As I see it, the NFL players are completely justified in their strike (And Then the Clock Showed 00:00, Sept. 27). Compared to the salaries baseball, basketball and hockey players are getting, NFL players are definitely low on the economic totem pole. Consider this in light of the vast amount of money being made by the owners from the live gate and from television and the fact that they have made free agency a joke, and you can easily understand the players' frustration. Because professional sports are an entertainment industry in which the players are the product being offered to the public, they deserve a greater share of the pot.
Does Gene Upshaw think before he talks? In your article about the strike, he states: "Without the players there is nothing." I think he has it backwards. Without the owners there is nothing! Who got the league off the ground originally, the owners or the players? Who made the initial investment and took the risk of success or failure? The owners are the people who made this game a big-money business, not the players. For the owners to abandon their successful system would be ridiculous.
The NFLPA says the owners won't bargain in good faith. The NFLPA is just unreasonable in its demands. The players' insistence on a percentage of TV revenues is still a demand for a percentage of the gross. What would happen if all employees in the U.S. wanted a percentage of their employers' gross receipts? Who would start a new business? Who would hire anyone? I think it's about time the NFLPA and especially Upshaw came back down to earth.
ERIC S. PEISNER
We fans must rise and show our solidarity. We are the game. Our demands must be met by the conclusion of this impasse or we will have no choice but to strike. We will not, must not, settle for less than the following:
1) a 55% reduction in gross ticket revenue;
2) a uniform ticket-price scale based on seniority; and
3) a free beer for every game attended back to 1977, and forward to 1986.
JOSEPH B. PHILBRICK
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
When the strike is over, the fans should meet at the stadiums around the country, shake hands and go home.
Just as I was getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the young NFL season, the players' strike brought me back to my senses. So did your article on Milwaukee Brewer Shortstop Robin Yount. Robert W. Creamer's piece was just what the doctor ordered. It helped remind me that the best way to spend these Indian summer days is watching baseball, America's pastime. Bring on the playoffs! Bring on the World Series!
SCOTT R. HUEBNER
A GOOD WORD
I'm writing this letter because there has been a lot of negative press coming from almost every source about the NFL and its players, concerning the strike, the use of drugs and so on. A lot of people seem to think that the players have nothing on their minds but making more money than they can carry to the bank and how much cocaine they can use. But that's not so with at least one player I can name: Jim Miller of the 49ers.
Our 15-year-old son, Brian Walker, was listed in critical condition and had given up all hope of recovery when I called Miller at his parents' home in Ripley, Miss. last February. I explained that Brian was very ill and that Miller had been his hero since Miller played at Ole Miss. I asked him if he would visit Brian and Jim said to name the time and he'd be there. He even came 15 minutes early!
We saw a miracle that night, brought about by one of the nicest people in the world. Miller gave Brian the jersey he had worn in the Super Bowl, but the best gift was that he restored Brian's will to fight the illness, Guillain-Barr� syndrome, that had almost taken his life. Miller came back every week until we brought Brian home, and then, until he reported for training camp and the start of the season, he visited him here. Every day we thank God for our son's doctors and a barefooted punter from Ripley, Miss.