The NFL Extorts A Small Fortune From Players For Game Footballs


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Somewhere deep in the NFL League office sits a frail little man with wire rim glasses hunched over a calculator. His job? He gave up a $25,000 job in accounting to go to work for the NFL as their CFEO, their “Chief Financial Extortion Officer”, lol… What is his job directive or description? “Maximize NFL revenue by any means possible”.

Earlier today Michael David Smith of NBC sports reported the latest news, or did he? 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Frank Gore scored touchdowns on Sunday and thew the balls into the stands. Michael figured that’s all there was to tell, that they were fined $10,500 apiece.

I guess you get lazy with a big office and big check, I don’t have that problem. The fact is that those two “pops” are only part of what the NFL makes off the players from the footballs they buy wholesale, or perhaps don’t have to pay Wilson for at all. Nobody knows for sure if the NFL has to pay for them, or how much.

I know what the public pays on a single purchase, a C-note apiece for an official Wilson NFL game ball. The NFL paid around $200 for those two balls and cashed in $21,000. Net profit? About $20,800. That’s bad enough, but Roger is raking in much more than that in each game.

Remember the interception Jonathan Vilma made in the last game? I tweeted that he would gladly pay the 500 bucks to take it home. Several people were shocked, they had no idea the NFL was charging the players money like that to take home a hard earned souvenir. All of them were outraged at the NFL taking advantage of the players, but they shouldn’t have been surprised.The NFL is tight lipped about numbers like that, and the data is hard to find, but smart money says $500 was what was quoted in the past to take a specific game ball home.

We’ll have to round off numbers here, but even rough numbers will be quite interesting. As many as 5 major plays in each game by both teams players may have a player wanting to take the ball home he intercepted or recovered, or caught for a touchdown. Let’s say 10 per game. What the hell, the players make lots of money, they can afford it, right?

But what’s the tally? 150, 160 balls a week. At 150 a week for 16 weeks that’s 2400 balls, and that’s just the regular season. At $500 a pop, that’s $1,200,000, before the post season even starts. The 2400 balls cost the NFL maybe nothing, but at the most $240,000. That’s close to a cool million in extortion money just for the privilege of taking home game souvenirs.

Pretty good racket, wouldn’t you say? Like I said in the title, it’s a small fortune no matter how far my numbers are off. But then again, it helps preserve the integrity of the game. Hmmm… I wonder if Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore went to the Rape Crisis Center today after they go the news?

By the way Michael David, that’s how you take a simple news item and get to the root of the real story, try it some time.

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8 thoughts on “The NFL Extorts A Small Fortune From Players For Game Footballs

  1. its been a long standing rule that if a player throws the ball in the stands he will be fined, and for a while you didnt see much of it. but as players become better paid the fines seem so much more insignificant and it happens much more frequently.
    i had no idea the nfl charged players for trophy balls. that is ridiculous. there is no way the nfl pays for footballs when everything else for them is free from gatorade to shoes to uniforms. if wislon charged for footballs the nfl would go to someone else who was offering a free ball. goodell is a fucking crook.

    • Good points guys. Art, I imagine you’re right. With regards to no data to be found on the Internet about the NFL paying for the balls, there’s probably a non-disclosure agreement.They wouldn’t want it known they’re making a fortune each year from free products.

      • I would just like to know “WHO” in the League office are lining there pockets from free sponsors gifts. I have a friend who practices law, thinking about running the issue around him.

        Aka dafandan “Who DATT!!”

  2. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is way past time that the NFL’s power is reeled in a whole lot. They make more money than the mint in Denver but it’s very expensive for a family of four to go see a damn game. Power and greed, the coziest of bedfellows.

    • And just think, the NFL is a non-profit organization. Sheesh. It may be time to re-run an old article we did on the subject.

  3. the thing about non profits is they can use their income for a few specific purposes like buying property. so lets assume they hold a piece of property and sell it for pennies on the dollar to a friend of jerry jones, who then kicks back millions of dollars in cash to jerry jones. that is how the rich become richer.