I must say that I was extremely proud of the way President Obama, on Thursday, handled himself when asked of the negotiations currently being held within the NFL. I thought he did a great job of making several intelligent and insightful points, all while giving out a little slap on the wrist for the greediness of the approximately $9 billion empire that is the NFL today.
“We’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to $1 billion; you’ve got players who are making millions of dollars,” stated Obama. “My working assumption at a time when people are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making the mortgage, and, you know, paying for their kids’ college education, is that the two parties should be able to work it out without the president of the United States intervening.”
In other words, the greedy owners – and players – should take a step back and try to remember where all of this money actually comes from – the fans.
We buy team shirts, hats, jackets, scarves, coffee mugs and, at hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars, tickets to the game. While we’re there we purchase soft drinks and hot dogs, pretzels and the occasional plastic cup of beer, all at ridiculously high prices. And why are these items so expensive? Because the league knows it can charge whatever it likes and we, the fans, will still pay it.
“I’m a big football fan, but I also think that for an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way. And be true to their fans, who are the ones who, obviously, allow for all the money that they’re making,” added Obama. “So my expectation an hope is that they’ll resolve it without me intervening, because it turns out I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do.”
Let me just say, I absolutely loved these remarks by our president. Not only did he reinforce the idea that these guys are some of the richest in the country, they have no right to hold their fans hostage with threats of a postponed (or even nonexistent) 2012 NFL season. On top of that, I thought his final comment spoke volumes. To team owners and players throughout the league, your “drastic” financial woes (how ridiculous) are nothing compared to the problems facing our country.