Why Teachers Are Tougher Than NHL Hockey Players

This Saturday I spoke with my mother as I am apt to do on a Saturday. By profession she is a teacher in the Philadelphia public school system at a school so bad they have to pay a bonus for teachers brave enough to teach there. She has a masters in education as well as a masters in fine arts. She taught at one point in her career (back when I was an infant and the Flyers could actually WIN a Cup) and then returned to teaching later in life.

Last year, the teacher’s union came to my mom (who is 2 years away from retirement at the top pay scale) and asked her to be the union steward. She gave them an enthusiastic NO. They asked again. They asked a third, fourth and fifth time. Each time receiving – NO as the answer. Basically, on the 7th or 8th time they made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Now she is the person every teacher with a problem goes to in order to complain. With the new principal at the school there is reportedly a lot to complain about. For the record she makes just over $50,000 US. That’s with two master degrees. One of which she is still paying for.

The reason I bring this up is because the teachers in the Philadelphia Public School System are teaching right now without a contract. That’s right – they have no deal between their union and the state – who had to take over the Philly school system because it was SO grossly mismanaged.

UNLIKE hockey players – teachers are not paid to be millionaires or multi-millionaires. A fourth line player in the NHL who send love notes to Bob Goodenow via email while waxing his Lamborghini with all of his free time thanks to not playing hockey these days – is paid upwards of $1,000,000 per year. Do they have advanced degrees? No. Do they educate our youth? No. Do they serve as mentors to under-privilidged children? At best – on rare occasion. Life for them is about working out with a trianer, shopping for Armani Black Label Suits to wear to the rink and negotiating lofty appeance fees for celebrity golf tournements in the offseason. This is the same group of multi-millionaires who “will not under any cir*****stance accept a salary cap” that would ensure that players for years to come make million dollar salaries while at the same time the small market teams remain solvant.

There is a lot that can be learned by the players union from the Philadelphia teacher’s union. If Bob Goodenow wants my mom’s number, I am sure she would talk some sense into both sides PHILLY-style. There is a bigger issue at hand. In the case of teachers, it is the well being of poor and seriously neglected children. If George Bush has any idea how many children are “left behind” he would be ashamed. In the case of the NHL, the growth and health of the game of hockey. Personally, I think the children are more important but I would settle for both sides in the CBA argument to hire a professional arbitration service to hammer out a solution that works for both sides. Drawing this line in the sand is getting nothing accomplished other than ruining the game of NHL hockey.

Lastly, in an incredibly important election year in the U.S. I urge voters to get out and vote no matter what and no matter who you vote for. There is absolutely NO excuse for you not to case the vote you are given as a citizen in the richest and most powerful country in the world. If you are undecided about who to vote for consider the situation in the schools in major cities as a major issue of concern. In fact, ask a teacher about it. The federal government spends $300,000,000 per year to find “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq (while Osama is in a cave in Afganastan with only a few of our boys looking for him) but invests less than 10 percent of the cost of all of the public school costs. The results are: litterally (and I am not joking) no book or materials for students in places like Philadelphia and Los Angeles. With the tax revenue created by our all-powerful economy, this is shameful and should stop. You can make a difference with your vote as well as volanteering at your local school. Kids love guest to read to them (fairy tales about how the Leafs once one a cup go over big with 7 year olds). Also if you can swing it – bring some markers, paper and crayons to a school that is underfunded. They need your support and it feels good to be part of a solution to a big problem. Bettman and Goodenow could use to learn that lesson.

Jerry Del Colliano


21 Responses to Why Teachers Are Tougher Than NHL Hockey Players

  1. UsedandAbused says:

    The players are a bunch of fags… ***** Them! I hope the NHL folds and they have to make a living doing some real labor.

    Cudos to your mother and fellow teachers… Don’t blame bush though (The schools sucked during the Clinton administration to)… Philly should be able to take care of its own business. Blame the mayor and those running the city! Shit they are more responsible then ANYONE!

    Go Philly!

  2. hockeyhead says:

    thanks for the support.

  3. cgolding says:

    in fairness the players did offer to play this year without a CBA in place and negotiate while the season went on… the owners are the ones that are refusing to play without a deal in place.

  4. cgolding says:

    “A Prayer for the City” by Bissinger, it will change your perspective completely on the issues that major urban centers face when it comes to fiscal matters, it is specifically about philly… same guy that wrote “Friday Night Lights,” which is excellent as well.

    Bush is godawful on education at that. he ran on his education record the first time, when it was basically a cooked book statistic. as soon as he left the state of texas the system for calculating student success was returned to a normal method and they fell back to like 48th in the country for high school education systems.

  5. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Thanks for the kind words about what my mom does. She and her kind are a REALLY important to the long term development of our country. You couldn’t belive how many 7th graders get knocked up and then get raised (if they are lucky) by their 40-something GRANDPARENTS. The parents are usually crack addicts of alcoholics. I wish I was making this up – but I am not.

    As for Bush there is NO better person to blame than he. “No child left behind” is part of his “compassionate convervatism” but it is all a pile of crap. While we are chasing the WRONG bad guy for 300 BILLION dollars per year, kids have no books. Bush would tell you to wait for a “faith based initive” to kick in. They haven’t. This election is a referendum on Gerorge W Bush. If you support the war being in Iraq (and not on terrorists) you feel schools are funded correctly, the richest 2$ should get a tax cut and that the Supreme Court would be better with a 6-3 balance between concervatives v. liberals then VOTE for Bush.

    If you would like to see a hockey playing liberal from Mass bring back the Clinton economic team to heat up the economy again, get us OUT of Iraq, capture the top brass and underlings of Al Queida and keep balance on the supreme court- then vote for Kerry.

    I’ll take the guy who plays hockey over the entitle, C+ student/cheerleader EVERY DAMN TIME.

  6. StuWild says:

    Don’t take this personally because I am not discounting at all what your Mother does for a living but I am pretty sure she can’t strap on the blades and fill an arena. I am not on the Players side on this CBA fight in any way shape or form but hockey fans pay to see these guys play. That is what they get paid for and most hockey players are outstanding citizens and do an awful lot for the communities in which they play. As far as the above comment goes, the Players were only willing to play under the current CBA because they know damn well that they got it way too good!

  7. cgolding says:

    i understand that… but the players aren’t the reason we don’t have hockey right now in an official sense… they are locked out, not striking.

  8. heartofleafs says:

    What is the point in playing hockey another year where players continue to get way more than they deserve and be stuck with the same exact lockout in a year or two.

    Wouldn’t it be better to get a sustainable economic system in place for the future. With all due respect, the players offering to play the next year under the same economic system is not exactly a sacrifice for them. The current system is not working and there is no point in waiting to fix it.

  9. heartofleafs says:

    You have been listening to Goodenow way too much. Although technically that may be true, the only reason they are locked out is because they refuse to live in the real world. They may be officially locked out but this impasse is due to the fact that each of them wants as much money as their greedy hands can get. The salary cap figure would put the average salary at 1.3 million US and that is somehow not enough to play hockey for a living (working half the time that a normal worker in our society would).

    You are definately not going to get any sympathy from me towards the players. Most should just be happy that they can make any kind of living playing the game that they love. I know I would!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. cgolding says:

    ” Although technically that may be true, the only reason they are locked out is because they refuse to live in the real world.”

    um… yeah. his point was the teachers were working without a deal in place, which is exactly what the players have stated they are willing to do in the NHL… read my posts regarding the CBA and you will realize i’m completely backing the owners position on what is necessary financially for the league, but that doesn’t change the fact that the owners are there specific reason there is no hockey, not the players.

    fact of the matter is that it is the owners own fault that we are in this mess in the first place, even if you agree with their view of a fiscan model they are still the ones handing out the contracts. if they hadn’t gone berzerk in the 90’s on UFA’s we wouldn’t be having a problem… the owners are right to say that a new financial model is necessary to restore competitive balance, but they are also the ones most responsible for escalating salaries.

  11. cgolding says:

    read my post below… i agree with the owners position… but attacking the players for not playing with a deal by telling the story of teachers working w/out a contract when the players are willing to do the same isn’t a fair attack on the players.

    meanwhile, the philly teachers have been on strike numerous times in recent memory… and yes, i do agree they are grossly underpaid.

  12. UsedandAbused says:

    Kerry’s “fight a more sensitive war” only works in fairy tales. Who would want a guy who can’t make up his mind for more then five minutes as leader of a country? This guy is absolutely HORRID. His whole campaign is about what Bush did wrong and how he would have done it differently (though he DID vote for the war in Iraq). You people act like Iraq is such a dissaster but it isn’t. It is NOW a FREE country and the 1100 of our soldiers who died is MUCH LESS then of our other major wars. In fact we are luck it is at such a low number.

    As for Kerry hunting down Al Queida… I don’t know how in the world you think he is going to do that when he clearly said, “We’ll only attack them in response to attacks on us”. No… you have more of a chance of him sending them millions of dollars in exchange for a promise to be peaceful.. lol This guy wants to put the United Nations in charge of our defense. That would be a disaster since the United Nations is the most incompetent orqanization ever.

    As far as I am concerned the economy IS on the RISE, especially given the horrible situation 9/11 brought and the recession that Clinton left. Bush has been anything but a Disaster. 2 countries and somewhere around 250 million are now FREE because of this president. That in itself is a HUGE success.

    All Clinton’s economic team did was ruin the strong economy that Reagon helped build.

    So as for an extreme lefty like Kerry… Please the guy has done NOTHING in his life to suggest he would do a good job as the president. Thank God that Bush is going to win this election Hands Down.

  13. heartofleafs says:

    Oh I wasn’t really connecting it to the teachers thing. I was just basically commenting on the fact that prolonging the lockout one more year is really accomplishing nothing.

  14. heartofleafs says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The owners are the ones that dug themselves this hole. I have no problem with them admitting that they messed up and now need to change the way that business is run in the nhl. Hopefully it doesn’t take Too long!!!!!!!

  15. cgolding says:

    bush lost more jobs during his presidency than the previous 10 presidents combined… that being said the president has very little effect on the economy both good and bad… except when you support tax incentives to out-source jobs, which bush does.

    i’m not sure where the peachy outlook on the economy comes from, clearly you haven’t been poking around for a job, it is just horrid in philly.

    iraq is a free country for now… so was vietnam… yugoslavia was a “free” country….

    i’m supportive of removing sadaam, but playing it off like that mess is going to be finalized in the next 25 years, if not much much longer, is ignoring the history involved in getting involved with regime changes. not to mention i have severe misgivings about the nation of iraq as currently constructed operating as a democratic state, similar to the idea of the former yugoslavia operating well as a democratic state given the ethnic history of the region…

    not to mention to refer to both countries as “free” states implies that it is a sure thing that they will be able to remain a free state from totalitarian regime. we could be looking at a completely open ended troop deployment in order to maintain your “free” states, and not all of those 250 million people are really interested in the “free” state that americans have in mind.

    we may be better off seperating the country into pieces, specifically creating a kurdish state… but that will get turkey on edge.

    Clinton’s economic team oversaw the greatest economic growth this country has ever seen… and we were in a recession in the early 90’s due to the economic policies of the reagon years. now there are questions about whether or not more economic CHECKS should have been applied by Clinton’s administration in order to curtail the massive bubble in the economy that was created and eventually popped, but it isn’t as if people were struggling financially during Clinton’s tenure.

    then again we can stick to Bush mathematics. Spend more, tax less, deficit shrink… yes, 1+1 = -1 in bush land.

  16. cgolding says:

    added tidbit of government intervention for nations. in the 20’s and early 30’s the Weimar Republic was hailed as one of the greatest accomplishments of the western world in terms of revitalizing a nation. a vocal and energetic political process took place, elections were held and upheld…

    in 1939 you called the Weimar Republic the Third Reich.

    to further demonstrate the dangers of western arrogance when it comes to our ability to view the international world accurately…

    http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/archive/covers/1938.html

    …great success we had there.

  17. UsedandAbused says:

    “bush lost more jobs during his presidency than the previous 10 presidents combined… that being said the president has very little effect on the economy both good and bad… except when you support tax incentives to out-source jobs, which bush does.”

    Oh give me a break… How can you blame Bush for losing more jobs than then the last 10 presidents then say the “president has very little effect on the economy both good and bad”?

    Bush inherited one of the worst possible situations that a president could possible get. The recession had already started at the end of the Clinton presidency. Then 9 months into his presidency we had 9/11, which was a result of typical liberal techniques of cutting down our intelligence making us vulnerable. What did you expect to happen?

    “not to mention to refer to both countries as “free” states implies that it is a sure thing that they will be able to remain a free state from totalitarian regime.”

    They are free states… And they are going to go through TOUGH times like our country did, but it is worth the sacrifice.

    “Clinton’s economic team oversaw the greatest economic growth this country has ever seen… and we were in a recession in the early 90’s due to the economic policies of the Reagan years.”

    WRONG… Clinton benefited from Reagan’s economic strategies. Clinton simple got into the presidency at the right time. It was Reagan who helped America get out of the recession, regain its pride, and end the cold war without a shot being fired. All Clinton did was mess around with fat interns and cut down our military and intelligence. Not to mention letting Osama go…

    “then again we can stick to Bush mathematics. Spend more, tax less, deficit shrink… yes, 1+1 = -1 in bush land.”

    Wrong… You listen to much to the pessimistic liberal media. One thing you need to understand is that they ALWAYS make it sound worse then it is, especially when it will hurt their enemies (Bush).

    The unemployment rate of 5.4 percent isn’t that bad… And it had been decreasing. I have been job hunting… And just go a new Job thank you. I live in a republican state, which is during VERY well. Hmmm.. Philly is ran by liberals… and look how well it is doing. Sorry but MORE government involvement doesn’t work in economic growth. LESS is the key.

  18. cgolding says:

    “Oh give me a break… How can you blame Bush for losing more jobs than then the last 10 presidents then say the “president has very little effect on the economy both good and bad”? “

    because he has a policy of tax-incentives for corporations to outsource jobs as his republican agenda caters to the upper crust. why do i care so much about this? because i’m a programmer, an industry getting decimated by this policy…

    “WRONG… Clinton benefited from Reagan’s economic strategies.”

    Reagan had been out of office for four years and our economy had been a mess throughout his presidency… and Clinton inherited a recession economy(that was in full blown recession) from the first Bush administration… and turned it around. So if his policies were so bad, and Bush’s are so good, why didn’t Bush’s polices turn it around?

    but yes, presidents do have a limited effect on the economy in their four year period, i was simply reacting to your idiotic claim that everything Clinton did was wrong, while everything Bush has done is good in regard to the economy. If you really want to go down that track then the statistics just don’t weigh out in Bush’s favor.

    “then again we can stick to Bush mathematics. Spend more, tax less, deficit shrink… yes, 1+1 = -1 in bush land.”

    Wrong… You listen to much to the pessimistic liberal media. One thing you need to understand is that they ALWAYS make it sound worse then it is, especially when it will hurt their enemies (Bush).

    actually that was a direct paraphrase from one of Bush’s state of the unions, you gotta work through his BS propaganda… basically what he said is that I plan to lower taxes, raise spending, and reduce the deficit… chew on that nut for a while.

    The unemployment rate of 5.4 percent isn’t that bad… And it had been decreasing. I have been job hunting… And just go a new Job thank you. I live in a republican state, which is during VERY well. Hmmm.. Philly is ran by liberals… and look how well it is doing. Sorry but MORE government involvement doesn’t work in economic growth. LESS is the key.

    explain how a democratic mayor, rendell, completely revitalized the city of philadelphia then… and how historically we have enjoyed better economic growth and prosperity under democratic/liberal leadership…

    i love how liberal is a “nasty” political word as well… it means educated and progressive thinking… reason why colleges are “liberal arts.”

    They are free states… And they are going to go through TOUGH times like our country did, but it is worth the sacrifice.

    they are free states that in order to maintain we may be forced to have ground troops present in for the next 30-plus years and monitor their political process in a pseudo-colonial fashion… puppet governments, or even percieved puppet governments, rarely work in foreign nations over the long haul(it is what tore the Weimar Republic down… the government was blamed for the Treaty of Versailles)… Bush didn’t sell these aspects when he invaded Iraq, nor when he got involved in nation building… i will admit that he probably didn’t understand the consequences of his actions, but we knew where WMD’s were so it was alright.

  19. nelsog says:

    We have imploded and degenerated into choas since we have no hockey to talk about.

    I live in NY so I am free from the burden of blame and need to vote in federal elections.

  20. guinsfan4life says:

    Thanks alot for your cudos to teachers Jerry.

    I teach in pittsburgh–a suburb of pittsburgh, and I teach special education students.

    First of all, Ed Rendell left Philly a mess, especially its’ educational system. I couldn’t agree more that Bush totally underfunds education and sends more money to IRAQ instead of investing that money into the education of his own people. School districts are suffering; NCLB is underfunded by billions; yet nobody ever talks about it. NCLB was a way for Bush to screw teachers, not improve education.

    I am a union rep in my building as well. I have plenty of teachers come to me and ***** about contract issues on a daily basis. The sad thing, is, most of them don’t realize how we have had to fight for everything we have now–and if we loose out come contract time, we will have taken a step backwards compared to what we used to be. You used to get paid to be a teacher–now, you pay to be a teacher.

    Lastly, your post pretty much emphasizes the absolute corrupt values in our society today, where a hockey player who plays a game is held higher in regard than someone who gives the power to read to another human being.

  21. guinsfan4life says:

    Okay so his mom can’t strap on the blades, but can Mario teach a kid how to read?? A kid who woke up this morning didn’t have breakfast, woke up made sure his brothers and sisters ate dressed them and got them off to school and then went to school himself??? What is more important here???

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