Credit Where Credit Is Due: The NFL

While I’m not a huge football fan, I’ll still spend nine hours watching every Sunday during the Fall. I feel compelled to watch no matter my feelings on the sport (too many commercials!) so an NFL lockout didn’t seem like the end of the world to me. It basically would have given me my Sundays back. But that won’t be the case for at least the next decade because “football is back”.

That means SportCenter will be dominated by free agency, rule changes, training camps, preseason games and team predictions over the next couple of weeks. Fantasy football commercials will pick up en masse and most major stories on ESPN will relate to the NFL.

I’m not particularly looking forward to ESPN shoving an offseason full of NFL news down my throat in a month, but I do have to give credit NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA President DeMaurice Smith.

This was a pretty bitter battle that went back and forth a couple of times and led to the longest lockout in league history. But in the end, they got it done.

Here’s how Ashley Fox at ESPN described the deal:

• The owners and the players. Call it a tie. Each got a little something they wanted, and most important, each will get a lot of money. The owners now will keep 52 percent of the revenues, not the 47 percent from the previous collective bargaining agreement that so rankled them, but they also will have to operate with a $120 million salary cap, with an additional approximately $20 million for benefits, and have a guaranteed spend. That guaranteed spend was important to the players, and they got it.

In the end, the owners and players are splitting more than $9 billion. No one is losing.

That sounds exactly like how this sort of thing is supposed to work. Lots of bickering, months of proposals, counter-proposals and walking away from the table. Bring in the lawyers and the courts and make this thing as messy as possible. But when the season nears, each side sacrificed something and realized missing any games would be unacceptable. The Hall of Fame game is a big enough casualty in itself.

So, props to Goodell, Smith and everyone else involved in these negotiations. They were messy and dragged on but we’re going to have a full season of football and everyone can be happy with that (If only people in Washington could learn how to give a little bit on each side).

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30 Days For Stallworth, 19 Months For Vick

I give you 3 incidents:

A. A man shoots himself in the leg with an unlicensed firearm
B. A man drives drunk and runs a red light, hiting and killing a pedestrian.
C. A man runs and operates an underground dog fighting ring.

Which man deserves the most jail time? Which man should have the greatest trouble finding work? Maybe you can debate that Person A deserves more or less jail time than Person C, but there shouldn’t be any debate that Person B deserves the most jailtime

I’m a little bit late on this story, but a friend of mine just recently pointed out the fact that Donte Stallworth spent 30 days in prison for DUI Manslaughter while Michael Vick spent 19 months in jail for dogfighting. Apparently, the American Justice System values the lives of dogs 19 times more than that of a man. Continue reading “30 Days For Stallworth, 19 Months For Vick”

Catching Up…

It’s been two weeks since my last post so I have to catch up on a bunch of stories. Those include MLB playoff races, but let’s start with one that has filled the headlines recently though, Michael Vick:

After pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges, Michael Vick could face up to five years in prison (though the sentence recommendation is between 12 and 18 months). The legal matter is complicated, so it is easier to look at the football side of things. As everyone waits to find out the length of his jail term, Vick must regain Americans’ trust before he even contemplates a return to the NFL. Vick must rebuild his character and show that he has changed. His apology after pleading guilty sounded sincere and honest, but was it? He lied to the public over and over again during the investigation, so why should fans believe that he is really going to change. Yes, the apology sounded genuine, but how much of it is Vick’s agent and lawyer dictating his speech. Did he write the apology or is he just reading someone else’s work? Even worse, does he even believe what he is saying? Fans can no longer trust Vick, and to regain that trust borders on impossible. Even if he is a perfect prisoner, apologizes again, and gives back to the community, most fans will never support Vick. If it is impossible for Vick to win over most fans, think about how hard it will be for him to win over a franchise. Continue reading “Catching Up…”