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A lot of sports fans are stupid when it comes to economics

So I'm reading the comments to this post from Richard Justice, which deals with Andre Johnson wanting the Houston Texans to renegotiate his current contract.

And the usual brainiacs are out in force.  Some examples:

AJ is a big cry baby who doesn't want to honor his contract because someone got one bigger than his..If you take in to account his signing bonus+his season pay he's making $8mill a season. Cry ME A River. I hope he's aware that during this Recession a lot of people are making it by with lower wages, loss of jobs, and possible of loss of their homes. The special treatment he gets is because the Texans are a failing organization with no backbone that has to cater to these no class athletes. It's said, but if AJ didn't cry to his Uncle Agent and then just honored his contract (and maybe have hired a better agent early on) then I wouldn't have a problem. Till then he's just another selfish cry baby athlete that I'll never cheer for....

Posted by: Greg Jones at May 28, 2010 11:04 AM


If you don't honor your current contract, how can you expect someone like that to honor a new one?
They have no honor.

Richard Justice, who generally is pretty good when he's not acting as the UT p.r. department or sucking up to Bud Selig, made the correct response to this one:

[If Andre played poorly, the Texans would cut him in a heatbeat and not have to pay him a cent. Would you be preaching, ''Honor your contract then?'' Of course, you wouldn't. You'd be telling me it was business.--Richard]

That's the reason why you have holdouts and such in the NFL, and not MLB or the NBA, vis-a-vis renegotiating MLB and the NBA, your money is guaranteed.  In the NFL, it isn't. 

Anyway...this was the comment that prompted me to post:

they have already torn up one contract. he made over 20 million the last two years including his signing bonus.
he will get away with this extorsion because everybody loves him. but this is why so many people can no longer afford to go to a game.
somebody will get less, because he gets more. mcnair will raise prices and more people will get squeezed out.
what happens when the IRS takes away the business deductions for tickets and entertainment for customers. who is going to buy the tickets then.
may sound stupid, but this won't last forever.

Posted by: justbob at May 28, 2010 12:42 PM

I don't understand why it is so hard for people to grasp something so simple.  Even writers and columnists are guilty of this, blaming the athletes for ticket prices being so high.

Guess what, folks...athletes make lots of money because the owners are able to charge high ticket prices.  Revenues drive player salaries, not the other way around.

It is embarrassing to read people try to argue that if it weren't for the greedy players, ticket prices would be reasonable, a family of four could have great seats and drink beer and have enough money to join JeffWooWoo after the game for tailgating and enthuastic strippers, and the world would be gumdrops and rainbows if it weren't for the greedy players.

Here's the reality...prices are going to be the same regardless of how much money the athletes make.  It doesn't matter if the NFL caps salaries at $100 million or $10 million, it won't change the cost of advertising, the cost of parking, the cost of tickets, or anything else.

When players want more money and owners don't want to pay them, it is millionaires fighting with billionaires over who is going to get the money.  That's all.

And that's even more true in the NFL, where there's a salary cap, which means that the players are getting a fixed slice of the pie anyway, and it is just a matter of how that is allocated.

So please, justbob and similar minded people, stop embarrassing sports fans by displaying your ignorance of basic economics.

Quit acting like player salaries are what make going to games expensive.

Going to games is expensive because owners charge what people are willing to pay.