The NBA owners and players have seemingly followed the lead of MLB’s owners and players and found a way to avoid a work stoppage. Like baseball, the NBA is hitting high notes in the chorus of revenue streams; everyone – players and owners – are awash in cash. And, sanity prevailed in whatever negotiations took place because there is a deal ready to be ratified that will allow those revenue streams to continue to flow inward.
There is one item that I wish were in the new CBA that is not there. I would have liked to see the NBA and the NBPA negotiate a way to put an end to “one-and-done” in college basketball. The NFL and MLB have agreements in their CBAs that avoid the one-and-done scenarios in those sports and those provisions have been around for a long time. I would have preferred for the NBA’s new CBA to have taken care of that problem.
My preferred model for eliminating “one-and-done” is the MLB model. A player may declare for the MLB draft and even be drafted right out of high school but if he does not sign with the team that took him and opts to go to college, he is precluded from going into professional baseball associated with MLB for 3 years. This gives the player the right to make his own decision as to what he wants to do with himself; he does not have to go thru college baseball or independent leagues but if he chooses to go to college he commits to being there for 3 years. Some folks have argued that in basketball, any imposed collegiate tenure should be limited to 2 years. I would prefer 3 years but would happily settle for 2 years because that would be better than “one-and-done” for college basketball and for the NBA.
Yes, some players under that scheme would choose to go overseas and play pro basketball in Europe instead of going to college and playing there. Good for them! If they have targeted pro basketball as their “life’s work” and they think that playing in Europe is better for them than two or three years in college, mazel tov. We are talking here about young men who are legally defined as adults at age 18; they would not have all the options available to them and they would get to make their own choices about what to do once they are out of high school. They would know the rules; they could make their own decisions. That seems to me to be pretty much along the path some like to call “The American Way”.
The new NBA/NBPA agreement – assuming it is ratified by all parties – will be in force for the next 5 years so it appears as if “one-and-done” will be with us for at least that far into the future. Too bad. I shall see this as a “missed opportunity” to make an improvement that would cost no one any money…
It appears that there were underinflated footballs used in the recent Giants/Steelers game. The story goes that the Giants tested some balls and found them to be in the 11.5 psi range when the rules say they cannot be lower than 12.5 psi. The NFL said it will not do any investigating here and then went into what I call “process talk mode”. It is easy to recognize this mode; this is what happens as soon as anyone brings up a subject that management does not want to discuss because it is “uncomfortable” at least and “downright illegal/immoral” at worst.
The league justification here is that there will be no investigation because the chain of custody of the footballs from the time the officials measured the pressures before the game until the time the balls were used in the game was unbroken. If that explanation is sufficient for you, let me simply say that you will never be the “Chief of Security” for any organization that I operate.
I believe – and since I do not read minds and since I do not have access to covert surveillance of the NFL executive suites – that the NFL does not want to investigate this matter for a simple and direct reason.
- If in fact the chain of custody of the balls was intact and if the officials measured and recorded the original pressures correctly and accurately, then the reason the balls on the field were too low in pressure is almost assuredly due to the Ideal Gas Law.
Those of us who majored in chemistry know a lot about the Ideal Gas Law and Roger Goodell is someone who fervently wishes never to have to make any decisions where there might be even a tangential relationship with the Ideal Gas Law. If the league did this and found that the balls in the Giants/Steelers game were “underinflated” due to the fact of cold weather, that would reopen the whole Deflategate matter. Roger Goodell would probably rather eat a diet of caterpillars and hagfish slime for the rest of his life than to reopen the whole Deflategate matter.
If a neutral observer wished to test the Ideal Gas Law as it applies to the NFL, there is a game this weekend that could provide a natural laboratory. The Packers/Bears game in Chicago has a weather forecast that says it will be near zero during game time. If someone pressurized an NFL football to 13.0 psi (the mid-range of the allowable pressure for a ball in a game) at indoor room temperature an hour before the game and then took that ball out into the stands until the middle of the 3rd quarter for example and then measured the pressure again, I would be willing to wager a tidy sum that the internal pressure will be less than the “legal limit” of 12.5 psi. Here is another wager I would be willing to make;
No one involved with the NFL Front Office would do such a test or sanction such a test or put any credence in such test results if confronted with them.
As Deflategate becomes history, I think it is important that we remember a couple of things about it:
- It taught a lot of people about the Ideal Gas Law who never took a science course in their life.
- I also suggested that there might be something identified in the future as the Ideal Ass Law and that Roger Goodell might be the example that set in motion the research to expound such a law.
Finally, an old friend and reader of these rants just gave me a book titled The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm. I plan to use some of the material from that magnum opus on occasion and today I present the dictionary’s definition of:
“AARP: American Association of Retired Persons. An organization that sends out welcome letters to people over fifty to remind them that they will soon be dead.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………