2012-13 Lockout Discussion Part VI: The "What Comes Before Square One?" Edition
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11-11-2012, 10:49 AM
Change is good.
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brooklyn of course
I've been staying out of the "whose fault it is" debate for much of the last few weeks, but I'm now starting to read more of the "owners created the damn system - they can't control themselves - if they weren't such idiots, we wouldn't be in this situation - why should it be the players' problem" etc., etc. commentary again.
Let's be clear: this is a simplistic and naive view of the situation that quite frankly skims over the facts to justify a PA-friendly viewpoint.
It would hold a lot more water if all of the teams had the same financial resources. But they don't. Understand: James Dolan is ready to drop the puck tomorrow and would be happy to do so with the old deal in place, no problem. Why? Because his operation generates many multiples of revenue (and profit) above that of the weaker sisters outside the core northeast market. The cap as it existis is determined based off of a percentage of overall revenues and then divided such that the teams all carry the same burden. Those at the top could all very easily exceed that artificial cap number and be well UNDER 50% of the revenue that they generate individually. (Don't forget that the Rangers' payroll in the non-cap era was already over $76MM more than a decade ago!)
The moment that the ink is dry on a new CBA, the teams with the greater resources immediately go to work figuring out how they can bring their economic advantages to bear to field a more competitive team under the new rules. (Heck, we just saw this very phenomenon take place within the first year of the new NBA CBA as Daryl Morey and others figured out that they could create poison pill contracts that actually used the bird rights rules against teams attempting to keep their own players.) Meanwhile, the players and their agents are all working 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, looking for the loopholes that they can exploit to increase their clients' - and their own - take. And guess what? All these highly paid specialists do eventually figure out how to work the system to their advantage.
This then puts the weaker sister teams in an untenable position. They can either compete on the same terms (and in so doing pay much MORE than 50% of their own revenues, to the point of operating at a net loss) to remain competitive or they can simply concede every season before it ever begins and operate in a state of perpetual youth movement as essentially farm clubs for the UFA market.
So, while there is plenty of blame to go around and there are plenty of unlikeable, disingenuous personalities on both sides and folks are completely justified in lambasting a) the owners for their ridiculous first offer, Bettman's inflammatory negotiating tactics, etc. and b) the PA for their failure to come to the table earlier, their inflexibility on current contracts, etc., can we please just drop the "it's the league's fault 'cause the owners should just stop handing out those contracts in the first place" fairy tale? It's utter BS. (And even if it wasn't, the implied solution would be collusion - which is, you know, illegal.)
Last edited by BrooklynRangersFan: 11-11-2012 at
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