Of course, one benefit to the current fight between the NFL ref's union and the billionaires who sometimes deign to sign their paychecks (as many better commentators than me have already pointed out) is that America finally gets to see how things turn out when you bust a union so you can rip your workforce off to the maximum possible extent.
Or, to put it another way (via Scott Lemieux):
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Here disguised as magpies, but the point stands.
Also, this (via Paul Campos, a LGM man like Lemieux): a quick back-of-the-envelope look at the money at stake. The cash the higher echelon of NFL owners are fighting to retain as a percentage of income the equivalent of me (i.e. adjusting for income, geography, and culture) getting £20 off the price of a Boro season ticket (around 5%, though that would go down if I wanted to watch a team that was, you know, worth watching). That seems like small fry even if the deal doesn't seem to be £20 off in exchange for passing the whistle to someone you wouldn't trust to navigate the start menu to FIFA '12. Personally, I say add £20 on, and use the extra revenue to construct an infallible robo-ref, with built in flamethrowers to discourage pitch invasions, but that's just me.
Were it not for the very real safety issues involved here, I'm not sure what I'd be laughing at harder; NFL bosses enraging both their players and their public for the sake of pocket change, or Republican politicians who are also football fans trying to work out what to actually say about any of this. Naturally, the best they've come up with is a dose of Underpants Gnome logic; it was a good idea to crush the unions because:
- Destroy ref's union;
- Get better refs than you started with.
You can't possibly tell me that doesn't make sense.
UPDATE: Who could possibly have forseen that my 1500th post on this blog would be about sport? Talk about your long odds...