From Guest Blogger: Steven G. Folmar
Now that the smoke has cleared (mostly), I wanted to add a little bit to what Dominic had said about the ill-fated strike that severely affected the Pittsburgh Power’s season. Having coached in the Arena Football League and the arena football league 2, I had the unique experience of seeing the locker room drama that unfolds when strike talk comes up.
In 2000, I was in college at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania when I got an internship to work in football operations for the Arena Football League’
Destroyers. I remember being on cloud nine after being accepted, sitting on my bed watching ESPN when across the scroll at the bottom of the screen said “Arena Football League Season Cancelled Due to Strike”. I was aghast, and I couldn’t wait to Monday morning to call and find out if it was true. Buffalo
When I called, the coach told me that a lot of it was just bluster and the season would go as planned, so in the summer of 2000 I got an apartment at the foot of the
I don’t know what it is about quarterbacks that get themselves into these things. Maybe because they often have to be so vocal of leaders for their teams. But it was no surprise that quarterback Kyle Rowley was at the center of the debate in
In a situation like this, where both sides play the public relations “Spin” game, my opinion is there is more than enough blame to go on both sides. I really don’t have much respect for people that can’t serve out their contracts. If you are working in squalor, or a sweat shop, I can understand complaining and threatening with a union or a strike, but not in professional sports. If you sign your name to a contract, you play it out…period.
Guys complain when they are exceeding expectation, but they see things as being “just the way it goes” when they can’t live up to cushy new contracts (anyone seen Larry Johnson lately). In business, you don’t finish out you contract, you get your butt drug into a courtroom. In professional sports, teams almost always give in. I would really like to see some people stand their ground. Let the guy sit out and save yourself some money. Not that I am against players making their money. I am talking about once you sign a contract, you live buy it.
Try going into McDonalds or Wal-Mart and tell them you want employees like you to be making 50.1% or 29% of all income the company makes. See how long it takes to get thrown out on your butt. Athletes say the leagues are based on their names. Any business is built on the hard work of the people who staff it. That argument doesn’t work either. Or my favorite, “People come to watch me play”. And if you aren’t there, people will come anyway. I love Hines Ward, but you know what, Heinz Field is going to be packed this year without him as well. And these guys who think they can’t be replaced, I will find 10 guys now who would be glad to be out on that field for what you are making. And if you gave them a few years, they would have recognizable names too.
In the AFL, those guys signed contracts knowing there was a good chance they would have to strike at some point. If you don’t like the paying rate, you go elsewhere or you do something else. Rowley,
But to be fair, I didn’t think that things were handled real well by the League or the Power either. I would think it would be obvious with everyone at pre-game meal the team was at least going to play that night’s game. To walk in and make statements in that environment really raises class questions. That sure comes off to be people playing “mine’s bigger!”
And as for the league and President Jerry Kurz, my personal feelings aside, Jerry Kurz is for Jerry Kurz. I don’t know Mr. Shaner, I love that he helped bring Arena Football back to
Instead Shaner really looks like a, well…not so nice guy, forcing the players who stuck with the strike to find their own way home from
. This should have been people sitting down before the flight home and talking like adults. But hey, our congress can’t figure that out, probably a lot to ask our professional sports teams to either. But I think Orlando earned their black eye with how this was handled as well. Pittsburgh
One final question I have is how this will affect the Power moving on in 2012? With a proven, championship quarterback at the helm in Rowley, head coach Chris Siegfried’s team was poised to be a legitimate contender. Now, Shaner has declared that Rowley will never play in
You can check out Steven G's. blog regularly at the "Religion, Rights, Responsibilities....and a little Football" blogspot at: http://triplerandfootball.blogspot.com/