Good day, everyone. My name is Griff Cheatum and I am a lawyer for the famous law firm, Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. A law firm one of my relatives helped start and got their first big break when they helped negotiate the sale of Manhattan from the Canarsee Indians for twenty-four dollars and some sea shells and trinkets. We also helped negotiate the deal that purchased Alaska from Russia for far less than what it’s value ended up being. What’s Russian for “suckers?”
There’s countless other deals where we’ve brokered fantastic deals for clients as well. Hell, we even almost made off with the New York Mets with one of our former associates, Bernie Madoff, a few years ago. Guy was just a few months away from bleeding that team completely dry. You think his name was really Madoff? Heh, suckers like you are born every day. Madoff? Like “made off?” That was just some shady, scheister lawyer humor. Guy’s name was really Bernie Pratt. Nice fellow that Bernie was. Took orders well. Anyway, point is, wherever there’s been some shady deals and people making out like bandits, Dewey, Cheatum and Howe has been there.
With this vast experience of fleecing people and completely dominating negotiations in mind, it’s no wonder that Don Garber and our myriad of NFL-backed friends have sought fit to employ us as negotiators in the current MLS CBA negotiations. I would wonder what people really thought of our initial CBA offer of free agency after ten years of service but I was too busy cashing my large check and lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills in my Wednesday Ferrari. Yes, we really do that kind of stuff and yes, I have a Ferrari for every day of the week.
Even that original free agency offer was generous, if you ask me. If it were up to me I would’ve offered free agency when you turn seventy unless you’re still alive, then it would’ve turned into a sliding scale of free agency granted the day after you die. Even then your rights would’ve been held by a club for five years. But your headstone or urn containing your ashes could be sold on eBay and have freedom of movement though.
Alas, it wasn’t up to me exclusively, so free agency is on the table within a player’s career and may end up being as low as twenty-five eventually. Okay, we’ll agree to that if you guys mean in dog years! Ha. Good luck with bargaining against the behemoth we are at Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. By the time we get finished with the players and negotiations, they’ll be paying us to play in MLS. After all, I’ve been told by those in power in US soccer that there’s a “pay-to-play” system which has been a time honored tradition in this country. Sounds good to us, since I’ve never seen something or someone I haven’t tried to bill. The players will be lucky to remain getting minimum wage level salaries. But only if you played very well for a club over several years. “Club,” heh heh.
They should be working for below minimum wage and tips like any good servant. Did I say “servant?” I meant “server.” Like any good server. Here’s your first tip, players, don’t bet on a three-legged race horse and don’t get in a negotiation with Dewey, Cheatum and Howe representing your opponents. We’ll win, we’ll win big and leave you with the bill. Because, remember, even if the players “win” in this current CBA, you suckers are the ones who’ll end up with more expensive tickets, travel costs, team jerseys and shoes, etc. If a player’s lucky enough, maybe in a few years they can save up enough money to take out their sweetheart to a nice coat and tie dinner provided she agrees to split the bill with the guy. And it’s coupon night. And you’re wearing a coat and tie to a Subway.
Point is, the players should be working for low wages and tips to help the valiant owners maximize profit on their investments. Childhood hunger? Terrorism? Nay, I say if you want to hear about a real dangerous threat to the world, it’s MLS owners’ ROI and profit margins being cut into by pesky things like “fair salaries” and that is the real scourge of society, if you ask me.
Things are getting tough out there for millionaires and billionaires, especially when they see our bills from Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. So, good luck with that CBA, kids, because we’re coming to play hardball in this CBA. By the way, that’ll be fifteen hundred dollars for my billable hours for you reading this and now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some low to medium income people I need to cheat out of their property. I love you, imminent domain!
Dewey, Cheatum and Howe’s MLS CBA List of Demands
1. Start paying the owners to play soccer.
2. Cease and desist from any usage of terms “football,” “footballer and “beautiful game.” Football is American football, specifically, the NFL.
3. Bow to Robert Kraft in all meetings and never look him directly in the eye as you are his inferior.
4. Make MLS more Americanized with points for corner kicks, getting into the penalty area (known henceforth as “the scorebox”), and who has the largest tifo.
5. Be patient as MLS grows and maybe in two hundred years the league will be financially stable enough to institute promotion and relegation. And of course, by promotion and relegation we mean, promotion of more rich owners to ownership positions and relegation of you the fans to nothing more than being merchandise consumers.