The Greatest GAME Ever Played?

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: December 19, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — On December 13, millions of sports fans went into the Way Back Machine and bore witness to America’s most popular spectator sport’s growth from the funny lookin’ girl with skinny legs and Coke bottle glasses into Sista Gal with “dat fine brown frame…”

The 50th anniversary of the 1958 National Football League Championship between the Baltimore Colts and New York Football Giants, now colorized and restored, was shown on ESPN.

While the events and final score have become anti – climatic in their actuality, professional football and broadcast television went from a blind date into a long term relationship.

For four hours there was no overdose of octaves, as the game’s account reminded everyone how the action on the field was presented sans false excitement and see me / feel me orgasms on the microphone.

Even the television cameras and commercials, laced with their Mad Men sensibilities about those times that weren’t a – changin’ (yet) were courting the possibilities of what endorsements by sports personalities could do for selling their products.

But all that took a back seat to the game because everyone understood the players were the most important component.

Now, fifty years later, it seems everyone has forgotten what so many took such great pains to remember.

As the NFL puffed its chest with pride and lustful liquidity looms large within its ledger – laden loins, there will no doubt be pats on the back for how far they have come among those in the Park Avenue inner circle.

Whatever fee was agreed upon for televising the game back in 1958 became the ante for a contract that would be renewed a million times over half a century later.

The fact that the NFL has become the new IBM isn’t lost on the thousands of former players who were at the epicenter of the League’s signature moment.

A recent ruling in which over two thousand players, led by former Cleveland Browns defensive back Bernard Parrish and former Hall of Fame defensive back Herb Adderley won a judgment of $28.1 million dollars against their own union — the NFL Players Association and their marketing arm, Players, Inc.

Hey, like the time worn adage says, “defense wins championships.”

In the aftermath of this litigation, further agitation on the part of small – minded actions of NFLPA’s / Players, Inc. legal counsel to fight the decision and go to appeal does little to mask the mean – spiritedness and utter contempt these organizations have for the people who were solely and directly responsible for their existence!

Given this truth, prior to a final adjudication, the judge’s initial ruling of monies awarded was only $7.1 million. It was in the punitive (penalty) phase that the jury, in large part due to damning testimony in a letter from an NFLPA representative to Electronic Arts (EA), instructing EA Sports how to cut out some of their own rank-and-file from any potential revenue, awarded the additional $21 million due to the egregious manner in which these Dick Dastardly dildos screwed their own union members.

With the $28 million averaging out to roughly $4,000 a head, two things still stand to reason. One, that’s not a lotta cabbage, given the length of time and no adjustments for cost – of – living allowances; and two, there are still thousands of other players who weren’t included in the class action suit.

Either way, the next three letters after NFL in this case should be I.O.U.; immediately followed by GAO.

Until the government audits the NFL to examine their true net worth, this all remains a pissing contest.

BASN contacted the NFLPA and the NFL for feedback on these issues, and we will delve into their responses as well as other aspects of salvaging a better quality of life for the disposable heroes of yesteryear.

Author’s note: My colleague, Wendell Simpson, will provide further “postgame” coverage in our next article.