Sunday, October 2, 2011

Professional Sports

Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, usually in competitive markets.[1]

I think this definition fits professional sports to a tee


  1. Johnny,

    This might be more interesting that I thought. I jumped into Wikipedia for a little background and this appears in the very first paragraph on the NFL:

    "The NFL is an unincorporated 501(c)(6) association, a federal nonprofit designation, comprising its 32 teams." I did not know that - am I the only one?

    Anyway - Professional sports are played within a closed structure and are not purely "capitalist" enterprises. You and I could start up a completely separate football league, but we couldn't build a stadium, hire coaches and players, and challenge the Green Bay Packers to play.

    The government has advantaged the NFL, Major League Baseball, and I suspect others to keep out competition. That lack of competition is antithetical to capitalism.

    If that 501 structure was removed and anyone who had the money and inclination to field a team could enter the fray, it would drive down the cost, increase availability, and do away with a lot of the excesses of sports as we see them today.

    My opinion.

  2. Johnny,

    I suspect you played ball in school, as did I. I would play today, beat up and crippled as I am, for FREE. The NFL (and other pro sports) have ruined what used to be called "the love of the game." Deion Sanders, that sorry, no good, piece of crap, said it best, "It's a business decision." Disgusting.

    That said, I can't help but watch if its on. People like Walter Payton are no more, team players, and loyal to their team. Now they all want the money. But every now and then, someone lays a hit on someone and parts go flyin'. So I have to watch.

  3. Football is an essential element of our upbringing - that's why it must be done right:

    "Show me a good and gracious loser, and I'll show you a failure." Knute Rockne/Notre Dame

    "The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it." Lou Holtz/Arkansas

  4. CS,

    It is how you play the game, as long as you win.

    I was never a graceful loser, although we were 3 and 7 my junior year and 0 and 10 my senior year. I spent most practices trying to hurt my teammates for their piss poor performances the previous week.

  5. CS- LOLOLO, you were chuckling while leaving that comment, right? Lot's of stuff to debate, and not a ton of time,

    1st- The Tax status of the NFL is a non-issue, since the NFL distributes T.V. profits evenly among the 32 teams. 11 billion in 2011. The teams themselves are Capitalistic by nature. They put out a product, and try too maximize profits.

    2nd- The government has nothing too do with the NFL, or team ownership structure. The only time the government had anything to do with the NFL were the anti-trust laws in the 70's which prohibit games on Fridays & Saturdays.

    3rd- You mentioned the MCI merger on your blog. That fellow saved 30,000 jobs. I am willing to bet that at least 30,000 people would be out of jobs if the NFL ended tomorrow.

    4th- I'm guessing you're a member of the Tea Party. What is it with that partie's members wanting to bust unions? The NFLPA hurts noone. I know people that played in the league, and I know people playing today. These players deserve the representation, and everything they get in return. Former offensive lineman are more arthritic at the age of forty than the average 75 year old. These kids literally beat the shit out of themselves for 3.3 years(Average NFL career) The union that fights for contract, and most importantly, retirement benefits hurt noone. And cost the tax payer nothing.

    TGP- Yes, I played alot of football. Who knows how far I could have gone, had I been gifted with more height. I agree with you're love of the game statement to a point. It sounds great, until you get blindsided by a 6'5, 305 LBS. pulling guard. These athletes create the revenue, they should be paid for their services.

  6. Johnny,

    I laid on the field one time until the trainer came out. She said "What's hurt?" I replied," I was just wishing I was the guy that hit me that hard." I would prefer to deliver the blow, but I could always admire a good decleater, even if it was my cleats that went missing.

  7. Johnny,

    Points 1, 2, & 3: Actually the government actions support the NFL (and Baseball too) as a functioning cartel. If they weren't sanctioned and protected by the government you and I could form a team in Helena, Montana and sue to be allowed to play with the big boys. The reason that there are 32 teams worth a great deal of money and not 200 teams who would price tickets at a reasonable level is that they are protected.

    MCI is case in point - the government allowed AT&T to monopolize the delivery of telephone service - MCI blew that open in court. The reason that we've had the explosion in technology and the reduction in prices is that MCI blew open the telephone industry to competition. The same would happen if we eliminated the cartel structure of Professional Football.

    Point 4 - A young man in the US of A can do anything his heart desires. If he chooses to play professional football - it's on him. I woke up the day after many a game wondering if I was going to be able to get out of bed. I chose a different path and went into the Marine Corps instead. I might have gotten killed - but no one was going to beat me up every game day. If there wasn't a $51 million payday at the end of the rainbow - we might not have such severe drug problems, college recruiting scandals, and the like. Competition would fix much of that.

    I grew up in a middle class neighborhood and the guy across the street was the catcher for a professional baseball team. A professional baseball umpire lived around the corner. They were middle class not ridiculously wealthy. We need to pay our gladiators appropriately.

    I am often accused of being a TEA Party member - I am on several of their distribution lists and I did attend the very first TEA Party rally in my county and many after that. However I am an authentic American conservative and the TEA movement is late to the game. We were yelling about the Constitution and balancing the budget long before it was cool. I have divorced myself from active work in the TEA movement as I believe that they diffuse efforts to get Republican candidates elected. That's a whole different discussion - TEA folks say they won us a big victory in 2010 - I say they retarded our success by at least 2-4 Senate seats and probably a dozen House seats.

    I was a member of a union and I have run afoul of them in business - I am no fan of unions. Unions hurt everyone (to include their members) and they have destroyed entire industries in the United States.

  8. "A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall."
    Frank Leahy/Notre Dame

    "There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
    Woody Hayes/Ohio State

  9. The NFL is a league of thirty two teams. If they wanted to expand to thirty four, you and I would have a very good shot at owning a team, as long as we could afford it. True, we could not put together a team and say we were an NFL franchise. But, you could start your own competing league. Vince Mcmahon (WWF) tried it, so did David Dixon. XFL never stood a chance. You can not infiltrate American football with professional wrestling type story lines. The USFL, on the other hand had a very good chance. Their teams were able to sign fabulous college players, but then Donald Trump put his two cents in the direction of the league, and fucked it all up.

    The government has nothing too do with it. Suing the NFL for not letting "Our" team in is ridiculous. And saying that the government has something too do with that is misinformed.

    Think of the NFL as MacDonalds. You can not open up your own burgerstand, then call it MacDonald's.

    As for the union, How has the NFLPA hurt anyone.

    As for drug use, you're really not trying too make an arguement that the actions of the NFL enables that, are you?

  10. Johnny,

    We might just have to agree to disagree over the protection that the NFL is provided by the Federal government (and probably tax advantages at all of the sites of football stadiums). I would cede the point that you and I are free to start our own leagues. The fact that there is a special tax status for professional football is hard to dispute.

    The NFLPA drives up the cost of football for everyone. They have driven many fans away from the game. I am one and I have several like minded friends. Football for us occurs on Saturdays in college stadiums. Unions destroy the free market and diminishes the effects competition and ultimately the industry is destroyed (think textiles, auto, steel, etc.). Eventually owners won't be willing to pay the multi-million dollar salaries and it will be over. Then where will be players be?

    There are soft ways that unions members destroy their own jobs - think of what Home Depot did to painters, plumbers, carpenters, tile setters, and the like. I replaced my garbage disposal myself - I didn't want to, but the old one didn't work anymore and I damn well wasn't paying a plumber to come over and do it. There is a whole "do-it-yourself" industry that sprung up in my lifetime to combat increases in prices driven by - you guessed it - unions. The US Post Office will eventually go the way of the dodo as between 80% and 86% (I have heard both numbers) of their costs are labor. That is the effect of the union.

    The history of unions in the United States shows how members get some short term advantages just before the bottom falls out. That plumber who didn't get my job didn't even know that his union screwed him out of that work. It doesn't even occur to my son to call a plumber. he's replaced a toilet and a garbage disposal - that's a complete change in the way people think and it happened in 5 decades. Check out the number of people who swing through Home Depot or Lowe's next Saturday to buy tile - they are keeping you from work.

    As for drugs, the NFL may not "enable" drug use, but it certainly coddles drug use. I was in an organization that nearly eradicated drug use with a zero tolerance policy - the NFL could do the same thing but they chose not to. Further players using drugs to enable them to stay in the game are legendary and completely irresponsible for the player, the doctor, the coach, etc. etc. Lastly the widespread use of steroids by our youth to add the muscle and mass required to go toe-to-toe with other 360 pound behemoths is evidence that the NFL turns a blind eye to drugs.

    I loved playing football and I do like watching the game - though I admit I'm not fanatic.

    I suppose that football could be too much a part of the American psyche to ever go away - but surely there will be a price point somewhere that causes the elimination of new stadiums, a revolt of advertisers, and the abandonment by even the most die-hard fans. We don't know where that price point is - but what history teaches us is that the Player's union will find it some day.

  11. "You can learn more character on the two-yard line than anywhere else in life."
    Paul Dietzel/LSU

    "It's kind of hard to rally around a math class."
    Bear Bryant/Alabama

  12. 1- I don't dispute that the NFL gets special tax benefits. But the income that the NFL raises, especially from T.V. goes right back to the teams.

    2- The NFLPA is not responsible for driving up prices. Not now, and not in 1968, when first formed. Greed, along with supply and demand drove prices up. I always equate Football with oil. No matter how much it costs, people will pay. I highly doubt that the owners will ever not be able to pay for the salaries, since they're the one's who created it. They created it to sell tickets, and that, they do.

    3- Don't care, not part of this debate. As a side note. The co-founder of Home Depot is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons. Yep, he gave Michael Vick a 120 million dollar contract, so you may want to go too Loews.

    4- Same as #3

    5- The NFL has the same drug testing policies as many municipalities, and the olympics. Their punishments may not be as harsh, but who gives a shit. The NFL puts out a product that America wants too see----Professional Football. If these guys test positive, they get suspended, they may appeal. But the end result is that the suspensions usually get upheld. Did Rush Limbaugh get suspended for being addicted to Oxy-Cotton (Heroin)? And I really hope that the zero tolerance policy organization you're referring too is not the Marines (God bless them). I know plenty of guys that went into the Marines, that stopped smoking pot. They switched to Blow, because it's out of your system with-in 2 days

    6- I agree, but I do admit too being a fanatic.

    7- You are correct that football will never go away. You are wrong on every other point. If their is ever a breaking price point, it will be due to owners not lowering prices, not athletes refusing lower pay. FYI- Cam Newton's signing bonus was more than half of Bradfords. He still signed. The #1 pick next year will sign. I can almost guarantee that a #1 draft pick would still sign, even with no guaranteed money.

  13. "Ryan Leaf's failure in the NFL is quite simple. At WSU, they played division 1 games, including SC & UCLA. He would be lucky to find one NFL caliber defensiveman on those teams. Here, he has 11"

    John Madden/ Oakland Raiders-Monday night football

  14. Johnny,

    We are officially at an impasse. We cannot agree on this issue. You might want to check out the numbers of kids playing soccer to the number playing real football before you get to comfortable.

    At least you know what I won't be doing today.

  15. "I never graduated from Iowa, but I was only there for two terms – Truman's and Eisenhower's."
    Alex Karras/Iowa

    "I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades."
    Duffy Daugherty/Michigan State