Friday, August 1, 2008

A job about nothing

Imagine if an executive at a Fortune 500 company, the most a guy who brought that company back to preeminence after being irrelevant for 25 years, waffled between retirement and staying on. Under what circumstances would the company offer him $20 million to retire, except for an occasional function where he has to gladhand a few stockholders? That's almost exactly what's going on in Green Bay. Now the Packers aren't quite in the Fortune 500, but they really aren't that far off, and most importantly they are a public owned company, the only such team in American sports. I can't imagine that the stockholders want to sink $20 million into keeping Favre off the Vikings when they offered Ryan Grant a $1.75 million signing bonus on a six year deal.

It sounds like this is how Brett Favre's career is going to end: publicly bank rolled by a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the league to remain active in the Green Bay community? So is this a case of sports becoming more or less like a business? The argument for it becoming less like a business is based around how personal this dispute has become. The argument for sports becoming more like a business is how eerily similar this sounds to Dick Cheney's retirement from Halliburton, for which he received a $20 million severance package.

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