Shhhh, don’t tell the Dallas Cowboy fans!
Old Gold Post
We are reposting the following more than decade-old piece as the football season is about to get underway in a few weeks. We had no idea the Rams would move back to Los Angeles five years later, soon followed by the Chargers from San Diego.
NFL teams pool their media share and divide them equally among 32 teams, which allows small market teams to compete on a more level playing field with the large market teams. Think Green Bay Packers.
That is socialism, folks. Not Soviet socialism but the same type of “socialism” the ignorant people and pols throw around so loosely like a pigskin to trigger and mislead the public and slander their opponents. Bernie Sanders would be proud of the NFL; DJT, and Ted Cruz would call it Satanic if they had a clue – about anything.
Major League Baseball (MLB)
In contrast to the NFL, the MLB is little less socialist but socialist, indeed:
Along with the TV deals, MLB teams also receive extra money through revenue sharing. Each team pools 48% of the revenue they earn, and the total amount is then split evenly (3.3% of the total) and given to each team. Teams receive more than $110 million through revenue sharing. – DodgerBlue
The percentage system still allows the large market teams to dominate the post-season almost, but not every year. Think New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers with their massive payrolls. How ’bout a progressive percentage allocation for the bigger market teams?
Three cheers for Cleveland, who currently leads the AL Central by one game. The other four are in the celler or a step above. Money, the Guardians don’t make the World Series, however.
Golf And “Food Stamps”
Another ironic and seemingly contradictory twist in sports is the USGA golf handicap system.
Handicaps are also used as a measure of how ‘good’ a player is. Players with a ‘high’ handicap will be allowed a higher number of extra strokes over the course par. Players with a ‘low’ handicap are expected to take fewer additional strokes to get around the course. – FairwayApproach
In a sport traditionally dominated by “country club” conservative Republicans, “trying to level the playing field” among golfers would seem an abomination.
I never liked country clubs and thought of them as legalized segregation, but I did join one because of their quick play and pristine pool table-like greens. However, I do curse myself for violating my principles whenever I shank a shot. Yes, folks, I am a hypocrite.
Golf’s Ugly History
Golf has a horrible history of discrimination.
I love this story about the late Senator Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Presidential Candidate,
Arizona native Barry Goldwater once visited a golf club on the East Coast that would not allow Jewish people on its links. When he was informed that he couldn’t play the 18 holes he came for, he famously responded, “Well, my father was Jewish but my mother was Episcopalian, so can I play nine holes?” – FEE Stories
It pisses me off playing a golf match with some of my more conservative friends, who are constantly complaining how their taxes are being wasted helping the poor “who have made bad choices.” I have to give some of these bozos two strokes or “welfare” on every hole to even the playing field so they will have a better chance of winning (on a net basis).
When we approach every tee box, I ask them,
“How many food stamps do I have to give you on this hole?”
That’s the most excellent troll, especially to those “welfare queens ” who pad (cheat) their handicaps.
So, folks, next time you hear people spouting off, accusing somebody of being socialist, especially on the links, politely in a quiet and genteel voice, tell them to,
“STFU, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Then take their money. Fore!
The 49ers take the Super Bowl this year. Bank it!
Why Los Angeles Doesn’t Have An NFL Football Team
We grew up in Los Angeles watching our beloved Rams, who fled for St. Louis in 1994. The city was also a temporary home for the Oakland Raiders from 1982-94 as the Rams played their home games in Anaheim for almost 15 years. It has always been a mystery to us why Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., has been without an NFL team since 1994.
In his excellent piece posted on the Globe and Mail blog, Frances Wooley, a professor at Carleton University, states it all about economics. He points out something we did not know,
The NFL, however, is egalitarian. All national revenues, such as sales of television rights, are divided 32 ways. Each NFL franchise receives an equal share. It is impossible to say how important national revenues are relative to other revenues for the league as a whole, as only one NFL team — the publicly owned, small-market Green Bay Packers — makes its financial information publicly available. In 2010, three-fifths of the Packer’s income – $157- out of $258-million – came from its 1/32 share of national revenues.
The revenue sharing system means there is little incentive for a team to move from a small to a large market. Yes, if the Vikings moved to LA, the NFL could potentially gain millions of additional Southern California viewers – and millions more in revenue. Yet the Vikings would only receive 1/32, or about 3 per cent, of that revenue. That’s not enough to offset higher stadium or property tax costs…
Interesting and helps explain why two relatively small market teams are headed to the Super Bowl and why the NFL, unlike Major League Baseball, has fewer major market Yankee-like dynasties. The piece is short, concise, and worth the read.
Liberal scum. Move to Mexico.
I would love to. Where do you suggest, Alex?
I think the NFL is more like a monopoly than a socialist state. The teams are not separate businesses, but franchises and the share revenues are a way to be sure the NFL business sells tickets and gets advertising. The franchises are not competing with each other in a business sense. Their competition for the championship creates revenue for all the franchises. Of course, the better franchises (winning teams) make more money, but the others don’t suffer if the NFL succeeds. Monopoly and addiction are the best businesses to be in, and the NFL has a bit of each.
Thanks for commenting, Larry, you make good points, but I disagree. Suppose the Mendo County Supes decides that all county citizens will pool their income and divide it equally among the county’s 81k citizens. Indeed, you call that socialism, if not communism, no?
Of course it is, but that is hardly a parallel to what the NFL is doing. What the NFL is doing is smart business, getting far more fans than it ever would if there were only franchises is the major cities. All revenues are not shared, just advertising revenues. I don’t believe local gate revenues or swag sales are. I guess you could call it socialism, but that definition would never come to mind to me.
The Premier (soccer) League in England has a revenue sharing system, unlike some of the other main leagues in Europe (e.g. Spain), so the gist of these comments apply to it to. However there is some grading of income share depending on what position a team finishes the season. It was maybe a half a million a place in the past. Not sure how much it is now. There isn’t a huge gap between the top and bottom recipients. The big teams hold their dominant position through European Champions League qualification and to a lesser extent by building big corporate orientated stadia – even though soccer was traditionally a very working class game. It has been gentrified there to get a wealthier support base. NFL was the model I think.
However the franchise model does not exist. The idea of the 100% invented club with no tradition is distained. Actually small clubs, even if successful for reasonable period, struggle to expand and stay small. There is the risk too that teams can be relegated and suffer a huge income loss and be banished to the footballing netherworld if a financial collapse is allowed to ensue. That does not exist in the NFL. The ‘soccer socialism’ along with NFL style spread of TV games ideal timing of the Premier League has created a more robust an arguably more competitive league than other European nations and turned into the richest league globally. There is little trickle down wealth from the Prem to teams in the lower divisions though. Most money goes on wages for the international stars so I think it is a case of easy come easy go. The revenue comes in and also leaves the country in big quantities.
Not sure where I am going with any of this. I don’t think Messrs. Marx and Engels would have thought of it as in any way comparible to socialism!
Another one on this comparison idea. Are you aware of Yanis Varoufakis’s comparison of ‘Star Trek’ with pure Communism?
So, if not, it goes like something like this. In ‘Star Trek’ everyone lives in a huge Utopia where everything is provided by a protective mega State and the aim of an individual’s life is to be very egalitarian, tolerant, where there big emphasis on science and fact, rightz and law predominate, and as result everyone in this Utopia is balanced and personally productive while seeking to better themself philosophically and culturally.
Basically the whole premise is straight from the gospel of Karl Marx.
On the other hand he compares Capitalism to the distraction based distopia portrayed in the ‘The Matrix’.
One for a dinner party if nothing else!
That’s a good one, Irish!