FanDuel - WFBC

December 29, 2005

"The truth is: the reason for the draft is to control competition in the market not on the playing field.":
Alan Milstein, sports, & monopsonies.

posted by lilnemo to culture at 07:00 PM - 20 comments

Link shamelessly stolen from TrueHoop.

posted by lilnemo at 07:05 PM on December 29

Holy crap, lilnemo, you're giving me a micro-econ flashback!

posted by worldcup2002 at 08:46 PM on December 29

Of course, this type of business practice is good for the consumer, you know, the fan. How I love the draft and the salary cap. The draft and the salary cap offer hope to the fan. Just like the reduction of scholarships in college athletics have evened the playing field to the point to where the Goliaths can struggle and the Davids dreams don't seem so far fetched. "If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all." - Martin Luther King

posted by UniqueFreak at 09:38 PM on December 29

Monopsony, come on you made that word up! Why not monopanasonic or monopipod? The reason that the league has an exclusive oppurtunity to bid for the 'talent" of these athletes is because outside of the NFL their respective talents do not carry the same value( i e Dion Sanders NFL=multi-million dollar contract, MLB=league minimum, TV announcer=< 0 )Though the value of a half completed "physical eduction degree" is hard to quantify in the current economic enviroment, the NFL seems a somewhat obvious career choice. Everyone has the 'right" to play NFL football, but only a select few have the "opportunity". The difference is not an artifically manipulated market but the talent of the individuals.

posted by at 06:32 AM on December 30

The aquisition of the top pick in the draft is hardly a gaurantee of a championship. The superbowl era has only produced a few #1 picks who went on to win the SB with their drafting teams( Bradshaw, Rodgers, Aikman ) The real goal of any league or team is to convince as many people(fans) that their team is worth watching(generating TV advertizing dollars) because they might have a chance at winning the Championship. This marketing strategy is what supports the NFL licensed products, not to mention a billiion dollar cottage industry. The media(ESPN) generates plenty of third party stories(TO) to keep the hype machine running. The media also generates another cottage industry of ubiqitous bulletin board forums( irony or coincidence? ) and talk radio shows which inturn generate even more advertizing dollars. It would be difficult to find an industry that is more ensconced in American Life. I only wish I though of it first!

posted by at 07:11 AM on December 30

Sorry nemo, but this has turned into a Bizarro-world econ class.

posted by yerfatma at 08:02 AM on December 30

Look at the Lions, they've had years of top ten picks, but they end up getting Joey Harrington, three wide recievers in a row (including Charles Rogers and the can't catch passes Mike and Roy Williams) and the "amazing" Aaron Gibson. It isn't as much how high you draft as how good you are at finding talent.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:11 AM on December 30

Regarding the NFL draft, the first round is often a joke. Taking the first player this year isn't going to send either Houston or San Fran skyrocketing to the top. Like many years, the team with the top pick would often be better off sending it elsewhere so they could address their other multiple needs. In the 2000 draft, Shaun Alexander didn't get selected until 19th spot, which was eight picks after mega-bust Ron Dayne. That hurt the Giants, but a few years later, Eli Manning used his clout as the overwhelming top choice to say, "I'm not playing in San Diego, so don't draft me." Luckily, not many athletes pull this type of power play, or you can imagine the mess there would be. The author writes about college hoops, but in basketball, only 5 guys are starters, so that fact keeps top players checking out programs all over the country.

posted by dyams at 08:56 AM on December 30

lilnemo - thanks for the link; interesting read.

"the first round is often a joke"

Just for clarification: do you mean the first pick of the first round?

"It isn't as much how high you draft as how good you are at finding talent."

I've heard this line of thinking before and it makes absolutely no sense to me. Everyone in the draft is "talented", however, no one knows for certain whether a player is going to be the next Troy Aikman or the next Akili Smith. Most teams are trying to find a player for a specific position necessary to make their team better. Granted, there are a few exceptions to this where a team just takes the most talented player available at the time (i.e. the Bears taking Cedric Benson in '05). As alluded to earlier, injuries are, most often, the bane of top draft picks; not a lack of talent.

posted by redsnare at 11:31 AM on December 30

Hey doofus: Monopsony

posted by billsaysthis at 02:07 PM on December 30

one thing that i didn't see mentioned, but might have missed, was the practice of teams using draft pick positions as trading tools, wouldnt that deflate the monosopy a little? Anyway, i think i have a solution.... First, in regards to unsigned rookies, to free up money in the salary cap, and reward the athletes who actually prove themselves to be worthy of big dollars, the amount paid to rookies and 2nd year players should be a set amount ie-rookies get league minimum, 2nd year players get a 40% increase, but they should be able to receive performance based bonuses at the end of the season, this would give them incentives to do their best and put each prospect on a level playing field. In regards to the draft, they should have all the rookies coming into the league chosen by having their names put into a giant hat, worst team picks first, blindfolded of course, and has to stick with its pick for at least two years before the player can be traded. If the player doesnt like the team they were picked by, there's always the CFL, or NFL Europe.

posted by MNJ1193 at 03:15 PM on December 30

He lost me with "The NCAA, with all its other faults, does seem to operate rather competitively". What a load of Mike Mularkey. Gee, you mean there are no powerhouse teams in any of the Various NCAA programs?? Teams don't spend Millions on facilities to attract recruits, and we don't see the result of that as Oregon becomes a football power... Should we even delve into programs like Colorado who provide sex for recruits?? Sorry, but if the NCAA worked like the NBA/NFL, then Temple would actually have a shot at and SEC crown. And we all know that ain't the case. "The English and European soccer leagues stay competitive without the privilege of monopsony power." Yes, but they are also out recruiting 9-13 year olds to play on Minor league teams. Maybe what we should have is the NFL setting up a multi-tiered minor league, taking young men out of school at 13 or 14 to take their shot at the NFL some day... Do away entirely with College ball... The alternative is that Reggie Bush gets a minor league contract at 16 or so, and never even graduates HS. Should football not work out for him, he's screwed. And the fact of it is that they'd be recruiting players like this and one out of ten would ever see an NFL field. If we did away with the NBA draft, who thinks NBA teams wouldn't try to sign the next LeBron at 14 or so?? I'm sure with this guy being an agent, he'd love to A) increase his customer base and B) Start bidding wars for top prospects. A lack of a draft will just encurage the deep pockets out there to scoop up as many young atheletes as possible. Ruining many a life in the process. It's bad enough with College ball right now, imagine if they didn't even have to maintain the pretense of educating these guys.... Anyway, as a football player, isn't there Arena league?? For Basketball guys, what about the "And-1" tour, or even the Harlem Globetrotters?? Just because everyone wants to work for the best company that pays the most doesn't mean that company has a monopoly on talent. Never trust a sports agent when he says he's just looking out for the kids...

posted by LostInDaJungle at 03:55 PM on December 30

the practice of teams using draft pick positions as trading tools, wouldnt that deflate the monosopy a little? No. The draft picks are essentially futures contracts. When the pick is actually made, there's still only one buyer on the end of the line and only one league to play in. LIDJ, you've made a mess of things. I don't even know where to begin. The NCAA may do all sorts of things to attract recruits, but that's because they have to compete against all other schools. A player is free to go wherever they wish, so individual buyers must spend money to get players. Since the NCAA has a fucked-up system where that money can't be spent directly on the kids, it goes into perks. As for a free market resulting in teams signing young kids: 1. Why couldn't the leagues impose age limits just like they do now? 2. Who cares? 3. Signing a child to a contract is a risky proposition in the US. Unless things have changed in the last 7 years or so, my understanding is it's extremely difficult legally to hold a minor to any contract. To expland upon #2: the dollars Young Reggie Bush receives under your doomsday scenario can be used to buy anything he wants, including an education. Signing kids is a risky proposition with low payoff yields. You need to sign dozens of kids to get one prospect. Look at baseball: some teams now try to only draft pitchers from college programs because high school seniors are too much of a crapshoot. Your minor league options are a joke. Compare the average AFL and entry-level NFL salaries. This is an area where the free market would do a better job than letting old white men job young kids.

posted by yerfatma at 04:14 PM on December 30

from the article: Even if Duke does seem to get more than its share of All-Americans, it does so by offering the most to its recruits: a great coach, a quality education, a history of not simply using its young talent but helping them grow into quality human beings Jesus Christ, can I not read ANYTHING without the goddamn Duke propoganda? Attention everyone: when you're looking for a college basketball program that is synonymous with class and success over time, you're looking for North Carolina. I know it's confusing b/c their coach isnt being rammed down your throat on American Express ads and everywhere else, but trust me on this- if you want to sound like you have a real understanding of basketball, you mean North Carolina. Possibly Kentucky or Kansas if you're looking for historical perspective, but North Carolina is your best bet.

posted by drjimmy11 at 05:28 PM on December 30

In regards to the draft, they should have all the rookies coming into the league chosen by having their names put into a giant hat, worst team picks first, blindfolded of course, and has to stick with its pick for at least two years before the player can be traded. If the player doesnt like the team they were picked by, there's always the CFL, or NFL Europe. That may be some of the biggest bullshit I have ever seen. The reason for the draft is so that the bad teams have a chance to get better (and with the salary cap and free agency it actually works, 99 Rams or the Colts anyone?). Plus, how dumb would it be if the team with the fist pick in the real system choose an offensive lineman from Central Southeast Middle Rhode Island Tech and the Super Bowl winner got Reggie Bush. In regards to the two year thing, most teams do stick with player for at least two years, since their binded by something called a contract.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:53 PM on December 30

The aquisition of the top pick in the draft is hardly a gaurantee of a championship. The superbowl era has only produced a few #1 picks who went on to win the SB with their drafting teams( Bradshaw, Rodgers, Aikman ) This is my self- edit. George Rodgers did not win a superbowl with the team that drafted him (Saints) So, he is in the same catgory as Elway(Colts), Jim Plunkett(Patriots) and Keyshawn Johnson(Jets) as 1# picks that won Superbowls with a team other than the one who drafted them. Drew Bledsoe as the back up for the Patriots in 2001 gets a special mention.(damn you Brady) That's it 6 guys in 39 years that were drafted #1 have gone on to win SuperBowls. The "point" is that, developing whatever talent you have is more important than your draft order! Coaching and general management is also a plus. That of course is if your goal is to actually win the SuperBowl and not just sell advertising rights and team based products.

posted by at 06:07 PM on December 30

*note to self....forward definition of sarcasm memo to ying yang mafia

posted by MNJ1193 at 08:06 PM on December 30

*note to self ... tell Ying Yang to fuck off with his Little Rhody-hatin'.

posted by yerfatma at 09:22 PM on December 30

Hey, I've seen a lot of people make some really dumbass posts, so excuse me if I thought you were serious...

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:53 AM on December 31

"the first round is often a joke" Just for clarification: do you mean the first pick of the first round? Actually, I kinda mean both. The first pick, the one some of these crappy teams need the most and have to make really, really count, often ends up being a huge waste of money and (lack of) talent. As for the first round, it gets all the attention, but it ends up being nothing but a crap shoot. When you look back at many of the drafts and see where potential hall-of-fame, game-changing players were taken in the first round, and how many needy teams passed on them, it's ridiculous. Hindsight, as always, is 20/20, but scouting of talent in football often seems to be rather shoddy for many organizations.

posted by dyams at 08:15 AM on December 31

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