Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Win

DeMaurice Smith

The “Head Hog” George Starke ’71 is the subject of this interview on the Redskin fansite “Hogs Haven.”

In it, Starke covers a lot of the same ground he did when I interviewed him live during the Columbia-Towson game in Maryland back in 2008.

One of the things I’ll never forget about that interview is how Starke had to rub his knee and leg the entire time because of the constant pain he endures from a series of injuries on the field.

Memo to either one of the warring sides in the NFL labor talks that really wants to “win”:

The real financial challenges in the NFL do not reside with the owners or the current players. It’s all about the retired players, the vast majority of whom have financial and physical problems… some of them horrific.

The way to win public opinion here, especially if you’re the players union, is to make these negotiations all about the current and future RETIRED players.

If I were Deforest Kelly or Dermott Mulroney or whatever the Hell the NFLPA guy calls himself. I would get on TV right now and say that the union will forego any demands for a raise or spike in profit sharing for current players as long as a big percentage of new profits goes into a new retirement fund for existing and future retired players.

Drag out the pictures of all the players who have died young, committed suicide, are bankrupt, etc. and make it about them, about their families.

I’m talking about Mike Webster, Dave Duerson. I mean the MAJORITY of NFL players who either file or come close to filing for Chapter 11 within five years of retirement.

For the union, it’s a win-win… because ALL the players currently in the union will be retired one day. It’s about saving for a rainy day and helping the guys who came before and made the league what it is.

The owners would be very hard-pressed not to go along with this. It’s one thing to fight with known millionaires like Drew Brees. It’s another to play hardball with an emaciated-looking player from the 1980’s who’s broke. Yeah, they part with a lot of the money they wanted.. But the owners would also get to save face by not giving in to the existing player demands. Plus, they can opt to defer some of the payment to this new retirement fund and only be on the hook for an aggregate total, not a PER PLAYER guaranteed payout like the state worker pensions that are bankrupting the damn country right now.

In fact, if I were an NFL owner I’d make this proposal FIRST. Beat the union to the punch and call their bluff by proving that YOU care more for the players in the long run than the union does! Remember it was Delroy’s predecessor Gene Upshaw who famously said that he did not really give a crap about retired players.

Inwood Latest

Here’s the latest on the Johnny-come-lately foray into the Campbell Sports Center by some members of the City Council.

NYC politicians are infamous for this kind of thing. They do nothing for their constituents for years… but a private entity shows up and starts a project and suddenly, they’re VERY concerned.

It’s a sad joke that the useful idiots at the New York Times and similar media outlets have enabled for years.

Here's a great bit of buffoonery from this town hall-like event:

"And because Columbia has enjoyed access for 90 years without compensating the public and without giving money to the city, its reasonable and fair that the Boathouse Marsh plan address what it takes for the community to get on the water."

A good friend of mine and fellow Columbia alum looked at that quote and noted:

"a) George Baker acquired the land a century ago, when there was nothing for miles around.

b) He gave it to Columbia just under a century ago when there was almost nothing for miles around: no "community;" no "people;" no doughnut place.....

c) thus, it is reasonable and fair (and just) to let Columbia do what it wants with the property."

I saw this kind of stuff up close when I was a student at Columbia and the university began plans to convert the dilapidated Audubon Ballroom into a job-creating medical facility.

No one cared about the site of Malcolm X’s assassination as it became a dangerous crack den for decades, but as soon as Columbia wanted to do something productive with the place, (even naming it after the slain historical icon), leftist groups on and off campus pretended to be outraged about a “whitewash” of history.

It was a joke then, and it’s a joke now.

But the harm these little skits can do to athletics are not funny.

Let me make something plain:

The reason why these politicians are getting involved at this late date is because this project will make them look bad. It makes government look bad. Because if hard-left city dwellers start seeing the truth about how private entities actually make things happen and governments do not… well, that’s the equivalent of pulling the curtain from the Wizard of Oz.

It would be REALLY nice if some… (even ONE), Inwood residents would stand up at the next meeting and tell these pols to butt out.

Volunteers are welcome.


At Tue Mar 22, 08:28:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we have the votes or don't we? If we have the votes, these knucklehead pols can pound sand. If we don't have the votes, let's go to court. We won Manhattanville, and we will win this fight as well. These pols make me sick.

At Tue Mar 22, 07:50:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

New York City politicians are never particularly distinguished by their braininess. Their instinct for the camera, however, and for drawing attention to themselves, is unfortunately another matter. They will go on and on and they will not understand a single real issue, but the local media will give them much coverage. Which is their sole real intention.

This is all so sad. And yes too, it recalls the demands for "community access" for the gym in Morningside Park (and we all know both where that went and the utter self-serving cynicism behind such demands).

At Tue Mar 22, 08:04:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Campbell Center will also provide construction jobs for the community. It is the first new structure to be built in Inwood in years.

At Wed Mar 23, 12:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I were a betting man I would expect when the vote comes in it will pass by a wide majority. Even this blog (including myself) are enabling these fools. They don't want this to go to court because the law requiring the 15% will get tossed for illegally denying the use of property. There is actually precedence for that in other states.

At Wed Mar 23, 01:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I readily concede that I have not done the research to understand the details of the NFL's conflict with its players. But it's hard to look at all the videos and photographs of DeMaurice Smith and take him seriously.

If I were negotiating with a man who wears a fedora whenever on camera and whose wardrobe costs more than my car, I would say that this is not a man of substance. Call it petty or small-minded, but a man with that much vanity does not instill confidence of being principled.

At Wed Mar 23, 02:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On another note, the NFL changed kickoffs from the 30 yd line to the 35 yd line. I wonder if this change will also occur in college football, seeing as it would be strange to have college kickers kicking farther than those in the NFL.

At Wed Mar 23, 04:55:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger culions said...

“If we could talk Columbia into spending additional money to do that, that’d be great,” she said, adding that Councilmember Jackson’s office is working on increasing public access to facilities. YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS! (McEnroe)Where does Columbia receive its money? Students, donors and research grants. The only one CU can control is the student revenue. As a parent I can assume to be paying more each year in tuition... How about the community do something? You put in nothing, you get nothing.

At Wed Mar 23, 05:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a difference between the Campbell Center and the Morningside gym. If memory serves, the latter was to be built on City parkland. The. Campbell Center is entirely on CU property. There may be a takings clause issue if the City requires CU to give up property in order to use its own property. Unless it is a quid pro quo for a zoning change. Anyone know if there's a zoning issue there?


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