USA! USA! USA!
- What If A Pro Football Coached Switched To Soccer?
- Those 3-Hour Football Games Contain A Whole 11 Minutes Of Play Time
- Suprisingly, NFL Players Are Woefully Underpaid
My favorite quote:
No playoffs? Again, my job just got a lot easier. Ties and no playoffs…. why do you even do this?
There’s a tweet going around from the eve of election day 2012:
I’m predicting Obama will take an early lead tomorrow… Until all the Republicans get off work. #RomneyRyan2012
It’s supposedly by Tim Tebow, except for the fact that the real Tebow, the Messiah of football, would never say anything negative about one of God’s creatures. And he especially wouldn’t imply that Democrats are lazy, unemployed freeloaders that do nothing but occupy public spaces while waiting around to vote themselves entitlements paid for by the 1%. No, he would say nothing remotely close to that. Love him or hate him, you have to agree that the Mother Teresa of the gridiron should be picked up by the Saints, because he is one.
So what about the aforementioned tweet? It’s not really from @TimTebow, but from a joke account called @TheTimmyTebow. The real Blue Jesus has, for better or worse, still not yet sunk to our level. His last few tweets deal with college football and good wishes to the victims of superstorm Sandy. Also, people need to read those Twitter bylines; fake Tebow’s account clearly says:
Savior of football. (Parody account) Not in any way affiliated with Tim Tebow.
In other Tebow news, he was recently voted the most overrated quarterback (his teammate Mark Sanchez tied for second place, along with Tony Romo), he trademarked Tebowing (not to make money from it, but to protect how it’s used), he is a reluctant Ohio State fan now that his good buddy/father figure Urban Meyer is coaching there, and he’s finally got a girlfriend: an actress you’ve never heard of named Camilla Belle:
Now that the NFL and their referees finally came to an agreement to end the lockout (thanks to the incompetence of the replacements on Monday), the refs are going to get a raise in 2013. Because 150k$/year isn’t enough for a part time job that consists of watching football from as close to the action as possible and then making boneheaded calls, in 2013 their salaries are going up to an average of 173k$/year. This, compared to our Senators who are busy driving the country into bankruptcy, and who make 174k$.
But lest you think that this weekend you’re gonna get yourself a referee job in some kind of quadruple win scenario, it’s probably easier to get elected to the Senate: you have to have 10 years of experience officiating football, five of which has to be at the college level or in another professional league. And it’s likely to take you at least five years of officiating high school football to get to the college level, meaning that if you get in the game now, you might just get to that easy money by 2025. Good news though: by then, refs’ salaries will be over 200k$. You also have to be in good shape, and belong to a referee organization, but let’s face it: you’ve already got that covered.
That’s what the Wall Street Journal discovered during the NFL playoffs back in January 2010, after watching four games and adding up all the time that the ball was in play — that is, after the snap and before the ball was pronounced dead by the
coroners officials. Other “researchers” found similar amounts of play time, in the 12- and 13-minute range. The WSJ’s precise figure was 10:43 out of 60:00 of game time which — thanks to out of bounds balls, time-outs, commercials, penalties, reviews and injuries — gets stretched out to about 3:05:00, and means that one minute of game time takes three minutes of real time and also, that one minute of play really takes about seventeen.
So for 94% of that three hours spent in front of the TV, you’re generally watching replays, commercials, and players standing around. (Cheerleaders get three seconds per game, for some awful reason.) Of course, this is part of football’s appeal: it’s just on in the background, and every so often, you pay attention to it — unless you’re a stats junkie, wanna-be coach, or just feel like vegging out. But for most people, that other 94% of filler time is when you hang out with your friends, sip your drink, eat chicken wings, comb your long-haired dog, polish your middle school spelling bee trophy, or fill out your passport application.
After the Eagles’ starting quarterback got his ribs bruised in the second preseason game this year, his corporate parental units decided to stop screwing around: from now on, ESPN says that Vick will wear advanced body armor under his uniform. This means that not only will the military-grade, battle-tested, Kevlar-containing composite material protect him on the field, but he also no longer has anything to fear from bullets, and could even enter a dog fight himself, knowing that dog teeth are no match for his Unequal Technologies EXO Skeleton — which, by the way, is apparently either fitted, custom-fitted, or both:
“It’s going to be custom-fitted and fitted to protect all across my sternum, across my ribs. I think it’ll be a better fit.” — Michael Vick
The battle armor is described as a compression shirt that has two rib protectors, each of which weighs three ounces and stops tickle fights before they start. Also, the CEO of the athletic armor company is either brash, a betting man, or just wants every defense in the NFL to try really hard:
“I guarantee he will not get hurt,” — Rob Vito, CEO of Unequal Technologies
ESPN has a list of all 278 professional, major-league sports teams in the world, ranked by the average player’s salary. The list includes teams from 10 countries, playing 7 sports, totaling about 8,000 players, each of which averages 2m$ per year. Yet the first NFL team on that list, the Pittsburgh Steelers, is ranked a whopping 75th with an average of 3m$ per player per year. The last NFL team, the Cincinatti Bengals, is ranked 184th, averaging half that salary — 1.6m$ per player.
Meanwhile in soccer, which claims 7 of the 10 highest spots, salaries range from the 1st ranked Barça at 8.7m$ per player to tenth ranked Inter Milan (5.7m$/player), to dead last on the entire list — Columbus Crew with an average of 89k$. American soccer of course has no fans, so the LA Galaxy tops that subset of the list at #219, with 555k$ per player. But, there are three American teams in the top 10 so that we can at least save face: at #5, the LA Lakers (6.3m$/player), followed by NY Yankees (6.2m$/player) at #6, and the Philadelphia Phillies (5.8m$/player) in 9th place.
One thing to keep in mind is that these numbers are averages: a few star players make a lot more, and most make a lot less. Having said that, the cheapest NBA team — the 66th ranked Indiana Pacers — pay more per player (3.4m$) than the NFL’s wealthiest, the Steelers. Average baseball salaries have a lot more variance: their highest salaries are comparable to the top NBA ones, but their lowest are on par with the lowest NFL salaries. For example, the cheapest baseball team is the Oakland As, who are ranked 164th and pay 1.8m$ per player — marginally more than the aforementioned Bengals. (Incidentally, the 2011 movie Moneyball told the story of how the As did very well in the early 2000s, despite having no money, by analyzing their players using a statistical system called sabermetrics.)
So the average salary for every NBA player is higher than every NFL player, but baseball spans them both. And it makes sense that basketball players make more money, since there are fewer of them on the team. It also makes sense that baseball players make more money, since their season is longer and they play dozens and dozens of games per season instead of the 16 in the NFL. But football players get punished like in no other sport and they deserve more compensation than the soccer and basketball players that fall down and grab their shin at the drop of a hat; especially the much-ignored linebackers.
In other news, college football players are still glorified slaves who bring in millions to universities, and in return are paid absolutely nothing.
The entire list is available on ESPN’s website.
The AP is reporting that all the BCS commissioners are finally on-board with recommending a four team, three game playoffs. The effort is being led by SEC commissioner Mike Silve, which sort of makes sense since the SEC has dominated college football, winning 8 of the 13 national championships, including the last 6 years in a row. The BCS leadership will recommend this new plan to its conferences, tweak it as needed and then get various levels of approval, including that from university presidents. This last one will likely be the toughest sell because any change to the current bowl system may undermine the giant revenues universities make from playing in bowl games. But if everything goes well — and it looks like it will, — final approval for the playoffs
will be given on July 4th. (How patriotic.) was give on June 26th.
Part of the reason the playoff system will likely be approved — besides the fact that fans that have been clamoring for one for years and that it’s very conspicuously the only sporting system without one — is that the powers that be may not have much choice: shortly after his 2009 inauguration, President Obama said that we need a college playoff system. His comment stemmed from the fact that following the 2008 season, there were three 1-loss teams — Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, — which left it up to computers and polls to decide which two of them would end up in the national championship game (it was Florida and Oklahoma; the former won 21-14). And to add insult to injury, the only undefeated team (Utah), wasn’t even allowed to prove itself because it was widely considered to not be quite up to par in playing with the big dogs.
It looks like Obama followed through on this issue, because in May of 2011 the Department of Justice began an investigation on why the NCAA does not use a playoff system, hinting that there may be anti-trust issues at play. That legal pressure, on top of the immense pressure from the fans, may have finally been enough to tip the scales in favor of the playoffs.
(Updated to reflect the actual agreement reached.)
From The AP