So, I have been heaping tons of crap on the owners in the NFL dispute. I think they are greedy and selfish and evil. Actually, I know they are. This was long before the this labor dispute. They are not a nice organization. They are not fan friendly. They are mean. Plain and simple… mean. Since their entire empire depends on discretionary income, being mean is a super bad idea. Now, the owners demand more games, more cash from the TV business, and demand that all rookies take less money. Every contention seems to be based on the players giving stuff up. That is hardly a ‘negotation’. That is a ‘hold up’, or a ‘robbery’.
But enough about the owners greed. Enough ink has been spilled on this subject.
Today, a group of retired players came out and said players need more heath care… first and foremost. See, football destroys the body. An expert described each football game being the equivalent of a very bad car accident for a player… every Sunday. Football destroys the body. Even though the average NFL career is only 2.5 years (from Fatsis’ book) these players suffer for years. Also, 95% of them dont’ get a desk tv job, or a shoe deal.
“We’ve earned the right to have a livable pension,” the former guard with the Bills and Browns said after detailing his lengthy resume of surgeries. “The NFL is the most lucrative sport on the planet and they can’t take care of 2,000 guys? That’s wrong.”
Now here is the really concerning piece. Retired players only get health care for the first two years after they retire. This means by 30 years old, you are washed up, unemployed, and badly hurt. You see, they haven’t just played football for for 2.5 years, and they haven’t played just on Sundays. The average NFL player has played football nearly every day of his life since he was about ten. It is how they get great.
Then, I think of the American car unions. Did you know that Ford workers get life time health care? $2,000 of every Ford car sold today goes to legacy health care. So, if you buy a $12,000 Ford Focus… Ford only sees $10,000 of that money. The other $2,000 goes to a guy who drove the forklift making $80 an hour who retired in 1983 at age 50.
I don’t think that guy needs lifetime healthcare. Whatever, that is the free market and they were able to negotiate it. Good for them. Why in the world don’t NFL players negotiate for something similar? That lays with the union, and the dumbass players who don’t know to fight for their best interest. See, a 21 year old wonderkind is about to sign for 5 million a year; He doesn’t care about his knees at 40. He shouldn’t, and neither did you. BUT… that is EXACTLY the union’s job. I think of it like a parent. I am doing this for you whether you like it or not, you will understand later.
Maybe this is why America hates unions (unless you are in one). Players should fight for basic lifetime heathcare. At least a free doctors visit and basic triage care. This reminds me when Homer Simpson was head of the union at Springfield Nuclear. He traded away employee dental for a keg of beer. Was he vilified? No, he was a hero… because people are short sighted and stupid.
So, here is my offer. The players will add two extra regular season games, in exchange for lifetime basic health care access. It isn’t that dramatic. Football players don’t live long at all, seriously. Look at the actuaries, it’s scary.