Saturday, August 14, 2010

Things I Don't Understand About Sports, Part the Billionth at Least

As my tax accountant knows, I have no head for business, but sometimes I wonder about the people whose business IS business.

Which is to say, If I were an agent representing a football player engaged in a holdout in increasingly bitter contract negotiations I would never, ever, say that matters had passed the point of no return, even if they had. For the life of me, I can't see what the percentage is in that move.

First, the history of sports negotiations teaches us that matters almost never reach the point of no return. Players and franchises have climbed down from far higher horses than the ones Logan Mankins and the Patriots are riding in some impressively fast times.

Second, if divorce is in the cards, why be the one to tell the kiddies -- that is, the fans? Let the franchise carry the burden of splitsville by its words and deeds, then act surprised and hurt. That's the way to win the amazingly marginal advantage offered by the court of public opinion.

Look at Darelle Revis. He had the wit to be miles away from the training camp where the Jets management all went on TV to make pretty good asses of themselves. And lo and behold, negotiations have returned to ongoing.

Quiet confidence, it seems to me, is the only sane negotiating posture for either a player or his employers. Or it would be, if money didn't make people so insane in the first place.


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