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Ike’s Sights - The Bottom Line

POSTED August 3, 2011 3:41 a.m.

The lockout is over, but the effects of a disgusting and greedy battle between overpaid athletes and their employers has painted a grotesque image onto the canvas of professional sports.
It’s comical really.
The nation is in tremendous debt, unemployment rates are airborne across the country and your average American is floundering in the wake of his or her own debt.
Meanwhile, National Football League owners and players bickered over the specifics to split millions of dollars of revenue in a disagreement that stalled all off-season activities in the NFL.
And no one — least of all incompetent NFL commissioner Roger Goodell — has come away a winner. I love football, but I can honestly say my interest in the NFL has declined every year Goodell has taken the porcelain throne in a clear effort to change the game of football.

Cry Me A Real Sport
Players need to stop crying about concussions, random injuries and the physical strain of offseason workouts.If I got paid millions of dollars to test new shark repellent, I wouldn’t go on strike every time I spotted a dorsal fin.
Roger Goodell altering league rules to protect defenseless receivers and quarterbacks is like professional bull riders being forced to ride sheep.
We don’t watch the NFL because it’s safe. We watch it because we can’t glance out our windows and see DeShean Jackson get decleated in our own backyard.
NFL players have been getting knocked out and roughed up since the league was wearing leather, and it’s an insult to all players of the past to alter league rules to protect millionaires.
The bottom line: Don’t play football if you don’t want to get hit.

Way To Lose Respect
From Your Fans
I’m sure most football fans expected some magnanimous changes from the new collective bargaining agreement when the lockout ended, but when the dust finally settled, it was mostly greenbacks that truly settled the issues.
Goodell, owners and players had the gall to pretend it all ended for the benefit of the fans, but in reality, they only truly care when we benefit their wallets with each purchase of new merchandise, tickets and $10 beers. The lockout only ended because everyone got what they wanted.
In the end, babied millionaires now get more money for less work, with later training camp dates, fewer contact practices and less team activities.
The money will be neatly divided between owners, players and a league that for some reason now has a say in congress. What the government has to do with sports is beyond me. Sounds to me like a separation of sport and state is in order.
The bottom line: Expensive replica jerseys may soon see more action than the real ones.

The One Thing The NFL
Got Right
I have begged for rookie salary caps for years, so I am certainly in full support of the agreement’s new maximum payday for top tier picks. Now, when players like JaMarcus Russell and Michael Crabtree go high in drafts, they won’t be able to refuse participation until they obtain an out-of-this world contract even higher than the comparable ones agreed to the year prior.
I never quite understood the logic of a steady increase of salaries and signing bonuses for first round picks. Are they suggesting the cost-of-living is rising millions of dollars with each particular franchise each year?
The cap on spending for rookies was long overdue, but NFL owners and players can’t exactly pat themselves on the back for reaching this decision.
Rookies and their greedy player agents weren’t represented during this lockout, so of course everyone who already stands to make millions is going to readily agree to a provision that only frees up more cash for their own pockets.
Chances are, this decision will only be brought into another lawsuit in 2012, when top tier picks and their player agents form a union to fight the ruling when it actually goes into effect.
The bottom line: I can already smell rookie lockout, 2012.

Ike Dodson is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at idodson@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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