Archive for the 'Off Field Antics' Category

28
Sep
10

Blah Blah Blah NFL Negotiations Blah

The owners and NFLPA meet today for the first time in what seems like forever to help stave off a potential lockout/strike for the 2011 season. With teams giving the go-ahead for the union to decertify left and right, we’re getting a little (read: A LOT) concerned about the state of the 2011 NFL season. Yes, on one hand it’s incredibly infuriating that you have millionaire crying about being treated unfairly (players), while you have billionaires who are too stubborn to lose a fraction of their income (owners).  It can seem to be a bit much to keep track of, so Laura and I are here to provide the quick and dirty guide on a few of the hot-button topics between the owner and the NFLPA.

18 Game Schedule

Laura: Hmmm, an 18 game schedule. I am not sure this is a subject I SHOULD have an opinion on. After all, I am a lowly PR professional and have never had the determination, strength or ability to compete at a high level in sports. I only like to watch it on TV and generally prefer that someone else entertain me with insane grabs in the end zone (Devin Hester, you are ridiculous!) , beautiful spirals and the crunch of great tackle when helmet meets pads. I work hard at my job daily and sometimes stress or longer hours makes me eat a little less healthy or feel worn out. But I don’t put my longevity and health on the line weekly for the entertainment of others.

I don’t want to hear it’s what they get paid for. I know that, I went to college. I am just pointing out, it’s not really for me to have an opinion on whether or not they should put their big, strong bodies against other insanely strong and big bodies for more games that count during the season. The risks here are high. What I will do is point out a few pros and cons if the 18 games will be passed (and it’s looking more likely every day.)

Pros

–          Everyone will make more money (players, owners, merchandisers, television stations etc).

–          The football season (that matters) will be longer, I love that, it’s too short already.

–          Fans will love it–two more weeks of tailgating, drinking and screaming on Sunday? Sold.

 Cons

–          No matter how you slice it, the athletes’ careers will be shorter

–          Preseason serves a purpose–one of my favorite players of all time is Tom Waddle, he would have never seen a start in a Bears uniform if it weren’t for his preseason performance. There are countless other examples that verify this claim–see: Sam’s Dennis Dixon.

–          Playoffs may prove to be less exciting as two more games every season are undeniably going to wear these guys out.

–          There could be  more tragedy in the game. An increased schedule increasing the chances of injury.  

Rookie Salary Cap

Sam: Unlike Laura, I do have an opinion and, if you know me a loud one 🙂 I’m siding with the NFLPA on this one. There absolutely, 100% SHOULD be a rookie salary cap. How many times have we seen a rookie sign a ridiculous contract for a crazy amount of money and get hurt in the beginning of the season because of the heightened level of play? Matt Stafford, Kellen Winslow Jr. and my boy Paul Posluzny come to mind.

Or worse yet, how about when a player is signed and just plain SUCKS in the NFL? Akilli Smith? David Carr? Carson Palmer (yes he SUCKS), JAMARCUS RUSSELL or Ki-Jana Carter? These 22-year-old kids enter the NFL and are set financially for life before they take their first snap on the field. What’s worse, is that if their proposed contract isn’t at a tacky and gaudy level-well, then they hold out and refuse to sign. Before they step foot on the field. See, I’m in this camp that you have to PROVE your worth before you get a diva attitude and I agree with the NFLPA that the money that, more often than not, is WASTED on rookie talent would serve a better purpose to veteran players that have already proved their worth and have sacrificed their bodies for the game.

Perecentage of Revenue to Players

Currently, players receive 59% of owner revenue for salary purposes–a percentage which the owners want to decrease citing increased costs. Which, let’s get serious, is a bullshit claim. Even with the recession, the owners are making an ISH load of money…the average NFL team is valued at 1.2 billion dollars–down from 1.4 billion last year. While that drop is alarming, it doesn’t justify screwing the players to a lower percentage of revenue. They are the money makers, they are the ones that sacrifice their bodies (albeit for a ridiculous amount of money). I do not watch football to see Jerry Jones or Al Davis (although they think I do), I watch it for the ATHLETES. The amount of money that it costs a FAN (’cause that’s who it’s really all about..right? ;)) to go see a game is ABSURD, and I do not believe it’s because the players take 59% of revenue. I believe it’s ’cause the owners are greedy and mark the hell up out of their product. It’s simple, we all do, that’s good business, but what’s bad business is to be a cheap skate and screw your employees and make them disgruntled.  Need more proof? see Clark Griswold’s reaction below to finding out that his Christmas bonus is to be enrolled in a Jelly Of The Month Club 😉

OOOOH we KNOW you have opinions.

Lay ’em on us!

–Laura and Sam

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16
Apr
10

Big Bad Ben

Hello Folks,

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted … my apologies. I recently started a new job (yay!) and went back east for about ten days so I haven’t had time. Lots of awesome stuff has happened in sports and lots of not so awesome stuff. So here’s my take on the Ben Roethlisberger situation. I want to say before I dive in that there is no team on the planet that I adore more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s in my blood, I’m a Pittsburgh girl through and through. I would rather see the Steelers win than any of my other teams, even though I’ve already seen it twice. If the Steelers win–it’s an awesome week….if they lose it’s a terrible one. I AM A FAN.

That being said, no matter how much of a fan I am, I cannot condone the behavior by the organization in the past few weeks. The organization has been run since the dawn of time by the Rooney Family. The Rooney’s are ones that don’t put up with any players crap. They maintain that off-field conduct is as important as on-field conduct. Another thing about the Rooneys–they never wanted to spend big bucks on anyone. They let countless players (Porter, Woodson, Randle El, Faneca etc) leave because they didn’t want to pony up the dough. (Some players probably –and definitely–left for other reasons, but that doesn’t stop the fact that the Rooney’s weren’t willing to shell out the bills.)

Things started changing though a few years ago. We were due to negotiate with the best safety (ever) to play the game–my boo, Troy Polamalu. A force at USC, I don’t think anyone could predict how DOMINATING Polamalu would be on the team. A team shouldn’t consist of one player–but the Pittsburgh Steelers defense doesn’t show if our little predator isn’t on the field. So the Rooney’s, for the first time that I can ever remember, responded BIG and signed Polamalu to a 4 year deal worth slightly over $30 million. Roethlisberger’s contract shortly followed–a cool $100 million(ish)  for ten years.

Problem is? Roethlisberger can’t stay out of trouble. He doesn’t quite seem to understand that Pittsburgh Steeler athletes are demi-gods to everyone in, around and from Pittsburgh. We don’t only like to know what you’re doing on the field, but every minutia of detail of your off-the-field life. (I can for a fact tell you that every time Hines Ward goes to P.F. Changs on the Water Front he gets two orders of crab rangoons … Am I a loser?! You Betcha!)

Ben doesn’t quite understand the pressure….or the privilege, of being the franchise quarterback for the most decorated football team in NFL history. In fact, it sometimes seems like he just pisses on it–and that’s what angers me. I haven’t heard anyone in Pittsburgh discuss ONE POSITIVE ENCOUNTER WITH HIM. He makes stupid decisions, and he acts like he’s entitled. Well, he’s not. He’s not above the moral conduct standards of the Steelers, or humanity– and I for one, hope he gets at least an 8-games suspension next season.

Santonio Holmes was a problem child–sure. You know what he got? His ass traded. He joined a long list of players that the Rooney’s don’t want to be associated with. So my point is, why be associated with Roethlisberger? I know “franchise quarterback,” “allegations not charges” blah blah blah. But listen here, the Rooney’s stayed SILENT about Ben’s issues until recently.

Why release a statement now? Because everyone from coast to coast sees how hypocritical it is … once people start crying foul about race/status/salary etc THEN the Rooney’s release a strongly worded statement–after Ben isn’t charged. Maybe it’s because I work in PR but the insincerity and timing of this statement screams saving face. I don’t believe you Rooney’s. I don’t think you had any idea that people would outcry like this and that, people in Pittsburgh are sick of Ben’s shit. Because see, we aren’t the Browns, or the Raiders, or the Cowboys…we’re the mother f’n Pittsburgh Steelers….we don’t have cheerleaders, we only have one logo on our helmet and we play smash mouth football. This media circus is NOT what we want and unfortunately, Rooneys, you chose the worst possible person to invest $100 million dollars on. Personally, and I know a lot of other people who feel this way, no amount of Super Bowl wins will ever make me a Roethlisberger fan again.

My friend Ray had an interesting blog here about the media circus with Ben. He says that the media is reporting about the allegations of Ben and drives home a very good point that these allegations were already investigated and there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Ben–therefore why rehash all of these allegations? — He articulates it MUCH better. Check out the link!

So I guess in short, what my rambling is trying to say is that–I hope Goodell punishes Ben appropriately. One interesting thing about Rog, is he doesn’t put up with shit from anyone. He lays down hard punishments in an attempt to keep a positive image. It’s now his time to have his way with Ben Roethlisberger–and I hope he lays down the law. Will it hurt our team? SURE…in the short run. Will it help in the long run? I FRIGGIN’ HOPE SO. The Rooney’s already botched their chance at telling Ben (on multiple occasions) that his conduct is not that of a Pittsburgh quarterback. Since they failed to it’s Goodell’s turn–and there is way too much pressure facing Rog for him to let Ben off with a slap on his wrist.

Do I think the Rooney’s will trade Ben? No. BUT one things for sure…he is on the thinnest of ice. If he wants to stay in trouble, that’s fine. We can trade him to St. Louis/Buffalo/Jacksonville where he waste away on a mediocre team that is so desperate for a .500 record they don’t care about off field antics. After winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers in 4 years–the roller coaster is only going to go downhill, Ben…you decide how fast.

Two quick things:

1) For those of you that want to know–Kordell Stewart is engaged (TO A GIRL!) that lives in the penthouse of my aunts apartment building in Atlanta, Ga. As he was in Pittsburgh, he is a jag about photos.

2) I have an AWESOME post coming up about a fatheads promotion! So keep an eye out!

So what are your thoughts?! I know they must be fantastically angry or in agreement. I haven’t been able to stop talking about Pittsburgh to any and every football fan lately. So let me have it people! 🙂

–Sam

18
Feb
10

Catch A Tiger By The Toe

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Tiger Woods apology tour kicks off tomorrow at 11am ET. Pardon me, while I’m a little skeptical. In my non-blogging life, I work in the public relations business. Because of this, I always find it exciting when my two favorite fields, public relations and sports, cross over with such a magnitude.

As in the past, (*Ahem, Kobe*) Tiger Woods had decided that the best way to handle his…”transgressions,” is to issue a public apology. This apology will be from PGA headquarters and will simply be a statement, in front a “small group of friends” (his lingo, not mine). There will be no opportunity for anyone to ask questions. This apology comes three months after his famous car accident and right after Tiger tried to save face with some damage control by completing a stint in a sex rehab clinic in Mississippi. (of all places!)

Naturally, every media outlet on the face of the planet is reporting this and asking irrelevant questions such as will Tiger’s wife, Elin be present at the conference? What is going to say? How will it come off? I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to happen. Tiger is going to read (maybe he’ll memorize if he wants extra PR points) a CAREFULLY CRAFTED statement. One that, no doubt, has been dissected with a fine-tooth comb. It will not provide any answers that the gossip mags want to know, it will use vague terminology (i.e. i regret my “actions” that have hurt people i love) and he will say what his future is with the PGA. (Probably something along the lines of him taking  little break before coming back…can’t imagine he’ll say he’s done for good as the conference is being held AT the PGA headquarters) Basically, anyone that thinks Tiger Woods is releasing this statement for any reason other than to save face is an idiot.

I  am not here to judge Tiger Woods…but damn it, I can judge the media. The soap-opera that has ensued over Tiger Woods the past couple months is absolutely unbelievable. Why exactly is everyone shocked? Many athletes have dealt with infidelity (at large scales) in their past. Because he seems quiet and reserved? Right, I forgot, quiet guys are automatically faithful guys. Because he’s a golfer? Right, “golf nerds” don’t have a sex drive either. Because he has a gorgeous wife and family? Yea, no other athlete, celebrity, or person has thought with the wrong head at times.

Oh wait, NONE of those reasons pass muster! So why exactly do we care? I never cared from day one. In fact, I feel bad for what Tiger’s family is going through. Granted, he actions are what ultimately led to the media coverage, however the amount of media coverage is what’s really doing the damage here. Hey Star Magazine, what does it really matter if Tiger has bagged 15 other women instead of 14? Access Hollywood, do you think Elin needs to hear the text messages about how she’s a drag paraded in the media? Hey CNN, do you ever think that your stories are going to be archived for Tiger’s kids to view the huge mess daddy made when they are old enough to understand?

I really don’t care what Tiger has to say, and newsflash folks, you shouldn’t either. None of it will be genuine. Call me jaded because I work in the PR biz but it’s true. From my point-of-view, I don’t think it will do him any good, especially three months after the incident.  He’s just asking for more media attention and to continue this saga being played out in the very public eye. I don’t care if Elin is there or not, cause if she is, she’s just there to make his appearance seem better. Tiger should just post a statement on his Web site, since that’s basically all that tomorrow is going to end up being.

I think what the media should do is not react to this ‘apology’ with a media frenzy. They will but they shouldn’t. What I’m fascinated about in this whole thing is the PGA involvement in his apology. They know Tiger is their Bread and Butter, and I think their involvement will take the place of Elin. Tiger has a major sport supporting him, so we should support him too. We should forget that, without Tiger Woods, the PGA stands to lose a shit load of money. We should assume their support is kindness driven and not financially driven.  Is anybody else angry that Tiger’s people think we will really fall for any or all of this crap? In my humble, young pr opinion, Woods would have done better to schedule a 1-on-1 with Babs Walters. A, la, A-Rod and Peter Gammons. (Best handling of a scandal I’ve ever seen in sports) Would have lent a lot more cred to the whole ‘apology’ thing.

That being said, I am blogging about it, so I am contributing to the problem. What a vicious circle we have. I will continue to keep the entire Woods clan in my prayers, as I can only imagine the pain ALL of them are carrying, due to daddy’s ‘transgressions’

What do you think about the Tiger apology tour? Good move? Bad move? Any of it gonna be genuine? What is up with the PGA involvement? Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam




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