Friday, May 1, 2015

Doing the NFL

Doesn't everyone know the adage, "Don't do the same thing again expecting different results?" Apparently certain GM's (are you listening in Tampa?) either haven't heard or don't believe.

Disclaimer: I'm not a big NFL fan, so this isn't going to be a well-researched tirade, just a plain ol' rant.

Number one pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick Jameis Winston. Not to mention a favorite I-told-you-so around our house like Johnny Manziel, but let's talk about another one, JaMarcus Russell. What do all three of these fellows have in common besides being outstanding college quarterbacks and being picked number one (wait, Johnny Football was drafted later, just rumored to be number one) in the NFL draft?


"Character issues" are how the current crop of announcers and scouts describe folks like an old Cornhusker, Lawrence Phillips. As a Nebraska alum and fan, I guess we can excuse some college hijinks like dragging your girlfriend down the stairs by her hair, but when you murder your cellmate in prison, that's just beyond the pale! BTW, would you try to blame it on somebody else when you're locked up with just the one guy and he is now dead?

Back to JaMarcus--he was awful for the Raiders. Played, sort of, for three seasons. But, get this. They paid him $40 million. He had one of the worst quarterback ratings ever, and he is currently listed by the internet at a substantial playing weight of 309 pounds. Don't think he is gearing for a comeback.

Now, here is a question that I have never heard analyzed, and if somebody out there knows of a reasonable analysis, let me know--what happens to all that money? JaMarcus got busted for drugs, so we can speculate that a lot of the money went up his nose, but that's not my question. Economists talk about "velocity of money" and "multipliers" all the time, as in "Let's give XYZ Manufacturing $40 million in incentives because of blah and blah and blankety." How is that different than having Mr. Russell spread around the largesse?

I will probably get shot down (or at) for this, but is it possible that Kansas City is wealthier in the aggregate because football players are getting huge sums? As the Irish footballer George Best said, "I spent lots of money on women, booze and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." Maybe that is all a stimulus to the economy.

As I said, a subject for better, well-trained minds.

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