How to Win
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.
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.