The NFL vs. what I learned at Business School

The public at large seems to yawn at the prospect of no football

By Christy Mihos 

At Business School my marketing professor always touted "own nothing, collect fees" - my Dad always lectured "less is always more" - two good credos to live by, but I could never get into a business that my marketing attempted to teach.


The average life-span of an NFL player's career is 3 ½ years !!! Most former players die before age 60 and most are bankrupt before their second year out of the league.

Today the sports world is rocked with the real possibility that the entire National Football League 2011 season may be canceled and the ramifications for future years might be worse.

An incredibly successful business institution has come to the abyss as that old objective "money" and "who's ox is being gored" has set the two sides to war. Are they really going to slay the golden goose over money?

The public at large seems to yawn at the prospect of no football. The players are ready to do what they have to and protect their interests, and they must. Today's news of the death of Miami Dolphins great Jim Mandich at age 62 is troubling. The average life-span of an NFL player's career is 3 ½ years !!! Most former players die before age 60 and most are bankrupt before their second year out of the league.

The Romans said to their conquering heroes that "Glory is Fleeting" ----they must have seen the future for NFL players. The injuries to retired players have not been given the rightful attention which must be a major role in any settlement. I know of no other profession where the stars of the industry are forsaken when they retire.

The NFL owners are now on the verge of milking this cow until there is no more cow.

The Owners, many "captains of industry" look like their 1890s counterparts. Each building lavish stadiums, communications networks, real estate empires feeding off the engine of professional football. They're in a world of hurt if the Federal Judge in Minnesota does what many believe she will do and garnish their television revenues and declare the lockout null and void---she wants a rightful settlement; maybe she's also looking out for the mere mortals who depend on that industry to pay their food and gas bills.

Besides their enormous investment in adding value to their respective teams, what owner can look themselves in the mirror each day knowing your players career is now at 3 ½ years and they can't collect a pension unless they play at least four years? The Owners also want to extend the official season to 18 games plus more revenue split. The owners are now on the verge of milking this cow until there is no more.

I say now is the right time to call a halt to this historic revenue grab and keep the games at 16----no pre-season game; attend to the players needs for a more secure quality of life with post-career intervention of their medical claims---damn it, take care of them. They play the game while the owners sit lavishly yards away from any physical torment. Should the season[s] be canceled it's the owners too that will take a beating.

They will look longingly at what might have been if they were less demanding and less selfish of their desire to kill a great institution and business, as they now so willingly choose to do.

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