Art Modell's son has the answer to NFL labor mess
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2010
As the NFL and the players' union continue to stare blankly at each other regarding their ongoing labor strife, the son of the former owner of the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens has an idea for fixing the situation.
According to Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal, Art Modell's son, David, thinks the NFL should appoint him to lead a new committee that would split all NFL revenue equally among the teams and "penalize" those that aren't sufficiently attempting to generate more money.
Per the report, Modell's opinions will appear in an online essay in which he also will argue that Steelers chairman Dan Rooney needs to leave the land of leprechauns and potatoes and return to the U.S. to help fix this mess. "What in the heck is [Rooney] doing in Ireland when we need him?" Modell writes.
His idea has some appeal. Teams that earn the highest revenues by taking business risks resent those that sit back and spend little or no money in the quest to generate more of it. By carving up the total pie based on factors including, for example, efforts to sell stadium naming rights and size of marketing staff and value of sponsorship deals, some teams fairly would get less, and some teams fairly would get more.
So even though the 32 franchises are on the same page within the context of the uncapped year, achieving a viable long-term solution to the ever-growing problem of revenue disparity represents the key to long-term peace between the league and the players -- and among the various owners.
That said, they don't need Modell or anyone else not currently an NFL owner or high-level executive to serve as the "czar" of the process. The league needs to strike a deal with the players regarding their cut, and then the league needs to come up with a way to divvy up remaining revenues among the teams.
They did just that in 2006, but the supplemental revenue sharing has not been as popular or as successful as envisioned.
Whatever the outcome, Modell has identified the real problem. For the solution to be viable, however, it needs to come from within and among the people who currently run the league.