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Michigan Tech Lode Thursday, February 17, 2011

OPINION

NFL labor issues: Why the league is out of touch with players, fans LUKE GUBLO Opinion Editor This past year in the NFL has brought a lot of joy to many fans here on the campus of Michigan Tech, seeing as a good portion of the campus (myself included) count themselves among one of the most widespread fan bases in the country, cheering on the Green Bay Packers. Even as I spent the better part of the NFL season on the west coast, I was able to enjoy perhaps what was the best season in team history, culminating in the Packer victory in Dallas two weeks ago to win Super Bowl XLV. My, oh my, what a distant memory. Two weeks after Super Bowl Sunday, the talk about the triumphant 2010 Packers has given way to talk about whether or not there will be a work stoppage in the NFL. Both the NFL and the NFLPA, one of the largest unions in professional sports, appear to be at a stand-still in their negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old CBA, negotiated in 1992, is set to expire on March 4; if the two

sides cannot come to an agreement before then, the owners will lock out the players, which could be catastrophic to the upcoming NFL season. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, has indicated that he does not feel that the current CBA is fair to the NFL teams. “We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want,” Goodell said in a nationwide Op-Ed column on Wednesday. “Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams.” In addition to this statement, Goodell continued by lamenting the fact that the league needs money for stadiums built in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oakland, and also the fact that players receive 60 percent of NFL revenue. “The status quo means failing to recognize the many costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums,” continued Goodell. “We need new stadiums

Ask Sassy Dear Sassy, Valentine’s Day was horrible. The girl I asked out for dinner turned me down, I failed an exam and I had to listen to everybody’s lovey-dovey crap all day. Plus, I’m really getting sick of winter. I feel stir-crazy from being inside all the time. Is there anything I can do to help myself get out of the doldrums? Sincerely, Depressed Dear Depressed, Initially I was committed to not answering a single complaint about Valentine’s Day. The woes of the single life are familiar to us all. However, the mail room was unusually full this year. Our underpaid (if paid at all) laborers spent hours sorting through the mess with no breaks. They didn’t even eat. Luckily for you, Depressed, one worker handed me your letter from a trembling, malnourished hand and I was filled with such pity for him that I couldn’t help but transfer my gratitude to you. And so I am obliged to address an age-old problem. I believe what you need to hear is the familiar phrase “keep on keeping on”. At least find comfort in knowing that your winter doldrums can’t last for more than a couple more months. However, your romantic woes could very well last your whole life. Well...just keep on keeping on.

Dear Sassy, What do you do when everything you thought you could rely on crumbles right before your eyes? Sincerely, Broken Dear Broken, I have an inkling this question was brought about by some event on Valentine’s Day. Because I have a gracious heart, I will dignify your desperate (and vague) call for help with a response. Do I look like the wise man on the mountain? Am I God? Why am I expected to have succinct answers to such ridiculously vast questions? An advice column really doesn’t require credentials of any kind; my ability to make life decisions for other people is limited. I barely know what to say when the sarcastic teenage boy working the drive-thru at McDonald’s asks me for my order. Luckily my quick wit often compels me to spurt out “one McTaco please”, giving me more time to construct a more satisfying answer. I know I only gave you an insecurity and not a solution. But here’s to being fixed again, Broken.

in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego… The status quo means players continuing to keep 60 percent of available revenue, in good years or bad, no matter how the national economy or the economics of the league have changed.” Aside from the glaring mention of the imperative need for a new stadium in Los Angeles (last I checked, there hasn’t been an NFL team in L.A. since 1995), his mention of the stadiums is particularly laughable considering how NFL teams have used the threat of relocation numerous times in order to get city county governments across the country to levy taxes on citizens to build stadiums. Goodell makes this statement, yet it seems like L.A.’s main purpose in the current NFL is to act as a bargaining chip to use against NFL cities resisting public funding of a new stadium. It seems like all the NFL has to do to get a new stadium built in an NFL city is to simply say “Los Angeles,” and people simply fall into line! Meanwhile, in regards to Goodell’s second point, he may be accurate. On the other hand, though, in comparison to other sports leagues, the NFL owners have resisted numerous calls for their financial books to be opened. In other words, the very same NFL owners that are currently complaining about the current state of the economy and the cut of money that players currently receive don’t have to reveal whether they actually are turning a profit or not. Now, perhaps they deserve a bigger share, I don’t know. But NFL owners aren’t living off of food stamps. The value of NFL franchises over the past 10 years has grown by an enormous amount, not to mention additional revenue brought in from other sources. I feel absolutely no sympathy for them. Meanwhile, while perhaps the players do take too large of a cut of revenue, the simple fact of the matter is that while some players make superstar money, the average NFL player plays only four years in an extremely dangerous sport. I don’t blame them for wanting to maintain the status quo. Since the previous CBA was instituted in 1992, the value of every franchise in the NFL has gone up exponentially, and the league has a higher profile than any league has (perhaps) ever attained in the history of professional sports. Why mess with a good thing? Ultimately, the real loser in this mess of a situation is the fan. The NFL has shown callous disregard towards the possibility of a work stoppage that could halt the entire league, and that could possibly deprive fans of the game they love. The NFL has built a ton of goodwill over the past 50 years, and washing out an entire season would tarnish their reputation and success. Ultimately, the fans will lose, and the NFL will lose market share to other sports, such as MLB and the NHL. One hopes that the words and actions of the past few days do not affect the upcoming season, that they are merely acts of posturing. More realistically, however, there may be a few boring weekends to contend with next fall.

CLASSIFIED

Closest apartments to campus. 2 bedroom for 4 students. Available June 1 for 2011-12 school year. Located across from MTU Library. 2 minute walk to campus. View at www. houghton4rent.com. (see Apt. 8). 482-7744 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, washer & dryer, $1000/month plus utilities, directly behind Jim’s Foodmart, available June 1, 482-3247 Summer Camp Positions: Make a difference in the life of a child! Summer therapy camp for children with physical disabilities. Located on the shores of Lake Superior in Big Bay, MI. Positions available for Counselors, Waterfront, Instructors for Nature/Arts & Crafts/ Recreation, Nurses, Therapists, Food Service, and Auxiliary. Must be enthusiastic, responsible, and love children. June 12 - August 7. Salary plus room and board, and the experience of a lifetime provided. Download application: www.baycliff.org. For more info call or e-mail: (906) 345-9314/baycliff@baycliff.org. 3 bedroom spacious home with plenty of parking. No pets. Water and sewer included. Available June 1. $600/mo. (906) 482-1437 Ice fishing supplies and live bait available at Northwoods Sporting Goods - downtown Hancock. We also carry Iverson snowshoes and the BOB MAKI snowhoe binding, manufactured in Hancock. Stop in to check out our store. 482-5210 Open until 6 p.m. E-mail lodeads@mtu.edu for information about placing a classified ad.

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He Said, She Said

Describe broomball in three words.

Jesse Barta, Forestry, First year Really flippin’ crazy!

Sophia Rizzo, Mechanical Engineering, First year Good, Cold, Fun.

Trevor Birr, Mechanical Engineering, First year ‘Broomball is AWESOME!’

Cory Casagrande, Civil Engineering, Third year Fun, Invigorating, Painful. Binh Tran, Computer Engineering, Third year Sparkle. Popcorn. Caterpillar.

Kasey Buchholz, Environmental Engineering, First year Exciting, Fun, Intense.

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February17,2011  

Michigan Tech Lode

February17,2011  

Michigan Tech Lode

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