By Leo White
Leo can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
32 teams, 16 regular season games, 8 divisions, 4 time zones, 2 conferences, 1 Champion. On its face, The National Football League (NFL) is a bastion of capitalism – teams with the best players and coaches win, and the losers lick their wounds for another year. Except, that’s just on its face. If you look deeper, you will find a methodology of wealth redistribution, secret courts, poorly managed healthcare, and suppression of speech. That my friends, is the wages of socialism. The Uni-party enacting its will from sea to shining sea, the party elites getting rich off of the backs of the workers, impotent collective bargaining, and pyrrhic victories for the people on the ground while their pocketbooks are drained dry. The dream of the front office is a nation of equally bumbling 8-8 teams. This is rumored to be why Jeff “8-8” Fisher has been able to keep a job for so long. Roger Goodell probably has a picture of him on his desk for all I know.
The worst managed teams are rewarded with redistributed wealth from their unpaid developmental league. It’s a classic moral hazard; they can fail and get a great player. Why not tank your season if it means you’ll be rewarded? The fans are locked into their season tickets anyway, money is already in hand. If things don’t turn out the way you want next year, do it all again until failure has given you a team of #1 draft picks. Great teams are given last pick, because they have so much already – why let the rich get richer?
When a team beats this model and succeeds, then investigations are warranted to figure out which illicit means they have employed to achieve this end. Do not be misled, the league does not value exceptionalism, it values parity. Parity is not everyone succeeding equally, but everyone failing equally. What nobody mentions about the league is basic game theory, its zero-sum – someone wins, someone loses, which totally flies in the face of the idea of the culturally socialist doctrine the league champions. Two antithetical concepts: zero sum game and a level playing field for all when incompetence is rewarded with the best players.
Of the entire 512 regular season games played each year, 256 of those will be losses (Note: Actually, there are 2-3 ties per year over the past few seasons, but those are outliers). The front office strives of a league of equals, but gets – undoubtedly – a league of winners and losers. The reason why, which is the premise of this piece, is that no matter how hard they try, the league will continue to fail in its aforementioned goal of parity because Socialism doesn’t work.
Granted, you want to have a competitive product so people won’t go to patronize the competition, but fortunately for pro football, they bought the competition in 1966 (and because the league offices were tax-exempt non-profits, there was no anti-trust violation – how quaint!).
If the league does not believe in a specific illness, then that illness will not be diagnosed or treated. Imagine a world where the state ran medicine, and all these people started popping up with the same injury, and it was caused by the state. Looking at computer monitors for too long each day made their eyes pop out, or something; whatever it is, let’s say there’s no real causal evidence, but only for lack of study. Now let’s say the state decides it’s not really a problem they are going to treat because there’s not really a problem, and there will be no more questions about it. Well, that’s kind of how concussions, CTE, and ALS were treated by professional sport for the last 40 years.
The league does not value exceptional players, they value obedience. Anyone who speaks out against the state is silenced through monetary sanctions and/or suspension of work. Enemies of the state are silenced to not speak out about a lack of transparency in the league’s internal court and appellate process, their fining policies, or their suspension policies. Playing “Ray Rice’s Punch-out” in an elevator will get you a 4-game suspension, but Jeff George was suspended the entire 1996 season for having an argument with June Jones during a football game (That’s one hell of an argument).
Elites forcing workers to buy their house:
Even though the owners, the party elite, are super rich off of the backs of the useful idiots – most ask their cities to subsidize new stadiums, since they get to enjoy the benefit of having a team in their city. This ignores the fact that the ones who actually DO support the team buy season tickets, and by purchasing a season package they are forced to buy 2 additional tickets to glorified scrimmages known as preseason games (at full price). But you may ask, “Well, there have to be rules for the owners to reinvest their money in the team, right?” Short of making payroll? None. They don’t even have to meet the “Salary Cap,” which was a forced-economic sanction created in the 90s to keep the Dallas Cowboys from using oil money to buy the entire 1993 NFC all-star team.
Rejection of free market economics (except at the top)
The owners could hold a bonfire at the end of the season, burn a billion dollars at midfield, and write it off as a business expense. Want to drive up market rates by paying players more than anyone else? That has to be curbed, immediately. When it comes to rules on spending their profits – owners get more free market than Ben Shapiro on a 3-day Milton Friedman bender. Before I start getting love letters from all those free market purists, stick with me – I’m working up to something, here. The owners love doing whatever the hell they want with their money EXCEPT investing it back. That is the job of the peasant, or rather the fan (or anyone unlucky enough to live within the area that gets stadium fees added to their property tax millage rates, whether they care about football or not).
However, instead of taking the collection from willing supporters (i.e. profit margin from season tickets on a fully depreciated stadium), they want to conscript taxpayers to foot the bill, since they could leave at any time. The blessings of the elite always have a veiled acrimonious subtext within. Since there is no binary, non-arbitrary reasoning to establish a viable NFL venue, and not all potential venues are required to be populated (and some venues allow for cohabitation), the threat of team movement gives the elites an unfair innate edge over the peasants.
Now, of course this violates spatial economic theory, wherein locations of cities and the markets that developed within were the result in large part of the lack of wealth of inhabitants and their lean ability to afford transportation costs. However, this is socialism, who gives a crap about economic theory when it’s free $.02 towel night?
At the end of the day, the league is a perfect example of what happens when government makes special allowances to grow industry, and allows crony capitalism to affect tax code rule changes to allow for a merger of the only two service providers in the market. What has come since then is a watered down version of the game that has no reason to improve because there’s no competition. The bad owners have no incentive to improve, because they are in the protected class. The good owners have to strive to beat the inherent system bias towards the bad owners. Yet, somehow the good owners prevail more often than not. They excel due to individual achievement, great planning, and competent management which I know infuriates the league front office because their socialist paradise of 8-8 teams from coast to coast is dead for another year. Jeff Fisher weeps.