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NFL: 32 Fat-cat Republicans who vote Socialist

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006601280340

    The NFL means (big) business
    With $5.8 billion in revenue last year, pro football is the king of sports in Detroit and the nation.
    BY JOHN GALLAGHER
    FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

    January 28, 2006

    As the National Football League brings its annual Super Bowl to Detroit next week, the nation will revel in what has become America's favorite sporting event.
    But peek behind the bunting of this all-American extravaganza and you'll find a financial underpinning that is, well, pretty un-American.

    No matter that the Detroit version of the Super Bowl will be played in one of capitalism's greatest cities, home to some of the world's largest companies. The NFL's family secret is that for decades the league has conducted its business according to a rigidly uncompetitive share-the-wealth formula.

    The NFL's 32 teams equally split most of their annual revenues. That means even mediocre teams like the Detroit Lions suffer little or no financial penality for failure on the playing field. A stringent salary cap keeps down teams' expenses.

    The irony of 32 millionaire owners like the Lions' William Clay Ford agreeing to run their sport this way is lost on no one, least of all the owners themselves.

    "We're 32 fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist," Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell quipped a few years ago.

    Outsiders can only marvel at the league's success.

    "Revenue sharing has led to every team having a good shot at winning and that generates competitive balance," says Phil Porter, a professor of sports economics at the University of South Florida.

    "So you've got fan interest in every market in the game because in any year, anybody can win. That drives the demand side, and then you've got cost containment because you've got a salary cap. That's a great way to run a league."

    NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue makes no apologies for the league's share-the-wealth formula. In a world of iPods, DVDs, 24-hour cable and other forms of entertainment, it's the NFL against the world.

    "This kind of revenue sharing is inconsistent with the manner in which independent economic competitors conduct themselves," Tagliabue acknowledged before Congress a few years back. "It is the way business partners conduct themselves, seeking to compete not with each other, but with other outside, independent competitors in the marketplace."

    Make no mistake, this system pays big-time. The NFL is America's richest sport. Lucrative TV revenues, worth more than $3.7 billion a year to the league, make up most of the bounty. So do the many new stadiums like Ford Field that communities help to build to keep or attract an NFL team.

    Thanks to those factors, the NFL's total revenues have soared to $5.8 billion in 2005, up from $970 million in 1989, the year Tagliabue took over the league's front office.

    The league's 32 teams share the television and radio money, revenue from national sponsorships and a portion of all ticket sales. Teams get to keep their parking and concession revenue and money from sales of luxury suites and stadium naming rights.
    Under revenue sharing, each team got $87.5 million from TV revenue during 2005. Since the league's salary cap for 2005 was $85.5 million, the 32 owners almost have a built-in profit.

    "The way the NFL is set up, an owner really has to work at it to lose money," Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said recently in an interview.

    Most valuable sport

    To show just how odd the NFL's economics can be, consider this: The doormat Detroit Lions franchise is valued by Forbes magazine at $780 million. That makes the Lions more valuable than the Pistons, the Tigers or the Red Wings. The Lions, in fact, are worth almost as much as those three Motor City professional teams combined, according to Forbes' calculations.

    Here's another indicator of NFL dominance: The least-valuable pro football team, the Minnesota Vikings, is worth more ($658 million) than the most valuable pro basketball team, the New York Knicks ($543 million), according to Forbes' estimates.

    The NFL's markers of success are everywhere. The Harris Poll reported in December that 33% of Americans name pro football their favorite sport, a wide and increasing margin. Just 14% of Americans now say pro baseball, the next highest, is their favorite sport, the poll found.

    Moreover, 20 of the NFL's 32 teams have gotten new or substantially renovated stadiums since 1992, and four more stadiums are in the works. New stadiums typically increase attendance and sales of luxury suites and concessions, a boon to the bottom line.

    Even in this monetary paradise, though, some cracks have appeared. The league needs to negotiate a new collective-bargaining agreement soon with its players, who naturally want to share more in the league's wealth.

    And the issue of unshared revenues, coming from local teams' share of ticket sales, concessions and so forth, has become an issue. Richer teams want to share less with poorer teams. The league needs to resolve the dispute or risk letting greed spoil things for everybody.

    Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.
    Copyright © 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.
  2. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Yeah, Capitalism is real proud of Detroit! :rolleyes:
  3. CTPatsFan

    CTPatsFan Rookie

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    That's what you get when you build $ hit nobody wants.
  4. len_mullen

    len_mullen Rookie

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    No kidding, not true

    We're fortunate the NFL understands capitalism and markets better than John Gallagher. He's probably going to followup with an enlightening article about how Delmonte subsidizes advertising for carrots with revenue from corn sales.

    What a 'tard. The nfl teams compete on the field, but the league competes with other entertainment products.

    Revenue sharing makes that product (nfl) more attractive. More revenue to share. Economics 101 and *very* American.
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    Within capitalism itself, you have all sorts of other subcultures. You have an American model where the CEO makes 100x the average worker, and you have the Japanese model where the CEO makes 10x the average worker. pigs will be pigs, but in the NFL it's pretty evident that the most successful franchise of the new century is a guy who prefers the Japanese model. Pay for play, and you remain accountable. You have a bigger middle class than anyone else (Patriots have more players making at least $1.5 million than any other team in the league) and thus you have more depth, and really the game is all about depth.
  6. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Mikey, why did you have to start this thread with a political statement.

    This is the Football board, you know. Are you really that stupid?

    Judging from you other post that had politcal overtones, the answer is yes.

    TGIC just got suspended for two weeks. I think it would be good to suspend anyone who makes a political statement on the football board to be suspended for two weeks.

    We are all Patriots fans, united in that. Bringing politics on the football board is poison that we don't need. Most of the past threeads that had political statements have turned out badly.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2006
  7. Pujo

    Pujo Rookie

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    It's a business article about the NFL, I think it's A-OK here.
  8. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    What's up, PNM?

    Like you, I leave politics here to those with asbestos undergarments who want to take their chances in the political forum.

    But all Mikey did was quote Art Modell. And the NFL is largely about money and how it is distributed. If you think that that is "political" then you are going to have a problem with anyone who wants to discuss its rights and wrongs. Plainly, you're in a minority there -- all the threads about the CBA and hold-outs, etc.

    Is something else eating you? (By the way, you are calling for someone to be suspended for two weeks because Terry Glenn is a Cowgirl got suspended for that length of time -- in fact he was suspended for three days).
  9. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Rookie

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    PNM's diatribe was the classic case of posting before reading the whole thread.
  10. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I did read the whole article before I posted. Just because Modell, one of the dumbest owner ever, makes a stupid statement as part of the article, does Mikey have to take that one statement as a title of his thread? NO, he doesn't.

    Look, I didn't come to this board for politics. And, the football board should be clean of politics.

    The premise of Mikey's title quote is wrong anyway. Yes, the owners are rich, but there are more than a couple who do not belong to the party in the title.
  11. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Rookie

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    I'm sure mikey can defend himself on this, but all he did was post a direct quote for his title. I see nothing slightly wrong with that.

    Like Robert Kraft for example. If you want to take issue with someone, Art Modell should be your target, not mikey for relaying Modell's foolish quote.
  12. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What's wrong with the quote? He should have said "32 rich capitalists" but otherwise it is a pretty good description of the NFL. I don't know of any other sport that goes out of its way to achieve parity the way the NFL does. It is one of the many major draws of the game. I love the fact that you are judged on your ability, not your income.
  13. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rookie

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    WTF is this post? Yeah, you should be proud of a few thousand posts with this kind of quality content.
  14. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    The actual content of his post was in bold, located within Seymour93's quote.
  15. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    OK, I'm not niave.

    I just leave it at this. I'm firmly againts any political post on the footlball board. There is the Political Forum for those who feel that burning desire. It doesn't matter if it swings from the right, swings from the left, or goes right up the middle.
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Truth be told there's a certain type of diversity among NFL owners.

    While I think all owners recognize that the cities in which they play find value their role as a host community, some owners are willing to assume certain costs out of their own pockets as a capitalistic business venture.

    Other owners hold their communities "hostage" threatening to leave unless the town bends over backwards (and sometimes forward) to accomodate their demand for public funding (i.e. Aid to Families with Dependent Team Owners).

    These "welfare" owners have taken it a step further and now expect the owners that dipped into their own pockets to build new state of the art stadiums to share all the revenue they receive from concessions, team paraphenalia etc.

    This is the current argument that threatens to prevent a CBA and could signal the begninning of the end to a good balance among team owners, and players of revenues under what is the fairest of structures in all professional sports.

    Will they come to another fair agreement? If they don't its because of one thing and one thing only - Greed.
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Just for the record, mine swings slightly to the upper right.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2006
  18. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    Well, I know one owner who insn't a fat cat republican. His name is Robert Kraft. :)
  19. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    Nailed it. We got BINGO. The Big 3 are painfully slow at catching up with the times. Give me a well designed car that doesn't fall apart at 50,000 miles and inovate a little bit and I'd buy an American car.
  20. OldEnglandPatriot

    OldEnglandPatriot Rookie

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    I'm puzzled by how irritated one poster got about the "political" nature of this thread. There was no political point made as such, like 'this sucks', or 'we should all be socialists'. Just a comment and nice article link about the way the NFL is run.

    The American sports model, and the NFL in particular, is fascinating for a British sports fan like myself. Soccer in Britain couldn't be more different; on the whole, the richer a club is the more successful it is, a situation that has become more and more pronounced over the last 25 years for various reasons. And as a result, many fans like myself are getting more and more fed up with the predictable nature of the sport.

    I remember when I first became interested in football, I was stunned by the idea that players had to go to whatever team drafted them. It still amazes me somewhat. But speaking as an outsider, the whole thing sure works damn well.

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