I hope you noted the sarcastic tone of the headline. Sometimes I worry that the most detrimental aspect of online communications is that it's weakened irony, and as a card carrying member of Generation X, I loves me some irony, no, really.
Anyway, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said today that if and when the owners lock out the players and shut down the 2011 season, his salary will be reduced to $1...one measly dollar. Of course, he made $9.76 million last year, a salary comparable to many of the league's higher paid players...who will make $0 during the lockout.
The article I linked to wondered about whether or not this was just a PR move...absolutely. This is nothing more than a PR move intended to dummy you and me into thinking that the league and the owners have as big a financial risk at stake as the players. They don't. Remember, owners have guaranteed money via TV contracts that can keep them afloat during the lockout. In fact, without playing players expenses will decline for owners during the lockout, giving them more leverage to put players over the barrel and win a new CBA tilted way more to the owners benefit.
Once upon a time I didn't think I'd take sides in this battle, but it's pretty clear, no matter how much you think players are overpaid, that owners are willing to squeeze out you and I, the fans, for the sake of a few more percentage points of profit. Do I need to remind you again that this year's playoffs have been the highest rated in history? Hell, even the miserable Rams-Seahawks affair in week 17 broke records.
Maybe the owners really do have reason to be concerned about profit margins, but their unwillingness to open the books for all 32 teams makes those concerns seem really dubious, especially when you throw in the record TV ratings.
A dollar a year...
(UPDATE: Did you really think Goodell was going to out-PR DeMaurice Smith?
Andrew Sharp has a quick breakdown on the salary reduction. No word on Smith's potential future as rap star 68 Cent.)