Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Future of the NFL Will Be Built On The Backs of Strawmen

With all the bullshit the NFL owners are spewing about a multi-billion dollar business being an unsustainable economic model, it was nice of the players to give them a break by latching on to a poorly chosen word by Adrian Peterson as if that were his actual argument. Here's the reaction of a couple of "noble" players speaking out against Peterson's word choice.

In case you're not familiar, Adrian Peterson was speaking out about how the NFL owners are soaking the players for as much profit as possible in a league that routinely underpays its players, doesn't pay them for time spent injured, and basically doesn't give a shit about them post-career (unlike the much less successful but much more player-friendly MLB and NBA...hockey too I'm sure but who the hell knows about hockey, Jarrett?)...in complaining about this situation, Peterson made the regrettable mistake of comparing the situation of NFL players to "Modern Day Slavery."

Total hyperbole. I agree. But this is in the midst of an interview, and last I checked, despite his aborted degree from top 200 Research University of Oklahoma, Adrian Peterson is not expected to be an exceptional wordsmith. Look at the responses from the link above:

Ryan Grant: "Durrrr...slavery actually exists some places so Peterson is wrong."


Yes, Peterson is wrong about how NFL players being actual slaves. I don't think he'd disagree with you on that Ryan.

Heath Evans: "Durrrr...I'm so lucky to be able to play in da National Football League

Yes, you're lucky to have the chance to play professional football, Heath. I don't think Adrian's going to disagree with that either.

Anyone actually want to address ADP's actual points? No? I didn't think so.

Fucking NFL Players. I had their back until I thought about it for a minute and realized they're all a bunch of fucking idiot meatheads who brought this on themselves for trying to strike in the 80's without realizing that they have no bargaining power. These players are just as fucking stupid.

Fuck them all. Fuck this fucking league.

EDIT: Loyal reader IVN posted the following interesting point which made me want to clarify my statements in this post, not because I'm wrong or IVN's wrong, but because I think I need to clarify my general annoyance at the two above meatheads:

IVN Wrote:

why are they comparing this shit to slavery? wouldn't it make more sense to compare it to the steel/coal/oil industries from the turn of the 20th century? bazillion dollar industries run owned by comically greedy men who treat labor as interchangeable cogs in their machine...hell, you could argue some of the locations of NFL stadiums (Foxborough and Arlington come to mind) are de facto "company towns" the way places like Homestead were. maybe I'm overthinking this

My response, which I suppose you could see in the comments if you want to, but here it is here too:

Well you're not overthinking it, and you make a very good point--that is a great comparison to the modern day NFL (though, to be fair, NFL players are a lot more handsomely rewarded, both relatively speaking and pct of gross-wise than coal/oil/steel-workers). But on the other hand, Peterson's arguments are a lot more substantial than "NFL PLAYERS ARE SLAVES" and so...it's kind of missing the point. Your response is a billion times more intelligent than the two quoted above because you're actually addressing the actual substance of ADP's quote--i.e. the NFL is exploiting its players vis-a-vis their argument that they can't afford to keep paying them THE SAME AMOUNT that they paid them in a year they made billions and billions of dollars and paid their players less than the players in any of the other major sports (less successful sports too, I might add).

But my major beef is these players latching on to this fucking use of "slavery" as if that negates Peterson's whole argument. That's all that's going to be talked about because of these dipshit players--both of whom ARE "lucky" to be in the NFL and would be well-advised to keep their mouths shut since their earnings, while they might make them independently wealthy, won't keep them from being immune to being broke at some point in the future--which is what players like Brees, Manning, and Peterson--players who NEVER have to worry about going broke--are fighting against.

Let me make this perfectly clear: HEATH EVANS AND RYAN GRANT: Adrian Peterson is campaigning FOR YOU, you dumb shitheads. ADP doesn't care about the fucking new agreement. ADP will never want for money in his life. He is arguing for YOU and all YOU FUCKING IDIOTS can do is nitpick a poor choice of words on his part.

Fucking mongos.

10 comments:

JimA said...

Fuck you for your fucking slap at hockey.

Chris W said...

I keed! I keed! I love me some hockey. Readers of this blog may have noticed (to the extent that they care) that I worship at the feet of Eric "Styrofoam Head" Lindros

ivn said...

why are they comparing this shit to slavery? wouldn't it make more sense to compare it to the steel/coal/oil industries from the turn of the 20th century? bazillion dollar industries run owned by comically greedy men who treat labor as interchangeable cogs in their machine...hell, you could argue some of the locations of NFL stadiums (Foxborough and Arlington come to mind) are de facto "company towns" the way places like Homestead were. maybe I'm overthinking this.

Chris W said...

Well you're not overthinking it, and you make a very good point--that is a great comparison to the modern day NFL (though, to be fair, NFL players are a lot more handsomely rewarded, both relatively speaking and pct of gross-wise than coal/oil/steel-workers). But on the other hand, Peterson's arguments are a lot more substantial than "NFL PLAYERS ARE SLAVES" and so...it's kind of missing the point. Your response is a billion times more intelligent than the two quoted above because you're actually addressing the actual substance of ADP's quote--i.e. the NFL is exploiting its players vis-a-vis their argument that they can't afford to keep paying them THE SAME AMOUNT that they paid them in a year they made billions and billions of dollars and paid their players less than the players in any of the other major sports (less successful sports too, I might add).

But my major beef is these players latching on to this fucking use of "slavery" as if that negates Peterson's whole argument. That's all that's going to be talked about because of these dipshit players--both of whom ARE "lucky" to be in the NFL and would be well-advised to keep their mouths shut since their earnings, while they might make them independently wealthy, won't keep them from being immune to being broke at some point in the future--which is what players like Brees, Manning, and Peterson--players who NEVER have to worry about going broke--are fighting against.

Let me make this perfectly clear: HEATH EVANS AND RYAN GRANT: Adrian Peterson is campaigning FOR YOU, you dumb shitheads. ADP doesn't care about the fucking new agreement. ADP will never want for money in his life. He is arguing for YOU and all YOU FUCKING IDIOTS can do is nitpick a poor choice of words on his part.

Fucking mongos.

Chris W said...

I'm going to post the above in this post, because I think it bears mentioning.

Rich said...

The main issue I have with the whole "slavery" theory beyond what ivn pointed out is that these players can walk away whenever they want, it's completely voluntary.

Back during the rise and apex of the steel/oil/coal industries, workers risked their lives to fight for their rights. If I'm not mistaken, the US army got involved once or twice to help quell some of these issues, typically siding with the big businesses (big shocker there I suppose).

So in a way, while I can certainly understand the point you're making Chris in that the NFL makes billions of dollars a year and can manage to remain solvent even without functioning for a year, so why can't they meet the players at some point where everyone is happy?

The fact that they're being paid millions of dollars to work at a job that they can leave at any time inherently makes the "slavery" comparison epically retarded. Even if the NFL completely changes its revenue sharing with players, then it's still completely up to the players whether they want to play or not.

On the flip side, the reason that Evans and Grant solely focused on the "slavery" aspect is probably because they actually agree with AP on the other stuff. Grant's and Evans' comments distance themselves from the controversial (and incredibly stupid) "slavery" comment, while not connecting the thought of "slavery" with their position of the owner's being assholes.

Think about if you were at work with a handful of other people and one of the guys was making really good points. You're agreeing with him on everything until he suddenly blurts out that Obama wants to rape George W. Bush and take him to Pluto to live forever. What would your reaction be?

You can't exactly say "Hey guys, that last part was pure insanity, but the rest of the stuff was great" because you've now got the stench of insanity all over your solid points. You now have to distance yourself from the insanity, while keeping your main argument intact. The only way to do that is to admonish the insanity and ignore the rest until people no longer associate it with the Obama rape conspiracy guy.

That's primarily the situation that Evans and Grant are in. First, the fact that all of this happened on Twitter makes any sort of reasoned response impossible because of the limitation on characters, but also because they don't want to associate the points that the public actually empathizes with to this overarching idea of "slavery."

So, in my opinion, the responses were so curt mainly because they felt a need to protect the arguments that AP made that they actually agreed with. They effectively distanced themselves from the concept of slavery while also preventing the slavery issue to pervade into the arguments for why the players situation is unfair.

Chris W said...

I don't think you're wrong necessarily--it certainly was a terrible choice on Peterson's part and I think you're 100% right that that's what Evans and Grant's motivation was. However, it's, as I said before a strawman. By expressing outrage at either

a.) his choice of wording

or

b.) The implication that he's "not grateful to be in the NFL"

they're playing right into the owners' hands. "See," the owners are saying, "Most of the players get what we're trying to do, it's only these greedy bastards like Peterson who think they're slaves when they're making 10.5mm next year, unlike all you poor working stiffs who pay their salary."

Meanwhile, Peterson's main point in that interview--a point that is 100% right, and a point that he is making not on his own behalf but for the benefit of his teammates making 500,000 a year who have no guarantees to even make that if they suffer a career ending injury in week 1, guys who will receive very poor post-career benefits from the NFL--that point goes overlooked because Evans and Grant are so eager to be "good guys" that they forget that Peterson is trying to make things better for THEM (Grant not so much as Evans.)

Look Evans: you are lucky to be playing in the NFL. You might not be playing next year. That's why Peterson wants you to be taken care of by these fucking owners who are crying poor despite grossing several billion dollars last year.

Bill Brown said...

I hope you guys will comment on Jemele Hill and the clowns on Duke, Michigan, and the race card on Sports Reporters this am.

Chris W said...

We'll get to it as soon as Larry is found, dead or alive

Adam said...

Ivn,you are giving the players too much credit. You think they know shit about the Industrial Revolution, the rise of unions, and dudes like Samuel Gompers? I vote no.

It should be pretty obvious, but there are two comparisons that should never be made publically because people will freak the fuck out, even if they are semi-valid: Slavery and Nazism/The Holocaust.