Last week I published a letter addressed to Clark Hunt that was written by one of our readers. The letter addressed some of the concerns and frustrations the reader had regarding the current NFL lockout. When I published the letter, I put out a call for more reader submissions on the topic. Since I have been very vocal in my support of the players in the labor negotiations thus far, I particularly asked for a submission from someone who took the opposite side.
One of our rock star readers and commenters, Gjrchief, rose the occasion. Our focus here at AA is to bring you strong opinions and commentary on the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL. We consider everyone’s opinion valid and worth hearing. Thus, here is one you may not have heard as much around here.
Props to Gjrchief for sharing. Excellent work.
It was good to hear from you. I wish it was under better circumstances, but I understand what must be done, and not only do I respect you for what you are doing, I know your father would be proud.
You have lent your presence to the negotiations that will give us back football. It is unfortunate that the players have abandoned the only hope we have for a season by leaving the table. How can we resolve this if they continue to stomp about clasping their hands over their ears like a child in the middle of a toy store, told he cannot have another matchbox car. To remove themselves from the negotiation only delays the resolution of this matter. I appreciate the restrain you have showed in dealing with the players. While other owners have appeared disrespectful to the players, you have conducted your self in the manner of a true professional, something no one seems to be giving you credit for. You are indeed your father’s son.
I must ask you, how would your father have handled this? What would he think of the players who are paid so well, complaining about a deal that was more than fair. I must admit he may be a bit disappointed in you Clark. I believe he would of expected you to lead the owners to make a deal that was more fair. Obviously I mean a deal that put the money back where it belongs, back to the owners who will shape the future of the sport. Back to the owners who grew the game into what it is.
It is not the players who negotiated the deals for television money. Although the players union tries to use this point as a negative, it illustrates the fact that the money that comes into the league is because of the shrewd business deals that the NFL struck with the television networks. That has generated the largest piece of the revenue pie, and it is thanks to some of the best business men in the world.
I decided to take a look back at the strike shortened 1982 season to see your father’s wisdom. In 1982 the Chiefs were owned by your father Lamar Hunt and the average NFL player made $90,000 a year. It was a good year for the NFL and the revenue was 1.6 billion. Divide that by the 28 teams in the league and Lamar’s share was 57 million. The Chiefs had 54 players that played at least one game that year and so we will multiple that by the average salary and come to a Chiefs player total of 4.8 million. So under Lamar players were paid a whooping 8.5% of the teams revenue. The rest was his to use to improve the game. Hire a coaching staff, training staff, stadium personnel and provide jobs to countless people. Enhance the Arrowhead experience, and ensure the team and the league becomes even more successful.
In 1987 When the players union demanded more, and decided to strike, Lamar was one of the majority of owners who voted Hell No. Beyond that your father backed the move to hire replacement players in an effort to crush the union! He not only wanted to deny them more money he wanted to destroy the union, even if it meant diluting the product on the field. No fear of that though, your father was smart and he knew the union would cave, players began to cross the picket lines and the NFLPA looked foolish.
Before we go any further let me tell you that their have been many disparaging comments said about you. In fact many have even bastardized your name, including the proud family name shared with your father. Many of these men claim to revere your father, yet paint you as greedy evildoer. Let’s get to the truth, and see how wrong they are.
Let’s look at the recent NFL and the Chiefs that you now control. As we all know the NFL revenue is 9 billion. Divide that by the 32 teams in the league and your share was 281 million. The Chiefs had 66 players that played at least one game in 2009 so we will multiple that by the average salary of 1.8 million and come to a Chief’s player total of 118.8 million. So under you, Clark, players are paid a ridiculous 42.2% of the teams revenue. So instead of that money being used to improve the game, hire a coaching staff, training staff, stadium personnel and provide jobs to countless people, it is given to the players to spend on their Lamborghinis, drug habits, dog fighting rings etc. Instead of being given to the owners who are vested in the interests of the league for the rest of their lives, it is given to people who will only be in the league for an average of 3 or 4 years, and then they will take the money and remove it from the game.
Although too smart to say it, I’m sure Lamar would be siding with you and the owners and thinking it is time to take back your league. He paid his players a much smaller piece of the pie, was willing to go to drastic steps to break the union, and is beloved by all for the work his did in building the Chiefs.
He was only able to do what he did for this great franchise due to the capital he had received. Like him you are seeking to get the type of capital needed to take this game to the next level and improve this franchise like he did. He would be proud of you Clark, and as a Chiefs fan I am as well.
Stand tall in this matter, weather the criticism and crush the union. Continue waiting for the children to end their tantrum and come back to the table. When they do, work your magic, and get us our season.
Optimistic for the 2011 season,