We are in an age of multi-millionaire thugs, profiting off the fandom of a blue collar society. Pundits wax and wane about how salies are spiraling out of control, and most every fan has dreams of hitting the turf with a large check in their pocket. For most of us, that will never happen. However, all is not lost. The aforementioned millionaires are not the only ones who can profit off of sports.
The NFL season is fast approaching, with training camps starting next month. For a sport that only profits an investor 1/3 of the year, the new NFL sure is making it a year round job to keep track of. Specifically, I am referring to the new NFL conduct policy and how it affects you.
Sure, at a glance it may seem as if the only ones directly connected are the players being punished and the teams they play for. But with careful consideration, this new policy affects not only the average fan in obvious ways, but the sports investor more specifically.
The teams still will make their revenue, and the fans will still get their games, but as investors, Goodell's stringent, yet undefined, policies can run rampart on your bankroll.
Let's take a look at some of the more popular suspensions:
o Pacman Jones, the poster boy for the new policy. Last year, the Titans were an investor's best friend, covering an underdog spread straight up more than any other team. Pacman is not only the team's most dynamic defensive player, he is also the teams primary special teams weapon. How many times did we hear Chris Berman 'gobble gobble' up the screen while describing yet another Titan's victory. However, according to Goodell, Pacman will not be playing (pre appeal).
o Tank Johnson, the newest thug to hit the list. Last year, Tank helped the Bears post more Under victories than almost every other team. The Bears defense was stifling, and became even moreso once some of the other major NFC defenses were ravaged by injuries (see NYG). The benefit to Tank's suspension over Pac's, Tank was only a force in 1 facet of the game, and received the the suspension.
o Chris Henry, the invisible man. Of the three major suspension's, Henry's is the least damaging. Henry at best is the 3rd WR option on the Bengals, and though his talent can not be ignored, his suspension just looks like par for the course. Now, if Goodell grandfathered the new conduct policy back to include all transgressions in the past year, nearly 15% of the Bengal's roster would be suspended. How is that for changing a team's chances on game day?
But as damaging as they all are, none come close to the big decision yet to be made (at time of writing) .. .Michael Vick. Although not convicted (but then again, neither was Pac), Vick has soiled the eye of the NFL by 'interacting' with fans, mystery water bottles and of course, the 'I can believe you think their dogs' accidents. If Vick is charged, or worse, found guilty, how will that affect investors? To be honest, it would be a good thing.
If Vick is suspended for any amount of time, the Falcons will be guaranteed underdogs, no matter who they play. This will be especially true at the front end of the suspension. In addition, all your 'weekend' warrior bettors will lay heavily on the Falcon's opposites each week, further plummeting the odds down. After all, no Vick … no Schaub … who will play QB? The truth is though, the further the odds fall, the better it is for you, the sports investor. Football is a team sport, do not forget that. And as 'dynamic' as Vick is, the Falcons still have a decent line, strong run game and an improved defense. They will be dynamic in the oft-forgotten step-child phase of the game, special teams, and with a new coaching staff, will not be lackadaisical in the 'little things'.
So, while the world argues whether or not the new NFL conduct policy is too strict, lawyers appeal Pacman is treated unfairly, fans cry because their beloved Vick is just another multi-millionaire thug, you can quietly revel in the fact that Goodell will fatten your wallet this fall. Because if he shows the line, and suspends Vick for any amount of time (which is extremely likely), the odds just went in your favor.
So go ahead, tell the world the Falcon's can not win without Vick. They likely will not, but as investor's, we do not care. The spread is all that matters, And like last year's Titans that profited tens of thousands of dollars per investor, the Falcons will enable us to do the same this year. Shhhh … it's our dirty little secret.