rich people

3 posts

Apparently Suing Your Co-op Board for Takeout Losses is a Thing Now

Maybe we can file this under “Only in Manhattan” or “Things only the insanely rich will think of?” At any rate, Beverly Taki and her husband, Louis Maione of Park Avenue feel they should be reimbursed by their co-op board for $27,000 worth of takeout meals. And I’d like my co-op board to pay me in diamond stud earrings for every grass clipping that lands on my welcome mat. Yes, thank you. Continue reading

Stop Crying, There Will Be an NFL Season (maybe)

Since labor troubles in 1987 cancelled one game and saw replacement players in NFL uniforms, labor issues have been minor compared to the other major American sports leagues. The NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball have all seen seasons cut short (or cancelled altogether) as a result of labor strife. Now the NFL is facing a real possibility of losing games in 2011.

Cigars and brandy, NFL Owners' second biggest expense after player salaries

The main issue in labor talks is how to split up the reported $9 billion in revenue the league and its teams take in each year. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the first $1 billion off the top belongs to the team owners. Of the remaining revenue, 60% goes toward player salaries while the balance goes to the owners and team expenses. The owners claim that rising costs are directing most of the profits toward the players, and that they should receive a bigger portion of the $9 billion. Some of their proposals involve increasing their primary allocation from $1 billion to $2 billion and reducing the 60% of the excess revenue that goes to the players. Their position is that they no longer want to pay the players as much as they are.

There is a key bargaining difference between “not wanting to pay” and being “unable to pay”, and that’s a main sticking point for the NFL Players Association. If the owners came to the bargaining table and claimed they could not afford to pay the players, the NFLPA would have a legal to right to examine owners’ financials. NFL owners, however, have claimed that general economic difficulties are resulting in an overall strain on profits. Essentially, they’re saying “We can pay you that much, we just don’t want to.” Under established labor law, the NFLPA has no rights to see team financial statements if this is the case. Players do have audit rights, but owners are only obligated to show them team revenues and not expenses.

So what happens now?

Many expect that an agreement will not be reached before the current CBA expires on March 3rd, and the owners will lock out the players shortly thereafter. This will affect the off-season in a number of ways until a deal is reached:

Some owners have even sent their kids in to negotiate with players.
  • The NFL draft will still happen in late April, but teams will not be able to sign their draft picks, trade draft picks that involve a current NFL player, or sign undrafted rookies. The teams will essentially pick their guy and then wait until a new CBA is hashed out.
  • Free agents are out of luck. Players whose contracts have expired cannot sign with another NFL team while players are locked out. They could go play for a team in another league like the CFL or UFL.
  • Players under contract will not be paid, and (most likely) could not play for another league. Teams could not bar a player from working at all, but could possibly bring legal action if a player participated in another football league. During the NHL’s cancelled 2004-05 season, many players went to Europe and played professionally there, and owners had no issues. NFL owners have already stated they might.
  • Head coaches will most likely be paid during a lockout, but their assistants most likely will not be. Coaches’ contracts are written differently from those of players and assistants, and most will continue to receive full salaries even if no football is played.

The implications become much greater if a deal still hasn’t been reached in August, when teams are ramping up for the regular season. A shortened pre-season or regular season would be the most innocuous result. Replacement players have and can be used if the owners want to stage the games.

Players are preparing for the lockout. Tom Brady replaced his dog's bed of hundred dollar bills with twenties.

The worst possible scenario is one where a deal still hasn’t been reached well into the fall which results in a cancelled season and no Super Bowl.

In any labor negotiation, both sides want to feel like they stood up for their constituents and fought as hard as they could. This is the main reason why a deal most likely won’t be done before August. Any conclusion before then will make it look like one side gave in and let the other side win. I wouldn’t expect a deal before August or September with the most likely effect being a shortened season. In the end, I think the billionaires will win out over the millionaires, owners will get their concessions, and the game will go on.

In the meantime, most fans (yours truly included) will continue to freak out about the possiblity of no NFL in 2011. I don’t even want to think about all the time I spend watching NFL network in the summer hearing about how my favorite players have been arrested or showed up to camp overweight. The thought of having to work after 2pm on Fridays and Tuesdays, key times for fantasy football owners, frightens me more than birds do. (And I REALLY hate birds.) But most devastatingly, the thought of spending Sundays at home instead of at a bar watching the Vikings sends chills down my spine. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but COME ON.

Let’s all just hope that this gets worked out and such fears aren’t realized. If August is on our calendars and labor issues remain, we’ll circle back and figure out what the hell to do with our lives.