Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flipping the Bird

Yesterday it was reported that Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams would be fined $250,000 for flipping the bird twice during Sunday's lashing of the Buffalo Bills, a 41-17 walloping. While I'm sure several Bills players cried themselves to sleep Sunday night, I'd wager that none of them were actually distraught at an 86-year-old man giving them the finger. But let's roll back and look at the most important part of that sentence.


I understand that Adams is an owner, and has a lot of money. But fining him a quarter of a million dollars is a terrible idea. First off, you're putting it out there for every fan to see just how rich your owners are, where $250,000 is a reasonable fine in a world of $10,000 fines (like the one Brady Quinn got served). If I got fined ten grand, I'd have to go to jail just to save on everyday expenses, and it'd still take me several months to pay it off. If I got fined $250,000, I'd have to flee the country, or pull off a heist.

Most humorous (and disturbing?) about this is that the news came one day after this article was posted on Yahoo about the Redskins and their offensive mascot, name, and imagery. The league is happy to levy a massive fine upon one of its owners when they flick off the opponents, but is conspicuously mum on the subject of a team's name being considered offensive. If the league came down on Washington and demanded a change, it would happen within a matter of weeks. It's been 17 years since the issue was first brought in front of courts, and it remains unresolved.

If the name bothers people, I'm willing to accept a new name, with new colors and a new mascot. I have memories of the Redskins, but they'll transplant to a new team. And they can sell new merchandise, always a draw for ownership. I suggest they take a page from the Capitals and go with red as their main color, and encourage fans to "rock the red."

Anyways, the Bud Adams fine is ridiculous. You could hire a dozen minimum wage workers with that money. I don't even know where fine money goes. Anybody?


Chip said...

That's where they go...

And... being the boss carries more weight than being an employee. In the NFL, I assume there is an expectation that owners will act with some form of integrity and with good manners. Bud Adams' bird-flippin' fun (if you saw the video), looked extremely immature and, I assume, not up to the NFL's expectations of how an owner should act. It was like a "take that, you punks," not a quick, brief, "f-off." With that in mind, it carries a heavy fine.

As I recall, owners always get slapped with heavier fines than players.

GoodPointJoe said...

That's a fairly vague description of where the money collected from fines goes, but I'm sure it's all we're going to get.

I did look at the video, and I don't know, it looks like he's smiling. Isn't it possible that some Bills fans were talking trash to Adams during the game, and then when the Titans started to lay the lumber, he reminded them how many losses Buffalo would add to their record today? Maybe he felt young again, got caught up in the trash-talking that happens at every single football game in the world, and forgot himself. I think I prefer that an owner care deeply about his/her team and get emotional about it, rather than just using it as a business venture. Ted Leonsis is much more my kind of owner than Abe Pollin.

My original point, though, was that if you take every writer of this blog and put them to work for six months, we might, might be able to pay the fine. I find the fine more offensive than the finger.

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