Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Love Of Unions Or Are You Ready For Some Football

This Sunday, it's expected that about 115 million people will watch the San Francisco 49ers Vs the Baltimore Ravens play in Super Bowl XLVII and the Unions, from all forms of industry, want to thank you for your patronage.

From professional hockey, football, bull-riding and even the officials, Unions are everywhere in sports. Yet even those that despise Unions still tune in to watch or pay the outrageous cost to attend at the taxpayer built arena. I find it hilarious how people will talk about their blood boiling hatred of Unions, yet the exception comes in the form of professional sports and the unionized players & officials.

The best example of this irony happened at the beginning of the 2012 NFL season as the Union officials were locked out by the NFL owners due to contract negotiations. Replacement officials were brought in and the fans became outraged, due to a multitude of mistakes being made by the “scabs.”

First of all, these replacement officials weren’t just some guys off the street, they officiated football games from smaller divisional college brackets to the lingerie league. OK, not your typical acclaimed officiating gigs, but the rulebooks are similar.

So as the NFL owners locked out the Union officials, the replacements hurt the games in play and folks from fandom to Vegas to sports journalism became enraged. Seems rather strange, or maybe because many fans are also involved in gambling on games, run the weekly office poll or take part in the billion dollar fantasy football industry, to throw disgust at non-Union employees trying to a job.

Unlike other pro sports like hockey, basketball and baseball, NFL referees are considered “part-timers” yet earn on average $149K/yearly with benefits, while holding down regular gigs during the Monday-Friday work week.

Outside of Congress, who else can say they have a $149k/yearly part-time job with benefits?

The NFL prides itself in the off field employment endeavors of their Union officiating staff. The most famous amongst the modern official is Ed Hochuli, better known for his massive biceps; well he’s a partner of a civil litigation firm. Others such as Walt Anderson (Dentist), Gene Seratore (NCAA Basketball official), and Bill Leavy (police officer) all hold well paid normal jobs.

Well it only took the NFL owners a few weeks into the season to make a generous contract offer, too which the Union officials signed and were welcomed back with standing ovations by fans and Media at the next game.

So what did they get? Well apart from their new benefit package, the game officials’ compensation will increase from an average of $149K in 2011 to $173K in 2013, and then rise again to $205K by 2019. Not bad for part-timers, eh?

But why when the Union officials held a strike, the fans stood behind them, not the NFL ownership? If this were GM or Ford locking out the UAW, people would stand by the company, with the complaint that their next car could cost more even though no one is holding a gun to their head to buy a GM or Ford product.

Is this the only instance that the CEO/Owner back-lash is possible, our recreational television viewing?

The Super Bowl isn’t just big for the NFL, but for many of their sponsors. The Super Bowl counts for a ¼ of the yearly revenue. And many of those companies have Union employees and once again they thank you.

Guess one never thought about how many Union jobs depend on the Super Bowl being a success. From the Pepsi delivery driver to the grocery store clerk to the food/beverage suppliers at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, one’s passion of football carries over to the very same to which one despises, Unions.

It’s estimated that during Super Bowl Week, New Orleans could see between $300-$450 million pumped into its economy and probably a quarter of it will land in the paychecks of Union employees.

If you able to attend the game, Union labor will be tossing your peanuts, pouring your frosty cold beverage, keeping you safe & secure, flying the plane, cleaning up after the 76K attendees leave the Superdome and those who visited just to relish in the festivities

Just think, while you and others sit around the house, devouring 2500 calories in the first half, many companies spent roughly $4 million/30 second commercial to be viewed, with some only showing one commercial 3xs or just one commercial 1x.

Pepsi-Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, Chrysler, Anheuser-Busch, Volkswagen, Papa John’s and a host of others shelled out $4- $8- $12 million advertising dollars that could’ve been shifted, along with the multi millions in their Political contributions, to other company departments for fuel costs, equipment updates and even the dreaded healthcare costs. That $4 million for 30 seconds is not going to turn into revenue immediately either.

And half those companies have some type of Union employee thanking you for shelling out so much cash to shovel artichoke dip and beverage down your throat. Of course after eating and drinking too much, the Union nurse in the emergency room won’t be happy lifting your overstuffed fat ass into the hospital bed.

Yep, hate Unions except when it comes to recreational activity.

That’s it, “Slap the Tap,” pour me a tall glass of Arrogant Bastard Ale, keep your dirty hands off my 6 pounds of Buffalo Chicken Dip as I lip-sync with Beyonce singing Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever."



  1. Thanks to my union I'll be taking Monday off with pay to recover from helping out my union brothers.

  2. Thanks to my union I'll be taking Monday off with pay to recover from helping out my union brothers.

  3. And i'm sure if you're in the food/beverage unions (outside of non-existent Twinkies) buy Wed after the Super Bowl you'll hear about the Sales from the days prior to the game