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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    ...designed to provoke some middle of the off season discussion...and to make ME feel better.

    1. Something Mike Vrabel said struck me as a prime example of how out of touch today's professional athlete is with financial reality....and HE'S one of the good guys. In case you didn't read it, Vrabel was discussing several issues as it affects the player's union, since he is one of the team's reps. The quote concerns the issue of Franchising. This quote was in reference to what the Players view as one of the hardships caused by getting hit with the tag.

    "I hope he does and gets the security that he deserves and he's earned"

    Here's my problem: If $7.89 MILLION can't provide LIFETIME security, then how the f*ck will the rest of us manage. Now of course anyone can blow through millions, but it ISN'T the responsibility of the NFL to guarantee a lifetime supply of money regardless of how one spends it.

    ANY player hit with a Franchise tag should be thrilled because that would mean that as soon as he signed the tender, he would ensured all the financial "security" any prudent man could expect in a lifetime. So don't give that security BS, because it doesn't wash. Irritation about getting the the franchise tag isn't about getting ENOUGH, its about getting THE MOST.

    IMHO the Union shouldn't be worried about the problems of 6 or so guys who will be making the most money in the league, even with tag, but should concentrated on the issues the MAJORITY of the players deal with (medical coverage, field conditions, education, post career support, etc. and MOST importantly taking care of the older retired members of the union who rarely made in their entire career what amounts to ONE YEAR at the minimum wage in the NFL today

    BTW - this isn't an indictment of Vrabel. He is, by and large, very reasoned in most of his comments. BUT it just goes to show you how far apart the gap between fan and player has grown, when EVEN the most reasonable among them, can't see that gap.

    2. Someone help me here, I can't decide which word best describes Michael Felger these days. "Gratutitous" or "disingenuous" :rolleyes: He seemed to be willing to suck in all the glory and notiriety when he "broke" the Moss to the Packer story, yet when proved wrong (or as Ron Borges would claim, being 'right' at the time), there was no Mea Culpa, just a report that "no deal was immenent". How come these reporters get to make mistakes at will, with no apparent consequence, yet if a player makes a mistake, on the field or off, the reporter will often harp on that mistake MERCILESSLY....and forever

    I couldn't help, after reading Felger's story today about keeping Troy Brown, how gratuitous it was. We all love Troy. He is the most popular Patriot beyond Tom Brady. I even could understand the piece except for his uncalled for shot at the FO. As one of my KFFL bretheren commented, he seemed to be sucking up to Pats fandom inorder to deflect attention from his own shoddy reporting lately. To me he moves further and further to the dark side. Just another self promoting hack, who not longer has any contacts within the team to add ANY meaningful information, that I can't get here....faster....and more accurately.

    3. I also thought Felger's relating the story on Stallworth's brush with Miami Beach PD was more than I needed to know. Nothing in it was revealing...except the fact that Stallworth owns a Bently. I did find THAT disturbing.

    4. This team is shaping up to be the most talented team the Pats will ever put out on the field. Will it the most talented team in the league? Probably not. Will it mean we WILL win the superbowl. Definitely not! Of all the teams in the NFL, the Patriots, and their fans, should know that the most talented team DOESN'T neccessarily win it all. Just the best T-E-A-M. All these off season manuevers ONLY mean that the Pats are in a position where they CAN win the superbowl next season.

    5. On the negative side, I think next season presents a HUGE challenge. Our schedule is AWFULLY tough, and I HATE having face it PLUS having to have 5 exhibition games and going to China in August. I hate the exhaustion it will entail, I hate the distruption to the normal routine, and I will really get pissed if the league forces the Pats to go through that and THEN begin the season 2 day early to play Indy in the opener. BELIEVE ME, going 12-4 next season, will represent a MUCH BIGGER accomplishment than going 12-4 this past season

    6. RULES CHANGES: Since the league has been talking about potential rules changes, I thought I add my personal list to add to the discussion. Let me know what you think, pro or con on each

    1. I totally agree with the changing the PI rule to include a major and minor infraction. I also want the league to instruct the refs inforce more strictly the "catchable ball" aspect of the penalty.

    2. I want to ELIMINATE or change the illegal contact rule. IMO, there has to be 2 things to happen before the flag would be thrown. a. contact has to be made after 5 yards, and b. the route was actually interferred with. Mere incidental contact or touching WOULDN'T be a penalty. This is especially true if the incident occurred AWAY from the play.

    3. I would totally eliminate the holding call on defensive linemen. Defensive lineman are allowed to use their hand...period. Pulling an OL to creat a seam, seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy to me.

    4. And to those who think I only favor rule changes that help the defense, I want to stop the clock in the last 2 minutes of each half when a first down is made. Why penalize the offense after they make a successfull play. It adds so much to the college game, the only reason I can think of for the NFL NOT to do this, is that that want the game to have as few plays as possible,

    5. In the same vein, I see no reason why it should take 45 seconds for a professional team to get a play off, when colleges do just fine with 24 seconds. So I, in the interest of compromise, propose to shorten the time between plays to 35 seconds. The teams are making more money, the Player are getting more money, what is wrong with me wanting to see a few more plays

    6. I am against the universal use of instant replay to review ALL penalty calls. The game is played by humans and there are mistakes made by the players all the time. First you would emasculate the refs, and secondly the game would take much too long.

    That being said, I would propose that ALL penalties are reviewable, but the team is the only one who can challenge a penalty, and I would now give the coaches 3 challenges That would put the onus on the team to challenge ONLY the "crutial" and/or the most eggregious mistakes. It would also add to the pleasre fans derive from second guessing coaches' decisions.

    7. I propose that instant replay be done up in the booth instead of down on the field. It would shorten the time a challenge takes, and is a much more efficient way to resolve a call. The colleges have already developed the technology.

    Finally the last two are probably quixotic, but they are my personal pet peeves so I'll offer them anyway.

    8. I would eliminate the rule that states the ground can't cause a fumble. I have always wondered...WHY NOT? Isn't the "ground" part of the action. We don't give do overs when a player slips on the "ground". We don't call of games when the condition of the "ground" affects the outcome of a game. IMHO it is up to the player to be in control of the ball when the whistle blows, despite any contact from defensive players or the field. First it will eliminate the usual contraversy that that play generally causes. Second, fumbles are among the most exciting plays in football, we should welcome more of them. Thirdly, it would vastly speed up the pace of the game, by eliminating the usual challenges that are associated with this play.

    9. I would eliminate the "breaking the plane" section of what it takes to score a TD. It is one of the most infuriating aspects of THE most important part of the game. In order to score a TD the offensive team SHOULD be required to get the ball INTO the endzone, ergo TOUCH the ball down ACCROSS the GL. Merely reaching accross and being thrown back just WOULDN'T cut it any more. What this rule does is to force the offense to make a good play in order to score. Actually move the ball INTO the endzone.

    Even when the Pats score on one of those plays where the runner winds up on the one, but he so called "crossed the plane" leave me vexed and unsatisfied. Gone would be all the contraversial calls. Gone would be the bad plays that wind up with TDs anyway. Gone would be the swan dive. Good Defense would be rewarded and Officials will have an easier job making a definitive call.

    Well that's the way I see it. I hope you all enjoyed St. Patricks day (Evacuation Day in Suffolk County - celebrating the British leaving Boston during the Revolutionary War, for those who might not know )
  2. Captain Cliche

    Captain Cliche Rookie

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    Payton got his ring...they can go back to playing contact football.
  3. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan Rookie

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    Great post Ken. I won't touch on all of your points but some thoughts I have are...

    1. I agree with your point on Vrable and athlete's in general. If I made 10 times what I make today, I'd still be making less than the NFL veteran minimum. I hope I'll be all right 40 years from now. I can't imagine how these guys feel they won't be able to swing it when they retire after earning hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars for an extended number of years.

    2. I met Felger at training camp in 05, shortly before it became public about his new show starting up. He was very approachable and I had a great football discussion with him. I do not get the feeling that I could have that same discussion with the man now. He's too arrogant.

    3. No comment.

    4. Well said.

    5. The schedule will be brutal but you never can tell. I mean who would have thought, before 2003 or 2004, that our only losses in each year would be Buffalo, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Miami respectively? Part of it is who you play, part of it is how your opponents are playing at the time you meet. If we draw San Deigo or Indy and they are in a downward spiral, that could be an easier game than say Washington who may be hot at the time. That being said, I am looking forward to the schedule coming out and seeing how it will be put together.

    6. The rule change I agree the most with is a change in the length of the play clock. That could speed up the game a bit and open up the possibility of other rule changes that may negatively impact the length of a game (extended replay options, for example).
  4. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    As I said over at KFFL (in case you didn't post it over here)...

    Ken,

    Great post, as always. Can't say that agree with ALL of your takes re: penalties - 'though I can say I'm too lazy to articulate why. As for your comments re: Vrabel's thoughts on the Franchise Tag, you are RIGHT ON.

    And I thought Felger's columns were a pathetically transparent way of sucking up to the fans after a lot of controversy has blown up in his face. Felger needs to face it - he crossed over the dark side a while ago and there's no coming back. Honestly, I find it insulting to the intelligence of the fan-base.
  5. Two Eight

    Two Eight Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    in Vrabel's defense I think it's possible that he was also talking about job security not just financial security, ie. knowing that he has a long term deal in place here, that the team wants him here, and being able to do things like buying a house, enrolling his kids in school, starting a local charity whatever without the knowledge that a year from now he'll most likely have to relocate to another city.

    I always wondered why, for a large market sports town, we get stuck with such dipstick reporters like Felger. When he was harassing CD last year I just wanted to grab him by the neck and tell him to STFU, Corey played it cool but I wonder how much dealing with that BS made him want to leave. I guess every town probably has a Felger or a Forges though.

    I agree with all your rule changes except stopping the clock on 1st down under 2 minutes. I think good teams, like the Pats, know what they've got to work with and will get it done by using the sidelines and spiking the ball. The end of SB36 wouldn't have been nearly as exciting if JR and Troy didn't have to make those great plays to not just pick up yards but get out of bounds.

    Love reading your posts Ken, thanks for writing 'em.
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why not just have a scale of salaries, depending on seniority? The franchise tag is a violation of anti-trust law, and the Congress needs to continue to pass special legislation so that the NFL owners can prevent a select group of players from being allowed to participate in the comptetive market. If the owners continue to use this clause to their advantage, their statutory exemption could be removed. There is asolutely no reason why the very best players in the very best (and profitable) sport cannot be free agents!!!

    In general, the NFL union indeed has done just as poster here want. They have not stood firm on protecting the best performers among their membership, pretty normal for unions in general. They understand who has the votes, the majority of middle level players.

    Hats off the Vrabel! He speaks out on all issues that affect his membership, not just issues that affect the vast majority.

    I submit that what you and I make is absolutely irrelevant. If you must compare franchisees to other industries, please compare them to industries where the starting salary is above $200K. Compare the best cornerback's compensation to the nation's top corporate attorneys, to the top CFO's or to the top salepeople, or the top chefs. You will then find that the tops in any profession earn a lot of money. Please also consider career earnings, not just annual earnings.
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    They're in a union and the tag has been negotiated in as part of other concessions by the owners. It's a violation of nothing. The players are free agents, if they don't like the agreements between themselves and the NFL they are free to negotiate any contract they want with other football leagues.
  8. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

    Canada's #1 Pats Fan Rookie

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    I think this reason alone will mean that the Pats do not open on Thursday night.
  9. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    The NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry. There's profit being raked in hand-over-fist. The players are the "talent" that makes this profit possible. They are the best in the world at what they do. If there are billions of dollars coming in, why shouldn't they get a healthy piece of that?

    Whether you'd be happy with the money they'd make playing under the franchise tag is immaterial -- CBS isn't willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to follow you around while you do your job, whatever it is.

    Also, I think you're the one out of touch with reality when it comes to money. These guys aren't, for the most part, just trying to provide a "lifetime's" security for themselves... they're trying to establish a foundation of money that will provide security for their family (and often extended family) for generations. $7 million sounds like a whole lot, but really, considering the whole-sale change in socio-economic group these guys are trying to enable for their family, it's really not.

    You want to buy a nice house in the suburbs. Then there's private school education for all your kids, so they don't have to play ball to be able to go to college. Then there's college for all your kids, and since they went to good high schools, they've all gotten into good colleges, which get very pricey. Now, you're also want to buy your mom a small house in the 'burbs near you. You've also likely got a handful of brothers and sisters -- you want to help them out, too. Maybe you help pay for an apartment in a safe neighborhood for one, maybe you invest in the cell-phone store your brother-in-law wants to start as a favor for your sister. Maybe you want to help pay for college for all your nieces and nephews. Meanwhile, you also want to start up a boys/girls club or something similar, to help kids where you grew up. And, you also want to set up a trust for your kids, so they don't have to worry about paying for your grand-children's education.

    Players' salaries might seem sufficient to you, but to guys who grew up dirt poor but blessed with the talent, that kind of socio-economic elevation for their family was what the hard work they put in was for.
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    3. the rule is fine as is.

    4. I love the hurry up, stopping the clock favors the defense, not the offense.

    5. The college game is catering to TV scheduling, besides, let's see you get that rule past Herm and his ilk.

    6. Two challenges are enough, killing the booth only review in the final two minutes is a good call, let the coaches play chess.

    7. good call.

    8. You are confusing a player "down by contact" losing the ball after he is down. The ground causes fumbles all the time when players slip and lose the ball, but in the process of being tackled, down by contact supersedes ground/ball collisions.

    9. Now you're being goofy, the end zone has limits, if you want to require a player completely enter the end zone and then touch the ball to the ground write it up, but as long as just the ball needs to enter the end zone, then a plane will exist.
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Au contraire, Pat_Nasty, NFL players are just damn lucky that the country has this ridiculous obsession. Their being able to run fast is no better than some guy who can do math well - it's not so inherently better that he can retire comfortable after, say, 8 years vs. someone who hopes to retire well after 35 years.

    Hard work ? Both require hard work. I have no idea why some claim it's the inherent right of an athlete to set his family up for generations whereas the son of a guy with a PhD in Math will have to work 35 years himself. I'm OK with it - it is what it is. But to defend it as right is complete and utter nonsense.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  12. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I'm a huge Vrabel fan. But I was actually taken aback by a different comment of his -- the focus on tuition reimbursement. Is his choice of offseason activity REALLY affected by whether or not he has to pay Ohio State University tuition??

    The franchise tag thing was less of an issue for me. Basically, it said "A few of the top guys are being treated unfairly, relatively speaking, and that's unfortunately not likely to change." One can agree with him and still totally disapprove of Briggs' whining.
  13. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    I guess it's not enough that they already get 4-5 years of free college education ? :confused:

    They're greedy bastards not grounded in reality. Even the Patriots.
  14. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    I have to completely agree with that. Not only did they get the first four years of their education for free (at least, that is, the majority of NFL players), they are being paid a minimum of a half mil a year. You're telling me you really need your tuition reimbursed? I thought that was horse ****. How about instead of giving the money back to the players (who are nearly all millionaires), how about the NFL give it to high school students in the form of academic scholarships?

    I was much more tweaked by the education quotes in Vrabel's interview.
  15. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    The "inherent right" comes from this thing we have in our country called "capitalism." How much you make is not determined by some abstract sense of the value of your skills. Being able to run fast and tackle is simply a more profitable skill than theoretical mathematics -- if you're one of the best couple hundred people in the world at it. That's just the facts of life: because of this country's "ridiculous obsession," football players are the most important part of a wildly profitable corporation, profitable enough that the "talent" that makes it all possible's fair share of the profits make them rich enough to set their families up for generations.

    Why should they leave money on the table because some guy on a message board thinks they don't deserve it?
  16. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    I assume you are being sarcastic with this remark, though that is the manner in which most civil service jobs are paid, like police fire and teachers.


    That is simply not the truth, simply because it was part of a contract negotiation freely agreed to by the owners and the players representatives, as BellechickFan indicated. I think you are thinking of the anti-trust exemption that Baseball owners enjoy.

    At what point mg, should they become FAs? Don't you think the teams that find the players, develop the players, and market those players, and nurture the skills that make them stars, deserve some of the credit, and thus deserve to expect a certain amount of time to reap the rewards of the player's now fullfilled potential???

    Very few of these guys are instant elite players. Assante Samuel took advantage of the great coaching and system here, and 3 years of nurturing before he became the player he showed in 2006. So now what. Thanks for all the help...and see ya????

    If you want to talk about a limit to the number of times a player CAN be franchised, then I would agree, but the Franchise tag is for ONE player of 53, and certainly cannot be construed as restriction on FA for the overwhelming majority of the players in the league.

    IIRC there are 6 this year, which is a huge number in comparison to recent years. That's 6 out of around 1700 players. And its not like those 6 poor souls are not being compensated as the elite players they are. In fact if we were to be honest about this, the only significant difference between what a franchise player gets and what a well paid FA gets is more money up front, not for the life the FA contract. Walter Jones didn't get less money those 3 years he was franchised, he just had to EARN it every year. Or perhaps a better example. If Baltimore was able to franchise AD for 5 years, at the end of those 5 years, he would have made MORE than the 5 years he makes in NE.

    The point that someone made about the player not being able to plan LT to be in one place, is a valid one, but if you are going to be a professional athlete that enjoys FA, LT residency in any one place shouldn't be high on your list of priorities.

    BS, you are just ponificating here, and not very well. (and I should know since I do it all the time ') ) Its not really the "best" performers, its giving the opportunity for each of the 32 franchise to protect ONE player they deem as the most IMPORTANT to keep THAT year.

    ????????? This makes no sense. ISN'T Vrabel's job to speak out for the vast majority of his constituency. I wouldn't want to be part of a union that only looked out for a selected few, over the vast majority (sorta like a certain presidential admistration I can think of ....oops :rolleyes:

    AND I would submit that most of those jobs you describe FULLY protect themselve when THEY SIGN talent for big dollars. Most high end contracts make sure that talent and ideas that are developed on THEIR dime, doesn't rush off on a FA whim. Non-compete and non-disclosure clauses abound in these deals. The Franchise clause is REALLY not different than what you'd find in the business world.
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    That's fine. I didn't argue against it. But their union has gained concessions from the other side by taking on the Franchise Tag. So don't, then, go around arguing that the Tag is unfair. They either take the terrible $7M or they sign for a little less long term than they think they deserve. But make no mistake, they have gained concessions from the other side for this.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    OOHH Pat_Nasty, now you are using the "C" word. I guess you think that covers a mass of sins. IF you had actually read Adam Smith, you would be surprised to find he would have been appalled at all the excesses UNBRIDLED capitialism has rought over the centuries. You can defend your opinion if you must, but try and refrain from using the "C" word to defend guys who run around on Sundays 16 games a year.

    I say this despite acknowledging the inordinant amount of time I spend following the damned game. :D
  19. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    He can use capitalism all he likes IMO. If the players don't like the deal they have negotiated with this league they are welcome to go and play for, or even start, another league. Just like if I work for a company and complain about this or that - if I don't like it I can go and work for someone else. If I'm already working the the Big Dog . . . I have to be happy with what I've got or do something else.
  20. PatsMyBoyz!

    PatsMyBoyz! Rookie

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    Sort of along those lines...I was talking to a guy recently who was enamored,proud,and stoked by the fact his son got a full scholarship in Sports Communications,as he should be. People were congratulating him,^5ing him,saying what a lucrative career was ahead, "Can't wait to see his broadcasts",etcetc.Genuine excitement.
    I have a neighbor who's son got a full scholarship in engineering last year. No small feat. Due congratulations were given and all but nobody said they looked forward to his next invention.

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