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"Finances" Archive


I Don’t Care if Poor Kids Can’t Afford Lebron’s Sneakers

Here’s a photo of Lebron James thinking about how he can get more money from people willing to overpay for sneakers.

If you haven’t heard yet, Miami Heat star Lebron James has new shoes coming out that cost $300 or close to it (so says the rumors). For some reason expensive sneakers bring out a range of reactions. From the people who swear up and down that that’s alllll poor people do is buy sneakers rather than save to be not so poor OR the people who lament the fact that poor kids can’t get the shoes they think are so cool.

Neither argument makes sense.

Greg Doyel over at CBS took the second tack and wrote an entire diatribe about the price of Lebron’s shoes being further proof that he doesn’t get “it.”

That’s why this story turns my stomach. If James were somebody else — if he were, say, Kobe Bryant, the son of a professional basketball player — I’d have to find another reason to hate these shoes. And maybe I’d fail. Maybe if it were Kobe being Kobe, blithely marketing $300 shoes for children who live the affluent childhood he once lived, I’d let it slide. That’s a hypothetical, so I’m done wasting time on it.

What’s real is this:

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Plaxico Burress’ financial problems just keep getting worse

If Plaxico sits out this season or rides the bench it will spell the end.

Before Plaxico Burress was released from jail we found out that he had a house in foreclosure and some other debts. TMZ has reported that Burress owes 59k in back taxes to New York and 159k to a woman in relation to a car accident that happened in January 2008. You can read the details over on TMZ

I was really hoping Plaxico Burress would find a job this season - not that it’s out of the realm of possibility at this point but it’s certainly not looking good. I can’t speak to whether Burress can still play or not. The New York Jets weren’t really the best testing ground for such an experiment. 

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NFL replaces official refs who refuse to train replacements - takes NFL-issued laptops

Earlier this week it was reported that the NFL fired official nine refs that were to train replacement refs. The replacement referees would take official ref’s places should the lockout of the officials continue into the season. Now the NFL is saying that it did not fire those 9 refs they simply replaced them. A league spokesman told the LA Times that those officials who refused to train replacements were “seasonal employees who have decided not to work at this time.” He went on to say, “We asked for their NFL-issued laptops back so that those who are working right now can use them.”

Great spin, NFL. For the record, I’ve already complained about the seasonal employee status of official refs. Yes the NFL only operates September - February, but still officiating is a high stress, high skill job and it should be considered such. NFL refereeing affects lucrative business such as betting lines and even fantasy stats. The NFL’s statement is just a way to make it seem as though officials are like people who go work at retail stores to make money around Christmas time. Their impact and necessary knowledge is much greater. 

The longer this referee lockout goes on the more I get concerned. I read a stat the other day that said official referees throw 15-17 flags in a game and in the past replacements have thrown between 1-5. That’s a lot of missed holding, offside, chop block, helmet to helmet, and pass interference calls. It would give a new definition to the phrase “let them play.” 

Sidenote: The NFL is a 9 billion dollar tax exempt entity. I refuse to believe they needed those laptops back! 





A breakdown of why the Washington Redskins drew a 36 million dollar salary cap penalty

As we all wondered the ins and outs of how something could first be okay and then totally and completely not okay, Sally Jenkins gave us the detailed history of why the Skins received a salary cap penalty for actions taken during an “uncapped” year.

It all has to do with what amounts to a quest by the Redskins to gain a competitive advantage. Jenkins writes:

What happened was this: Back in 2010, when the NFL entered hardball negotiations with the players union for a new labor contract, the owners warned each other not to use the situation to get a leg up. were in an uncapped year, with no limit on player salaries, and entering a tense and emotionally fraught labor situation, and they asked each other not to abuse the circumstances.

In essence they said, “Don’t try to set yourselves up to be in a better spot when this is over.” Think of it like a yellow caution flag in a car race: The drivers agree to hold their places and not to accelerate until the track is clear.

But that’s exactly what Snyder did. To a lesser extent, so did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones just sped up a little. Snyder apparently floored it. The Redskins shifted money, moved it, dumped it, and did everything they could to emerge from the labor pause with the books cleared of bad numbers, so when it was over they could get the biggest jump possible on other franchises in buying up new players.

Jenkins goes on to give a great synopsis about why Dan Snyder isn’t only disliked among scorned Skins fans but why his peers aren’t such fans of his either. I think it’s a worthy read.

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The NY Jets’ Expensive Apology to Sanchez and the mixed message it sends

When most of us heard about the NY Jets extending Sanchez's contract, this is the face we made.

As most of the football world was trying to decide if the Washington Redskins gave up too much to the St. Louis Rams to move up to the 2nd pick and grab Robert Griffin III, the Jets surprised everyone by extending their QB Mark Sanchez’s contract by 3 years and 40.5 million dollars. This came, of course, after the Jets expressed an interest in Peyton Manning who was officially released by the Colts last week. I think the general consensus is that this is a move to smooth things over with Sanchez so that he doesn’t feel so jilted knowing that the Jets have pursued a replacement.

I don’t understand this move. Yes, I understand the intention behind it. And I’d love it if someone would apologize to me with 20 million dollars in guaranteed money. But I think it’s one of a slew of mixed messages the NY Jets have ushered into the atmosphere. Last season, Mark Sanchez definitely wasn’t the only problem. As I’m typing this, the Jets are are shopping OL Wayne Hunter in hopes that someone, ANYONE, will take the backup-cum-whiffing-starter off their hands. And certainly Sanchez’s receivers deserved some blame as did a defense that was so scattered they were easily overcome by the Broncos late in the season.

But this extension is sort of like telling the whole team “it’s not Sanchez, it’s YOU” and that’s obviously not the case. Sanchez has shown he’s about as fragile as they come. Any lick of a pass rush seems to put his nerves on edge. The psychological moves the Jets keep trying in an effort to motivate Sanchez (like giving Mark Brunell extra reps)  are becoming the stuff of legend. At some point the game on the field has to take precedence over these mental ones. If Sanchez had one year left on his contract it might make sense to throw him a little more security. But he had two years left and I don’t think it would have been too much to ask to have him complete next season without an extension given how he’s played so far. If he couldn’t do that without crumbling into a pile then he’s probably not the guy you want anyway.

Now you have a situation where Sachez’s APY is right below Roethlisberger’s and slightly above Aaron Rodgers’. Regardless of whether there is an “out” (like when the Skins tried to fool the world with the McNabb extension),  if contracts are an indication of how a team feels about its QB the Jets just told the world he’s our guy and there’s no questions about it. Except, there are questions. Which makes this extension a puzzling move to everyone on the outside.


**Update: Andrew Brandt says the real increase of this contract is 2.5 million dollars. And that although 20.5 million is now guaranteed there’s a strong possibility that he would have gotten 17.75 million anyway. So…does this still work as an ego-smoothing gesture toward Sanchez???? Is there a point to this that I’m missing?

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