Minor League Baseball: The Last Bastion Of Acceptable Exploitation In Professional Sports (Not Counting The NCAA)

For every top-flight prospect apprenticing in the minors after receiving a multi-million dollar signing bonus, hundreds of players are drafted every year and get $1,000, tops. Salaries start at $1,100 a month, and the checks only come for half a year. As Lily Rothman says over at Slate, most of these players are… » 4/03/12 3:35pm 4/03/12 3:35pm

Last Night's Arena Football Season-Opener Was A Farce

Arena Football's 25th season kicked off last night, but it would be a stretch to call what was played in Orlando "football." A players' strike hours before kickoff meant both teams mostly used replacement players selected in a draft before the game, leaving NFL Network announcers without rosters and some players … » 3/10/12 12:14pm 3/10/12 12:14pm

Exclusive: Leaked Documents Show Operating Profits For NFL Ventures Rose 29 Percent Last Year

NFL Ventures, the league's billion-dollar, all-but-the-kitchen-sink wing that oversees sponsorships, marketing, media properties, sales, and satellite rights, saw its operating profit grow by 29 percent from 2009 to 2010. This was along about the time that owners began claiming the business of professional football… » 7/15/11 1:10pm 7/15/11 1:10pm

Exclusive: We've Obtained Audited Financials For The NFL League Office

These are audited financial statements for the NFL's league office, the nerve center of professional football, covering the years ended March 31, 2009, and March 31, 2010. The documents below deal with only one piece of NFL operations, and there aren't any obviously mind-melting revelations about the financial state… » 7/08/11 2:08pm 7/08/11 2:08pm

The NFL Lockout Court Battle, Explained Via Pretty Word Clouds

Like bright colors? Hate the complexity of legal procedure? Well, not only are you the target audience for the NFL's lockout PR campaign, but you might also enjoy these visualizations we made out of the court documents from Brady et al v. National Football League. Above is a word cloud for all of the court documents… » 5/31/11 4:55pm 5/31/11 4:55pm

More Misplaced Rhetoric From Pro Football Talk

De Smith says the NFL is the "first league in the history of sports that has ever sued to not play their game," which, like a lot of slogans, isn't entirely accurate (the NFL hasn't sued), even if it accurately conveys the sense that the NFL is taking great pains to get its lockout. Mike Florio has some thoughts about… » 5/18/11 5:55pm 5/18/11 5:55pm

Dear Roger Goodell: This Is What A Typical NFL Career Looks Like

Roger Goodell recently took to the pulpit to debunk the popularly held notion that an NFL player's career lasts 3.5 years. The truth, Roger says, is that if you make an opening day roster as a rookie, your career will last almost six years; if you get drafted in the first round, it's nine years; and if you make a Pro… » 4/26/11 4:45pm 4/26/11 4:45pm

Here's What Confused NFL Players Are Doing This Morning

Showing up to work out, some of them. Except not really working out. And the ones that arrived are either union guys checking the lay of the land, or players openly concerned about their workout bonuses. Mostly, players walked in, hung around for a couple of minutes then went home. Everyone's pretty confused. » 4/26/11 12:50pm 4/26/11 12:50pm

If There's A Lockout, Charlie Batch Could Lose His Super Bowl Rings

Batch declared bankruptcy in December, and his creditors now have the option of seizing the property he used as collateral to secure his debt. That includes "a 2006 Kawasaki personal watercraft, and sports memorabilia and jewelry." Among that, his two Super Bowl rings, as well as his collection of autographed jerseys. » 3/23/11 4:15pm 3/23/11 4:15pm