Miller: Athletes Getting Paid Already

The ‘pay for play’ conversation exploded on Wednesday as a group of athletic directors recently met to discuss a variety of matters and this topic was among them.

First, here is a string of tweets from Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard

Wow, there is a lot to digest there. I’ll juxtapose some of those posts with a tweet I read from Patrick Vint, one of the minds behind BHGP:

Now that is a great tweet and perfectly timed. We’ll circle back around to that in a second, but here is a string of tweets from ESPN’s Big Ten duo (I hate that they share an account, because I don’t know which one is tweeting) with comments from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

The NBA could do this, they could revert back to their old rule that allows kids to turn pro right out of high school, but they don’t want to. They have this rule in place to protect themselves from themselves as so many of these kids flamed out without that extra year of ‘exposure’, and I use that word in both sense of the term. There is a good side to exposure, if you’re great. There is a bad side to exposure if you have holes in your game, as in ‘getting exposed’.

Most basketball players who would want to turn pro would hope for the NBADL, where salaries range from $25,000, $19,000 to $13,000 according to this article. $25k is not bad scratch compared to the open market in the real world. That would be a kid fresh out of high school who only holds a GED and likely doesn’t have any sort of trade skills whatsoever, no college degree and is therefore limited on options. The better revenue earning option here is to go overseas.

Which is really what Delany is saying; if you want to get paid, you can get paid; it just won’t be from the NCAA. Continuing with more Delany tweets:

You can read the expanded article here:

That’s a lot to chew on. There’s no way I can tackle all of that in one item but it is a growing issue. You may have the nebulous for a ‘union’ style movement with ‘All Players United’, or APU. Learn more about that here, but some players, including Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, are wearing ‘APU’ on their person during games.

I think Delany makes some points, but they are certain one sided. Back when I was in the midst of paying off my student loans, I believed the student athletes who get their tuitions paid for were getting enough of a benefit. I still do believe that they are getting enough of a benefit and mostly side with the universities here.

I believe that the huge benefit they are getting is that of branding and exposure…exposure in the good sense to where your name and face are getting a platform that they would likely not otherwise get were it not for the opportunity being offered by college athletics, namely football and basketball.

If you are a good player who makes winning contributions to the program and you keep your nose out of trouble while you are in college, you stand a very good chance of exiting college with several advantages over peers your own age. Most college athletes will never play their sport professionally so that ‘first job’ launching pad provided by their college exposure and experience turns out to be one of the biggest benefits they will receive as long as they live. Doug Gottlieb of ESPN summed it up succinctly on twitter in a debate with Bomani Jones:

To me, that’s end of debate stuff. When people want to argue that players are not compensated, this is the gist I always point to; you have another advantage the rest of us don’t have because of that platform you were allowed to be on.

This isn’t jealousy; they were better at something than I was, than most of us are. I am highly entertained by them while they are playing sports in college, as are millions of others. I am all for them getting their educations paid for as that seems very fair and equitable.

However paying the on top of that? I think they are already getting paid. What kind of price tag can you put on the benefits of fame? How much is the brand exposure worth when Warren Holloway makes a winning catch like the one he did in the Capital One Bowl? How many times have you heard someone joke, ‘He’ll never have to buy another beer in the state of _____’ after an athlete makes an amazing play to win a big game or championship?

As long as a player has a cleanish record and can speak proficiently and carry on an adult conversation upon graduation, if he made visible contributions to a team over the years, he is going to have employment opportunities the average graduating senior doesn’t get, because of that exposure. Gottlieb’s tweet is so right on and most of you who work in sales or marketing positions know this to be true as you can cite several examples.

Have you ever tried to land a pharma job or a medical device sales job either a) straight out of college or b) later in life after you had built up a resume worthy of consideration? If you have, I guarantee you noticed more than a few former athletes who were employed in these fields and many of them were so employed with little to no professional experience, yet only the best of the best sales people with proven track records of growth and success should even think about applying for most medical device sales positions with any reasonable hope of landing a job.

Fame and notoriety open doors. That’s a fact. Fame and notoriety cause people to overlook lack of experience and in some instances, requisite skills. Business owners and managers like to rub elbows with famous people, the same way most everyone else does. But hiring someone with name value in a community or state is a smart decision, because that gives you one more advantage over your competition. A doctor in Des Moines who earned his degree from the University of Iowa and attended Med School there is going to take a sales call from Former Hawkeye where he might not have the time for Joe Average today. Former Hawkeye earned notoriety and fame in Iowa City and that is appealing to businesses. It’s why several former athletes also wind up in the insurance industry; everyone has to buy insurance and most buy it via a relationship of some kind. Having a name is a big, big advantage in an industry like that. How’d you get that name? Well, you had to be a) good but you needed b) a marketing platform…which is either the gridiron or the hard court.

I contend, as do others, that this sort of competitive advantage, one that will last a lifetime if you manage it well, is incredible compensation. Making $80,000 per year for the first five years of your employment life as opposed to $50,000 ads up to an additional $150,000. Yes, this payment is deferred but that doesn’t make it any less real. What does that gap add up to over 10 or 20 years? If you prove to be competent and manage your money wisely you’re going to wind up earning millions more than your peers in extra earnings potential and compounding interest; that $150,000 that you made over Average Joe is over a million dollars in 30 years if we apply the Financial Rule of Seven, not to mention additional earnings. If we apply the Marketing Rule of Seven, saying that it takes seven exposures before the average person is willing to buy a product or service from you, these athletes have that overcome because of their ‘brand exposure’ before they even get out of college.

My guess is if Ricky Stanzi knocked on your door to sell you something and you were from the state of Iowa, you’d likely trust him instantly and therefore he has a much higher closing rate than Average Joe. Average Joe has to earn your trust and that is not likely going to be extended during the first sales call. It’s going to take time. Many athletes break down that time barrier because of this phenomenon where people believe they know a famous person because they’ve seen them regularly. This is all pretty simple stuff and why business owners will continue to look to hire former athletes.

Now come back and factor in student loan repayment. Remember that $80,000 vs $50,000 salary example? The Former Hawkeye making $80,000 doesn’t have to repay student loans, so he keeps a higher percentage of his higher pay than Average Joe does who might have a $500 per month student loan payment, or over 10% of his gross salary.

If you don’t think these are huge benefits former athletes enjoy over their fellow students, you’re being naive and just following the popular movement here. For the athletes who don’t break the two deep or the rotation, you got the free ride and that is great compensation.

Vint’s link above to the cost of an education is a different post altogether. The cost of ‘higher learning’ is a bubble whose day is coming and when that bursts, the entire landscape of the college model and collegiate athletics may change so drastically that these types of conversations will seem like Ring Around the Rosie recitations on the playground. That’s another conversation for another day and from another author.

As it relates to pay for play, I still believe the athletes are getting enough. Those who will never be stars are getting their college paid for, which is a huge earnings advantage due to not having student loads. Those who do play regularly are receiving amazing branding value that will pay lifetime dividends for them; they just don’t recognize it because they don’t earn it in a check right now and they have no understanding of how the world will work to their advantage. Those who become stars will earn money in the professional ranks and/or have every business edge waiting for them when their playing days are over.

I wouldn’t have a problem with a big chunk of the licensing and some of the TV dollars being earmarked for stipends for players, were they receive a little extra per month, but nothing on par with what some of them (and some of you) are thinking. You also won’t be able to pay football or basketball players without making the same payment to every female athlete regardless of sport at program #120 at the FBS level so until you have that figured out, you’re done.

There is ENORMOUS value in being a college athlete. Those former players like Doug Gottlieb, who averaged just over 5 points per game for his entire college career, were hired over more accomplished and talented peers because they ‘played the game’. Gottlieb wound up developing into a very good talk show talent, but he didn’t start out that way. It was his experience and exposures in college that gave him that opportunity.

All you have to do is turn on the TV any weekend to see the advantages that former players get. The broadcasting landscape is loaded with former players who at times sound brutal on broadcasts, but they are there solely because they wore a helmet or played on the hard court.

The name on the front of the jersey allows everyone to get to know the name of the back of the jersey. For 99 percent of college athletes, the college athletic platform is the highest level they will attain. Even though they won’t play their sport professionally, the football and basketball players who do not move on will have something the rest of us will never have; they wore the tigerhawk, or the winged helmet, or the scarlet and gray, etc. The value in that is difficult to place a price tag on. Companies spend millions of dollars in advertising and marketing, trying to figure out ways for the public to remember them when it comes time to buy.

Athletes can be an instant extension of your brand and if the athlete was a starter and played a prominent role in say a Big Ten team’s success, he brings hundreds of thousands of dollars of branding and promotional value in with him. That’s why they can earn more money than you or I can earn right out of college. That’s compensation and it’s not made up.

For those who don’t want to go to college to earn a degree and are only punching the clock to get to the next level? There are no guarantees in life and you always need a back up plan. Take advantage of the amazing opportunity you are being given in the form of a free education, free access to elite training facilities and strength and conditioning coaches, free academic support, free this, free that, free everything. If things don’t work out in the athletic arena and you wasted your chance at the free education that can help pay the bills for the rest of your life, that is a you problem.

AFTERNOON ADDITION: This topic has generated a great deal of discussion so I poked around a little bit more. The following numbers reflect just tuition and room and board, per semester, for an OUT OF STATE athlete on scholarship at the University of Iowa, as of September 26th, 2013…Out of of state costs make up the majority of the football and basketball teams, 100% of the field hockey team which is the second most expensive sport at Iowa relative to scholarship costs as there isn’t a native Iowan on the team and it operates at a loss.

Out of state tuition: 13,465.50 a semester
Room and board: 4682.5 a semester

If athletes live off campus later in careers, off campus housing award is roughly $4,000 a semester that is sent in installments.

That’s a freshman year total of $18,148. Back it off $1,365 after freshman year assuming the players move out of the dorms after one year

FRESHMAN: $18,148/semester x2 = $36,296 per year
SOPH-SENIOR (x3): $16,783 x2= $33566 per year x3 = $100,698.
add additional costs for the fifth year…but there could be minimal credit hours involved, but the $8000 in annual off campus room and board is still in play.

So let’s just call it $140,000 for ease of discussion and most players are there beyond four years.

Those are not estimated costs, those are actual costs as of September 26th, 2013. Add to this the free healthcare that each student athlete gets while at Iowa…some of those players could be on their parents plan, some of their parents are not insured. But there is no monthly premium, no co-pay, etc for these plans. None at all. They are covered, just as they would be if they were playing professionally.

That value doesn’t include the amazing value opportunity they receive from building their personal brand on the fields of the B1G. They don’t pay any costs associated with the maintenance, upkeep and construction of Kinnick Stadium or Carver Hawkeye, nor should they…they are receiving their just and agreed up reward; a free ride…and they get the amazing benefits that go along with that. If some of them need tutoring, they don’t have to pay for that. They don’t have to pay extra for the world class strength training and nutrition they have access to. They don’t have to pay a health club membership fee to access the football facilities.

It’s not a stretch to say there is $200,000 in value from a scholarship. The USA Today suggests the value for a basketball scholarship is upwards of $600k.

The players are ‘getting paid’ and they are naive to think this is an unfair deal. How many other 18 year olds are receiving that value for their services? And it’s not a one-off value; it’s an accruing value and the ability to build their own brand in a state or region holds incredible value.

What do you think? It’s a complicated topic and one that brings out a lot of passion and I’d love to read your take on the matter.

  • Ben


    • cjcoty

      Bless you.

  • cjcoty

    The NCAA and current “business” model of major College Football and Basketball is fail. It is a sham and must be radically reformed. AND it will be… change is a coming… blowin’ in the wind.

    It is not fail for the NCAA headquartered in Indianapolis with a staff of about 700 people and their take home of about $45 million dollars every year. (This is close to the truth, please do deeper research and tell me I am wrong)

    It is not fail for the athletic departments, coaching and support staffs making 10’s ofmillions of dollars per year.

    Iowa and most of the major BCS schools have budgets far north of $60 million dollars. Way too many individuals are being overpaid because of a corrupt system that is protected under the “non-profit” status of
    the NCAA and the “non-profit” status of these institutions of higher learning
    chartered to educate people, not serve as a money making cash cows that too few really profit from and they are not the players who are the “product”

    Coaching, ADs and other’s salaries are way out of whack. Check out Gregg Doyel’s take on cbs sports line.—-changing-times-money-say-so

    It is not fail for all of the media, TV, radio and internet, merchandisers and other business that make money off of major D1 football and basketball players. This includes you, Mr Jon Miller who have made a lot of money reporting on, talking about on the radio and owning a web-site in which you profit from.

    My Dad always told me to follow the money.
    That pretty much explains everything including why people support what
    they support.

    It is fail for “student-athletes” in football and basketball who do NOT get properly compensated for their work, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears.

    I love college football and basketball, especially the Iowa Hawkeyes. I don’t want this all to go away. I do want the NCAA to go away forever!! College
    athletics needs a new model that is not a sham… a new model made for the so-called amateur “student-athlete”.

    • Ryan

      Do you support Title IX? The vast majority of colleges’ athletic programs are supported by resources made from Football and Basketball. I wonder how high tuition would be if the university had to foot the bill for all the non revenue generating sports like women’s rowing or field hockey

      • cjcoty

        I do support Title IX. The point is that the 10’s of millions of dollars generated are on the backs of 18 to 22 year olds with no union, no representation and no future considerations,

        • Dustin

          They would have future considerations if they had an education when they came to college in the first place. Many of these kids couldn’t get in to college without an athletics scholarship. Isn’t that by itself a huge opportunity? Most of them don’t take advantage of it but that’s not the school’s fault.

          • cjcoty

            So your point Dustin?

            Exploit the kids who aren’t educated in the first place?

            An opportunity for what?

            The numbers and faces of the uneducated and those who are used (and abused) by colleges for their football and basketball playing exploits are way too many to list here.

          • Dustin

            How is handing someone a free education exploitation? It’s an opportunity to get college educated…something only 30% of American adults can say they’ve done. To get a degree that is marketbale in the real world. Business. Nursing. Something. The problem is that many of them don’t have the baseline K-12 education in the first place to be able to compete with non student-athletes in the classroom. Who’s fault is that? The school’s? The school is frankly the only opportunity many of them have at that point in their lives to do something greater. The real failure here is the American K-12 education system and American parents IMO for not preparing these kids for the future.

    • HNStaff

      “It is not fail for all of the media, TV, radio and internet, merchandisers and other business that make money off of major D1 football and basketball players. This includes you, Mr Jon Miller who have made a lot of money reporting on, talking about on the radio and owning a web-site in which you profit from”

      Ha..maybe the corporations make ‘a lot’ of money off of that, but it sure as heck ain’t the website owners and local sports talkers. If I were only concerned with that, I’d spend the majority of my time on this site talking and reporting on recruiting. As it stands, I’m not really all that fond of it.

      • cjcoty

        Really? Then give it all back and be transparent. How much money is being generated by and for the HNStaff

    • Dan Brust

      Athletes are compensated through their scholarships. And everything Jon pointed out is true. That is enough. They are there because they want to be there. If they don’t like it they can leave and pay for their own tuition. They don’t need anymore hand outs. This isn’t socialism. It is capitalism. If you don’t like it don’t watch it. The fans create and pay for what is happening. Unfortunately, People like ESPN blow it way out of proportion and put way too many of the kids on a pedestal for doing things that many other kids have done on the college level for years and years. It is just college football.

      • cjcoty

        With all do respect Dan, how do you call this capitalism? This is about “higher education” and a non-profit model. What choice does a FB or BB have?


        It’s not a market, let alone a free market.

        It’s a slave-holding arrangement… with no choice for those being exploited.

        • Dan Brust

          I’m talking about the business aspect of T.V. and the fans. It is not a slave-holding arrangement. The players are free to leave at anytime if they don’t like it. They are there first and foremost for an education. Football is just a side that they choose to do. Nobody is forcing them to play. Nobody is holding a whip over them. It is strictly their choice. I don’t care if they can’t afford an education without football. It is still their choice. That is life.

          • cjcoty

            AGAIN.. with all do respect Dan… a great number of these kids are NOT in school for an education. They enroll at Iowa or some other major D1 college to further the dream and only path to future employment as a professional athlete in either football or basketball.

            Check out the graduation rates for scholly athletes in FB or BB vs the general student population. This is with 5 years of “paid” education and all kinds of tutors and academic help.

            It’s not about someone forcing someone or someone affording an education… it’s about what is right, what is moral and some time soon, what is legal.

          • Dustin

            You just stated the problem…that they enroll at a school further their dream and ONLY future path of employment of becoming a professional athlete. These kids come to college to major in their sport. They don’t care about the classroom…but they can. I sat in class at Iowa and saw lot’s of football players in class. Many of them got decent grades and went on to have successfull careers. They made that choice though. It’s not the school’s fault that these kid’s parents and K-12 schools demanded nothing of them in the way of academic performance their entire lives. The school is giving them a chance to change that if they are up to it. Most of them are not.
            OK…let’s say we pay each scholarship football player (85 per team) $1k a month. Cool. He gets to buy some stuff, perhaps clothes, electronics, etc. He still doesn’t go to class. He doesn’t graduate at all or graduates with a degree in general studies or some BS degree with no actual demand and is right back in the same situation before college. What did paying him accomplish? Anything? It delayed the inevitable situation that he will be broke because he has very few useful skills in this economy…that is it.

          • Dan Brust

            That’s there problem to work out. That it is moral and right is baloney. Boohoohoo. They get the scholarship and that is enough. If they don’t make the pro’s and most of them don’t and they didn’t get their degree that is their problem. If they need spending money, get a job in the summer and save like we all did. Or work during school in the off season. That” what my daughter does and she does play college softball which does have a fall and spring season and is basically year around.

      • grzars

        I would argue that in capitalism, workers are compensated according to the value of the labor they provide. I’m not convinced that it happens this way.

        I would also argue that ESPN doesn’t blow it out of proportion inasmuch as the fans do. ESPN just gives fans what they want. And people (myself included) love college football. People are willing to pay money for it whether it is tickets, cable tv, apparel, etc. As a product, it makes a lot of money. And that’s fine. But, for me, it just feels a little wrong that the people that create all that value, the football/basketball athletes, are compensated the same way any other full ride student, athlete or otherwise, is compensated.

        The truth is folks like us could argue all day on what is “enough” compensation and never get anywhere. I guess that’s why this debate ignites so many people.

  • BaryGarta

    Man, the drug and medical devices companies love the former athletes. My sister is someone who works for a hospital and has met many former Hawkeye “stars” and a Heisman Trophy winner!

    • cjcoty

      So Mr. Bary Garta… you just opened a whole new can of worms.

      In this day and age of 50 million people without health insurance (will Obama care fix this… who knows?) let alone health care?

      I, for one, want the best health care, at a competitive price (we ain’t getting it)

      and don’t give a crap when an ex Hawkeye athlete makes a 6k annual income to sell some drug or medical device to a doctor that is making millions of dollars… so someone doesn’t get decent, affordable medical care.

  • Grady

    You are generally right on, and more voices like yours need to be heard. 4 years for an out-of-state student at Univ. of Iowa would cost $140-160,000 +. That’s $35-40,000/yr of housing, food, and a college degree — FREE. That’s more than TWICE the salary of what a non-degree individual can earn working for minimum wage. Nobody can tell me with a straight face that big-time college athletes are not being adequately compensated.

    • cjcoty

      Grady.. you have made a great observation.. $35,000 to $40,000 per year for someone to attend the U of Iowa. I love my Hawkeye state, my University and my BBA Degree from 1977 but those numbers are outrageous and inflated.

      Hoping someone can inform me of the current in-state cost of attending Iowa?

      Those numbers also need to be reformed. The last I looked a young person can easily live on less than $10,000 per year for room, board, (sharing, of course) utilities, TV, internet and some smart ass phone.

      A charge of $25,000 to $30,000 per year for tuition, books and ? for what?

      Big time accounting/BS reform needed here… my friends.

      The football and basketball players generating 10’s of millions of dollars for their work are getting no where near $35 to $40 K of compensation.


      • HNStaff

        “The football and basketball players generating 10’s of millions of dollars for their work are getting no where near $35 to $40 K of compensation. NOT EVEN CLOSE.”

        The majority of players on scholarship at Iowa are out of state players, paying out of state tuition. Those players also received medical services, training services, academic services beyond just the normal classroom setting. Also, if we’re going to work in a revenue sharing model, we’ll need to also work in an expense sharing model…facilities upgrades, renovations and construction…fuel and charter costs for air and bus travel, health care costs in general as these athletes have their medical paid for at least during the school year. For some of these athletes, this health coverage is new and or a first time thing for them….etc, etc, etc. There is a great deal of value that is provided them for them to reach their potential as an athlete…at a cost.

        • cjcoty

          Really? Prove to me these kids are getting additional health care coverage.

          I know, for a fact, at UNC in Chapel Hill all the athletes still need to be covered by their parent’s policies or buy coverage as a student and that is what pays for the basic coverage and everything before all the special care, procedures and etc. suffered by “playing” the said sport.

          WOW! So know you are suggesting that facility upgrades, costs for charters etc should factor into an absolutely corrupt, slave-holding arrangement as a benefit?

          400 years ago people supported institutions that allowed “the help” time for Sunday services and kept them well fed and a roof over their heads. If they were healthy and productive when they fell ill they even allowed the country doctor to look after them…


  • grzars

    It’s not that student athletes don’t benefit from being on the team. It’s that they are providing labor for a professional sports league masquerading as an amateur league. That’s where I really see the rub. Football and basketball make millions for the institutions; lots of people get rich as a result of the NCAA except the actual players. Yes they get a full scholarship, yes they have more opportunities due to their notoriety.

    And while some may say they want an NFL D league, I’m not convinced they do because the truth is the NCAA wants the best available/eligible players playing college football.

    The whole thing is just completely jacked. NCAA places all manner of restricting rules on athletes; can’t have a job, can’t make money off their likeness while enrolled in classes (which Jon mentioned as a benefit, and it is, just not until they graduate/leave), they can’t even get discounts on stuff as a result of their local celebrity (e.g. tattoos of course). Yet the institutions have carte blanche on how they can spend all this money (Well, the few institutions that are actually in the black) except, of course, paying athletes. Huge facilities for players. Huge salaries for coaches, ADS. Plus the large administrative staffs all these athletic programs have. Let us not forget the entire operating budget of the NCAA.

    All these people supporting the sports benefit from the labor of football and basketball players. Even coaches for non revenue sports.

    I guess it’s not about whether they are better off than someone who didn’t go to college or non athlete graduates. They certainly are. For me at least, it’s about whether they value of their compensation is fair compared to the value that they are generating on the field.

    So it’s not that I necessarily like the idea of paying players, it’s just that, from high above, the whole system as it currently operates feels a little unfair, a little wrong.

  • Dustin

    Why don’t we get some demos on the student-athletes being the most vocal about being compensated. What is their education background? What will their career opportunities outside of professional sports be like?

  • Ted

    I don’t think players should be paid, but its rather ridiculous that the top 4 public salaries in the state of Iowa are going to head coaches of these teams. The schools would argue that they need the best coaches to get the best players to be successful. The problem is that “success” is determined by money generated. Bowl games, tv deals, merchandise, etc. You ok to pay Ferentz almost 4 million a year because of the revenue generated but its completely immoral to share that revenue with the players as well? Its a complete hypocrisy.

  • jeffbuck

    All other workers in the economy are paid in money, which they can spend any way they like. College athletes are not paid money; they are paid in a sort of scrip, which is good only in the company store, i.e., the University of Iowa (say). This is very good for the U of I for the same reasons the company store system worked so well for the coal mining companies, etc., before the nation became too embarrassed to let it go on any more. It is quasi-slavery.

    The Company Store (U of I) takes advantage of the thin residue of the public idea of amateurism, which derives quite directly from the 19th Century British upper classes’ fabrication of “amateurism” to keep the lower classes out of English sport. This was picked up in the United States as the code of the eastern colleges and universities, which were dominated by and propagated a very British model of sport as “amateur” — that is, white and upper income boys only need apply. Pip pip and all that rot. At this moment in history, the administrations of the big bucks universities rely upon racial memory of this code of holy amateurism and Fair Play to mask what they are doing, which is exploiting the labor of young men and women at artificially depressed rates of pay, sustained by an anti-competitive umbrella organization (NCAA), and which rates of pay are redeemable only at the company store. It is a morally indefensible system. The sooner gone the better. Kudos to the brave young athletes calling the system out.

    • cjcoty

      Here Hear Jeff Buck.

      Well said and may I say that I still hope some “radical” reform may come about so that we all can still enjoy some semblance of “amateur” athletics that represents the Hawkeye state.

      or some other model that represents and does not exploit while pimping for “so called” amateurism and education.

      Go Hawks!!! Forever.

      • jeffbuck

        I don’t even know what should be done. To start with, I guess I would just like to be spared the phony rubbish defending this system. Like you (cjcoty), I would like the game saved one way or another. It’s not inconceivable. The NFL exists and is quite entertaining.

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