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Fletcher finds positives in his upbringing

We spend so much time debating and discussing the unsavory side of sports that it's worth a moment to pause and reflect a bit more on London Fletcher, one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. It's an award that honors one NFL player each year for his work off the field - not on it - and it's important to remember
what motivates Fletcher in his charitable efforts and why the mission of London's Bridge is so personal to him.

Fletcher, who on Sunday played in his first Pro Bowl, overcame a horrific background to become one of the league's best linebackers.

When he was younger, Fletcher's sister was raped and murdered, his mother hooked on drugs, his father wasn't around and the hungry streets of Cleveland swallowed so many promising children.

"That upbringing has shaped me to where I am today," Fletcher said. "Knowing there are a lot of children who are experiencing a lot of difficulties in their lives, if I can help them along the way, provide them with an opportunity they might not otherwise be able to get."

If you want to get a sense of what Fletcher had to overcome in his youth, be sure to read Les Carpenter's story from the April 10, 2007, Washington Post.

To Fletcher's credit, he's able to look back on the adversity and the trials and see blessings. And he uses his story to inspire others. Since his senior year in college, he's told his tale thousands of times he said, using his platform as a professional athlete to connect with others. Fletcher's able to relate to kids and provide first-hand evidence that they can overcome their environment and tough circumstances.

"Instead of looking at those situations as a negative, I looked at them as a positive in a sense to motivate me," he said.

By Rick Maese  |  February 5, 2010; 11:24 AM ET
 
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Comments

This is pretty much tongue in cheek, but here are my future predictions for the NFL, which are essentially revenue driven:
- Higher overall player salaries with rookie caps
- Owners need to compensate for salaries and demand for newer better stadiums by
o Raising ticket prices
o Raising prices on all official NFL attire/gear
o Raising cost of tv deals
o Putting more games each year in foreign countries
o Creating expansion teams in other countries
o Placing taxes on the foreign cities that sponsor the teams
- Raising cost of tv deals will lead to
o More and more games on NFL network
o More commercials in each game; length of games will exceed 4 hours
o Games on TV will approach 7 days/nights per week; scheduling nightmare, but they’ll figure it out in order to generate more money.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | February 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

One thing that'll happen is that folks will take sides.

As for me, I agree with the players that more coin from the pot 'o gold the owners sit atop should come their way.

To get at it, though, the player should concede to a rookie salary schedule and longer season (2 extra games?), among other things.

Posted by: MistaMoe | February 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse


The PA wants people to take sides and they are gambling on the public feeling the same way that Moe does.

Their gambit is that the public isn't going to view the owners in a very favorable light - a bunch of greedy billionaire fatcats about to take away their favorite game over an extra few millions which is chump change in their universe- that's why they're already throwing "lockout" out there...

Posted by: p1funk | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree 100% that there should be a rookie salary scale.

Posted by: p1funk | February 5, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

""Smith said the NFL would receive $5 billion from its network television deals even if no games are played in 2011. He regarded that as proof owners are preparing for a lockout.""


Now this is interesting, but I can't imagine how it would be true

I can't imagine that the TV networks are going to be on the hook for $5bill if they don't play games, considering that number is based on projected ad revenues that come from televising games.

The networks would probably go bankrupt first.

Posted by: p1funk | February 5, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

""Smith said the NFL would receive $5 billion from its network television deals even if no games are played in 2011. He regarded that as proof owners are preparing for a lockout.""

Now this is interesting, but I can't imagine how it would be true
I can't imagine that the TV networks are going to be on the hook for $5bill if they don't play games, considering that number is based on projected ad revenues that come from televising games.
The networks would probably go bankrupt first.
Posted by: p1funk | February 5, 2010 11:52 AM |

Get ready to hear a ton of half-truths or even flat out lies from both sides on this stuff. I agree…..That piece about the networks having to pay 5 billion even if games aren’t played insinuates that three of the largest TV networks in the world have monkeys for lwayers. Go figure; it’s the union guy putting that garbage out there….

Posted by: dlhaze1 | February 5, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

From PFT report on Goodell press conference.

"Chris Cooley of OCNN (the Ochocinco News Network) asked about player fines and on-field and off-field misconduct. Goodell offered a good explanation regarding the purpose of cash fines to ensure accountability."

-I think Ochocinco told him to ask

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | February 5, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

p1funk, I watched the NFLPA conference

I boil the issue down to that since the last CBA, the owners have come up with new revenue streams that the CBA does not cover. The owners pocket about $1B or about $31M per team.

The players do not like that their overall share on revenues has gone down since 2001 even though their "share" of the (shared) revenue pool has gone up to 60%.

That's my take on the player's issues.

The owner do not like forking out millions of dollars on unproven talent and they do not take home as much dough as they used to. I think the latter affects smaller markets teams the most (Jax, GB, Indy, etc.)

It's going to take Solomon biblical compromise to settle this thing before it's all said and done.

Posted by: noonefromtampa | February 5, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"It's a shame the fans cannot go on strike."

Fans should always remember that for the players, football is a job, not a game.

They should also remember that for every fat paycheck Clinton Portis, there are a ton 'o dudes who leave the game injured or after a season in a limited sun.

Too, read about what happens to the players well after the game is over--that's enough for me to say, "Okay, I'll leave my heart on the field provided the money for long term medical care is in my wallet."

Posted by: MistaMoe | February 5, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty much tongue in cheek, but here are my future predictions for the NFL, which are essentially revenue driven:
- Higher overall player salaries with rookie caps
- Owners need to compensate for salaries and demand for newer better stadiums by
o Raising ticket prices
o Raising prices on all official NFL attire/gear
o Raising cost of tv deals
o Putting more games each year in foreign countries
o Creating expansion teams in other countries
o Placing taxes on the foreign cities that sponsor the teams
- Raising cost of tv deals will lead to
o More and more games on NFL network
o More commercials in each game; length of games will exceed 4 hours
o Games on TV will approach 7 days/nights per week; scheduling nightmare, but they’ll figure it out in order to generate more money.


Posted by: dlhaze1 | February 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I agree with most of that, but an NFL game played every night of the week? I don't see that happening. Thats a huge extreme. I think they'll start with raising ticket/merch pricing.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | February 5, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Gotta respect a guy like Fletch. How did the Bills ever let him get away?

Posted by: Rypien11 | February 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

sadly no one will be in these negotiations representing the fans, demanding some of the crappy tickets come down in price and ensuring the access that the lower class has lost.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 5, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

noonefromtampa

"It's going to take Solomon biblical compromise to settle this thing before it's all said and done."

I think that if the players agree to a sensible rookie wage scale, then, in good faith, the owners should open up to the idea of providing more to the players who've produced.

A pet idea of mine is that once a guy has a certain number of year or 'tenure' (four years?), his cap number is pro-rated so a team may say, "Hey, let's keep and pay the fan fav vet rather than cutting him to save money."

If I'm an older or veteran player who likes the area where he lives and has a family, this idea adds more security and ends the dreaded 'sal cap' cuts.

Posted by: MistaMoe | February 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I would really love to see London Fletcher win.

...gotta get me some London Fletcher PJs.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | February 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It's my understanding that members of the RI Nation are suffering the consequences of living in the Mid Atlantic Region in early Feb.

The groundhog's shadow was followed by snow.

And whereas you think we South Floridians intend to gloat, let me tell you we are suffering, too.

Presently I can't get rid of the few sweaters I own.

I got oranges to pick from the tree in my backyard, and I'll do it barefoot.

More than likely, I'll mow my lawn before the Super Bowl.

I'll be out all day tomorrow hustling Girl Scout cookies in glorious sunshine.

And finally, tonite, mrsmoe and I will hit a tropical club featuring Latin music, drinks, food, and scantily clad women wandering about in the heat.

Yes, I know you feel my pain.

And gladly, I'm not willing to shovel yours.

Posted by: MistaMoe | February 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | February 5, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

" uh-h-h, I mean, JASON CAMPBELL for a minimum third, ANTWAAN RANDLE-EL, fa'gid'aboud'it, maybe a seventh, but who would want that contract? CHRIS COOLEY for a minimum first, CLINTON PORTIS for a minimum third, and again contract issues. ALBERT HAYNESWORTH for a minimum first and sixth. Let's trade 'um and rake in the prospects.Posted by: glawrence007"

Who's your trade partner? The Hamilton Tiger Cats? The Rhein Fire?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 5, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Glad you appreciate my inside humor. Yee-Haw good buddy.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

And gladly, I'm not willing to shovel yours.

Posted by: MistaMoe | February 5, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

And you're not shoveling any?

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 5, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It's my understanding that members of the RI Nation are suffering the consequences of living in the Mid Atlantic Region in early Feb.

The groundhog's shadow was followed by snow.

And whereas you think we South Floridians intend to gloat, let me tell you we are suffering, too.

Presently I can't get rid of the few sweaters I own.

I got oranges to pick from the tree in my backyard, and I'll do it barefoot.

More than likely, I'll mow my lawn before the Super Bowl.

I'll be out all day tomorrow hustling Girl Scout cookies in glorious sunshine.

And finally, tonite, mrsmoe and I will hit a tropical club featuring Latin music, drinks, food, and scantily clad women wandering about in the heat.

Yes, I know you feel my pain.

And gladly, I'm not willing to shovel yours.

If it makes you guys feel any better I have to trim the palms out front this weekend, in freezing cold 60 degree weather no less.. Now that I think about it, I will gladly trim the palms, beats shoveling snow. Thank you for the inspiration!


Breaking news!!

London Fletcher just took poop...

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | February 5, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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