By Tom Quiner
It happened in the year 2021. The union won.
The NFL Players Association imposed dramatic new workplace rules in the NFL thanks to the acquiescence of the new NFL commissioner, Barack Obama.
With the retirement of Roger Goodall, the NFL looked for a new commissioner with more cred with the mainstream media. The NFL had taken a serious hit in the eyes of the public with report after report of the dangerous consequences of concussions.
Soccer moms were worried. Maybe high school football wasn’t such a safe sport for their sons and transgendered daughters (or is that transgendered sons?). Maybe soccer and pole vaulting and chess club were better (and safer) outlets for their kids with the urge to compete.
High school football is a critical piece of the NFL farm system. They had to keep soccer moms on their side. What to do? The billion dollar NFL enterprise snatched up the man whom the media had cheered for, promoted, and covered up for during all eight years of his presidency, the man who was also the darling of so many soccer moms.
Commissioner Obama moved quickly.
The NFL players union demanded more job security. The Commish quickly said yes.
They demanded pay equity. The Commish quickly said yes.
Under new rules, once players had been in the league for a season and a half (24 games), they could not be traded or released before the age of 35 unless they failed a drug test five consecutive years in a row; or unless their performance for the previous season had been considered subpar as determined by their fellow union members.
Pay was determined by seniority, with pay bumps for years of service in the league. Super stars like Tom Brady earned the same as their center if they had been in the league for the same amount of time.
By 2031, the results were in: 98% of NFL players were pretty much guaranteed a job. Over the decade since Commissioner Obama submitted to union demands, only 19 players were allowed to be fired for subpar performance (all were place-kickers).
Understandably, players were older and fatter than the pre-Obama days. They didn’t have to compete as hard to keep their job.
Understandably, the game slowed down as younger and faster new players coming up from the college ranks had a harder time dislodging older players who essentially had jobs for life (in football years).
Understandably, the game became increasingly boring to fans as athletic excellence declined in the NFL. More and more viewers stopped watching and turned to home footballing. Thousands upon thousands of parents turned their back on the NFL, preferring to watch their kids play a little sandlot flag football with their friends in the nearby church lot.
Commissioner Obama had a plan to put an end to that. He pulled some strings with President Hillary Clinton, who was in the early years of her second term. Knowing she wouldn’t have to face the voters again, she was willing to play ball with the NFL and her old ally, Barack. To that aim, she imposed draconian new regulations on flag football by executive fiat, demanding registration, licensing, and environmental impact statements for anyone participating in home footballing, pretty much killing the sport and its ability to compete.
Everything was complete. The NFL had been “fundamentally transformed.”
Players’ salaries had no correlation to their ability.
Excellence was no longer rewarded, nor was extra effort.
The NFL had become the public schools.
[These musings were inspired by an editorial in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, “Students lose, liberals elated.”]