The majority of NFL fans may not have any interest in the Green Bay Packers' annual financial report that was released on Wednesday. They may not pay much attention to the issues that surround the labor talks between the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). After all, in a battle between millionaire players and billionaire owner, what fans think hardly matters anyway, right?
Fans can have a direct impact on negotiations over the next eight months because the power of public opinion is very real. That's why they will be smart to educate themselves as much as possible and let their voices be heard. The owners and players are listening.
The negotiations will determine whether there's a 2011 season -- or at least a full 16-game schedule. More importantly, teams are already being affected. Just ask the Chargers fans who are worried about
The important takeaways from the Packers' financial report is that the team had record revenue of $258 million but its operating profit was halved from over $20 million in 2008-09 to $9.8 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year that ended on March 31. Packers President and CEO
It's not possible on a league-wide level for player costs to increase at twice the rate of revenue, but it can happen on a team-by-team basis because NFL franchises have shared and unshared revenue. Simply put, the large amount of unshared revenue brought in by teams like the Cowboys, Redskins, and Patriots eats away at the profits of smaller market teams like the Packers because it counts toward the total that is used to calculate the salary cap. The NFL's owners really need to figure out among themselves a better way to share their revenue. That's easier said than done in a league where owners like
That's the first major issue of the CBA talks. The second is that the league insists that its non-player costs are rising so rapidly that giving the players their current sizeable share of overall revenue just isn't working. The players have asked for proof in the form of the financial information for the other 31 teams. The league has refused. That's where the fans can come into play. The power and sway of public opinion could be enough to force either side to relent on the sticking point of making the league's finances completely transparent.
Union leadership, such as executive director
When asked about this, the Packers' Murphy said, "The players have all the information. They have audit rights to all of our revenue. They have everything they need to reach an agreement. [Late former union head]
The union disagrees, and until both sides can find some type of arrangement that works for each in terms of the transparency of information, this impasse will continue. Let's just hope it doesn't reach the point where dozens more articles like this one are being written in September 2011.
And now, some of your mail ...
I agree with you as it relates to 95 percent of NFL players, but if a team brings in a guy like Vick with his history, it is incumbent on that team to monitor him very closely. It's kind of like the borderline academic qualifier who receives a scholarship from a university. That school provides him with tutoring and has someone make sure he attends all of his classes. Rightly or wrongly, the Eagles probably need to keep close tabs on Vick.
I hear you, but from what I have seen, he doesn't appear to be very good insurance. Or worth the risk.
Players usually eat about four or five hours before kickoff, so that's somewhere between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for a 1 p.m. game. How much they eat really varies. Some guys eat a ton knowing they won't again until after the game. Other guys can barely get anything down because of nerves or just personal preference. Either way, everybody is pretty much starving by the time they eat something eight or nine hours later.
I don't know, but I do know that T.O. has finally reached the stage of his career where his on-field performance no longer outweighs the risk that he will be a locker room disruption. That's one of the beautiful things about the NFL: the stuff you do will eventually catch up with you. T.O. is paying the price for his antics in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas right now.