Tuesday, March 15

The Value of an Opinion

I got called to the carpet the other day by a member of a gaming forum that I frequent about my admission that I would have a hard time reading a certain book because the author wrote it in Present Tense. For those unfamiliar with what I'm speaking about, it's as simple as the difference between saying, "Abe nods his head" and "Abe nodded his head". One gives a sense of happening right then as opposed to having already happened. For those with children, if you watch the Nick Jr. show Peppa Pig, it's told by the narrator in Present Tense. At any rate, the gist of what this forum member was trying to get at was that I was picking on the book because it didn't appeal to me, and that maybe I was experiencing a bit of writer envy. However, I think the member was missing the entire point of my original post, in that it was my opinion that I would have a hard time getting into the book because of the author's use of Present Tense. I still intend to read the book at some point, but with Book Two in the midst of being written, and with it being 3rd on my "to-be-read" list, I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

This kind of goes back to an earlier post where I talk about the importance of letting things go, where I talked about an author who went off the deep end based upon a negative review of her book. The value of an opinion is placed solely in the eyes of the one who holds that opinion. The fact that someone might not agree with said opinion does not make it any less valid or wrong, because you ask a hundred people what they thought about a subject, and why, you'll get a hundred different answers. Which one is right? The answer is "all of them", because when it comes to opinions, there are no wrong answers. The proof is in the pudding on this one, and for that I call attention to The Godfather, arguably one of the greatest movies of all time. Why arguably? Because despite the love, there are still a lot of people who simply don't like it, or place a higher value on another movie. That's okay though, because they're all right.

I finished up Chapter Five last night, which puts me a hair shy of 17,000 words. I was expecting Five to be shorter than it was, but as I was writing it I found myself adding a scene that gave depth to a minor character while also furthering the overall plot. I'll probably detail said minor character over the next couple of Sample Sundays, and in fact will probably detail the additional characters I introduce in Book Two over the course of the next few weeks. There's not a lot, but they all serve a purpose, and I want you to meet them.

Warning: Football Opinion Ahead. Read at your own risk.

Like a lot of Americans, I have been paying close attention to the labor dispute, and after reading and reading and reading all of the things that have come out since the labor discussions fell apart. My take? The players are the ones who forced this issue, not the owners.

I''m going try and back up my opinion with a few numbers, so bear with me. There's a lot of talk about the $9 billion in revenue that the NFL made last year, and even more about how the owners want an additional $1 billion off the top (they already get $1 billion) in order to cover their operating expenses, which for some teams have increased with the addition of new stadiums. $1 billion is a lot, but there are 32 teams, so the actual value per team is a little more than $31 million. Still a lot, but bear with me.

The Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned franchise who are run by a board of directors. As such, they are the only team who has to make their finances available for anyone who asks. The Packers, the Super Bowl winning Packers, who have a fifty year waiting list on season tickets, made a whopping $9 million in revenue last year. Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers made more than that on endorsement deals alone. That $9 million is with the $31 million thrown in off the overall NFL revenue. Yeah, $9 million seems like a lot, but it's really not when you're talking about a Football Franchise. 

So basically, what the owners were asking for was an additional $31 million to be added to their pot.

The players refused to budge. And all along, one of their key arguments was that they weren't the ones asking for more money. Well, no duh. See, what many people don't know is that the NFL players had the most player-friendly CBA in American Sports history. After that $1 billion was taken off the top, the players received 60% of what was left over. You want to know why the owners opted out of the CBA? Look no further. So yeah, the players weren't asking for more money, they were asking for the status quo to remain the same. So if you wonder why, when the offer to play the 2011 season under the old CBA was shot down, there you go.

Now, the owners are not totally without fault. It wasn't until the 11th hour when they came forward with an overall reasonable compromise to the entire situation, dropping their asked for amount of about $400 million (a little over $10 million per team), as well as numerous concessions on player safety and the agreement that they wouldn't go to an 18-game season for at least two years, along with a few other items. But it was too late to stop the NFLPA from decertifying, so now the issue is in the hands of the courts. We'll see how this all plays out come April 9th, and the winner of that ruling will be in the driver's seat for future negotiations.

Me? I just want some damn football when September rolls around.


  1. I prefer to write in first person, present tense. If I write in third person, it sounds too choppy. I have actually had a lot of people tell me they don't like to read in present tense, but they don't have a problem with my works. That made me feel pretty good. I do understand, though, that it's not for everyone. The most you can do is give it a chance, but if you can't get into it, then so be it. No one likes to trudge through a book.

    Also, I appreciate what you said about opinions. I'm sure I'll get a bad review at some point, and I hope I can take it constructively. Thanks for the advice.

    I stopped reading at "football." :)

    I'm a new follower - followed you here from Book Blogs.


  2. Thanks for stopping by Deborah! I will fully admit that writing well enough for certain stylistic choices, such as using Present Tense, to be virtually invisible is a very difficult thing to pull off. So color me impressed that you are able to do so, because I don't feel I'm there yet.

    I followed you back. :)