Gordon Gekko once said, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is Good.”
Whether or not that is actually true, remains up for debate. We could argue that greed caused the economy to falter, and we would have a good argument. We could argue that greed is infectious. Or, like Gordon Gekko once said, we could argue that greed is good.
I happen to believe that greed, when overused, is bad. I think it can be okay to be greedy, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. But that’s another debate for another day.
The NFL lockout could be chalked up to greed. The NFL is incredibly profitable. Teams in small markets can succeed with one star player as much as teams in big markets. This isn’t the NBA. The NFL is widespread. The NFL is American. And the NFL is locked out. Because owners want more money, because players want more money. Because, quite frankly, they can.
So, in this case, greed isn’t that good. Greed has caused pain for fans, suffering for restaurant owners and people who depend on the NFL for jobs, and uncertainty for all.
But, with this greed, comes opportunity. The owners and players are negotiating, and from those talks could come real changes. While the NFL is profitable and enjoyable, there are still some real problems. This lockout has the opportunity to bring about real changes. If they are smart, here’s what could happen.
-The Adoption of a Rookie Wage Scale
I’ve written about this before, but it’s past time. The line between bust and star is thin. Injuries can happen in a second. More than that, a bust handcuffs a franchise for years, especially when it’s a high pick, especially when it’s a quarterback. A rookie wage scale needs to be implemented, if only to save teams from disaster.
-The Elimination of Two Preseason Games
Preseason has its place. All major sports use it. It’s used to decide the last few roster spots, to decide a position battle. It’s important. However, the way it’s being used is not important. 4 games, 3 of which starters barely play. Yet, teams charge full price. If we eliminate 2 games, bringing the total to two, which is all is really needed, would save fans money, as well as eliminate the risk of unnecessary injuries. Revenue isn’t that important.
-50-50 Revenue Split
This is one of the biggest issues. A 50-50 revenue split is fair. Owners get half, players get half. It’s fair.
-Better Benefits For Retired Players
Retired players are struggling with injuries, caused by the violent nature of the sport. Often times, they can’t pay for the health care costs. That’s not right. It’s not right in America, and it’s not right in the NFL. The NFL needs to take better care of it’s own.
-The Adoption of Safer Helemts
Concussions are a real, major issue. New helmet technology is making great advancements. It should be universally adopted. I don’t care if it looks weird, or whatever the current complaint is. It’s safer.
These are just some changes that would benefit from the lockout. There are probably more. The lockout is awful. But, in this case, greed could be good. If it’s used right.