Vegas doesn't fix the games, but they often know when it will be.
I'm sensing an unspoken bias in your posts on this subject. I confess I am unfamiliar with the shiny new full lifetime pensions that you cite. Can you add some detail as to what this entails? On a related note, do you know if the CBA for the players includes any type of pension benefit(s), and I guess the same question for the administrative staffs for teams (for example, do longer term employees for the Ravens have some type of retirement compensation)? I have no idea how that works and maybe there are issues that I'm not considering.
As far as your insinuation that the pensions of NFL officials combined with (I assume) the pensions of other officials across America bankrupting cities, again I'm sensing a bias that is greater than an objective, dispassionate analysis of these issues. If you are implying that pension plans in general are what's "bankrupting American cities", I suspect that's a topic for another forum, but I think your economic analysis on that would be disingenuous.
I am starting to think that the leagues end-game here is to bring on full time refs but not pay them what they would make being part time along with their outside of football salaries.
The referees are saying they would go full time if the league would compensate them for the pay cut most of them would take if they abandon their full time gig. The league sees an opportunity for a win-win, bring in full time refs for only slightly more than what they are paying now for part time officials.
For those of you clamoring for the league to "just pay up", be VERY careful what you ask for. Remember that cost is going to get passed right along to you and I. Higher ticket prices, concessions, parking, etc will result if they have to pay some of these guys upwards of $500,000 each a year.
I need to preface this post with the caveat that I hold neither the league nor the officals (and especially not the players) on a higher moral ground than any of the others.
But I completely agree with your post, in that I most certainly would expect the NFL owners to pass along any extra cost of doing business to the consumer - i.e., the ticket-paying fan - since I believe the TV contract revenue is locked in for several years and couldn't be tapped for more "blood". The issue I take with the owners is, why can they not absorb the cost, and NOT screw the fans? (and I guess I should offer up some type of disclaimer that I know the answer! :mad:)
Smart, prudent business owners do not absorb costs. They maximize profits.
The maximization of profits gives the league the ability to do almost limitless things in terms of expanding the brand, innovation, expansion, etc.
Jd345 -- your calculations assume the Refs get a 3% bump. Everything I am reading is they are willing to go full time if their pay covers the loss of income from the other jobs.
Take Ed Hoculi for example. He's a partner in a law firm when he's not wearing the zebra stripes. The NFLRA has the position that he should get paid by the NFL the combined amount of his part time salary and the pay he would lose once they go full time.
$70,000 plus his pay from his law firm, I'd assume would be around $300,000 to $400,000, that's hardly a 3% bump in pay.
Hoculi is one of many who are similarly situated. Most of these refs are just like him and are demanding the same salary bump.
So I'm not sure why the figure of 3% is being used by you. That number is the standard cost of living increase. The NFLRA is asking for far more than that.
Edit -- Confirmed. The union wants upwards of a 20% increase in just the first year should they stay part time.
Generally I agree with your comments, but IMHO, "smart, prudent business owners" have been known to absorb costs. And I think they do tend to maximize profits, but usually within a sensible business model. Mr. Bisciotti and the other owners can whine all they want about how the cost of doing business rises each season, but I'd be willing to bet they have folks on their staffs that assess stuff like the "increased ticket price" line across which they do not want to cross lest they start seeing reduced sales.
On yours and jd's comments, I have to ask for your opinions on why the NFLRA thinks that in the real world, a guy should be able to demand and receive the sweetheart deal that you describe in Hoculi's example? I may be overlooking the obvious (and that's often par for my game!), but why would not the NFL just hire "new" guys to officiate under a "fair" compensation system and tell the current batch of moonlighters, "See ya, thanks, and best wishes at your other full-time job?"
F em all.
Go with college rules and bring up college refs.
Hey! from Hickory!!! ;)
The NFL WANTS full time officials, so they not averse to spending a little money on that front. Ideally, they'd like to start with one full time ref per crew, making something commensurate to what the MLB umpires make (approx $115,000 a year) then eventually phasing in all of them as full time refs.
What they desperately DO NOT want is what the NFLRA is proposing -- going full time, but salaries that compensate their loss of their outside of football full time jobs. Many of these refs have highly lucrative jobs away from football so they'd like their NFL salaries to go from $70,000 (which is the max) a year to upwards of $300,000 a year.
As for the deal they seek, I don't see the NFL caving at all, nor should they. The league has a chance to finally make better an officiating system that's woefully lacking compared to the other major sporting leagues. If that means digging in and playing a few games with replacement refs, I think they are prepared to do so.
We, as fans, are not going to like it much. Games are going to be decided on bad calls for the first few weeks. Some teams will benefit, some will suffer.
It looks like gamesmanship on the part of the referees. I suspect they are prepared to drop the demand for a pay increase, or the demand to remain part time, but it *really* looks from the outside looking in like they are not really at the bargaining table.
Not nearly as interesting as the NFLPA work stoppage was.