So the lockout is upon us, and I’m sure many of you (as I) are sick and tired of hearing & reading stories that paint the “billionaire versus millionaire” portrait. Florio says this, King says that, and Mad Dog says something else. The upcoming season is in peril yada yada yada.
We continually ask how these guys can not figure out a way to amicably split a nine billion dollar pie. But it’s not that simple. These are rich men. Very rich, and presumably more so than most of us. Their needs are different than ours and continue to grow, even in this downtrodden economy.
So you may now ask “Why did he say the lockout’s our fault in the title of this?” Well, because it is. We should have seen this coming, and should have been proactive about it. A lockout has been talked about for a long time now, and all of us just sat on our a…
How were/are we supposed to fix this then? Simple - cough up about another billion dollars. Sounds reasonable if you ask me. As fans, we’re already funding this whole gig to the tune of nine billion…what’s another ten percent or so? If these guys are fighting over about a billion dollars, let’s just give it to them, and then we can all just move along.
Here’s a few of my ideas:
Start taxing any and all fantasy football leagues and office square pools. Give the 3rd place money in every fantasy football league and 3rd quarter square money in every pool to owners and players. No one ever brags about finishing in third place in their fantasy league, and the third quarter square gets overlooked by the halftime and final winner.
Institute a PPL (Personal Parking License) policy at every home game. If some teams can charge you just for having the option to buy a ticket, shouldn’t they all have the same opportunity to charge you for the option they give you to purchase a parking spot? The money raised here can go directly to fund the legal defenses of NFL players arrested for motor vehicle violations.
You know who has made a lot of money (especially off of me)? Your local bookmaker. These guys make money off of something called the “vig.” Basically, the more money overall that is wagered, the more they make. The game has grown, and so have their wallets. Make NFL gambling ( and NFL gambling only) legal, let the local books run the show, and tax the vig. Since this would be new revenue coming from a previously illegal venture, I’d say it’s only appropriate that all of this money goes to legal defense funds for NFL players who run into…uhh…problems.
Next up - cash for the owners. Every one of them gets a new stadium, taxpayers be damned. Why shouldn’t every tax payer in the country pay for new stadium palaces for 32 rich guys? I mean…they all get the same chance to buy licenses to buy tickets. Stop complaining about your taxes already. If you’re of the opinion that tax dollars should go to something more important than new stadiums, then just mind your own business; it’s clearly apparent you don’t see what’s important. The NFL needs more corporate welfare. Simple as that.
A lot of states already have bottle deposit policies in place, usually to the tune of 5 cents per can/bottle. Take that a step further. Do not allow fans to bring in their own beer to the tailgate; make them buy it from a “Team Sponsored Store” conveniently located close to the stadium. Add on an additional five cents per can/bottle here. This money can be given to the vets of the game, the guys who helped grow it but get crapped on by current players/owners. These guys get treated like bums now…why change? Let only former NFL players down on their luck pick up the empties in the parking lots after games.
Make every game on free TV (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) pay per view, even if it’s only for a buck a game. Who amongst us is not going to pay that? It’s no longer enough that we buy the products from the advertisers who pay the league incredible sums of money to sell us those products. We absolutely need to pay more for the opportunity for someone to sell us something.
How about state lotteries with a twist? If you buy a scratch off ticket, and you’re the winner (odds 1 in 1,000,000), you don’t actually get the money. Instead, you get to give the money to your Free Agent of choice to sign with your team, and the money won‘t count against the cap. This is an absolute win-win for both owners and players if you ask me.
Who knows…if any of these ideas would have been implemented already, we may not be in the spot we’re in now. I think the owners and players just want more money, and if we give them more, they won’t have to argue about how to split up what’s currently there, and we’ll get our season (and off season) back. And then…we can start figuring out a way to give them both more money for the next round of labor strife a few years down the road.