Ok so I know that I lose the politically correct award annually but I believe that comes from telling it the way it is. In no way do I intend to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings as that is not the goal at all, and being a charter and life time member of the “ugly club” I do not mean to offend any other members of this club with this entry.
However, the major hold up in the CBA negotiations in the NFL is that the owners of the teams refuse to acknowledge the proper or appropriate discount factor on profits that is associated with the reality that ownership in the NFL is akin to being a member of the Hollywood for Ugly People Club (“HFUPC”).
One of, if not the major hold up in the current NFL CBA negotiations is that the owners’ stated desire to obtain return on investment for their ownership interests in the teams commenserative with any other billion dollar valued business. The owners of the current teams say that they are not losing any money but at the same time they are not making the excessive profits that other owners of billion dollar companies are making and thus the need to slash the percentage payments to the employees for the sole sakeof increasing the bottom line profits to themselves. Not a unique concept for sure in the world of capitalism and free market economies but one that surely the fans of the league have a right to know about.
The owners have two major reasons that they don’t and never will see the same return of investment (ROI) as a normal widget company. One is that their companies appreciate in value every year (i.e. the Vikings sold for $600 million in 2005 and are probably worth $800 million today). Second: there is a celebrity factor that goes with professional sports team ownership which must be taken into account in valuing both the franchise value and the return on investment.
Since the days of the first race horse back in ancient Rome to the first owners of major league baseball teams in the early 1900’s to the legendary owners of modern sports franchise like George Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones, Al Davis and Charley Finely, ownership of a professional sports team brings with it benefits in excessive of monetary rewards and returns. It brings fame, recognition, adulation, and stature that these otherwise successful and wealthy people cannot attain any other way. Ownership elevates humans to the level of demagogues and royalty akin to celebratory status of Hollywood stars. Hence “Hollywood for Ugly People.”
Absent the monetary funds to buy a franchise, these fortunate people would not have the requisite talent to be members of this club. Yes they are business successful people but they are also paying for their celebrity status. Jerry Jones was rich prior to owning the Cowboys but no one knew who he was. Now he is the most famous person in Dallas. The same for Mark Cuban, Daniel Snyder, etc. Arthur Blank was rich since the Home Depot came on the scene and was the greatest philanthropist in Atlanta; however no one knew his face until he purchased the Falcons.
The owners knew what they were buying when they bought their respective teams. To now know that the CBA is at a critical juncture with the positive future of the game hanging in the balance and to choose to forget their main motivation is disingenuous at best and utterly selfish at the worst. In order for the CBA lockout disaster to be solved, the owners must realize the proper discount factor for the “HFUPC” factor and take that into account when they are asking the players to take a hair cut from their current percentage and the deal will be done. Without an acknowledgement of this factor, the future of football will hang in the balance.