Detroit The gullible happily bought into the nonsense that salary caps were created for the fans.
If everybody operated from the same-sized wallet, it would provide more competitive balance through a contrived economic equality, right? Ticket sales and television ratings would spiral upward, thus further expanding a revenue pie that would be divvied up fairly regardless of relative market size.
It’s time that everyone wake up from this fantasy.
Salary caps are nothing more than a publicly endorsed corporate bailout. It’s billionaire welfare, a free pass for owners who amassed the financial riches necessary to buy a NFL or NBA franchise through high-risk, high-reward business decisions to mismanage their sports properties wantonly because there’s little risk of consequence. It doesn’t matter if an owner spends recklessly because legislated cost controls will limit the extent his competitors can exploit those mistakes.
I can’t help but laugh at the hypocrisy.
We ferociously defend the sacrosanct tenets of the free-market system as it pertains to our everyday existence. The strong and self-sustainable grow. The weak and ill-prepared wither. But when it involves pro sports, whose principal characters on the labor and management fronts have nothing in common with average folks, even the most hardened, hardhat-wearing capitalist becomes a socialist.
If artificially propping up the economically fragile is blatantly un-American, then how is the redistribution of wealth acceptable when it’s subsidizing a dying Sacramento Kings franchise staying in a market that already has proven it cannot support a competitive NBA product through the necessary corporate support?
The NFL and NBA are locked out because owners want more fiscal sanity. Translation: They want a new business model that ensures greater profits. But such practical thinking can only come with the accountability that carries an actual punitive cost. Killing the salary cap, taking away part of the safety net, would be a promising first step toward that goal.
It’s a fallacy that the NFL thrives because of the salary cap. It excels because it provides the correct product inventory of the four major sports. There are just 16 games, placing a high premium on the economic value of that product, which is reflected in ticket prices and television rights fees. And when the NFL eventually goes to an exclusive pay-per-view television package, the Green Bay Packers will be able to attract massive revenues from millions of passionate Packer fans all over the country — finally putting to rest the decades-old revenue-sharing argument that the little city of Green Bay could never compete financially with big, bad New York. That’s why it needed a helping hand.
The NFL and NBA fights aren’t between the owners and players. That’s what the leagues’ respective talking heads want you think. They want to turn this into another battleground in the ongoing class warfare in this country. But this is strictly owner vs. owner. The billionaires want even more economic protection against their own fiscal recklessness or revenue producing shortcomings.
If they’re looking to cap something, try putting a cap on the excuses as to why they continually need such assistance.