NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle points out (Star-Struck Canton, Aug. 5) that "if NFL players are given total freedom to negotiate their services, the league would be dominated by a few rich teams and would eventually lose both fan interest and revenue."
Surprisingly, Ed Garvey, director of the players' union, ostensibly agrees. "Let those teams go out of business if they can't run a profitable enterprise," says Garvey. "That's what happens in American industry."
I thought Garvey had the interests of all players at heart, not just a few superstar wheeler-dealers. When teams go out of existence, many players lose jobs.
Will the day come when Garvey will be able to claim: "The operation was a success but the patient died"?
THOMAS STAPLETON JR.
So Ed Garvey thinks some of the teams should be allowed to go out of business.
His statement implies that if a team cannot compete without the reserve clause, it is because of management inefficiency. But no amount of efficiency will allow Lou Saban of Buffalo to offer the climate and movie-industry contacts of Southern California, or Art Modell of Cleveland the night life and media exposure of New York. Nor, with their smaller markets, can they expect to outbid the teams of those areas.
The claim is made that everyone else has the right to change employers at will. But some other businesses do use contracts restricting key employees from working for a competitor in the same industry within a specific time period.
Further, companies in most other industries, if at a disadvantage because of location, can move to the same city as their competitor. Would that work in professional sports? And in other industries, if one company becomes too predominant, the Federal Government may act. Now if one team wins the Super Bowl three times running and attendance falls off elsewhere, will the Sherman Anti-Trust Act apply?
GOODBY TO ALL THAT
Once again you have outdone yourselves, and author Roger Kahn (In the Catbird Seat, Aug. 5) has once again made the game of baseball more personal.
In these days when most ball parks look alike and are impersonal—save Fenway, Wrigley, Tiger and White Sox parks—the glory days of Ebbets Field with Jackie Robinson and its other heroes are captured magnificently by Kahn and Bob Weaver.
B.J. SCOTT FORST
Huntington Station, N.Y.