Serious question, rayzor, because I understand and respect some of what you're saying, but not all. Most of us pay into our health insurance with some of that burden being shouldered by our employers as well. Are you suggesting a different form of health care support be provided and fully funded by the owners and the player has little or no financial responsibility there?
I think what some people are saying is that we all have to make decisions as to how, what, why and when we provide health care for ourselves and our families and the same goes for our 401k or whatever form of retirement we're afforded. The owners and the league provide these opportunities to players as well, so I'm not sure what more the players want.
no. i'm not saying that the owners should pay for all of it.
this is what the players are asking...
• Reduction of the amount of games players need to become vested to qualify for post-career health care and pension benefits."
"Unrelated to the 18-game schedule, also remaining on the table are proposals from each side to include a rookie hard wage scale that could be in effect as early as the 2011 draft. However, whereas the owners want the $200 million on projected rookie wage savings redistributed with $100 million to improved retired player pensions and health care and the remaining $100 million to simply be available in the system with an increased pay-for-performance pool, the union wants the owners to match the $100 million savings on retired players." link
from what i can tell, they just want to be eligible for the benefits earlier. they don't want an increase in the benefits they are getting they just realize that 1) their careers are very short, 2) the demand of the extra 2 games is going to put additional stress on their already over stressed physiques, and 3) new research is coming out about the long term effects of the hits they are asked to take on their bodies and brains.
how long does it take for a player to get enough concussions to knock him out of the game or to cause long term brain damage? how many plays does a player have to be involved in before they have their career ended due to a shredded knee? you don't have to be playing for years to endure those type of injuries, but you do have to be playing for years before the you can take advantage of the long term benefits to former players.
also, it's pretty obvious that if a rookie cap is instituted (something that vet players are also in favor of) that there is going to be huge savings for the league and owners. so what is going to happen with that money? the players want a significant portion to go towards retired players pensions and health care (which probaly takes up most of the players pensions).
the more games they play a year, the shorter their careers are going to be. also, the more games they play a year a year, the greater their chances are of injury. with the amount attention going towards the long term effects of injruy brought to these players and what i would assume is legit concern for the health of these players, that the league and owners would give more than lip service and help out those players who made the owners so much money.
it isn't asking the owners to cater to their every whim for the rest of their lives, it's asking them to make access to health care a little easier to help deal with the problems they have for their service to the league.