A Navy buddy of mine named Billy Gamble recently asked if I thought there would be a lockout that would affect the 2011 season. He couched the question in terms of his own outrage with paying $8 for a beer, and I think that's a fairly common and reasonable fan reaction:
I spend a lot of money on football, so what the hell is the problem? Why would there even be talk of a lockout? Isn't there enough money coming in right now for everybody to get a fair piece? I mean, come on, 8 freaking dollars for a beer?
The short answer is, no, I don't think there will be a lockout that causes any games not to be played. It's possible-to-likely, though, that a lockout occurs which delays the start of the new NFL year, and makes things which are normally orderly, like free agency and offseason workouts, a bit chaotic.
I decided that I'd talk extensively today about NFL economics, and move from that into a discussion about the real issues in this collective bargaining negotiation. As usual, my assumption is that my readers are smart enough to understand all of this, but I realize that there may be some detailed questions which you may have. I'll be glad to answer those in the comments.
First, let's talk about some accounting concepts, at a really basic level. This is obviously what I do for a living, and it can get very complicated, but, for now, I'm only going to touch on stuff which frankly everybody should understand, and which a shocking number of people misunderstand.
The first key term is revenue, which is the top line of any income statement. Revenue simply means gross income received for goods and services. The $8 for the beer, the $200 for the ticket, and the $1 billion that DirecTV pays each year for Sunday Ticket rights all end up as revenue. All current-term and future cash inflows related to business operations become revenue.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's time for some greedy, shameless begging. As you may know, IAOFM is closing in on five months of life as a blog; quite frankly, it has gone better than we had ever imagined it would to this point. Naturally, this is very much thanks to you, our exceptionally loyal readers. Apparently, some of you have even
been crazy enough nominated us for About.com's 2011 Readers' Choice Award for Best NFL Team Blog. This alone is quite a flattering honor, and we thank you for that. But here's the deal - About.com is leaving the nominations open through this Friday night, and then they will announce five finalists for each category in a week's time (only one Team Blog will win - there's not one for each team). We've gotten a late start in the process, as nominations began on Jan 13. So, we need even more of your help - please nominate us and help get the word out on how arrogant self-serving cocky great we are. Thanks again, and frankly we'll still love you tomorrow even if you don't think we deserve it nominate us.
When the going gets tough, the tough simply reach into the vault.
It's a slow week, so I thought I'd revisit a subject I've touched upon several times before--namely, the subject of luck. Which NFL teams got lucky in 2010 and which teams got the shaft?
Before I jump into numbers, let me preface everything I'm about to show you with the notion that defining luck is problematic by itself. One man's missed 26-yard field goal is another man's great push from the interior of the defensive line. And as we've all seen, stripping the ball may very well be a skill, but recovering the fumble is almost entirely random chance. So we should accept going into the topic that we'll likely not agree on the premise.
This may look like I'm already backing from the data. So be it. I'm fine with that. I've become much less of a stats guy over the last two years anyway. Thus, I've lost my attachment to the outcome, you might say. Very zen of me, isn't it?
The view is also grounded in several points. First, as I've broken more tape down over the last several years, I've realized that individual stats in the NFL are somewhat limited. Let me give you an easy example.
Just two weeks ago, Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper had been rumored to be joining the Broncos' staff under new head coach John Fox. On Thursday, the Broncos announced they had completed their coaching staff, and the man who had spent nine years working under Fox (including the last five as his assistant head coach) was nowhere to be found among the Broncos' employment rolls. Today, Skipper is without a job.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night's Pro Bowl featured a 42-0 NFC lead, 96 combined points, eight turnovers, and two INTs apiece for Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel. Brandon Lloyd caught one pass for 15 yards, while Champ Bailey had four tackles. Browns center Alex Mack scored at the end of the game on a lateral play that is the Pro Bowl in a nutshell. The NFC defenders' interest in pursuing that play encapsulates what the three-hour tour is like for viewers at home. Torture.
Enjoy the game, and go Champ and BLloyd!!
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Does anyone at the Post understand why the Broncos didn't run the ball well in the first half of the season? Were they actually paying attention up in the press box? Klis pays a visit to Legwold Land and shares his own brilliant analysis which says that teams with lots of rushing attempts did well in terms of either yards or points allowed on defense. Funny thing is, he announces that the best three defenses in the league for his money in 2010 were Green Bay, Chicago and New Orleans. Where did these three teams rank in terms of rushing attempts? 20th, 21st and 30th, respectively.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Not much in the way of football news today. BTW, did you know the Pro Bowl is tomorrow? Is anyone even going to watch? Perhaps during commercials for the Winter X Games? Actually, I can think of one reason to watch - it may be the last time we get to see Champ Bailey wearing a Denver helmet. Enjoy your Saturday, and thanks as always for being here!
Dennis Allen was hired as the Broncos Defensive Coordinator in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, after I’d wrapped You Got Served and gone to bed - so I didn’t comment on the hiring within that piece. In between closing the books for January, going to my MBA classes, and turning up at the odd social event, I’ve spent the last few days thinking about the implications of this hiring, and I have to say, I’ve gone from liking it to loving it in that time.
One of the last pieces I wrote on my old site was called What a John Fox Defense Looks Like. In it, I made the point that Fox is not a technocratic scheme-oriented guy, he’s an old-school football guy. On both sides of the ball, his coordinators call the plays, within an overall team concept that he sets. Historically, his defenses have featured 40 fronts and a lot of zone coverage, mostly relying upon 4-man rush schemes. I’ve said a lot of times that that’s the soundest way to play defense, so I agree with that approach.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Lots of talk about concussions, injuries and the future of the NFL. Ben McGrath for the New Yorker wonders if head injuries will someday spell the end of pro football's relevance. Meanwhile, Chris Brown of Smart Football thinks more crucial will be how concussions shape youth and amateur football going forward. Plus, Esquire unveiled a bunch of injury data the NFLPA has collected for its CBA battle. Makes one question just what we're all tuning in for, doesn't it?