Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I don't know what happened to sportswriter Sally Jenkins to make her so virulently anti-NFL owner, but in most (if not all) of the examples she cites in trying to depict the owners as greedy, she consistently overlooks one little point: the money the public spends on the NFL is done willingly.

Nobody is forced to attend an NFL game; those paying $200 for standing room only at Cowboys games are doing so willingly. Nobody who goes to an NFL game is forced to buy food or beer there; those paying the (according to Jenkins) 'involuntary' service fee are in fact doing so voluntarily. Communities are willingly (at least the elected officials of those communities) spending hundreds of millions of dollars to keep 'their' teams from leaving town.

While it is human nature to want to spend less for something, the public obviously prefers to spend those billions of dollars on the NFL than to do something else with that money. No owner is holding a gun to their heads.

What Jenkins doesn't (or, perhaps, just won't) accept is that it takes two to tango, whether on the dance floor or in commercial transactions. If someone is willing to pay a bunch of money for something they deem of value, the other party is under no obligation to accept less.

If Jenkins doesn't like the fact that so many billions of dollars are spent on things-NFL, perhaps she ought to focus her ire on those who do the spending... if the public wasn't willing to pay so much for a ticket, the owners couldn't charge that much for a ticket. If the public didn't care so much about having a team somewhere in the vicinity of where they live, then the teams couldn't get those communities to kick in so much money for stadiums and tax waivers.