Headline Feb 03, 2015/


IN 2014,  - a group of four American television networks and a satellite service provider payed  the National Football League [NFL]:

$ 6 billion on broadcasting rights, up from $2 billion in 1998.

Nearly a third of this came from  ESPN, a sports network, to broadcast Monday Night Football.

This amounts to roughly $112 per game or  14 times the  per-game price it pays to show professional baseball.

The NFL's total revenue in 2012 was around  $9.5 billion.

It is not just professional football that is popular. In the early  1950s broadcast rights for all college football cost  $8 million in current dollars. In 2012  ESPN paid $55 million for broadcast  rights for a single game  -the Orange Bowl.

***At many universities football-coaches make more than the presidents***.

In 2011 California's highest-paid state employee was  Jeff  Tedford, who coached its flagship university's football-team-  and was fired a year later for poor results.

In  ''The King of Sports''   Gregg Easterbrook, who writes a column on professional football for  ESPN's  website and is also a contributing editor at several American magazines, examines what football's popularity says about America.

It brings political heft of the sort that drives politicians to grant  non-profit  status to the  NFL, thus letting it avoid million in taxes.

*It drives universities to throw scholarships  at promising young athletes-

While caring little about whether they get an education as long as they perform well on the field**.

In 2012,  Auburn University, for instance, won a national championship and paid its head coach  $3.5 million, yet just  52%  of its black football players actually graduated.

Popularity also let rich-team owners negotiate sweetheart deals with cities.

Starting in 2001, for instance, the Louisiana legislature voted to give Tom Benson, the owner of New Orlean's football team, an annual  $8.5 million  ''inducement payment''   to keep him from moving his team.

Taxpayers in Hamilton County, Ohio, spent  $26 million a year on servicing the debt for their professional football team's stadium while the county cut spending on public schools.

Facts such as these are infuriating, but a compelling book must be more than an agglomeration of facts, and Mr Easterbrook's work is strikingly uneven.

He is given to spluttering fits of moral outrage that lead him to contradict himself.

Regarding university alumni who donate to their alma maters'  football programmes, he loftily pronounces:

'' Money given to sports does not serve a larger social purpose,'' whereas later in the book he waxes lyrical about how football can  ''bring Americans together in civic celebrations''.

The writing is also annoying. Mr Easterbrook makes flats jokes and can be oddly lazy:

''Perhaps in some ineffable way the  too-big  nature of football helps stimulate American freedom and affluence.''

Yes, perhaps.

Those are the questions one might to ponder  -in book about American football, for instance.

So, why should readers care about he difference between a  tight end  and a slot receiver,  between  counter trey   and the  fumblecrooski?

Because football in America is not only a sport, it is also big business and getting bigger by the minute.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of United States of America. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

'' We, The Students ''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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