Listening to Howard Stern again today, and there is an interesting conversation going on about the issue between the NFL owners and the players. For quite some time now, I’ve heard that the players were planning on sitting out the next season…effectively laying the blame on the players if the next season doesn’t take place. But once again, Howard Stern is the bastion of truth! The players are going to be locked out because the owners aren’t getting more money. Greedy little guys.
Guess what? Their compadres in the broadcast world are helping them, too. Stern was saying that the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) gets certain commercial time every game. For the Super Bowl, they used their commercial time to air their side to the public about what may lead to the lockout. CBS refused to air it. Doesn’t that violate some kind of legal agreement if the NFLPA has the right to air whatever they want in that time?
Stern then got to talking about the money these players get paid and how so many of them spend it as fast as they make it. It got me to thinking. Maybe they should stop making rules and regulations to make the game safer. What happens when you make the game safer? Careers get longer. Heck, in Major League Baseball, careers can easily last 15-20 years because it is a no-contact sport. Reason I bring this point up is because I believe another professional sport in a different country has got the idea down.
We all know in England, their football (soccer) is probably the biggest sport. In New Zealand, their big sport is Rugby Union. Their national team, the All Blacks, are the most dominate national team in the entire world in Rugby Union. However, it is a well known fact in rugby circles that careers of professional rugby players are not very long at all. This is because the sport is so high-contact with very little protective equipment. So the governing body that runs rugby union in New Zealand MANDATES that all professional players of the sport undergo what I like to call “life training”. They hire people to work with each athlete to make sure that they can do proper resumes/CVs, keep up with a budget, and overall be able to survive once their professional rugby playing has come to an end. How smart would that be if the NFL were to require all of their players to undergo the same training?