HedgeFundLive.com -- With the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement set to expire at 12:00 midnight Friday morning, and still no resolve, one may wonder: What will happen to America’s most popular sport? This is all to familiar. Did we not just witness a protest in Wisconsin regarding union contracts? For the NFL, if there is no agreement before the start of the season and a lockout happens, it would be detrimental to the sport. A lockout will upset many of the fans who look forward to football Sundays. For me, the perfect way to spend my fall Sundays are in front of the TV with a cold beer and some wings. I for one would truly be disappointed if this were to happen.
An interview Bryant Gumble had with Earl Campbell on Real Sports proves the aforementioned. Earl Campbell walked into the interview with the assistance of two canes, due to the arthritis in his knees and hips along with the countless other problems incurred as a result of his career. Bryant asked Earl, “Knowing the affects football has on your body, would you do it again?” Earl’s response was simply, “I would.” You know he truly loved his profession by his response. But did the people he worked for care enough about him? That question is debatable, but to support the players, I believe the answer is no. For someone to give so much of themselves to work and not be compensated properly is an issue. Yes, some of these man make millions of dollars a year, but what happens when it is over? Hopefully they have saved and made the right investments, but how often in sports does that happen? We have heard of athletes who are now filing for bankruptcy after earning $60 million over the course of their career. I don’t know if they should take all the blame. Once they retire from their sport, they have no provided health care nor any pension to look forward to. The other issue these players have is the splitting of the revenue. The owners would like more of the share- it is believed the split is 50/50 currently.These men put there bodies through hell for our entertainment and are rewarded handsomely. The league minimum is $285,000 a year and that is if you are rookie. The players are arguing against a longer season and sharing of revenue. The owners would like to turn the season from 16 games to 18 and reduce the number of preseason games to two. I agree with the players- extending the season to 18 games benefits only the owners since they can squeeze more money out of the season. The players are just taking more physical risk. The average NFL career lasts about 3.4 years. The toll this sport puts on your body is brutal. There are risks of concussions, broken bones, knee injuries and the list continues… not to mention the long term affects these players have.
So I propose this. Offer a health care plan that the players contribute to for after their career. Secondly, and I feel this is most important, have some sort of financial seminar with all the rookies who enter the league. Set them up with financial advisers, show them the importance of saving for their future, and invite former players in to educate them. Lastly, allow the split to remain 50/50. Without them, I would not be enjoying fall Sundays.
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.