Wednesday, March 16, 2011

That's Not Slavery

Currently, the chances of a 2011-2012 NFL season are not good. Almost non-existent, if you will. Something about the collective bargaining contract expiring and the players unions and the owners not being able to agree on new terms. And while I lean toward being on the side of the players (there's no reasonable argument for why the season should consist of eighteen games instead of the current sixteen), I really don't feel sorry for anyone in this scenario except for the fans. All I want is for September to roll around and have NFL games on TV. That's what I want. And I don't care how they make it happen just as long as they make it happen.

Seriously, who am I supposed to feel sorry for in this scenario? It's millionaires arguing with billionaires. There's an awful lot to not like there. (And the NFL is super hot right now. It would be asinine for both sides to end up forgoing an entire season because of any of this.) But you know what makes the whole thing even less likable? When one of the players compares the current agreement in the NFL to "modern-day slavery". For cryin' out loud.

According to an article over at The Huddle at USAToday, a one Adrian Peterson was talking to Yahoo! Sports and made the following statement: "It's modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it's how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, 'Hey — without us, there's no football."

Now, look...I don't know what "modern-day slavery" would even look like. Because slavery, in and of itself, seems like it would be a timeless profession. You work for someone, you do what they tell you to do, you don't have a choice in the matter and you don't get compensated for your work. That's slavery. So, would "modern-day slavery" simply be with different clothes and with different chores? I guess it would. It's hard to say why I'm taking so much time trying to noodle this one through, as his entire statement is asinine.

I think what he was trying to say is that by making the players play an extra two games per season and not giving them any more monetary compensation for those two games, it is like when people were slaves and didn't get paid for the work that they were forced to perform. What he neglects to realize is that the non-modern-day slaves were not millionaires who were seen by millions on TV every Sunday. Yeah, not a good comparison. Not a good comparison at all. And I don't know that the real slaves of yore would take all that kindly to your making that comparison, as they were far from millionaires. They were barely dollar-aires.

I didn't know if there was any way that I could feel any less sorry for the parties involved. But apparently, I can. Quit your whining, Adrian Peterson. Focus on getting talks between the owners and the players back on track so that I can watch football all the live long day every Sunday for four months come September. That's what's really important here. My leisure time. So chop-chop! Time's a-wastin'.

Side note: The article at USAToday, which was published at 1:07 EST, noted that Yahoo! Sports, where the ill-advised "modern-day slavery" comment first appears, had removed that comment from its story at 2:47 EST. Although it does go on to say that the author of the story did confirm on his Twitter page that Peterson had made the remark. Even weirder than that is that it goes on to say that by 4:24 EST, Yahoo! Sports had returned Peterson's comments to the article. Good to know that Yahoo! Sports will be editing the content of interviews in their articles as to not "offend" anyone. Nice. Just what we all don't need. Edited reporting. Jackasses. I've sent them an email asking them why they removed the comment in the first place. I'm sure you will be shocked, simply shocked, to learn that I have not yet heard back. Don't hold your breath, either. I'm not.

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Mark said...

...there's no reasonable argument for why the season should consist of eighteen games instead of the current sixteen.

More money. The same reason they went from 14 to 16 games.

Granted, the starters don't play much in the preseason, but there will be the same number of games on the schedule, it's just that two of them will now be regular season games instead of preseason games.

The players are perfectly free to kill the golden NFL goose and show off their skills working at Home Depot or Lowes. Or they could form their own league.

The owners' abilities are pretty transferable and they probably will be able to continue to make money in other ways, though it would sting to lose a team. The players' abilities, well, typically not so much.

Mare said...

Hey, Mark.

Like I said, no reasonable argument. I know the owners want the money. I just think that eighteen games is going to result in more injuries and shorter careers for a lot of the players.

Both sides need to get over themselves. If there isn't a season, I think the owners will dig their heels in and the players will have to make some concessions that they're not willing to make right now.

As long as we don't have to watch replacement players like we did in...1983? 1982? Those games were worse than having no season at all.

~ Mare

Mark said...

The teams exist to make money. That, like other businesses, is their reason for being. I think trying to increase ROI is perfectly reasonable.

18 games will result in more injuries than 16, 14, 12, or 10. Why not go back to 10?

If the players feel that 18 games is too risky, they can do something safer. Like drive a forklift or do landscaping. Or, again, form their own league with their own capital at risk and play whatever number of games they feel is appropriate.

Mare said...

That's a good point about 18 games not resulting in any more injuries than 16 games or 14 games or 12 or 10. I hadn't really thought of it like that. 18 just seems like an awful lot, I guess.

I'm more on the owners side than I am on the players side. I think. I still just want to watch regular pro football come September.

~ Mare