The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Ralph Couey

July 23, 2011

RALPH COUEY | An autumn of silence?

— The approach to every autumn, for as long as I can remember, brought for me a rising excitement. The arrival of the cooler breezes meant that football season had arrived.

But this fall may arrive with an uncommon silence. In stadiums across the country, instead of the roar of the crowds, only the whisper of the wind will be heard. Owners and players find themselves athwart serious issues that have to be resolved to ensure the healthy future of the game and those who play it.

Owners want an 18-game season. More games, more tickets, more revenue. Players want to be compensated for those extra two weeks (and who around here wants to work for free?) and are very concerned at the effect of two additional weeks of violence will have on their bodies. This is a very real issue.

Earl Campbell was a dominant running back with the Houston Oilers. He was an immensely powerful man with thighs the girth of which would rival a mature oak tree. His best year was 1980, when he rushed for nearly 2,000 yards. But his career lasted only eight years.

And the last time I saw Earl Campbell, he was in a wheelchair.

NFL careers are short, about six years, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell. A player’s peak earnings will last about half that. Because of that, the player’s union wants to do away with the salary cap, in order to maximize their earnings. Owners want the cap because they want to control salaries. Also, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the cap kept the wealthier teams from dominating year after year, while small-market teams withered away. This has meant that football is relatively competitive; giving all teams a shot at acquiring talented players.

Owners refuse to reveal their earnings to the union, thus placing in doubt the issue of revenue sharing.

The debates and arguments continue with no solution in sight.

 Ralph Couey is a freelance writer living in Somerset. He is a frequent contributor to The Tribune-Democrat.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Ralph Couey
  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg RALPH COUEY | Sweet offerings sour dining experience

    We’re all familiar with the scenario. We’ve just finished a sumptuous dinner, three courses of artistry and flavor that has filled us to the point that some are surreptitiously loosening the belt. We are sure that no room remains in the stomach. We may not have to eat again for two days.
    Then a shiny silver cart is rolled up to the table. Across its top are arrayed a dozen or so plates and bowls containing things like cake, fudge, ice cream, or any one of a hundred other temptations. Suddenly, we find there is room after all.
     But not for all of us.

    January 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • ralph couey Ralph Couey | The center of ... everything

    The universe fascinates me, and has since my formative years during that breathless era known as “The Space Race.”

    October 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg Ralph Couey | NDIC: Memories permeate silence

    Ralph Couey of Chantilly, Va., formerly worked at the now-closed National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown. He wrote an occasional column for The Tribune-Democrat. Below is a piece he penned about the NDIC.

    August 12, 2012 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg RALPH COUEY | The only constant in life is change

    Our environment is often spoken of as nature – the sun, moon, trees, climate, all the elements of our world.
    But we also exist in another atmosphere; one of people, friends, loved ones and acquaintances.

    October 16, 2011 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg RALPH COUEY | The call of 9/11

    The 10th anniversary has passed. The first heat in the breathless race to establish a memorial for the crew and passengers of Flight 93 has been won.

    September 17, 2011 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg RALPH COUEY | The road less traveled may lead to greatness

    September 4, 2011 1 Photo

  • RALPH COUEY | An autumn of silence?

    The approach to every autumn, for as long as I can remember, brought for me a rising excitement. The arrival of the cooler breezes meant that football season had arrived.

    July 23, 2011

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg Speak your mind, share your heart | Ralph Couey

    It’s called glossaphobia. No, it’s not about your brand of car wax or furniture polish. It’s the technical term for the fear of public speaking.

    July 10, 2011 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg Freaking out over tiny invaders

    The other day I arrived at work to find one of my co-workers in full freak-out mode.

    June 13, 2011 1 Photo

  • Ralph Couey column photo.jpg RALPH COUEY | Couples should enter marriage with their eyes wide open

    On June 17, 1978, a brutally hot and humid Missouri day, a couple of hundred people gathered for a wedding.

    June 11, 2011 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads