Behind closed doors and without the presence of cameras, apparently Union President Kevin Mawawe, a handful of fellow players and a contingent of their financial people, have been quietly granted access to the team-by-team financial information they've so loudly and longly been seeking.
With this hurdle now finally out of the way, it seems the Union and the NFL are now closer than ever to restoring trust and getting a deal done once and for all. When asked about the recent breakthrough, union leader Kevin Mawae sounded uncharacteristacally optimistic and upbeat, issuing the following statement, "Having now gone through each team's private financial information and thouroughly auditing and second guessing each expenditure they've made, the union hereby concludes that the owners are trust worthy. As such, we've decided to continue negotiations and stop being such childish pricks."
Yeah OK, that's all crap. But what did you expect to happen when you first read that the books were offered up? I dare you - and I say this with a playful grin rather than a clinched fist - I dare one of you to try and argue that "opening the books" would have such an optimistic outcome. Try and tell me it would be half as pleasant. It's a trap. It's Pandora's Box.
So what's the more likely outcome?
The owners open their books. The players audit the books with their financial people (and by that I mean the players don't even look at them), specifically focusing to look for embarrassing expenses, inappropriate expenses, and expense variations between teams.
When it's all said and done, the players find what they were looking for: Seven million dollars worth of high priced escorts were jointly billed by the teams. Twelve teams had salaries improperly being paid out to family members which totaled two million dollars. Multiple teams improperly expensed family vacations to the team. Multiple teams paid for too many golf outings and dinners. Six teams gave too much money to charities. Nineteen teams paid their CEOs million-dollar salaries, and owners of all teams were taking too much money off the top.
Team X pays its beer vendor 4% more than team Y does. Team Q flies its executives commercial, while Team Z pays six times the expense with a private jet. And Team S has a perfectly good stadium that costs 1/10 of the fees Team Watchahoozits pays.
Now take all those questionable expenses. Now double them. It all accounts for a grand total of about one single percent of revenue (1%). Big Effin Whoopty Dudy. Wow, that was time well spent.
The owners - billionaire business men that generally get what they want and answer to nobody - were just bullied into showing their employees detailed private information - competitive information they share with nobody, especially not their employees and competing teams. The players just used the information to embarrass the owners. The employees then used this information to pretend they're better business men for the week - to pompously presume to teach the owners how to be better decision makers, how to run their businesses. How do you think this went over? Maybe a little like one of those escorts sitting in Church?
I feel violated just writing this crap.Don't the owners have a right to tell the players to go screw?
"Opening the books" is not the fix. It's not what they're fighting about. It means next to nothing. Most importantly, nothing good will come from it. There's no scenario where the owners are going to feel as if they hadn't been bent over and taken advantage of after the players get done "evaluating" their finances. And there's no scenario where dunce-cap-wearer Kevin Mawae and company are going to look at the books and say they were wrong all along.
The owners may eventually get bullied into opening their books or even forced to by law, but it's not going to fix anything. Instead it would just piss 'em off and slow future progress.