Trash Talk: There Will Be Football

The big news of the morning may be the latest maneuvers of the Murdoch scandal.

But we’ve also got real sports news.

It looks like the assholes running American football will beat the assholes running America to crafting a deal. The key breakthrough came Friday with the settlement on a new rookie payment scheme that would basically limit how much teams have to pay their first round picks in their first five years.

The rookie wage system had been a key part of that complex work in recent weeks. Exact language of the rookie wage system is being worked out by both sides’ lawyers, sources told Mortensen, but a management negotiator agreed that the rookie system was “done.”

According to sources, the terms agreed to on the rookie wage system are, in part, as follows:

• Five-year contracts, with a team option for the fifth year.

• If the team option is exercised, in the fifth year the top 10 picks would receive a salary equal to the average of the top 10 player salaries at their respective positions. That money would be guaranteed if the option is exercised after the third year of the contract.

• If the team option is exercised, in the fifth year picks 11-32 would receive a salary equal to the average of the Nos. 3-25 salaries at their respective positions. That money would be guaranteed if the option is exercised after the third year of the contract.

It sort of feels a lot like concessions the UAW made in recent years to make sure older workers keep getting wages negotiated years ago, while screwing newer workers.

There are still a number of issues to be worked out: how to account for wages lost in the negotiating period, how to end the various legal challenges, what to do in the anticipated free-for-all free agency period immediately following a settlement, and some safety and workman’s compensation issues. But these will probably be resolved by Wednesday, in time for the NFLPA to vote on it and then–football!!

This is all proof, I guess, that Eric Cantor is a bigger dick than even Jerry Jones.

Which brings us to the other football, the beautiful game. At 2ET, the US takes on Japan in the Women’s World Cup championship game.

I, frankly, am unprepared to bet on who will win this. The Americans have been finding a way to win the key matches, most spectacularly with their victory on PKs last weekend. And Japan has never beaten the Americans. But Japan beat tournament favorite Germany and the exciting Swedish team by simply refusing to let them have the ball; it’s hard to beat that kind of ball control.The Japanese passing game is wonderful to watch.

Frankly, I will be thrilled with either team winning this game, so long as it is as exciting as the matches that got these teams here. The US believe they are destined. But Japan has been playing as inspiration to their country in the aftermath of this year’s earthquake and tsunami. A win for either one makes a great story.

The press is making this out to be a duel between US forward Abby Wambach–who has scored key goals in the last three games–and Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa–who is playing in her fifth world cup and, like Wambach, is the emotional leader of the team.

Just as much, it’ll be a duel between US keeper Hope Solo–whose stop in PKs last weekend made the difference in the win over Brazil, and Japan’s keeper, Ayumi Kaihori. On paper, Solo is the much better keeper. But Kaihori has not made any mistakes in the elimination games and her confidence appears to be growing.

Me, I think it’s going to come down to how well Lauren Cheney, Wambach, and Megan Rapinoe (who will probably come off the bench). Cheney’s been key throughout this tournament; Rapinoe has had a key role off the bench in the last few games, including the assist on Wambach’s header to tie the game against Brazil and put it into PKs. And of course Wambach seems to manage to find a way to win every time. If these women take enough clean shots on goal, they will win. But if Japan manages to dominate ball control as they have and limit those shots, they may well surprise the US.

35 replies
  1. nomolos says:

    The press is making this out to be a duel between US forward Abby Wambach–who has scored key goals in the last three games–and Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa–who is playing in her fifth world cup and, like Wambach, is the emotional leader of the team.

    Seems like the press has forgotten that it is a team game as in11 people on a team. This is not sillyball where a person throws a ball to a batter while the other players stand in the outfield and scratch their balls, this a a team game where players play constantly up and down the field, as a team. Why there need to promote as individual vs individual is a mystery to me but then I have only played non-american sports Soccer, rugby so what the hell do I know.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Good point, nomolos.

    Sawa is famous in the sport. But the Japanese have won with their truly superb team play.

  3. whitewidow says:

    Congrats on the new digs. I don’t say much but I read it all. Hope you’re happy with the move.

    Dang, I missed the margarita party but I’ll toast to your new home with a mimosa today.

  4. emptywheel says:

    PJ Evans
    Yeah, but the owners gave up some key, unreasonable, demands (like the 18 game season–I suspect Rooney told them to fuck off about that one).

  5. nomolos says:

    The Nadeshiko are truly amazing. In the game against Sweden they were three to ball throughout the entire game, sometimes it lloked like they had 15 players rather than 11, America is going to be in tough. If, and this is my rediction, if america can score quickly they may put the Nadeshiko on the back foot but if the game is nil, nil for a protracted period America’s chances of a victory will be diminished.

    By the way well done on your new digs.

  6. 1970cs says:

    The new rookie wage scale could also be named the JaMarcus Russell clause. The past few years 2nd and 3rd round picks are almost more valuable to a team, because if a guy is a 1st round bust the team is screwed under the salary cap.

  7. Jim White says:

    Yes, I can’t wait for the game today. The Japanese team is just so precise on offense in how they find open spots and pass to one another. The US team has gotten this far mostly on drama and outlasting opponents. I don’t think this Japanese team will be susceptible to that approach. I think that to win today, the US will need to build and then hold onto an early lead.

  8. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    @1970cs, I’d love to see a graphic of total years played by draft position. “Can’t Miss” is one of my favorite idiotic sportswriter phrases.

  9. P J Evans says:

    Yeah, the draft picks that get the most attention are the ones that tend to flame out early. I wonder if that’s because they were stars and never got the ‘team’ idea as well as the non-stars.

  10. emptywheel says:


    Now you know what it’s like!

    I got distracted by trivialities, like impending doom for Murdoch.

  11. emptywheel says:

    Hey look at that. Sundhage put Cheney and Rapinoe in. Let’s see whether my prediction they, with Wombach, might be the key in this game.

      • bmaz says:

        I demand soccer trash talk dammit!! Wots wrong with you people; if you cannot get charged up about soccer, who are you?!?!

        [Disclaimer: As a craven trial lawyer, I have no problem with inconsistent positions.]

  12. rosalind says:

    Lauren Cheney, reclaiming the name for the forces of good.

    (and i agree with being happy with either team winning, with a slight emotional tug towards japan)

  13. ANOther says:

    Applause for Darren Clarke, a 40-something Northern Irishman who won the British Open today (that’s golf /s). Clarke is a little overweight, likes to smoke and drink, and lost his wife to breast cancer 5 years ago.

  14. emptywheel says:

    Well, this is pretty much what I expected. Gotta say, though, having to play up to the Japan team’s technique has improved the US game.

  15. foulis says:

    Well bmaz, i could make a statement about the NFL and the money grabbing on both sides but what’s the point? I always say take the padding off boys and then have at it. What are they doing for the retired players is what I want to know.

    Come on Japan.
    Oops- wambach just scored in extra time.

  16. emptywheel says:

    Wow. What a game. That’s why we watch sports.

    And who was it that said it’d come down to a duel between Solo and Kaihori? Oh yeah! That was me!

  17. Valley Girl says:

    [email protected]:16 Hi!
    I’m a regular reader- but the knowledge level of commenters at “emptywheel” and the quality of comments is exceptional- way beyond my knowledge base. So, I lurk & learn.

  18. nomolos says:

    Penalty kicks have bugger all to do with the bloody game. As has been suggested by many a player, manager, commentator and fan for many, many years, corner kicks should be counted to decide the winner in a tied game. corner kicks are indicative of an offensive manner of play and would promote offense throughout the game.

    A victory by penalty kick is a hollow victory.

  19. nomolos says:

    Golden goal is, if I am correct, also known as sudden loss? NOt a system I think fair. Frankly I really have no particular favourite to win…either team is OK by me as long as the game is good. (I know that is a rather old fashioned attitude, probably from my rugby background) It is the idea of penalty kicks that have nothing to do with a team game…nothing.

    Play the damn game for the full time, have an over time nad if still tied then count the corner to kicks to determine which team was the most offensive.

    The game was exciting, good, clean and enjoyable…the rest, I was back working on a website for a client.

  20. Oaktown Girl says:

    Rookie wage scale is not a good comparison to the other unions agreeing to lower wages for new employees. The NFL has a salary cap, and huge payouts to unproven rookies screwed veterans who deserved a proper raise. This will actually help fairly reward players who have put in time, proven themselves, and deserve to be compensated accordingly. The incoming rookies will have the same opportunity after they put in their time as well. So it’s not really a good comparison to what other unions have done, which is really nasty.

  21. emptywheel says:

    I hear you Oaktown Girl. I guess my concern is that makes college ball all that much more exploitative.

  22. Oaktown Girl says:

    Yeah, the NCAA rules are archaic, exploitive, and oftentimes downright cruel. But hey,as long as it’s mostly lower income Black folk being hurt, it’s all good, right?

  23. cregan says:

    Looking forward to the season actually beginning. Like the debt ceiling, it will happen at the last minute.

Comments are closed.