By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Folks, it’s time to head down to your local drug store, hit the Hallmark section, and grab as many cards in the “CONGRATULATIONS” section that you can find. Because it’s time to celebrate a major cash windfall for the beloved owners of NFL teams, who are set to cash in on the relocation of three teams.
Cards are sure to be flying off the shelf in St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego.
ESPN reported that 29 NFL teams will each make $55.2 million from the moves of the Rams and Chargers to Los Angeles and the Raiders to Las Vegas. The Rams and Chargers will each pay $645 million over 10 years, while the Raiders will pay $378 million over 10 years.
Isn’t that nice?
It’s an interesting dynamic when you consider that it’s the owners who cast the ultimate votes that determined the final approval or denial of the three franchise moves. Yes, the owners must consider the overall health of the league when casting such a vote … but they’re also essentially voting to give themselves a fairly significant payday.
And the best part for the owners? They don’t have to share any of that cash with the players! You know who the players are, don’t you? They’re the ones playing the game, the ones actually drawing 75,000 fans to buildings and millions more to televisions, the ones sacrificing their short-term and long-term health to earn a paycheck that amounts to a pittance compared to what the bed of money the owners are lying upon in their luxury boxes high above the playing field.
Another benefit for the owners? They don’t have to deal with those pesky, angry fans in the cities that lost teams. All those folks who spent decades dedicating their time and money to the football team that up and skipped town one night? For the owners, those folks are out of sight, out of mind. On to L.A. and Vegas, baby!
Ah, but the fans will always have those empty words about “trying our best to get a deal done and stay put” that were printed on those press releases. Those memories can last a lifetime.
Really, it’s a strange system. Maybe there’s not a completely impartial group of voters who could decide upon a franchise moving, but certainly having the owners who stand to be given $55 million for their votes would seemingly disqualify them from being decision-makers. (Those like Jerry Jones who stand to profit even more based on separate business ventures should probably not have a vote.)
But this is, after all, the National Football League. The powerful are powerful, and they intend on keeping it that way.