Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why The Current Work Stoppage Won't Affect The NFL

We all know that the NFL is far and away the most popular sport in the US.  It doesn't matter what the league does, what the owners do, what the players do; when games are on the schedule, they will sell out the stadium, and millions more fans will be watching on TV.  To follow is a comparison of the most recent work stoppages in the US, and how the NFL will come out of this current debacle unscathed.

The current NFL labor dispute is more or less over what percentage of the overall revenue that is made by the NFL should go to the players, and how much should go to the owners.  There may be some small clauses about retirement etc, but the main holdup is about who gets how much money.

In 1994 Major League Baseball, the strike (Aug 12, 1994 to April 2, 1995) affected two seasons, and ultimately affected the playoffs and for the first time since 1904 the World Series was not played.  The major reason for this work stoppage was that the league wanted to institute a salary cap, putting a limit on how much a player could be paid. 

This didn't go over well with the fans of the sport.  The common fan didn't understand how a players union with an average annual income of $1.2 million were striking because they wanted more money.  In 1995 when play resumed, TV ratings plummeted and TV ratings dropped by about 20%.

The National Hockey League experienced their most recent work stoppage in 2004 (Aug 12, 1994 to April 2, 1995).  This was the first time ever in North America that an entire season had been lost to a stoppage.  The players wanted a salary minimum, guaranteed contracts and a bigger slice of the overall revenue. 

There was such a lack of support from the fans once the work stoppage ended, that the NHL had to enact major rules changes, including adding the shootout to decide the winner, instead of ending in a tie as had been the case prior.

The National Basketball Association's most recent work stoppage was in 1998 starting July 1, 1998 and ended Jan 6, 1999.  The season was shortened from 82 to 50 games, and the outcome was a $14 million salary cap, and a rookie pay scale.  Fan support dropped, and the league suffered for a few years after that. 

This current NFL work dispute is different.  The fans don't seem to have the same outrage toward the players as in previous strikes in other sports.  When the games resume, there won't be any shortage of fans in the seats, or watching at home.  The NFL is so popular, that no matter what either side wants or does, they will seemingly come out on the other side stronger than ever.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Indiana Gov to Defund Planned Parenthood Next Week

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
Today Mitch Daniels (R-Ind) said he would sign a bill aimed at defunding health centers in Indiana, when the legislation reaches his desk next week.  "The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers," Daniels said.  A fiscal conservative, Daniels is foregoing about $4M in grants from the federal government sent specifically for family planning.

This announcement comes on the heels of Daniels call for a Republican "truce" on social issues, to focus more on fiscal issues, budgetary issues.  Although saying he would pass this legislation seems like a call to conservative Pro-Life voters, turning away $4M a year in grants is not a good way to show your fiscal conservativeness in a time when almost every state is facing budget short-comings. 

We all know that the government, be it federal, state, or local cannot give any money to directly fund abortions.  As described in Title X of the Family Planning Program, enacted in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, the funding from the federal grant program is designed to provide comprehensive family planning and other related preventative  health services to individuals, mainly low income families and uninsured people.

Instead of prohibiting everyone from utilizing a service, especially one protected by the constitution, because some don't agree with it, just tell those against it to not use it if they don't want to use it?  Compare this idea with the "Parental Advisory Explicit Material" sticker on some CDs.  The music isn't being prevented from being produced.  It is just not purchased by those who may be offended by explicit material. 

Government shouldn't be taking such an intrusive approach into people's personal lives.  Let people live their personal lives personally.

Grizz Looking For The Upset At Home

Did you see the end of game 5?  The 4th quarter of that game was one of the most exciting games I have seen in a long time. And I am not a fan of either team. But what Memphis did was so close to doing was to pull off one of the most unexpected upsets this year, for sure, and maybe for several years in the past.

San Antonio was in first place overall throughout almost all of the NBA's regular season. Some might say that the Spurs are getting old, or that they are fighting injury, specifically Manu Ginobili and his ailing elbow. But outside of Memphis, did anyone honestly think that the Grizzlies could knock off the Spurs in a best-of-7 series?  The Spurs always seem to find a way to win.  When they look down and out, they just find a way to win.  Thats what great teams do.

Memphis is a 3 point favorite, after an opening line of 2 points in their favor. That means that there are a lot of bettors thinking that Memphis will be able to pull this off tonight. Look for Zach Randolph to come with a big game tonight, and to lead the Grizzlies in scoring.

Considering that San Antonio was trailing for much of Game 5, and needed two, count 'em TWO buzzer beaters to win, in San Antonio, I'll take the Grizzlies to cover the 3 points, and to win outright, taking the series 4-2.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do What You Can To Help

The Calm Before The Storm

OK everyone, I finally got it together enough to get this blog up and running.  In this first entry, I'm just going to explain a little of what I plan to do in the future. 

In this blog, I'm going to be talking about newsworthy topics, whether it be politics, music, lifestyle, a review of a piece of technology, whatever.  I'm going to try to put a comment section below every entry I make, because I really want to get a discussion going around the topics involved. 

Sometimes I'll add a few posts a day, sometimes I'll go a day or two without a new post.  But I'll try as I might to keep the content as current as I can. 

Finally, if you like what you see and read, I ask that you help spread the word about by telling your friends, family, co-workers, and whoever else you think might enjoy reading this blog.