Monday, October 01, 2012

The NFL Sacrificed Three Weeks Of Games On The Altar Of Bullshit Ideological Purity:

Goodell and his owners may have lost the PR battle on Monday when their sport turned into the last 10 minutes of Horse Feathers, but they won the ideological fight our anonymous owner alluded to above. It was nominally about retirement benefits, but in fact it was a struggle over what it means to be a worker or an employer under our dyspeptic yet triumphal contemporary brand of capitalism.

The NFL locked out its referees in the name of taking away their pensions. It was not that the pensions were a threat to the longterm fiscal survival of the league—again and again, we were reminded that the sums involved were pocket change in a growing, multibillion-dollar enterprise. It was that the pensions existed at all. The mere existence of a defined-benefit retirement plan offended an ownership class that had looked around and seen that every other business owner in America had already broken that particular contract. The referees' old deal was deemed insufficiently hard-edged or market-driven. That was the most vulgar thing about the lockout. It was a matter of ideological purity. It was … aesthetic.