more than others.

Now bring in the Players


The Players agree wholeheartedly with the ‘small cap’ owners because by definition those same “local revenues” are excluded from the part of the collective bargaining agreement that determines which portion of the overall revenues go to player salaries. Currently the pool for salaries is 65% of the Total.

So ultimately every player’s salary is determined to an extent by the fact that all salaries combined cannot total more or less than 65% of shared League revenues. If “local revenues” were included in 2004, 65% of another $1.6 Billion (local revenues) would have gone to player salaries. Or an additional $1 Billion !

So right now

we are watching

3 dimensional chess

being played.

Obviously there are one group of owners who absolutely don’t want “local revenues” included, a second group who absolutely do, and a third group that can see the advantages in both positions because they don’t own teams that are either gaining the most nor benefiting the least from “local revenues.”

That is why

the players could prove so powerful


On the surface it would appear and probably is a simple matter for the Players Association. The players want 65% of these “local revenues.” Period. Nothing to discuss. And unfortunately that will likely be the Reality even more so with Gene Upshaw running the union. Since he can’t see anything in Black & White.

Another Reality

The African American NFL Players who make up a clear majority of the union and could control the union with their numbers IF they wanted could mightily advance the place of African Americans in the NFL by not quickly taking sides on the “local revenues” issue. But rather negotiate their support based on a list of so called non-financial demands that have to do with League’s own large staff plus 32 separate team management and team staffing and ownership.


give up an extra $1 Billion in salary money

for something Else

( are we still on Planet Earth )

First of all that additional $1 Billion distributed unequally among all the individual player contracts on average may boost a typical players salary 10%. Yes maybe $100,000 a player or more per year. The reason being these players already make so much on average. But since they already make so much they could afford to negotiate that “bonus” for an even greater Good for themselves and all African Americans in Sports. And change the NFL forever.

Yes Yes Yes

” enlightened self interest ”

among Athletes ????

( are you kidding )

Well if Black players care about nothing but the MONEY all they are doing is screwing themselves for short term gains that turn all of them into nothing more than well paid indentured servants. They are the NFL yet once they get off the Gridiron they face a very WHITE NFL living off their Success.

Why of 10 new NFL Head Coaches


because African Americans are Weak

in the NFL power structure

With that in their Faces

Maybe just maybe

some of them might be capable

of thinking about other things

than $$$$$$

like their own children and

their futures in America

Think about it ….

If the Black players got together as a Group and decided to negotiate with the various owner groups their position on “local revenues” based on guaranteed commitments about 1) organizational staffing levels for African American, 2) African Americans in their broadcasts booths, and 3) making available 10% of the equity in each NFL team for players to purchase as investments at market rates.

In reality

this would be the most Brilliant move ever

by the Black players

they could have their Cake

and eat it Too !!

With the Players in control of an essential piece of this collective bargaining equation, the group of owners who want “local revenue” included in the NFL collective bargaining will accept what the players request for their support and of course the group of owners in the middle will then side with them, and obviously the players will go with the group that gets them both the additional salary dough PLUS the other Conditions. Even if the rich owners agree but ONLY if the players oppose including “local revenues” in collective bargaining.

So what’s the Problem


Gene Upshaw


Black Players who can’t See

farther than their own Wallet

Still we can Pray

for a Miracle !!


Regarding Saturday’s Box ….

For all of you tried to point out there already is a “College All Star Game.” WRONG. The “Senior Bowl” played Saturday in Alabama is the best argument of all for a REAL ” College All Star Game.” Nobody takes it seriously. Many of the top players like Matt Leinart skip it, and even if Vince Young and Reggie Bush wanted to play they couldn’t since only Seniors are eligible.

Even worse …

The game has the aura of a wet rag. It’s a Snore. It didn’t even merit a mention in most Saturday sports sections or broadcasts. Contrast that with the “College All Star” Game as part of a very unusual football double header to begin SuperBowl Week and played the same city as the SuperBowl. And these college players getting the attention of NFL “royalty” and sharing the practice field for a week with two of the best NFL teams and some of the finest players in the NFL who will play in the other game featuring the teams that lost the previous week’s NFC and AFC Championship Games.

Case closed.