Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Pittsburgh Steelers Mt. Rushmore

The Steelers are the standard. Photo Credit: Steelers.com

The Pittsburgh Steelers, the seventh oldest NFL franchise, begins the 2016 season as won of the favorites to win Super Bowl 51 and capture their record 7th Lombardi Trophy.

In all, they already have a record 8 AFC Championships, 21 division titles (AFC Central & AFC North), 23 Pro Football Hall of Famers, A NFL record 34 playoff victories,

595 games won (629 combined regular & postseason) over the course of 82 years for third most in League history.

And if they made a Mount Rushmore to honor the men who helped build such an impressive trophy case, these would be the four guys who’d arguably be on it and are the most influential in the story of the most successful franchise in NFL history.

With a franchise that has so many legends, this was a difficult exercise, but here goes.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives.  Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday.  I will make a separate list for them soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them?

Chuck Noll (1969-1991) leads this list because he changed the culture in the Steel City that led to what Steeler Nation is today.

Coach Noll was the first coach to win 4 Super Bowls, and would easily be on the Mt. Rushmore for coaches. Photo Credit: Steelers.com

He was the head coach of the 70s dynasty, and the first coach to win four Super Bowls. In the 36 years before Coach Noll took over, the Pittsburgh franchise played in only one playoff game, and lost 21-0. He finished his twenty-three year career with a record of 209-156-1 (193 in the regular season) in regular season and playoffs combined.

Many younger Steelers fans may not know that Coach Noll won three NFL Championships, two as a player with his hometown Cleveland Browns and one with the Baltimore Colts as defensive coordinator. Coach Knoll was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, in his first year of eligibility.

Joe Greene (1969-1981) was the face of those 70s Steelers. “Mean Joe” was Chuck Noll’s first draft pick and became the leader of their dynasty and the “Steel Curtain” defense. NFL.com ranked the 4-time Super Bowl Champion as the 13th best NFL player of All-Time. He’s a 10-time Pro Bowler, 5-time 1st-team All-Pro, three-time 2nd team All-Pro, and a member of the Steelers All-Time and 50th Anniversary teams, the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time team, and NFL 1970s All decade team.

“Mean Joe” Greene is the only player in Steelers history to have his jersey retired.

Green was the 1969 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a two-time Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He is the only player to have his number (#75) officially retired by the organization. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Jack Lambert (1974-1984) and his toothless snarl, to go along with his “Lambert Lunatics” are as symbolic of the Steelers dynasty of the 70’s as is their four Lombardi Trophies.

Lambert’s grill may make you laugh, but opponents weren’t laughing when he was blowing them up on the field.

In his career, he intercepted 28 passes, made 1,479 tackles (1,045 solo) and 23.5 sacks. He was a Pro Bowl selection for the first nine years of his career (1974-1983), a 7-time All-Pro (1975, 1976, 1979-1983), the 1976 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and 2-time Steelers team MVP.

Very impressive when you think of the number of Hall of Famers he played with. Lambert is a member of the Steelers All-Time and 50th Anniversary Teams. He was also selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary, 1970s and 1980s All-Decade teams. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, and his number 58 jersey is one of a few that has been unofficially retired.

Hines Ward (1999-2011) was to the younger generation of Steeler fans what “Mean Joe”, Coach Noll and Lambert were to their father’s and grandfather’s.

Ward played the wide receiver spot like a classic Steeler defender, mean and nasty.

He set the tone for what this generation of Steelers fans expect from a Steeler.

This may be my most controversial name on this list, but the 4-time Pro Bowler (2001-2004) and 3-time All-Pro (2002-2004) is the face of the Steelers teams that won a fifth and a NFL record sixth Super Bowl (XL, XLIII) for the franchise. The Super Bowl XL MVP is the Steelers all-time leader in receptions (1,000), receiving yards (12,083) and receiving touchdowns (85). Ward is a member of the Steelers All-Time Team and the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team has taken his jersey number 86 out of rotations, and he ranks 12th in NFL history in receptions.

Let me hear you Steeler Nation. Agree or disagree? Who would be your top four Steelers?

The Green Bay Packers Mt. Rushmore

Lambeau Field. Home of the NFL’s greatest franchise? Some think so.

Since their first Pro Football season in 1919, the Green Bay Packers have won 13 League Championships (Does not include the AFL or NFL Championships won during the same seasons as the AFL–NFL Super Bowl Championships prior to the 1970 Merger), 11 NFL Championships (pre-1970 AFL-NFL merger), 2 AFL-NFL Super Bowl Championships, 2 Super Bowl Championships, 9 Conference Championships and 17 Division Championships. As the third oldest NFL franchise, the Packers have set the standard for what modern day dynasties in Pro Football are chasing. And there are four men, who donned the green and gold, that many players and coaches are chasing. These are the guys, who if the “owners” of the only non-profit, community-owned pro sports organization in America decided to create a Mount Rushmore to honor, would likely be on it.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives.  Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday.  I will make a separate list for them soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them?

Lombardi’s 9-1 Postseason record is #1 in NFL history. Photo Credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Vince Lombardi (1959-1967; coach, 1968; GM) isn’t just a name on the trophy handed to the Super Bowl Champion for no reason. He led the Pack to three consecutive and six total NFL Championships, five of them in seven seasons. Lombardi led the Pack to victory in the first two Super Bowls (I, II), and is widely regarded as the greatest coach in the history of the game, and to some, in professional sports history. His postseason win percentage of .900 (9-1) is tops all-time, and his regular season win percentage of .738 (96-34-6) is third best in NFL history among coaches who coached for more than 10 seasons. He never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL. In 1971, the 2-time NFL Coach of the Year (1959, 1961) and 6-time NFL Champion was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s a member of both the Packers and Redskin’s Ring of Honor where he also coached.

Bart Starr (1956-1971) was Coach Lombardi’s star of those championship teams of the 50’s and 60’s. Starr was the first QB to win two Super Bowls (I, II) and was named MVP of both games. He helped Green Bay win five NFL Championships, and was a 4-time Pro Bowl and 3-time All-Pro Selection. The 1966 NFL MVP is a member of the NFL 1960’s All-Decade Team, and Pro Football Hall of Fame (1977). Starr is one of six Packers to have his jersey (#15) number retired. NFL.com rated him 51st on the Top 100 NFL Players of all-time.

It didn’t end well for Favre in Green Bay, but during the good times it was all smiles.

Brett Favre (1992-2007) will always be synonymous with the number 4, but it should be number one since it’s next to his name at the top of several list in the NFL records books. “The Gunslinger” is the Packers all-time leader in passing yards (61,655); passing touchdowns (442), wins (160), completions (5,377) and pass attempts (8,754). Favre is the only quarterback to win NFL MVP three consecutive seasons (1995,1996, 1997) and in two of those seasons led the Packers to back-to-back NFC Championships titles, and a victory in Super Bowl XXXI. #4 holds many NFL passing records, too many to list, but most impressive is his consecutive games started streak of 286. He’s a member of the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Ray Nitchske (1958-1972) is a 5-time NFL Champion and 2-time Super Bowl Champion (I, II) middle linebacker who led the dominant Packers defense making them the first dynasty of the League. Nitchske was a 7-time All-Pro and won the award for NFL’s top linebacker in 1969. He is a member of the NFL’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, as well as the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team. In 1978 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Packers retired his jersey number 66 and inducted him into the team’s Hall of Fame. The Sporting News ranked him the 18th player on their list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, making him the highest-ranked player on the list coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi.

Packers fans what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Tell me why too. I already can think of one name that may evoke a healthy heated discussion. His name is on the building where the team plays.

The Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts Mt. Rushmore

Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts home since 2008. Photo Courtesy: Josh Hallett

In 2016 the Indianapolis Colts will play their 63rd season as a member of the National Football League. 30 of those seasons in Baltimore (1953-1983) at Memorial Stadium before moving to the “Circle City.” In that span they’ve won 4 League Championships (Does not include the AFL or NFL Championships won during the same seasons as the AFL–NFL Super Bowl Championships prior to the 1970 Merger),3 NFL Championships—pre 1970 AFL-NFL merger, 2 Super Bowl Championships, 7 Conference Championships and 16 Divisional Titles. All those accomplishments make them one of the most successful franchises in Pro Football History. And the following are the four guys who are mostly responsible for these accomplishments. If the Colts ever created their Mount Rushmore, these are the four men you’d likely see on it.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives.  Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday.  I will make a separate list for them soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them?

Manning hold over 40 Colts records. Photo Courtesy: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Peyton Manning (1998-2011) is in the discussion to be on the Greatest Quarterbacks of All-Time Mount Rushmore, I think that alone makes his case to be on the Colts’ Mount Rushmore. Manning holds nearly every passing record in the Colts history; most wins by a QB (141), most passing yards (54,828), most passing touchdowns (399) and most completions (4,682) among forty-four others. “The Sheriff” led Indianapolis to 2 Super Bowl appearances (XLI, XLIV) winning his first title in Super Bowl XLI to go along with the game’s MVP award. Manning won 4 of his 5 NFL MVP’s (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009), 11 of 14 Pro Bowl selections and 8 of 10 All-Pro team honors with the Colts. He is on the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team. The recently retired Manning had his jersey number 18 retired by the team, and the Colts will honor him with a statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. There’s no doubt he will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee when his eligible in 2022.

Johnny “U” was the prototype QB in the early stages of the passing era. Photo Credit: Gannett News Service

Johnny Unitas (1956-1972) was the standard at the QB position with the Colts, and the NFL for that matter. “Johnny U” led the Baltimore Colts to 3 NFL Championships (1958, 1959, 1968) and their first Super Bowl (V) victory. A 10-time Pro Bowl and 7-time All-Pro selection, Unitas was under center for the Colts in what has been called “The Greatest Game Ever Played” versus the Giants, beating New York in overtime 23-17 for the NFL Championship. It was the first game that ever went into sudden death. Four times the man with the flat top and black high top cleats won the NFL MVP Award (1957, 1959, 1964, 1967). Unitas is a member of the NFL 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, as well as the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team. In 1979 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Colts retired his number 19 jersey.

Harrison reaped the benefits of being Manning’s go-to-guy.

Marvin Harrison (1996-2008) was Peyton Manning’s number one option during their time in “Naptown.” Harrison is the Colts all-time leader in receptions (1,102), receiving yards (14,580) and receiving touchdowns (128). The 8-time Pro Bowl and 8-time All-Pro selection holds, or is tied for 33 individual NFL records. The combination of he and Manning holds the NFL Records for most completion between quarterback and wide receiver (953), passing touchdowns (112), passing yards (12,756) and completions in a season (143). The Colts inducted him into their ring of honor in 2011, and he is a member of the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class.

Berry was to Unitas, what Harrison was to Manning. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Raymond Berry (1955-1967) helped the Baltimore Colts win back-to-back NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959. The 6-time Pro Bowl and 5-time All-Pro wide receiver has the record for most catches in a league championship game (12), and is a member of the NFL’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, as well as the NFLs 1950s All-Decade Team. The team retired his number 82 jersey and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973. Sporting News ranked him the 40th player on their list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Colts fans let me know what you think. Do you agree with these four? Or is there someone I’m missing? I want to hear from you.

What. Is. Orlando. Doing?

That’s the question many NBA insiders and fans around the Nation as well as in central Florida are asking.

magic2

The Magic have quickly gone from a rebuild with young talent, to a jump start with seasoned Vets. Photo Credit: Kyle Jones

Now that the moratorium is lifted and the deals are official, I’ll tell you what they’re doing. What teams in the Midwest and the heartland of America far from the glitz and glamour of the East and West coast have to do. Build a team that is a reflection of the region, city and its residents. Orlando is a young, up and coming transplant city. Meaning many of the people who call it home didn’t grow up in the area, and have migrated here searching for new opportunity and a more laid back life, but still with plenty of variety to suit their many tastes.

That’s what I see in this newly constructed roster. Variety, or in this case versatility, and low key. No All-Stars. No reality TV Stars. No TMZ. Just a bunch of guys who want the opportunity to play ball and be successful at it.

General Manager Rob Hennigan and new head coach Frank Vogel are wise to not waste more time throwing flimsy pipe dreams into the sky hoping they’ll bring back top tier All-Stars in free agency. Nope. Almost three decades of Magic Basketball in central Florida have proven that no amount of talk about no state income tax, great tropical weather, beaches, and family atmosphere pitches are going to sway the premier athletes to come this way. Sure Tracy McGrady did, but remember he was from nearby Auburndale in Polk County down Interstate Four. Yes, perennial All-Star Grant Hill did it in his prime, yet injured when he signed. But, wasn’t his wife, Grammy Nominated Singer Tamia, just as much influential of that decision for her career too? Yes, Rashard Lewis and even Horace Grant made their way to the Magic’s Kingdom, but they came to play Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal, respectively.

The goal is for one of your core young guys to breakout and be the All-Star. Nik Vucevic is a candidate. The high-flying Aaron Gordon is a candidate. 2015 5th overall pick Mario Hezonja is a candidate. And Serge Ibaka, who will turn 27 years old during the season, is a candidate. This is how you attract key free agents, by having a guy already in place that they want to play with.

You also don’t turn things around by holding on to every single draft pick you’ve made. At some point you have to use their value to flip it for something else you value more. Like defensive shot blocking, rebounding and veterans with significant playoff experience. Otherwise you become what the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers are. Floundering in obscurity and futility.

What Hennigan has done with this roster retooling, is send a message to his young guys to step up or sit down.

Did you notice that the three key free agent signees play the same position as the guys that are perceived to be cornerstone pieces? Nik Vucevic is the best offensive player on the team, but with serious defensive flaws. So, they gave Bismack Biyombo 70 plus million dollars, just in case Vucevic doesn’t step up his defense. Aaron Gordon is the preferred starter at small forward, but they signed Jeff Green to a one-year $15 million contract, just in case Gordon doesn’t capitalize on his breakout second half of the 2015-16 season in the aftermath of his Dunk Contest fame. Elfrid Payton is the guy Scott Skiles and Hennigan reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye on as a true NBA starting point guard—which ultimately led to the blessing in disguise of his resignation—yet Hennigan still signed 8-year pro D.J. Augustine. Of course this jump-start happened by shipping the face of the franchise (albeit a short run) in Victor Oladipo out of town for Ibaka. The young core of guys better get the message, and quick.

But on another note. What if, the Magic got Victor Oladipo to come back as a free agent when he’s available? Looks sort of promising now that the Oklahoma City Thunder won’t be what we thought they would be when he was traded there on draft night. It’s just a thought, but if the Magic get into the playoffs quickly, like say this coming season, why wouldn’t a talent like Oladipo want to come back and join the uprising? Hmmm.

A Classic Film We Still Need to Learn From

 

A timeless classic, with lessons we can still learn from today. Photo Courtesy: Columbia Pictures

On July 12, 1991 I was 10 years old, and as a crazed Michael Jordan fan, I was still celebrating his and the Chicago Bulls first ever NBA championship. I recorded all five games of their NBA Finals series victory over Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Lakers, the team of the 80’s. While I watched each game several times over studying the moves of Air Jordan and the Magic Man, there was one commercial that had my undivided attention each time it aired. It was the trailer for an upcoming film. It wasn’t a cartoon flick, or comic book superhero film. It was a raw, rugged, gritty one minute and thirty second look at a film that would eventually become one of the most culturally significant in my lifetime.

That film is “Boyz N the Hood,” the coming of age story of three African-American males from the tough streets of South Central Los Angeles. It debut twenty-five years ago today to critical acclaim. Of course with its R rating, my parents weren’t going to let their ten-year old soon to be sixth grade son see a film dripped with gang violence, sex and explicit language. But, something happened a couple of weeks after the movie debuted. A friend of mine got his hands on a bootleg copy (As an aspiring filmmaker I’m not proud of that), and while we were home alone on summer vacation and our parents at work, we watched what would eventually become one of my top five favorite films ever.

This cinematic masterpiece is best known for catapulting the acting careers of rapper Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Junior and Morris Chestnut. We also got to witness the talents of leading ladies, Angela Bassett, Regina King and Nia Long, all of whom have been staples in  Hollywood ever since, along with their aforementioned co-stars. It also brought to the forefront one of the great young talents of filmmaking and story telling in John Singleton. Singleton would become the youngest and first African-American to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for this work. He also was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. 
“Boyz N the Hood” was a triumph for films with a majority African-American cast, as it earned $57.5 million dollars at the Box office on a $6.5 million dollars budget.

The film is so beloved because it’s REAL. Even though it isn’t a documentary, it didn’t need to dramatize what was happening, because it truly was a case of art imitating life.

The characters are witty, charming, easy to root for, and relatable. You had Doughboy (Ice Cube), the drug dealing, yet street-smart, ex-con. In Ricky Baker (Chestnut), Doughboy’s brother and star football player, trying to use his athletic gifts to better his future, and Tre Styles (Gooding, Jr.), the voice of reason who wanted more from his life than to be hanging in the Hood. To my friends’ and I, as well as several other black youth growing up as teens in the mid to late 90’s, this group and their friends we very relatable because in so many ways we were them and experienced some of the same situations they went through thousands of miles away from Los Angeles in Ohio and all over America.

As we reflect on one of the most culturally significant films of this generation–it was added to the national film registry by the Library of Congress in 2002–we must not forget that it highlights problems that continue to plague our community. The themes from this film unfortunately don’t seem to have a remedy anytime soon all these years after Mr. Singleton attempted to push us towards solving them with this heavy-handed message. And that’s my frustration.

The same challenges and obstacles Doughboy, Ricky, Tre and other black youth like them encountered are still crippling our community in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, L.A. and so on and so on. More and more children are growing up without fathers in the home, such as was the case for Doughboy and Ricky. You add in the steady rise of teen pregnancies, which is an issue that Ricky and his girlfriend Shanice had to deal with.

But, most troubling of all, are the rapid deaths of black males at the hands—or gun—of a fellow black male due to increasing gang violence, and even racial profiling at the hands of the police. It might as well still be 1991, hell, 1891 in the case of the issues with law enforcement. The opening scene is a chilling one, as the words “One out of twenty-one black males will be murdered. Most will die at the hands of another of another black male” are superimposed over a black screen appear before we’re introduced to our characters. For perspective, In 2014 (the most recent statistics available) 90 percent of black males were killed by another black male, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That was the fate suffered by Ricky, destroying his dreams of athletic success, and his brother Doughboy, ruining any chance he may have had at turning away from his life of crime. Those stories are all around us today too. In all this time, we’ve still failed to heed the message on the screen after the final scene.

The final image from the film. Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

It seems as though the violence has increased, and the peace has decreased.

The thing I love about films, regardless of the genre is, it gives us a glimpse of ourselves, and attempts to inspire us to take the opportunity to make positive change. As you can see, we haven’t made those changes. We still have Chiraq and the thousands of murders in the black community. Just within the past week, we have had to deal with more deaths of innocent black men (Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota) by the police officers that have been sworn to serve and protect.

Twenty-five years from today when we celebrate the fifty-year anniversary, I hope “Boyz N the Hood” will be celebrated for capturing a look at what once was, instead of what continues to be. Now more than ever we need to “Increase The Peace” on all fronts. Or else we won’t be around for the Golden Anniversary.

 

 

Why All The NBA Salary Hate?

  
I got to get this off my chest. Why are there so many people hating on the massive amounts of money being dumped on NBA players in this 2016 offseason, especially those who aren’t top tier all-stars or all-NBA performers?

I’m also extra curious as to why majority of the hate and shade is coming from NFL players and media members.  

Let me address the latter first because my venom towards them is very little.   

The NFL media (Ed Werder of ESPN and Jeff Diamond from The Sporting News, specifically) have taken to twitter and their columns to basically insult the NBA owners and players who received the payday. They, and others, act as though the nearly 3 billion dollars worth of contracts that were signed in this free agency period is coming from their own pockets or are going to cause pay-cuts or freezes in their profession. Here’s the deal media folks, on average, most of you are doing twice better than the average American. You go to sporting events and practices as your job. It’s a paid expense, which means you get in for free; you don’t pay the outrageous ticket, concession and parking prices. All those things are provided for you due to you having a credential. You even get a better choice of food to eat at the arena and stadiums, so not only do you pay the ridiculous price for popcorn and a hot dog, you get damn near a five star spread in the media rooms in the bowels of the venue.   

You get to stand in front of cameras to recap the game or have your opinion of the game plastered on newspapers and online to entertain millions of fans. You are very well compensated for your work. Not to the extent of the players you cover, but still keeping you out of poverty and avoiding the financial strains the overwhelming number of Americans in the everyday struggle encounter. We all can look at CNN salary calculators and see what someone in your position earns, or gets. I’m speaking first hand as I’ve worked in the media for nearly 13 years. You are fine.   

For the NFL players who joke they picked the wrong sport, or are flabbergasted that a guy who is your comp in terms of years of service, plus their productivity in the NBA is making four or five times as much as you, here’s a reality check; you picked the right sport, because there isn’t much use for a 5’8” to 5’10” wanna be shooting guard in the Association. I’m looking at you Emmanuel Sanders. And for many of those who play tight end, you already came up short at being the next Charles Barkley as a 6’4″ 250 power forward, that’s why you’re listed at tight end yet is flanked out as a wide receiver. Do the names Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates, and Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez ring a bell? 

I didn’t hear this much gripping about low level baseball players getting one year, 10 to15 million dollar deals for batting .156 with less than double digit homeruns, or David Price getting the richest deal for a pitcher the offseason after he had a terrible season by his standards. 

Also it’s simple math. There are 15 players on an NBA roster versus 53 players, plus practice players on a NFL roster. It doesn’t add up to big individual paydays, unless you want to be on a team by yourself. 

Another thing to remember, while the NFL is the most popular league in the U.S., one can make the argument that the NBA is more popular globally. The game of basketball is widely successful in Asia and Europe (thanks to the 1992 Dream Team), which also contributes to the influx of dollars coming into the NBA. That’s something Commissioner Roger Goodell and his minions at the NFL offices have figured out, which is why they’re force feeding us two regular season games in London every year. 

You do realize getting upset about second and third-tier NBA players getting raises is like being mad that the Government agreed to increase minimum wage by say 2-3 dollars? Think about that for a second. Just to gain some perspective, that be like me getting mad that the person taking my order, cooking and serving me my food for getting a raise. I want them to get paid!

Lastly NFL players, if you were smarter, maybe hold out longer during your lockout negotiations. You and the NBA went through it in the same year, 2011. They were willing to miss some of the season to get what they want. You were in a rush to get back on the field, and were more focused on taking disciplinary power away from Commissioner Roger Goodell. Maybe next time instead of focusing on him and the 10 to 12 knuckleheads his power will really affect, you’ll fight more for guaranteed contracts. 

One more thing, I’m not a big fan of the media announcing how much money an athlete or an entertainers is earning. I feel it only leads to contempt and jealousy, making these multimillionaires targets. Nobody announces around the office how much a newly hired Professor, News Producer, Public Relations Specialist or Police Officer will be earning. But, this is probably an issue for a whole different post.