Articles matching tag: NFL
- Column: Trump Takes On The NFLOctober 5, 2017
Leave it to President Trump to stir up a controversy at a time when he should have been dealing with the myriad issues confronting the country. But as untimely as his actions to take on the NFL players and owners may have been, that doesn’t mean he was entirely wrong. The President castigated the players for taking a knee during the national anthem and accused the owners of being afraid to take action against them. Trump said the players showed “a total disrespect of our heritage…a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.” When the players suggested that Trump’s comments were “racial” (the NFL is approximately 70 per cent African American), the President shot back: “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem.”
- Column: NFL Overestimated LA MarketSeptember 28, 2017
Greed can motivate human beings to do things they might regret upon hindsight. NFL owners, despite being billionaires, are no different from ordinary folks in that regard. Their decision to storm back into the Los Angeles market last year after a 22-year absence was motivated by greed. As so often happens in such instances, the league and some team owners may be experiencing a severe case of buyer’s remorse. In 1995, the Los Angeles Rams bolted LA for a new, state of the art stadium in Saint Louis. Along with an array of revenue streams and fancy suites, perhaps the best part of their deal was a clause in the lease that required Saint Louis to guarantee the stadium would always be one of the top-ten in the league. If at any time the stadium was deemed to fall below that standard, the team would be free to move. Two decades later, the inevitable came to pass and Rams’ owner Stan Kroenke printed business cards that read, “NFL team available for the best deal.”
- Column: NFL Concussion Case Shows Lawyers At Their WorstApril 20, 2017
“This case has done nothing but show lawyers at their worst.” Attorney Jason Luckasevic Even on their good days attorneys have been known to act, well, not so good. Luckasevic had to be upset to utter such a strong indictment of the legal profession. Luckasevic was referring to the actions of attorneys who are involved in the NFL concussion case, a class action lawsuit that was settled, sort of, in August of 2013. However, none of the plaintiffs in the suit, which was really a combination of hundreds of lawsuits, have yet to see a dime from the settlement and it may be years before they do.
- Column: NFL Parity Is A MythFebruary 2, 2017
The NFL loves to portray itself as the league with the most parity. On any given Sunday – which in reality is now Monday, Thursday and, depending on the time of the year, Saturday – any team can win. Of course, that’s true. Upsets in sports have existed as long sports itself which dates back to at least ancient Greece. But cream always rises to the top. In the NFL, that means the teams that end up in the playoffs year after year have familiar names: New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers. Are there commonalities among the three teams that other teams should emulate? You bet there are.
- Column: Chargers Flee San Diego For LaLa LandJanuary 19, 2017
The lessons I learned from my grandfather have stuck with me. One in particular came to mind when I read the announcement by San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos that the team would dessert a loyal fan base in San Diego for Los Angeles. Maine was once home to a number of smelly, toxic-spewing paper mills. One day as my grandfather and I were traveling through a mill town I made an unflattering comment about the putrid stench. My grandfather opined that the workers in the mill were able to support their families with their hard-earned paychecks and to them, the money didn’t smell. He counseled me that money is money, regardless of where it comes from, a fact that also applies to the Chargers’ move.
- Column: NFL Ratings Decline InconsequentialOctober 13, 2016
The September TV ratings are in and viewership of early season NFL games is down 10% from last year’s numbers. That much is clear. What isn’t as clear is the reason behind the falloff. Speculation abounds on the cause of the lower ratings. Among the alleged culprits are the National Anthem protests by players, overexposure of the product, lousy matchups, the loss of key players such as Peyton Manning (retired) and Tom Brady (serving a four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate), declining interest in a sport that has been vilified for the toll it extracts on its players, the legal attacks on the fantasy sports industry, and alternative methods of consumption, e.g., streaming video.
- Column: The Many Facets of Colin Kaepernick's ProtestSeptember 8, 2016
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem as a form of protest against our country’s treatment of black people has sparked outrage, sprinkled with a small dose of support. In this view, neither is justified. In some circles, Kaepernick is being compared to Muhammad Ali, which is perhaps the greatest outrage in this entire controversy. The key difference – there are many others - between Kaepernick and Ali is the level of sacrifice each made by protesting injustice as they saw it in this country. In 2014, Kaepernick signed a 6-year, $114 million contract with the 49ers that included a $12 million signing bonus and $61 million in guaranteed salary. By engaging in a sit-down – now a kneel-down - protest, he forfeited none of his $73 million in guaranteed money.
- Column: Washington Redskins - A Controversy That Won't EndJune 16, 2016
If you’re looking for a controversy with no end, try this one: The debate on whether the Washington Redskins should change their nickname and team logos. Depending on who – and how – you ask, the nickname of the NFL’s third most valuable team ranges from a non-issue to a slur against Native Americans. The controversy was recently inflamed when the Washington Post published the results of a new poll that asked Native Americans a series of questions regarding their opinion of the term “Redskins.” A whopping 90% said the name doesn’t bother them. Only nine percent said the name was offensive, while one percent had no opinion.
- Column: Deflategate Keeps On HissingMay 5, 2016
If you feel like you’ve overdosed on Deflategate, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans feel just like you and millions more may join your group before the case hisses its way to a final conclusion. The case that seemingly won’t end has completed its latest chapter. Last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reinstate Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for tampering with the air pressure in footballs. Brady was initially suspended by an NFL hearing officer for allegedly tampering with the footballs used in the Patriots’ AFC Championship game rout of the Indianapolis Colts in January of 2015.
- Column: NFL Facing Pension WoesFebruary 11, 2016
The NFL generated an estimated $12 billion dollars this year, far and away the most of any professional sports league in the country. But despite that embarrassment of riches, the NFL is facing a decidedly American problem: a substantial funding gap in its pension plan. According to league and union officials the players’ pension plan has only 72% of the assets necessary to cover liabilities owed to former and current players. Experts generally consider a funding ratio of 80% or more to be satisfactory. But the deficit in the NFL plan pales in comparison to many pension plans, including a number in the public sector.