Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Packer Puzzlement Part II

A few more things that leave me confused about the NFL:

4) Don’t Show Us The Money. Why does the NFL publish the salaries of every single player and coach? Why is this information any of our business? In the corporate world, they usually guard the salary information like it has serious national security implications. Public companies have to disclose officers’ compensation, but the only public entity in the NFL is the Packers, so all this disclosure of personal finances seems unnecessary.

One of the reasons companies keep employees’ salary info under lock and key is that it prevents petty jealousies or simmering envy from disrupting morale in the workplace. We’ve all seen instances where a player being given a humongous new contract causes discontent with some of the lesser paid players on the team. For example, if Javon Walker hadn’t known what all the other receivers in the league were earning, would he have made those strident demands that the contract he signed (presumably in good faith) be renegotiated? It’s an interesting question.

5) Here’s Teddy…Why do so many people criticize Ted Thompson for not doing, shall we say, scintillating interviews? In other words, he’s rather boring to listen to. I wasn’t aware that being a stand-up comedian was part of the job description for General Manager in the NFL. Maybe we should try that. Billy Crystal would be a natural for GM of one of the New York teams. How about Robin Williams for the Raiders (if you can’t win, just laugh, baby!).

It’s especially impractical to expect Ted to reveal his draft day strategy, or plans for free agency (if any). For a NFL team, these are the equivalent of trade secrets, and talking too much about your intentions just gives a boost to your competitors. You don’t interview the President of Coca-Cola and expect him to tell you the secret formula for the Coke syrup. “You see, it’s that little dash of cinnamon we put in at the end…” Mr. Pepsi is likely to be listening.

Perhaps Packer fans just miss the blunt comments the more outspoken Ron Wolf used to make. But he’s gone, and we have a new era with some terrific new players. So let’s enjoy 2007, and the fact we still live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brett.

6) Cyber-Lombardi? It’s funny how Internet posters refer to Packer executives by their initials, as though they are old fraternity brothers of ours, people we’re very familiar with and probably send Christmas cards to. Our Head Coach is “MM,” our General Manager is “TT”. Then we all proceed to contribute our opinions on how we would undoubtedly be much more competent in their jobs than they are. What puzzles me is, where did all of us acquire this in-depth football expertise? Or are we just natural football geniuses? Lucky we didn’t have the Internet in the 1960’s. Woe betide the football “expert” who began his post, “Now, here’s where VL is really screwing up the offense: that play calling is so darned conservative.”

He might have been surprised to see a post later that day: “What the heck are you people writing out there!”

And then just to be on the safe side, he’d unplug his computer from the Internet.

1 comment:

bob said...

The salary cap has to stay. Simple as that. If there is no cap, then the players will be able to hold the clubs to ransome. All this will do is see money, which should be used on youth development and infrastructure, go right into the pockets of high profile players who will simply turn their back on the game when they are 30. This is exactly what has happened over here in soccer.

The players disappear - as does the money- and the clubs go to the wall after they realise they have made very big mistakes.