The League

Michael Kun
Author

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

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Dear Mr. Crabtree,
We are in receipt of your application to work as a manager at one of our restaurants. We thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, we are afraid that we are unable to offer you a position at this time. While your application certainly shows your enthusiasm -- it is not often that applicants dot their I's with little hearts -- it does not appear that you have the requisite experience for this important position with our organization.

Having reviewed your application closely, it appears you would be best qualified to pursue a career in professional football. In fact, we suspect that you could earn many thousands of dollars as a professional football player if even half of the accomplishments you listed on your application are truthful. (As you can imagine, people often exaggerate their accomplishments on their applications. To get to the truth, we generally take whatever people say on their applications and divide them by half.)

Although I do not profess to know much about the game, I understand that there is a professional football team right here in San Francisco called the 49ers. Perhaps you could submit an application to their human resources department.

Best of luck to you and, again, thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin
Assistant Regional Manager
Smiley's Pizza, Inc.


Dear Mr. Crabtree,

Thank you for your note and for submitting your application for an assistant manager position.

I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you an assistant manager position. Just as when you applied for a manager position, your application does not demonstrate the experience we would require for an assistant manager.

Also, please let me offer my apologies for not understanding how one goes about finding a job with a professional football team.

As I normally get up at 5:00 every morning, put in 12 hours at work, and rush to get home to see my wife and children before they go to bed, I'm afraid I haven't had as much time as I would like to follow professional sports. My sincere apologies if I sounded uninformed or naive.

In any event, my uneducated guess is that you could earn three -- or even four -- times as much playing football for the 49ers as you could working as an assistant manager for Smiley's Pizza.

Perhaps you can contact the 49ers again and see if you can still get a position with them. Maybe they have an opening.

If they aren't taking your calls, perhaps you could disguise your voice.

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin

Dear Mr. Crabtree,
Well, how much money did they offer you?

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
WHAT?!?! They offered you that much?!?! And you turned it down?!?!

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
I'm confused. Did they offer you more money than the players selected after you in the draft? And less than the players selected before you?

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
My apologies, but I'm still confused. Why should the 49ers pay you more money than the players who were selected ahead of you?

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
But aren't there dozens of players who think they are better than the players selected ahead of them? Isn't the order players are selected at least a rough estimate of their relative value? Isn't it just a guess, anyway? I mean, isn't the draft based on their potential value, rather than their actual value, as none of the players selected in the draft have proved their actual value in the league?

And weren't you offered more money than many players who have actually been playing professional football for years and have demonstrated their actual value, rather than their potential value?

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
Maybe if the 49ers get off to a terrible start they'll offer you some more money.

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin


Dear Mr. Crabtree,
Oh.

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin

Dear Mr. Crabtree,
As I see it, here is your problem: You have already lost the paychecks you would have received had you signed a contract and played the first two games of the season. That money is lost. You will never see it again.

Not only are you losing money but, as long as the 49ers keep winning, you are also losing leverage. That is, they are proving they can win without you.

If the 49ers start losing, you won't gain much in leverage as the amount of time you could contribute this season grows shorter with each week you don't play.

The longer you refuse to play, the angrier the team will become, and the less likely they will be to pay you what you are seeking.

If you continue to refuse to accept their offer, you may not play at all this season. You will never recover the money you would have been paid this season -- never. It's like you're throwing it away.

So, here's a little friendly advice. Cut a deal with the team, and do it quickly. Find a way to save face, and allow the team to save face, too. Tell your agent to blame himself for being too aggressive -- seriously. I don't care whether it's his fault or not. He has to take the blame. It's not important whether the media or fans like your agent. What's important is that they like you, and your agent needs to "take one for the team" to make sure that happens. It only ends up putting more money in his wallet.

Get the team to offer you a few more bucks than their last offer, and then give those few extra bucks to charity. That's right -- charity. Fans will see you for the nice guy you are. If you're not a nice guy, pretend you are. Fans will also see it as a positive if the team adds you to a squad that is already winning.

What next? Break your neck learning the playbook. Break your neck establishing relationships with your teammates and the media. In short, get to work. And do this quickly -- very quickly.

Otherwise, we have a couple of entry level positions that I can tell you about. Unfortunately, you would need to work 7,500 shifts per week to earn what the 49ers already offered you.

Sincerely,
Robert McGuffin

P.S. I'm enclosing a coupon for our pizza special, just in case you ignore my advice.

By Michael Kun  |  September 23, 2009; 12:28 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , Fans , Free Agency , New York Jets , San Francisco 49ers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Michael Kun: Great work! Stop practicing law -- unless you're having fun -- and keep doing this instead.

To Mike Crabtree -- go find the one person that you have trusted unequivocally since you were 4, and go have a soda pop with him/her and then decide what to do.

Go McLean Mustangs!!!

Posted by: pkcinmclean | September 23, 2009 9:11 AM

Should have been Domino's Pizza. The Niners should pass on Crabtree now and trade him to Detroit in March. Detroit knows all about taking receivers with first round picks.

Posted by: mischanova | September 23, 2009 11:43 AM

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