Of the 32 teams in the National Football League, there are over 112,189 owners. 112,158 of them own the current World Champion Green Bay Packers.
I find it very interesting that this year, the year the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl for a third time, Wisconsin needs to be reminded of how important the concept of public versus private ownership is. Of how important some "socialist" concepts are rather than how much money can we save real quick.
Yes, this is about Governor Scott Walker trying to get rid of collective bargaining for a select number of public employees. I wonder if he would consider it for another group of public employees: the Green Bay Packers football team.
The Green Bay Packers are the envy of not only fans from the other 31 teams in the NFL, but also fans of any team in the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. You see, they are "owned" mostly by the people of Green Bay, the proletariat, if you will. The stocks that they buy to become an "owner" are pretty much worthless. They are only worth what the person paid for them, nothing more nothing less. It does not return dividends. It does not accrue interest. I guess you could try to buy the $4.7 million worth of stocks out there. You might also get killed trying. I am only half-kidding here. I live next door to them in Minnesota. For the record, I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, a team that many people do not envy at the moment (unless you are from Los Angeles, but more on that later). We hear day-after-day how this franchise is soooo special, soooo amazing. It sometimes makes me want to vomit.
The team is run by a board of directors that selects a general manager. He picks the head coach and makes most, if not all, of the financial decisions for the team. Still, because the team is pretty much owned by Packers' fans, which I assume are spread throughout Wisconsin and other parts of the United States, this makes the players something akin to public union employees. They all belong to a union, the National Football League Players Association (Conservatives don't like unions). Not only that, the Packers belong to a league that follows a lot of socialist ideas. The NFL has revenue sharing (some might call this a redistribution of wealth) along with the very powerful union representing its players.
I don't know if you have heard, but they are currently in arbitration over a new collective bargaining agreement. Collective bargaining, there's that word again. The owners are crying poverty, saying that they aren't making enough money and the only way to make more money is to have more games: 18 instead of the current 16 (excluding the playoffs). The players don't want to have two more games strapped to the end of the season. (Have you seen how hard they hit each other?) They also want some help with pensions for those who came before them.
Unrelated to the 18-game schedule, also remaining on the table are proposals from each side to include a rookie hard wage scale that could be in effect as early as the 2011 draft. However, whereas the owners want the $200 million on projected rookie wage savings redistributed with $100 million to improved retired player pensions and health care and the remaining $100 million to simply be available in the system with an increased pay-for-performance pool, the union wants the owners to match the $100 million savings on retired players.
Chris Mortenson, ESPN reporter Nov. 2010.
This last point to me is the most important. It's also the major reason to keep collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is not about today. It's about tomorrow.
As it stands right now, it looks like there is going to be a lockout. The current date for that is this week on March 4th. If this happens, I hope and pray that the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers show up in Madison in support of those wonderful protesters at the state capitol. They could easily link their fortunes with those protesting. They could talk at length about how hard it is for some retired players to deal with the health issues that they have. In turn, they could easily couple this with how fire fighters and police officers get hurt on the job and how they need to keep their pensions alive. Also, the media coverage would have to spill into other venues like ESPN and, ahem, Fox Sports. As it stands right now, professional football players might have some extra time on their hands come that day.
I don't believe that Scott Walker would change his mind over an event like what I have described, but stuff like this doesn't go away fast in the public consciousness. I truly believe that if he actually gets what he wants and eliminates collective bargaining, he will still put a lot of teachers, nurses and even police officers out of work, even though he said that he wasn't trying to.
Governor-elect Scott Walker says he hopes for no layoffs of state employees next year. But he also threatens to have no state employee unions.
Walker talked both tough, and nice, about state employees, during a forum in Milwaukee Tuesday.
On the nice side, he said he's trying to avoid new layoffs. On the other hand, Walker says he wants to eliminate the 4,000 state jobs that are vacant but funded.
That brings concern from Bryan Kennedy, who heads AFT-Wisconsin, the second largest state employee union.
Walker is also talking tough about hiking state employee health insurance premiums and pension contributions in January.
He's even raising the idea of working with Republican lawmakers to possibly decertify state employee unions.
That brought a strong reply from Marty Beil, of the Wisconsin State Employees Union. Beil says Walker wants to destroy a law that assures the uninterrupted delivery of high quality public services and has kept labor peace for more than three decades.
Beil says the governor-elect seems “hell bent” on creating a climate of fear, intimidation and hostility.
Fox21online.com, December 8, 2010
The above was the first suggestion of how he would deal with labor unions. He didn't do this during the campaign, only after he won.
I wonder if Scott Walker would consider trying to do something like this to the Packer's players. After all, they are kind of like state employees. Tax money is used to pay for their facilities.
Outline of Funding Approach For Redevelopment Alternative
Master Project Budget $295.0 Million
0.5$ Brown County Sales Tax
- Will generate approximately $13.8M of annual tax revenue in 2003 (Debt service = $9.7M, Maintenance = $4.0M)
- Tax receipts go to Stadium District which issues bonds, pays debt service & maintenance $160.0M
State Infrastructure Funding $9.1M
License Plate Revenue TBD
Green Bay Packers User Fee(s) $92.5M
Green Bay Packers Stock Proceeds $20.4M
NFL Loan - 1999 Resolution (G-3) $13.0M
Note: User fee reserve of $24.0M (based on $2,000 / Seat)
So, after the protestors, are the Packers next? As stated earlier, their league is basically a socialist organization. If he wants to be against all things socialist, like his hero Ronald Reagan, he would try to break the Packers, right? Maybe he would change the model from the socialist taxpayer-funded public organization and privatize it. People is Los Angeles would love that. A group trying to get an NFL franchise there would forget about the Vikings or the San Diego Chargers or the Jacksonvill Jaguars and go straight for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. After all, Los Angeles really only cheers for teams that win championships (or so I have been told by a former Los Angeleno).
We all know that he won't do that. He is too much of a hypocrite. However, it would be great, if enough pressure is supplied, to see if he would take a shot at the Packers if they showed up in force at these protests.
If you are a Packers fan and support these protests, which it seems like a lot of you do, please try to see if you can send letters and e-mails to your favorite players and see if you can get them to show up.
Hell, even if you are not a fan of football, please give it a try.
If you go to Google and type in "How to email Charles Woodson" a lot of stuff shows up, even for his booking agent. That's the best that I can do right now. I'll update this when I find more stuff. Feel free to change the name in the search to anyone else in this list.
Please suggest ideas on how we can contact these guys to show up. This story has been alive for almost 2 weeks. Let's keep it alive for a lot longer.