The essence of the
National Football League's contract with CBS, which has now been ruled in
violation of antitrust laws, is that all NFL clubs would share equally in the
money paid by the network to televise games. The reason for such an arrangement
is that a team like the New York Giants, with a huge home-area audience, has no
difficulty getting a good price for telecasts of its road games, while a team
like Green Bay has difficulty even selling TV rights to its games. Obviously,
therefore, if each team negotiated TV rights on its own, those in big cities
would have a tremendous financial advantage over those in small cities, though
both are selling the same commodity—NFL football. Indeed, many league owners
believe that without a reasonable share of TV money some NFL clubs would be
forced out of business.
Allan Grim's decision negating the contract has the effect of encouraging the
rich to get richer and obliging the poor to remain that way, surely the
opposite intent of antitrust legislation. In addition, the richer teams would
inevitably become better teams, and the poorer teams would become worse teams.
It seems to us too bad that a distinction before the law cannot be made between
a sports association—to whose advantage (and the public's) it is to field
evenly matched teams—and, say, a group of car manufacturers. Pro football, we
agree, is as much business as it is sport, but it is a special kind of business
and should be judged accordingly.
The poll has
clearly become as much a part of baseball as the bat and ball. No aspect of the
game goes blissfully unrated. To the old list of Most Valuable Player, best
manager, outstanding pitcher and top rookie such newcomers as best sophomore
and biggest comeback have recently been added.
faceless bodies of unquestioned integrity, are also getting the treatment. As
The Sporting News
, a poll of sportswriters, coaches and managers
tells us which umpires are the neatest (Ed Vargo, Ed Hurley, Jocko Conlan,
Larry Napp and Cal Drummond), which are the least likely to eject players
(Dusty Boggess, Bill McKinley and Red Flaherty) and which are the quickest at
making decisions ( Jocko Conlan, Charlie Berry and Larry Napp). We also learn
that Frank Dascoli and Hurley are the most difficult to talk to, the worst
pop-offs and the biggest grand-standers. The most surprising of the 20
categories listed is "best knowledge of rules" (Al Barlick and Berry),
because all umpires are supposed to know the rules thoroughly.
When the poll was
published, Barlick—also one of the "most respected, most
serious-minded"—became, in this instance, the quickest to call the play. He
decided the poll was ridiculous. "What do the writers know about
umpiring?" he asked. "All they know is what they're told." As for
the category "most respected," Barlick said that the respect of players
for umpires is such a fickle thing that it defies any attempt at analysis. In
short, he rated the poll as most foolish and least likely to succeed.
IQs FOR QBs
If Mr. Lawson pays
$65 a month rent and earns a salary of $3,120 a year, what percent of his
salary does he pay for rent?
What is the
opposite of diminutive—distraught, large, inductive or reluctant?