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When Did Sports Salaries Explode- the Conclusion

By Danny Radical

There's a lot of reasons we pay athletes extraordinary salaries. Here, we're going to introduce you to some conventional thinking, some non-conventional discussion, and wrap things up with a big messy bow on this series.

Sports have affected our social values. Why? First off, there is a level of civic pride in having an arena in your backyard, and the shame of letting it leave. Do not think that the tales of Brooklyn missing their Dodgers- which have been perpetuated for almost 65 years- were not inflated to create a sense of how a community suffers when a sports team leaves. There aren't many Dodgers fans left in Brooklyn, because they left 60 years ago.

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Hyperbole? The New York Baseball Giants left in the same year. I have NEVER heard a story about a person missing the New York Giants. Have you? In baseball or in football. And the football Giants don't play in New York, either. Besides, is anyone missing the Rochester Royals, besides Cincinnati and Kansas City? Today we call them the Sacramento Kings.


Another reason why sports is money? Free land helps catapult all franchises.


I'm not even going to list the number of teams given free land, had arenas subsidized by taxpayers dollars, sold naming rights to make an arena non-region identifiable, or ran a corporatized business in a system that's largely socialized. It's almost all of them. For every Yankee Stadium - a multibillion dollar franchise subsidized for hundreds of millions of dollars by the good taxpayers of New York- there is a Smoothie King Stadium coming to any mall near anyone.


Why did all sports revenues explode in the 1990s?


Hello, Internet! In the 1990's Mark Cuban made, oh, $500 million or so selling internet radio of sports broadcasts. Enough money to buy the Dallas Mavericks, which is his own billion dollar bank account if he ever gets destitute. Do you think that the internet didn't have an influence on commerce? Remember how Bill Clinton refused to tax the internet so that it would grow? Where do you think that "would have been" tax revenues went? To me? You? Pfft. To owners.

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Say we refer to New York State. For every $100 million that the Yankees made in on line sales, broadcasts, or subscriptions, that's an $8 million savings. Over 5 years that's $40 million plus compounded interest. You may say "But don't people pay sales tax?" Yes, we do, and the Yankees collect it for the state. Except for on line sales, where a lack of tax encourages you to buy, and the team can inflate prices up to the same percent as sales tax and know you'll still buy it.

Also, in 1990 my cable box was in fact a box. It was a wired remote with 30 channel choices. In the early 90's the wired box became a wireless remote with over 100 channels available. And with the expansion of service came the expansion of bills.

Why did bills go up?

Unlike a dinner menu where you pick what you want, more channel choices means more expenses. And everyone was competing for that basic cable money. Why buy a basic package and not channels ala carte? Because basic means everyone pays, whether they watch or not. Why charge 1 guy in 20 $10 when you can charge 20 in 20 $1? Many companies have figured that out, which probably is upsetting when you have to pay for IFC when in fact, when was the last time you watched IFC?

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Another reasons sports got high school drop outs rich? Fantasy sports.

On what world do you think that gambling on sports would not affect the profitability of sports? I can attest to experiences of my friends that they play fantasy on multiple sports. Those fantasy sites have users with teams. The more users, the more popular. And the more commercials.

Now, fantasy sports is definitely advantageous to football. A shorter season means less games, which means less commitment. You can give up an hour a week to a hobby. You'd probably expect basketball or hockey to follow up as the next two most popular. I did. And I was wrong. Baseball is the second most popular fantasy sport. My theory is obsessive compulsive disorder, as many many baseball fans are obsessed with math and numbers. The third most popular was shockingly- Auto racing. I'm not sure how auto fantasy works. I'm guessing miles and wins? Basketball comes next.

I'm so unsure why hockey isn't more popular with fantasy. Goals, assists, wins. You could make a 3 stat spot league and have it work for 6 months flawlessly. But then again, that correlates as to why hockey was the last to the table for that fat television dollar, even with that Fox glowing puck.

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Next reason? Convenience.

Baseball salaries exploded way earlier than the other sports because, once upon a time, people wanted to spend the day at the park. There was a time when American life wasn't as fast paced, where everyone had Sunday off, where people worked hard for a dollar and wanted to see it stretched to the fullest.

Then people got impatient. People wanted faster games. Football came along and offered a three hour package of analysis, game, halftime show, postgame analysis. And if you wanted another helping? The same thing right after. Games at 1, 4, and 7, and 10 on the East Coast- California wakes up to football.

3 hours too much of a commitment? Welcome, basketball and hockey!

Based on "ball in play" statistics, nothing beats hockey for entertainment value. In the 2 hours and 20 minutes a game broadcast takes, the game is in action almost 43% of the time. Not shockingly, it's the sport with the lowest number of commercials per game.

The worst sport for ball in play stats? You're guessing baseball. WRONG. An NFL game averages 3 hours and 10 minutes to view, but only has 11 minutes of actual game time. Mathematically, you watch nothing for 94% of a football game. Not shockingly, it's the sport with the most commercials.

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Baseball games check in at just under 3 hours and just north of 10% of ball in play time- almost double that of football. And basketball eats up 2 hours and 18 minutes to watch- the fastest of the four sports- and gives you about 35% of that time for action.

Here's something people may not recognize- because TV contracts for the NFL are so massive, the league has to run advertising both on the screen in game and during breaks in play. Thanks to the amount of commercials, an NFL game actually runs longer than a baseball game. So where people are blaming activism to a lack of people watching football, maybe they aren't watching because it's too commercialized.

Just think back to two years ago, long before players protested during the anthem, the TV networks were protesting the anthem. Protesting, you say? Absolutely. How? They didn't even SHOW the anthem on TV.

So as people wanted to spend more money for less time involved, basketball and hockey got more popular.

Another thesis? Stupidity.

As previously mentioned, baseball was the first sport with lucrative salaries. Baseball is considered an intellectual sport as compared to the other ones, which is sometimes hard to see when it comes to athletes in interviews, but pitchers and catchers have to plan out a game, and fielders have to predict the results of the probability of a play to make the right one. There is more thinking involved in that than in running a ball behind a bunch of huge men looking for a hole to run in, although not as crafty as a league of players convincing referees that double dribbling and carrying are no longer automatic turnovers.

Just as baseball doesn't have a salary cap, it also doesn't have a clock. Clocks make games predictable. As people get dumber, they revert to childishness. Children like routines. No clock? You mean the pitcher might never throw the ball again? I CAN'T HANDLE THAT!

Yet a pitcher has to throw the ball again. In fact, that lack of clock creates exciting drama. But people want deadline drama because it's predictable- he has to shoot it to beat a clock! Not the other team- A CLOCK.

There is one thing in sports that should not decide the outcome of a game- a referee. I'd like to add clock to a list. If a team has momentum at the end of the game? Screw the clock.

Do games have to end? Yes. But that ending should be due to offense and defense, not denying momentum from a team making a drive to win a game because the seconds were not used properly.

Other nations play sports, for various reasons. Maybe the reason baseball is so much more popular in Japan as compared to football or basketball or hockey is because as a society, Japan still values education. Most Americans HATE education and educated people, which can be seen by the birther movement, the Vaxer movement, the homeschool movement, and the snowflake movement. So if a sport is "intellectual?" NEXT!

Last thesis? Divorce.

Any child of divorce knows that when a divorce happens, the father suffers a legal "Weinstein-ing" at the hand of the divorce court- a matriarchal power structure that financially and legally rapes men at about a 99% rate. Shockingly, I have never seem a female led protest condemning this system and demanding equal rights for this sexist, mysandrist power system. #MeToo. However, this unjust system creates an interesting secondary market.

The father that loses 90% of his income (factoring in child support (2 kids in NY is 25% of pretax income), taxes (NY state 7%, Federal 28%, Social Security/Medicare 7% totaling 42%), and separate living expenses (at LEAST $1200 a month) has to work 70 hours a week to survive without living in the streets. This is the first step to alienating the father from his children. And fathers usually are first introduces sports to their children.

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As for the mother, who financially benefits from divorce in, what, 99% of the cases, she needs to go to a job of some sort to maintain the lifestyle she was accustomed to. For the record, anyone who thinks that phrase is a legitimate reason for taxing an ex-spouse is a complete moron. Only one person in a relationship can be used to a standard of living? Sexist to the core- yet the #MeToo and #TimesUp people are strangely tight lipped on this matter as well. Because the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are plain and simple bullying.

Regardless of the many reasons that led to the birth of a situation similar to indentured servitude, the role that the women's rights movement had in facilitating no fault divorce and the removal of fathers for the mother's benefit led to a boom of the two income family in the 1980's, and the ruination of the family structure that has survivec for 5000 years. Congrats!

So how did sports teams handle this? By raising ticket prices. And how did families deal with the same?

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Making America less great. Despite Dads being limited to seeing their children for three hours a week, there was a silver lining. All of a sudden, in order to participate or be a spectator for sports, BOTH parents had to go to work, even the ones collecting another person's salary. There was no June Cleaver making sandwiches at home. Now all hands were on deck for the first time since World War Two. Everyone had to work. And with everyone working, there was more disposable income for some, which is a positive if you consider class warfare a positive.

Just to round out this absurdity, consider this- custodial parents like to use children as a human shield, saying child support is for the children. Yet in many states, there is no law requiring the custodial parent to prove that they spend the money on the children, nor is there a law requiring custodial parents to spend child support on children. Also, the three basic tenets that make up child support- food, clothing, shelter? The person paying support to provide such also has to provide food, clothing, and shelter when parenting their children as well. In short, anyone paying child support is double taxed, and anyone receiving it has no accountability.

And if Mom remarries? She gets to enjoy her income, her new husbands income, and her last husbands income. What is the reason any woman would stay married just once? It's hitting the vaginal lotto.

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You can probably tell I have a negative view on the effects of divorce on families being legislated by a group who is afraid of a majority voting block so they enslave a minority. Oh, and shame them. too.

Anyway, what happened to that extra income I was talking about?

Cable prices went up for TV. Specifically in the early 1990's. Around the same time, housing prices went up as the Federal Government lowering of interest rates. So did college tuition, as divorce decrees actually provide for increases in college tuition even as the attendees are adults, even if those adults choose to be estranged from their non-custodial parent. Car costs went up too, but to make people feel better, car companies offered leases so that people could feel that they didn't lose pride in a divorce by having to drive a lesser vehicle that they were used to. They just had no equity for their payments, just like the houses that they pay their ex-spouse to live in.

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Even heading into the 2000's, cable internet prices were expensive for service as compared to dial up. The original debate for net neutrality. Or just another way to differentiate affluence.

In short, people paid more money for the same stuff they had before as a reward for excluding fathers from their kids sports interests, but that more money allowed them to reach a new level to compete with the Jonses. And cause inflation.

This leads to things like the financially advantaged mother being able to do things like pay for organized sports leagues, with protective gear and insurance and hired coaches, versus a dad trying to play catch with his son or daughter in those three hours a week- on top of eating dinner and doing homework with the kids, of course. And as time passed, mothers made sure that the norm wasn't to have a catch with their dad- but to have a catch with someone you pay.

Three hours. What horrible asshole created that law? I'd hope all of his decedents get juvenile cancer.

The effects are obvious. Think about the last time you saw kids playing with each other in the street. How many years ago was that?

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In short, divorce laws ruined family structure, created social inequities, and made hired servants responsible for your children playing sports. This is why there are so few colorful sports personalities as compares to the 1970's and 1980's. Coaches aren't paid to teach personality.

Why does society not fix this? Easy. There is a fact of modern society: there is an present American disposition to observe instead of participate.

If you look at most parental responsibility, there is a want to pass off the difficult decisions to someone else. That's why there are health teachers- who do you want to teach your child about sex or have some rando do it? Most folks choose rando. That's why they have that weird 5th grade video about puberty.

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So if you are divorced and paying child support and/or alimony or at a low wage job, and you want to be somewhat successful at your career and not be homeless, you are NOT coaching your own child. And if you want a successful child and can't afford to take time off of work to coach them? Then you work MORE hours to pay for their coach. For some, that is a fantastic trade off. Lots of people are not good at sports, and hope their child is, so they are willing to pay for coaches for their own children rather than pass on making more money for their own children's benefit of memories. There is a caveat, though- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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The issue becomes dads not being able to play with their children because courts limit time, custody decrees limits interaction, and mothers exclude dads from decision making processes because courts allow a fraternal genocide. So the only way a dad can bond with an athletic child? Pay the cable provider and watch a game together. On DVR, since most games start after fathers have to return their kids. And yes, DVR is a service with added fees.

Mom's, stop trying to make up for Dads by letting strangers fill a role. Let dads be dads. Most dads I know like playing with their kids. And most mom's I know do not.

How did it get this bad? States write laws to benefit lobbyists and ensure that voters like them. Since females are the majority population, they use that majority to oppress a minority. Every mother who takes residential or legal custody is no different to society than Kevin Spacey or Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby. In fact, they're worse. They enrich no one beyond themselves, and their detrimental impact is societal wide and generational. It even perpetuates a cycle of misery for their male children, but we do live in the age of the Me First Mom, so that is to be expected.


If you ever suggest to a Mom if, instead of taking her annual vacation, she fund life insurance policies on herself and her kids to create generational wealth? The response would be as if you're speaking Martian.

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Last question of this piece- what's the summary?


The issue of entertainers distracting us from how much our lives suck is a double edged sword. If our lives suck so much, maybe we should work at societal movements to lead to higher salaries so that life will suck less. Alas, that's not how American capitalism works. And within the NFL, NBA, and NHL, capitalism doesn't work either.

So maybe we should look at sports as a beacon of hope for a future society. In professional sports, socialism works. From each according to their ability...so that may actually create a place where equality means that one parent isn't excluded from their kids for the benefit of another and can actually teach sportsmanship.

Also, capitalism is DISCOURAGED in sports. Look at the minority elected president trying to bankrupt a sports league for not succumbing to his will despite being profitable. Why would you actively try to bankrupt a profitable thing, unless you believe in the government running business. Bad, stupid Trump.

I'm sure there are solutions, but I am positive that people do not want them. No one wants discomfort. Think about your own job- anytime the boss asks for you to learn the new computer program, or read a new manual, employees resist. You risk your own earnings because you don't want to learn. Brain study says that's how minds work, but that doesnt work for your existence. It's why we joke about programming a VCR or a DVR for the grandparents- they're beyond wanting to learn. Or trying.

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Speaking of learning, here's what I've learned in writing this: The 1970's were key for all sports leagues to create the basis for making money. Cable television was largely born in the 1970's, and has been in so many houses for so long that it's going to be as revolutionary as the creation of the internet to wholly replace it. Even as we have YouTube TV and Hulu now, the way to get it into your home is via cable providers.

The 1990's coincided with the growth of the internet and demand services. It directly affected the expansion of sports and the mass monetization of sports contracts.

So we can anticipate the future. Why have athletes salaries stagnated? Because for a long time the salaries of workers have. For way too long. Athletes have hit an apex for earnings, so sports leagues move the CBA's to create earning percentage splits that further enrich the owners to allow them to keep paying their players and still make more money.

My solution? Rather than pay running backs or 2 guards or cleanup hitters or goalies, pay doctors. Pay professors, pay kids that read above grade level. Rather than pay for fantasy, pay for reality. That would be a better investment. Until then, you're paying billionaires for occasional communal feelings whereas they're already billionaires not living in your community. That's a series of bad decisions daily on your own account. You want a fantasy world? Read books. Avoid fantasy web sites. Stop letting people profit from ignorance.

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How did that go?

A recent asking price of the Carolina Panthers is closing in at $2.5 million dollars. For what?? A history? A winning tradition? Justify that.

To encapsulate the thesis of this series: Why did sports salaries explode? Because individuals were too meek to express themselves, were too brainwashed to think workers combining were bad, and never fought for their own worth, and tacitly agreed to let the employers fatten their own net worth. Instead they choose to watch spots, where every player is unionized, every player has benefits, every player makes exceptional salaries, and the spectators call unions bad.

Sports are watched by a lot of stupid people. In lockouts, some dufuses actually root for the owners. Because the owners play the game you watch, brainless lackeys?

Instead of looking for entertainers to improve your life, try this- demand that you are compensated for your work, then determine your own entertainment fate. Lobby politicians to stop impoverishing a specific gender. Until then, you're just passively paying others to occasionally entertain you in exchange for your own misery.

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Corporations attack unions because for the most part unions work for their members. Corporations have used the "liberal" media to bury unions, and yet the most successful periods of American history for growing family wealth have been unionized. Unions created the middle class. People don't realize that because they don't like history and education, but unions built that great America Trump keeps reminding us of.

Instead of spending on sports, keep your money. Enrich your family. Enjoy your life via free services.Get active in causes bigger than sports that make your life better, like defending fathers rights. Have a catch at the park. Go to a library. As athletes salaries are leveling off because owners are keeping a larger chunk of the sports dollar, here's an idea- act like a sports owner. Keep your money to make your own life better. It will be the best decision you ever make. There will still be sports, you can still watch games. And if you dont? The leagues will go on...but not as well paid.

To wrap up- why did sports salaries explode? It doen't matter. Just know that the more money the athletes make, the less you do.

Send your extra money to @JoshBarely to make a change.