I’ve got a solution to a main issue in the National Football League lockout. It’s a simple idea but the owners and players could struggle for ten years and hire some of the highest priced legal talent around, as they’ve done, and never come up with it.
At issue is some $2.4 billion that the owners want to skim off the top before their revenue sharing arrangement with the players kicks in. Right now the poor owners skim only $1 billion. Their plan would reduce players’ income by 18 percent, say from $1 million a year to $820,000.
That’s okay by me but I wouldn’t give all that extra money – $75 million per team – to the greedy little owners. I’d cut the fans in on the action.
Have you been to an NFL game in the last few years? Or watched some on TV? Then you know it’s the fans who need help, not the owners or players. Why the press doesn’t write more about it, I don’t know.
Here’s what I would do:
• Reduce ticket prices. These vary – but for seats in the same time zone as the playing field – the close-in ones, that is – a couple of hundred bucks is a bargain these days. Can we discuss that, David Boies?
• Do something about parking. In some stadiums, like the new Meadowlands, grown men (me) have been known to cry, getting there an hour and a half early, unable to find a space, driving a tenth of a mile an hour in the tail-gate maze.
• Hire exit-traffic help at the end of games. Two hours stuck in a car in the lot at Fed Ex Field, with no bathroom, is spiteful.
• For the folks at home as well as those at the game, cut back on those TV commercials. One rule of thumb: Avoid interfering with the flow of the game.
• Also, cut down on the fear, please. No more worse-than-airport-type frisking – hands over heads – as you enter. (They really do that!) Looking for weapons? No, just Oreos, or a beer, I guess. Safety reasons, they say. Yeah, sure; maybe in Philadelphia. But it’s just one more little revenue enhancer for the owners and players, one more insult to the fans.
I know, I know. If I don’t want to go the games or watch them on TV, I don’t have to. No one’s making me. These gripes are picayune. Some people, the serious season ticket holders or those who invest thousands simply to be able to buy tickets, may have real problems. The fact is, I don’t go very often. But I might if it were a little more pleasant. I love the game. Go, Giants.