Outside editorial: After brief hiatus, NFL turns its cash registers back on

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News

So, in the end, the two warring camps argued to the precipice, stared into the darkness and decided to stay up top, safe and content amid their piles of dollar bills.

What, a resolution to the nation’s debt-ceiling debate? Ha, no such luck. Actually, we mean the no-shots-fired, no-prisoners-taken end to the National Football League lockout. Almost before you could miss it, labor peace reigns again over America’s richest sporting pastime. Cue the herald horns.

If only all negotiations could conclude with so little disruption to customers. While the five-month shutdown was deadly serious to the NFL’s owners and players — scrapping over how to split up roughly $9 billion in annual revenues — the net effect on you was minimal, unless you’re a devoted fan of mini-camps and the annual Hall of Fame scrimmage.

Both sides gave a little, as smart negotiators might do. The players gained salary, benefits and smarter work rules. The owners achieved a larger piece of the revenue pie and 10 years of not having to go through this again. And, for now, they backed off their push for an 18-game regular season.

The rush-rush-rush this week is to get draft picks and free agents signed and open training camps.

Pro sports such as the NFL, for better or worse, are ingrained in our culture, with significant spillover economic effects. They are big businesses that exist to make money, but we gladly pay to watch. When we stop, they go away. Other entertainment ventures facing their own labor issues — yes, we mean you, NBA — should take note.

And perhaps other Americans refusing to give a little to get a lot might learn something, too.


Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:48

Letter: Let the homeless stay

As a lifelong Juneau resident I, too, have been concerned about the rise in high profile homelessness in downtown. When I was growing up, it was very rare to see people sleeping out in doorways and on sidewalks — but I think this should elicit empathy and compassion on our part as citizens rather than a knee-jerk initiative to drive a group of people out of downtown.

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:48

Letter: Gov. Walker’s decision on Juneau Access the right choice

I want to applaud Gov. Bill Walker’s recent decision to support ferry service and stop spending money on the extremely costly and dangerous Juneau road. Even if the state of Alaska was not in a difficult budget crisis, the move to use the money allocated for this project is better spent on more important transportation endeavors.

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:47

Letter: On income tax

Have you wondered about the person putting all the commercials on TV and in the newspapers opposing an Alaska income tax? His name is Robert (Bob) Gillam, and according to Forbes Magazine, he was the wealthiest person in Alaska in 2016. Sounds to me like “Don’t tax me” and “What $3 billion budget crisis?”

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Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:47

Letter: Encourage Alaska’s Congressional delegation to protect, fund Alaska’s parks

When I was 27, I was hired as the captain of Glacier Bay National Park’s tour boat, Thunder Bay. It wasn’t until that summer that I really took in the mysteries and wonders of our natural world. I sat with a Park Service naturalist right next to me for 97 days, 12 hours per day that summer.

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