Thursday, September 06, 2007

Whiny Geezer NFL Guys

So I like to go about six months between that okay?

Here's the issue bugging me today (and for the last several weeks): the supposed mistreatment of the ailing old players by Upshaw and the NFLPA.

Will someone please explain this story to me? Every time I hear it being discussed on the radio, it's vague and gleefully free of details.

What exactly are the geezers upset about? What is it that the NFLPA is supposed to do for them that they have not done? Because it sounds like a case of the "you guys make so much more money than we did...can we have some" disease.

Sure, some of these old guys have serious health issues, mostly due to playing during an era where a leather flap counted as a helmet. And sure...the pensions they received upon retiring are probably not covering those costs very well. Got it.

Still not the NFLPA's fault. Unless you can prove to me that the NFL or the union knew that protective equipment 30 years ago was going to cause these health problems, you have no one to blame.

I don't mean to be the "beat up on the geezers" guy. Heck, I like most of the old people I know. And I don't want to be "insensitive to ailing former football players who are now in terrible pain" guy either.

But the argument I keep hearing sounds like this: "Back in the day, we played football for you. It wasn't for much money, or with much protective gear, but we did it anyway. What did we know about concussions? Then, after we retired, your league started making killer bucks. You could buy a city with what some of these guys make in a year, and we think it's just unfair. So you should give us money now because you wouldn't have that success if we hadn't laid the ground work."

Also sounds a lot like "sour grapes." You got paid a salary you agreed to. You don't get more money just because you were a pioneer and now the kids make millions.

Sure, it would be a very nice gesture for the league or the union or whomever to help cover some medical costs. But the argument I hear sounds more like they SHOULD...that they have some DUTY to do it. And that is not the way it works, in my mind.

If I bought an iPhone in June for $600, I don't have the right to go to Apple (who just lowered the price of an iPhone to $399) now and say "You're going to need to pay me $200, because I am a pioneer...without me and people like me buying the phone wouldn't have the popularity and demand for it now that allows you to lower the price." That would be absurd.

When the minimum wage gets raised, those who make minimum wage don't then go back to the employer and ask for back-pay.

It's pretty stinking tragic that these older players are in such dire straights. I really do mean that. But the commentators need to ease off the strong language a bit. No one is obligated to do least, not legally. Morally, maybe. But since when has the American business world made decisions based on morality?

Or am I missing the point? (wouldn't be the first time). Maybe I don't have all the facts. That is entirely possible (but would mean that the facts aren't being reported...and that only the emotions are).

But geez, there are ailing old people all over this country who can't afford their care...can't afford to live on what they have. But football players are the only ones I'm hearing about who are going back to their unions and former employers expecting more money just because. Coal miners, longshoremen, steel workers, auto workers, mail carriers...the list goes on and on. I'm so freaking sick of ESPN making it sound like football players are the only old people suffering.

Believe me, I am as poor a guy as you are likely to meet, but I sure get tired of hearing poor people tell rich people what they "have" to do with their though being rich comes with some implied obligations to make other people rich too. The only people qualified to talk about what rich people SHOULD do...are other rich people.

Man, could I sound any more like a crazy right-winger? Sheesh.

(Again...I may not have all the facts here, and feel free to point that out if that's the case).


At 9/09/2007 12:28:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Yeah, I don't get it either.

At 9/09/2007 12:32:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

As always, I've left a very insightful comment there.


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