So a group of retired players is clamoring to be more involved in all these court proceedings’ in the NFL. A group of retired guys filed a class action lawsuit last week: Carl Eller, Franco Harris, Paul Krause, Marcus Allen – a guy I liked watching, well basically they are upset. They’re saying that the owners and the players are negotiating their pensions on their behalf and they don’t want their pensions messed with.
The retired players are basically saying “we want to be involved in these negotiations” and to that I say…get lost!! And like I said, I love Marcus Allen, but get outta here! Former players had a chance to negotiate better pensions years ago – you know what former players did? They decided “we’ll take more cash now and smaller pensions” A lot of old timer’s – including Franco Harris’ group, had the chance to take less salary and take more pension. But historically, the old timer’s always took more salary over pension – that was your call…that’s a “you” problem!
And I’ve never bought into this argument in any industry “we made the league what it is today”. Cause the answer is “no, not really” should Orville and Wilbur Wright get 9% of all of Air Canada’s or United Airlines’ profits because they invented the airplane? It’s the natural progression of business! And once a business starts, it will eventually deteriorate or evolve. But if you were in a business 80 years ago – don’t expect to get the money people are getting today!
Ex athlete’s are a lot like former presidents – you only get credit for what only happens when you’re in office. The salary dips down significantly and all the perks go away when the presidents out of office. And you get this regularly from old timers in any business “I made you, what you are today!” Not really…you didn’t! The league was going to grow anyways!
The league, the NFL is 10 times bigger than it was 20 or 30 years ago and let me give you 5 reasons why it’s bigger. #1 The NFL is the best run league – it’s evolved every year. #2 we live in an increasingly gambling centric continent and we just love to gamble on football. #3 our society with technology has sped up – it has become more frenetic, football is easy…you consume it one day a week. #4 The NFL has seamlessly embraced technology and #5 Rule changes have just made it a really good television product.
Here’s the funny thing, Franco Harris didn’t make that list, he didn’t change the rules, he didn’t embrace technology, he didn’t make our culture more gambling centric – none of these had to do with Franco Harris. The guy’s who were blogging 10 years ago when it started “thanks for launching the idea, I totally appreciate it – but I’ve seen the research. Of the 150-200+ people who view my blog, like 2 of them were following blogs or blogging then….things evolve! And many of the NFL fans, 16-32 age group, think Franco Harris plays for Real Madrid FC in European Soccer…they don’t care!
So a lot of old timer’s – they vent and complain about their pensions. Guess what? They had a voice in the negotiations years ago…they simply chose more salary over pensions…they did! You know, you signed on the dotted line, you can’t come back 30 years later – and I just bristle whenever I hear “the league is what it is, because of us” This league is what is it – baseball is not what it is because of Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb or Cap Anson!!
It’s what it is based on Bud Selig, a collection of owners, some good and some bad. I mean, if you’re a baseball player should I be able to take money away from you because Frank McCourt has ruined the Dodgers? Should I takeaway Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Steve Yagger’s pension because Frank McCourt ruined the Dodgers? No!!! But we’re not going to pay any more money if Mark Cuban takes over the Dodgers and it ends up flourishing.