Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Heaven Can Wait Solution to NFL Labor Impasse

Probably the biggest issue dividing the NFL owners and the NFLPA is the owners wanting to take roughly $1 billion off the top of the $9 billion in total revenues before beginning revenue sharing. This money supposedly would be used for stadium building, stadium renovation and debt servicing. The seeds to the solution to the biggest issue in the current NFL labor CBA impasse can be found in the 1978 Warren Beatty movie Heaven Can Wait.

According to IMDB:
Joe Pendleton is a quarterback preparing to lead his team to the superbowl when he is almost killed in an accident. An overanxious angel plucks him to heaven only to discover that he wasn't ready to die, and that his body has been cremated. A new body must be found, and that of a recently murdered millionaire is chosen. His wife and accountant, the murderers, are confused by this development, as he buys the L.A. Rams in order to once again quarterback them into the Superbowl.
Do you see? Instead of playing starting quaterback - the owners can just pay themselves as if they were the star player. The owners don't have to almost die and come back to add themselves to the roster. They can do that today and they can pay themselves whatever they want. My plan - the Max Corkle Plan - would solve the labor impasse in the following way:

1. The owners take the average of the top 3 paid players - multiply that by the number of NFL teams and that is the number the owners can take off the top before revenue sharing begins. Say the average number of the top 3 salaries is $25 million - that means $800 million can be taken off the top (and that money will close in on $1 billion quickly as the top salaries increase). If the players don't agree to this then the owners simply add themselves to the roster and pay themselves the $25 million or whatever anyway. This takes up a roster spot though - so the NFLPA has incentive to approve the Max Corkle Plan.

2. In exchange for the Max Corkle Plan the NFLPA gets to have a top accounting firm review the books of each team so that the real revenue sharing numbers are known. The accounting firm would keep private everything except the gross revenue numbers. This way the NFLPA gets the real numbers and the owners get to keep their books private.

3. In exchange for the owners letting go of the naked greed of an 18 game schedule - the players agree to give up 3% of the revenue share on their end. This 3% would equal north of $24 million and that money would be used for health insurance and benefits for retired players.

4. The NFLPA get this 3% back by instituting a rookie salary scale. The only ones who get their piece of the pie cut are rookies who haven't proven anything in the NFL. Everybody wins (except the rookies).

A simple 4-step plan inspired by the movie Heaven Can Wait.

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