The Dollar Store

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I am not in a celebratory mood right now. The pending of the NFL collective bargaining agreement is really starting to get on my nerves. I do not care whether the NFL and NFLPA reach an agreement so that they can continue to get paid. Frankly boys and girls I don’t give a damn. Sorry, Scarlet. Yes I am being a supreme hater and I do not care who knows it. I smile when I see $9,000 and these fools have their mouths turned up at a possible $9,000,000,000.

In an article for ESPN.com, “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon interviewed David Cornwell, an attorney that has worked both for the NFL and for the interests of players. Cornwell quoted his former boss, the late Pete Rozelle in regards to when the league and the players’ union battled over labor issues. “Pete said he hated when the business of the sport became as public as the competition on the field,” Cornwell said.

AubreyBruceBox

No wants the public to see their greed and selfishness exposed.

See that is the problem. Professional sports owners have almost since the first Greek Olympiad crafted and initiated shady deals signed, sealed and delivered in back rooms filled with all types of smoke. When the smoke cleared, the owners almost always were left holding a blood, sweat and tears agreement that favored and enhanced their pocketbooks.

Wilbon went on to say: “It must sound as absurd to the two sides as it does to the rest of us, which to a great degree must be why the two sides ignored the initial Thursday midnight deadline, essentially stopping the clock and continuing the talks.” Wilbon also quoted President Barack Obama as saying that “the two sides certainly ought to be able to sensibly figure out how to divvy up $9 billion, especially since the people who pay the freight are trying to hold on to jobs and make mortgage payments and figure out how to come up with the money to send their children to college.”

Cost of living adjustments have been frozen and in many cases even rolled back just to preserve companies and jobs providing employment for us every day “Joe’s” but greed drips from the corners of the mouths of owners and players like the blood that vampires have gorged themselves on after a successful “twilight” meal. The fans should demand a minimum 20 percent reduction in ticket prices and concession items or stage their own “lockout.” Without the fans everyone, the owners, players, television and radio networks and advertisers will not only be locked out, they will be played out. The fans must say loud and clear: “it’s my money and I will not pay another dime for a new stadium or increased ticket prices unless I live in Dallas, TX and have a cheerleader waiting for me when I arrive at home after a long day rustling cattle or fighting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.”

The league and the players are displaying their stilettos in regards to how they are going to divvy up the future spoils of the league. Everbody is trying to get theirs. Come into the kitchen, grab a “jumbo” or spam sandwich with mayo and onions and chat with me for a few moments. What about the blocking dummies that the NCAA provides for the NFL, you know the ones that never even get invited to the combines, the porcupine, the equine, the red pine or any other “ine?” Where is the collective bargaining agreement for the players who dedicate three to four years of their lives just to get a sheepskin and the wool pulled over their eyes as well as the eyes of their parents and guardians? If the father of former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton tried to get loot for the services of his son before he played one down of college football, well let’s just say that a few parents of standout college athletes better follow in his footsteps and get paid now because later is not guaranteed. Due to the expired CBA and resolution left up for grabs, is it possible that a few of the seniors who sang their school fight song might have remained in the choir one year too many?

The free agency path blazed by Curt Flood cannot do anything for those whose services are provided for zilch, nada, no…thing. At least the NFL players get a piece of the pie, hey just like George Jefferson. College players and their parents get gypped, hoodwinked and bamboozled, period. Free agency can only help if an athlete is already getting paid. These schools are agencies getting free labor and pro sports owners would be getting talent for little or nothing, if they could pull it off. Agents on the other hand are like one man “union stewards.” They are only concerned about the financial welfare or “their guy.” The only confused mounds of flesh with beating hearts that actually care about the game are the fans. There will be football next season. I am not saying that there will not be a work stoppage but I am saying that it will be short, sweet and neat. Why, you ask? There is only one word that can cover such a vast amount of fiscal territory, greed, greed and more greed. What is the world’s greatest bargain? The best deal that any of us can ever get is something for nothing.

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 415-583-6741.)

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