CBA and salary cap
What get's lost in this highly charged, emotional and (just whisper this bit.........) political debate about the future of the CBA and the salary cap that underpins it, is that everyone else around the world thinks it's a great idea.
The debates about the intricacies, details, percentages and contractual niceities of the CBA and the cap obscure the essential point of it, which is to ensure the long term success of the NFL.
I've watched and read various reports concerning the power plays between the NFLPA and the owners and between the various factions present within owners groups themselves and it all points to the very thiing that the CBA and cap are designed to circumvent.................GREED.
It's obvious I know, but it really is remarkable the extent to which some people will go in order to sugarcoat an extremely bitter pill. Upshaw, Tagliabue,Benson and Jones (and our own extremely honest broker Shaw) can dress it how they like, but whether they dissimulate about 4% or the sharing of local revenue's it's all about the money.
As if people aren't making enough already, as if there is a long line of players at the soup kitchens, owners driving around in Yugo's and agents cutting down the poplar trees in the drive to feed the fireplace as winter sets in.
How much is enough? There's plenty enough for everyone already I'd suggest, so the current argument isn't about fairness or equality, because nothing works like that in our lauded and much worshipped free market, it's about power, resentment and greed.
Compare Alexander and Bruce in their recent statements about their respective contracts.
Alexander typifies the intellectual paucity ot today's NFL millionaires who plead that they only want "..what's fair for me and my family.." whilst demanding that their ego is sated by being paid at the top of their position and maybe even their profession and collecting enough money over a 7 year contract to fund healthcare in Sierra Leone for the next 20 years.
Alas for envy.......
The CBA and the cap has been such an outstanding success because it has manged to keep the lid on this pressure cooker of resentment, envy and greed. It's managed to ensure that for the last 10 years we've seen a full season of play.
What's the alternative?
The alternative can easily be seen in the EPL, Serie A or the Spanish Primera Liga. Here, full seasons of play are guaranteed by promising the players the lions share of revenue generated by increasingly massive television deals. Rupert Murdoch bankrolls the English Premier league to such an extent that his demise would shatter the national game.
The players need not honour contracts, and can essentially move with impunity whenever they so please, because the transfer system in European football (where each player has a market driven value that other teams will only pay as long as that player is under contract) means that teams are loath to hang on to a player coming to the end of his contract, because by doing so they stand to lose huge amounts of money when he moves at the end for nothing.
Teams fear players who refuse to sign new contracts and play out their existing contracts because it means another prospective employer can sign them up for nothing instead of $20 million.
Wages spiral because players will always find someone willing to pay them more, agents manipulate the media in search of a bigger percentage and actively agitate on behalf of their clients for a move to another club. The uncertainty is what feeds it all.
Consequently, competition suffers because only the richest can pay for the best. Only 4 teams have won the EPL since it's conception. Imagine that, only 3 teams are in the hunt every season for the league title. Only Man Utd, Arsenal,Chelsea and Blackburn have ever won it. It's virtually impossible to break this stranglehold. Chelsea only managed it last season because they are bankrolled by a Russian oil magnate who didn't care how much it costed to do it, and Blackburn were the same but did it over 10 years ago and haven't come close since.
Arsenal or Man Utd every season. Boring? You betcha........
One soccer club, Leeds United, were actually bankrupted and nearly forced out of existence in their quest to keep up with the Jones' by risking their Stadium and their future revenue in unamortized loans on the basis of guaranteeing a standard of performance that they then didn't meet.
Over a 100 years of play nearly wiped out by a Chairmans financial folly.
Imagine season ticket prices rising every year by 5% to pay for hikes in the wage bill.
Imagine the Rams being forced out of existence because Georgia was determined to keep up with Jerry.
Imagine an NFL where the Cowboys and the Giants were in the Superbowl every season.
Imagine a league where players moved from season to season, to wherever the money was.
This is the alternative to the CBA and the cap, and it's horrifying.
Re: CBA and salary cap
I don't care what happens I just want to get this deal done and over with. Make sure we have some security in the next few years.
Re: CBA and salary cap
To be fair, the EPL has only been around since 1992; four winners in 13 years still isn't great compared to the NFL's nine in the same period, but there are more teams in the NFL. So, 4/20 Premier League teams (20%) have won compared to 9/32 (28.125%). Of course, the relegation rules complicate that a little and so does the fact that not all the NFL teams have been around that long; All I'm saying is that the difference isn't as shocking as it appears on the surface--the NFL still sees dynasties rise and fall. I think yearly season ticket hikes are fairly common in the NFL, too.
That said, I totally agree with your overall point about the cap. It is great for the game, and when you come down to it the labour talks are all about money. It's hard to have a lot of sympathy for either side. Some players get signing bonuses that would be enough for most of us to retire on before they ever play a down of pro football, and the owners are racking in tens of millions every year. It would be easier if anything else were on the table. If the players wanted a portion of their salary guaranteed if they got injured or if they played while injured or if they wanted to work out incentives for staying with the same team or whatever else, they could probably wheel and deal a little and come up with a solution. Here it's just two sides each with their own number in mind and over $300 million/year in the balance.