Greed is good ! The problem remains, when is enough not enough?
One of my favorite movies of all-time, just happens to be the Oliver Stone directed and scripted theatrical release Wall St (1987). The movie depicted the cutthroat business of the financial markets of Wall St and the corruption involved in the world of high finance, the derivatives market and the stock exchange . Having worked in that field for a number of UK-based financial concerns in the areas of capital markets , economic research , mergers &acquisitions , arbitrage and money markets , upon my exit from the military , I can tell you that the portrayals of some of the characters were closer to reality , rather than the fabric of Stone’s imagination. The Oscar-winning director, may well have consulted with a number of Wall St bankers and financiers as a sounding board, in order to create the Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko.
Even today , the financial sector remains replete with its cast of characters , noted billionaire and multi-millionaire executives and dealers who display their wealth , all too ostentatiously, while paying homage to no one but themselves. In the world of professional sports’ franchise ownership , the same can be said of many of today’s most prominent team owners. Steeped in tradition , many of the owners from the past were treated with such reverence , but unfortunately , the same cannot be said for the vast majority of now involved this endeavor. Owners are now, power-hungry and money driven to eke out the last red cent that can be made from every dollar , and there to assist them with their wanton lust are Bud Selig , Roger Goodell , Gary Bettman and David Stern .
A patron of my site recently left a comment to a piece that I had written suggesting that the NHL (hockey) was now back on its feet, being a well ran organization , with now rising attendance. I found the comment itself rather comedic and totally lacking of insight and knowledge from someone who clearly had no idea what they were talking about , and someone who may well not have conducted any research before coming up with his assumption. The NHL remains in a very tenuous situation , one wherein the teams have in fact remained oblivious to the issues that caused their most recent labor stoppage , its fourth in the last two decades. Somehow this was all lost on this patron, who simply glossed over the following. The Phoenix Coyotes having barely escaped bankruptcy , are now under a new ownership group , who having chosen to remain within that locale, are now struggling to find major corporate sponsors as well as a local television contract, something which is one of the mainstays behind any professional sports franchise ownership and a major provider as a revenue stream. The NHL may well reconfigured the divisions, but it remains a vain attempt to not fully address the main problems that still befalls the game as a whole .
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman may well be restrained in his dealings with union counterpart , Executive Director Donald Fehr , who formerly held a similar position with the MLBPA (Players’ Union) . As we can all attest , that specific union much like its hockey counterpart , has baseball’s hierarchy quivering with fright , the very moment they mentioned the words , “labor stoppage “ or “ strike” . The same can be said, of the NHL hierarchy , their recent dealings with Donald Fehr and the ridiculous events that led to the most recent stoppage. Hockey drops the puck on their preseason on the 1st October , with the hope of seeing increased attendance … levels and a greater presence in terms of a television audience , something that has been on the decline over the past three seasons . By stark contrast, teams said to be showing financial constraint in terms of their payroll commitments , suddenly began to revert back to ways of old by offering exorbitant long-term contracts , when it was clear that from a financial standpoint those obligations could not be met , with their being a sharp decline in team revenues. Consider also, the alleged health of the NHL by way of its franchises and their financial well-being , remains a myth, rather than a fact that they have steadily growing profits and revenue streams .
Hockey’s big four , by way of their prominence in terms of ownership and profitability, are the Montreal Canadiens , New York Rangers , Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings , have long been seen as the way franchises within the sport should be run. With their respective owners , the Molson family (Canadiens), James Dolan , Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Inc (holding company &sports’ franchise conglomerate) and Michael Ilitch have tried to show some financial constraint , but the issue remains , the weakness shown by the NHL hierarchy led by Gary Bettman when dealing with the NHLPA .
If hockey is said to be in something awry, MLB (baseball) joins the NHL as one of the most ineptly ran hierarchies in all of professional sports. Team owners , the general managers and MLB hierarchy , in conjunction with the union; have literally brought the game to its knees, with the ongoing scandals and the lack of leadership at all levels within baseball . Inasmuch, as the teams, with their history reveled in their perceptions of greatness , with owners of the past , such as George Steinbrenner , Walter O’Malley , Robert Carpenter III , Lou Perini , William Bartholomay , Jean R Yawkey , Ted Turner and Horace Stoneham may well be deemed as relics from a bygone age . Granted , George Steinbrenner brought the game into a new age , with his realization that the media could be used to further the visibility of a brand . With that came the establishment of the YES Network , wherein the Boston Red Sox followed suit with the creation of , NESN , which has now become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) .
Baseball’s revenues have grown exponentially, to the point where game’s revenues now tops $7.5 billion annually . With that, we have seen the avarice of the owners, players and the league hierarchy alike , along with the escalating team payrolls and players’ salaries . Yet, for all of the greed shown, there has never really been any type of financial restraint being shown by the league itself . Now fans and analysts may well point to the fact that baseball does have a “luxury tax” built around the falsehood of an artificial salary cap based on a $200 million threshold . It is a luxury tax that a number of prominent team owners are now beginning to question its feasibility and whether or not its use, is still warranted. . Bud Selig would have you believe that the luxury tax has been of great benefit to the game , but in essence , it has been nothing more than keeping a number of less profitable franchises from failing into bankruptcy . Given the fact that baseball does have a number of unprofitable franchises who actually manage to obtain a profit by way of the luxury tax scheme as a recipient. It begs the question , should the big market teams be penalized for the inefficiency being shown by their small-market counterparts ?
Unless many of us were not deep-rooted fans of the New York Yankees , we could have not failed to realize the mediocrity of the Yankees’ season and the excuses now being made in certain circles for that failure . Off-field controversies asides, the team was mishandled by Joe Girardi and his staff, with a number of players on the roster simply under-performing , with little leadership being provided in the absence of team captain, Derek Jeter . Certainly , none was forthcoming from the game’s highest paid player , Alex Rodriguez , whose own issues seem to have come full circle once again , after his less than contrite apology in March 2010 , for the use of a been steroidal substance . Somehow , the third baseman’s anemic season was further compounded by the ineptitude of the entire front office’s handling of this latest scandal to hit the Yankees’ organization , never mind Bud Selig’s own idiotic antics in this matter. Rodriguez for his part , faces an off-season of real uncertainty , as he awaits an appeal’s hearing on his two-hundred and eleven game suspension . Arbitrator Fred Horowitz will listen to all of the evidence presented, before returning with a summary verdict . By no later, than late November , we are likely to find out , whether or not the now disgraced player has a future in the game , or will be cast aside , like a worn out pair of shoes. Alex Rodriguez has his detractors in and outside of the game , but to my mind baseball’s fraternity of players , have been nothing , but hypocrites , when the issue of steroids is raised within their environment ! Rodriguez, should lose his appeal won’t be financially impacted by the result , having earned in excess of $400 million over the course of his career . I mean what is the loss of $34 million to someone who will have earned well in excess of $25 million in 2013 , for putting up mediocre numbers , albeit, that he spent several months on the sidelines, being on the team’s disabled list ? . Rodriguez’s desire to be on the roster had nothing at all to do with wanting to contribute to the team , but more so to do with his own greed and lust to be seen as the best player of his generation, with the tainted legacy following in hot pursuit . The New York Yankees’ failure to make the postseason will not be a major blight to the finances of the organization , but their non-appearance tends to add weight , that without their participation , there does tend to be a considerable fall-off in the television ratings.
“Three-peat ” ? Well, that will be the cause-celebre’ for the Miami Heat should they actually manage to achieve that feat and become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers reached that mantel in 2000 , 2001 and 2002 , under famed head coach Phil Jackson . Since acquiring LeBron James , Chris Bosh via free agency and the actual re-signing of Dwyane Wade in 2010, all to considerably lower deals than the players in question could have obtained . The Heat as a franchise, has seen its value increase 35% , with profits doubling during that time-span. The team has now become the “hottest ticket” in town and the AA Arena in Miami , Florida , is the place to seen at a sporting event in the state Florida. Sorry Buccaneers , Dolphins , Jaguars and Rays’ fans , but A-List celebrities have no wish to be seen at a venue where the decibel levels and meager attendance , tend to be a great deal quieter than being at a funeral service. .
Though Forbes may well have the Miami Heat’s value listed at .$685 million at present , that figure in reality, is now closer to $850 million , and as long as James remains with franchise alongside Bosh and Wade , that figure will appreciate more in value along with the organization’s profits . There was a reason behind Pat Riley and Micky Arison’s alleged Machiavellian scheme and madness , the answer was to simply make even more money as well as winning a couple of NBA titles to add to the mantelpiece . Can’t really fault them for that, can we ?
The Miami Heat in all likelihood will have another banner season in terms of attendance and once again be ranked among the top-five NBA franchises in terms of attendance levels all year-long, at home and for away games . David Stern continues to sell the merits of his brand to the consumer and corporate endorsers alike, but along the way his notion that while the league is making money , a number of teams , simply are not . And how does he answer those questions when they are posed by a journalist with a great deal of business insight ? Well, the commissioner tends to deflect them all , by putting on the charm and acting as the guardian of the keys to the castle otherwise known as the NBA .
The plot-lines have already been made clear, and they start with the following . Who in the East will be able to wrestle away the conference title from the defending NBA champions? Will LeBron James, win his fifth league MVP award? For all of the monetary commitment made by the Brooklyn Nets , will Jason Kidd be able to lead his assortment of highly paid stars to their first NBA title? A great deal is on the line for Nets’ GM Billy King and the franchise’s larger than life owner , Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov .
In the Western Conference the never-ending drama and soap opera now parodying a comedic episode of ” Friends “ has now become a what if issue . Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are now caught between a rock and a hard place . Last season they gambled hugely and lost , while under the belief that Dwight Howard was the missing piece they needed to make a deep playoff run in the postseason . Howard’s performances were anemic , as were those of his former teammates . Granted , the loss of Kobe Bryant was gut wrenching , but even that cannot hide the fact that beyond being a poorly coached team , head coach Mike D’Antoni remains completely out of his depth . He shows no wish to coach defense in spite of his public statements. Failure this season , and I do believe that apart from the roster being revamped and s we are likely to see the departure of Mitch Kupchak . He has become ” long in the tooth ” as a general manager , and in recent years his draft choices have become a complete bust . This could prove to be interesting beyond the anticipation of the Lakers’ fans , because it is my belief we will see a further decline in the fortunes of the NBA’s most renowned franchises .
The NFL has started off with a terrific bang , but as always that comes with the same stories replete with embarrassment. Divisions seem to be playing out with a number of teams proving to be downright mediocre . Nowhere is this more evident than within the NFC West , where if things carry on as they are we could once again see a team with .500 record make the postseason. Certainly, a case is being made by all four teams , the Dallas Cowboys (2-2) , New York Giants (0-4) , Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) and Washington Redskins (1-3) , that they are currently the face of what is now said to be wrong in the NFL. Bad coaching and in a number of cases highly overpaid players , simply failing to live up to the hyperbole . Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach went so far as to suggest that Tony Romo was the quarterback he believes is capable of leading the Dallas Cowboys to the Superbowl . Not wanting to disparage , but it may well be that the Cowboys’ great has yet to witness Romo’s play in the postseason and the very fact that current starting quarterback has only one playoff win to his postseason career after a decade in the NFL . Given the current state of the Dallas Cowboys’ season , it seems highly unlikely that this team in its current guise, will add to that tally for the player . Never mind, that doubts are continually raised, as to the coaching acumen of Jason Garrett , in spite of the implicit faith being shown in him by team owner Jerry Jones.
If there is anything that we do know about Jerry Jones as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. It is his propensity of making a great deal of money , most notably for his franchise , with the NFL in some respects trailing in his wake, in following many of the commercial and marketing strategies the ubiquitous owner has put in place as the general manager and de-facto CEO of the franchise .
This season will be a tough one for the Cowboys , and they face an even tougher task this weekend , when their opponents are the unbeaten Denver Broncos (4-0) , led by Peyton Manning , who through four games this season has put up some scintillating figures for the AFC West franchise . The game itself promises to be a high-octane affair amongst an array week five match-ups that should prove to be entertaining . The NFL will continue to reap the seeds sown of their s labor , even when its brand looks extremely dour, because , it has become a well-oiled multi-billion industry on an annual basis, with the spoils of war being shared, equally amongst the teams. Yet for some reason, I get the feeling, that the league hierarchy remains unconcerned in such an instance. Your thoughts on this all and anything else you feel to be pertinent to the subject matter ?
Picture and slideshow gallery details .
From left to right , Davids Stern , Bud Selig , Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman . The four executives are the highest ranking leaders within the four respective professional team sports . AP Photo / Gary Halvorson ……
(2) Radim Vrbata of the Phoenix Coyotes is seen in a game against the Los Angeles Kings . Getty Images / Christian Peterson ………
(3) Walter O’Malley is seen here perusing a picture of Dodgers Stadium . Known as a shrewd businessman , O’Malley was vilified for relocating the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles and then renaming them the Los Angeles Dodgers . AFP /REUTERS ….
(4) Andy Pettitte (46) of the New York Yankees is joined by Derek Jeter (2) and Mariano Rivera (42) to honor Pettitte, who is retiring from the Yankees, before their game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Rays defeated the Yankees 8-3 . Getty Images / Mike Stobe …
(5) A duo of destiny ? Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra (foreground) and LeBron James are seen here on the sidelines during a game interval. The coach and player will be looking win their second NBA title and the franchise’s third overall in their history. AP Photo / Mike Rodgers …
(6) Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Mike D’Antoni and Kobe Bryant . The two are hoping to rebound from an awful 2012 , that saw the team’s hopes derailed in the postseason by a first round exit . . AP Photo / Kim Thompson …..
(7) Roger Staubach is seen here on the sidelines with Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys . Staubach a Superbowl winner with the franchise , believes the current incumbent quarterback is good enough to win a Superbowl title with the ball-club. Getty Images / Matt Richardson ….
(8) Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (center), flanked (from left to right) by son Jerry Jr., daughter Charlotte Anderson, wife Gene and son Stephen. AP Photo / Paul Marsh ….
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NBA regular season schedule 2013-14 begins 29th October , 2013