EP 313 Sports Free Agency Has Been a True Game Changer

  America seems to be hanging together by a thread these days.  In some ways the only normalcy seems to be between the lines when we see our professional sports teams come together to compete.  We get lost in it for a few hours and put aside all else in the world.  And yet in that world, changes have been dramatic.  No development has had more impact on the games we love than the unschackling of players and their ability to move from one team to the next in free agency.  And at one time or another, Jim Quinn, author of the book ‘Don’t Be Afraid to Win’,  has been lead counsel for each of the players’ associations in our four major sports.  He explains the significance of tearing apart the owners’ stranglehold on player movement, and to some degree, compensation, and allowing the market to determine their value.  In a far ranging conversation we track that history to the present with an ode to the first players’ strike lasting all of 21 minutes, but setting the table for much more protracted battles to come.  Key issues relating to sports in our society are discussed as part of this podcast, including the acceptance of gambling by the leagues, the brutality of football and whether that will limit its future, the effects of ESPN and TV in general on sports and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of the four major sports–baseball, football, basketball and hockey.