From USA Today:
As we look back on the decade in sports, it will not be all about the Tigers, Kobes and A-Rods.
When we sum up the past 10 years, it will be all about the Benjamins.
Feh! As if the "Awts" were any different from, say, the late 1800's when the Lords of MLB first employed the reserve clause in order to squash labor market competition for baseball players to lower player salaries and raise team profits. As if the Awts were any different from the 1930's when the NFL first started using the draft, also as a means of squashing labor market competition. As if the 1960's were any different from the Awts when the NFL first used it's member teams' collective negotiating power (i.e. colluded) to sell the media rights to its games, a collusion made legal by the 1961 Sports Broadcasting Act.
As if the Awts were any different from the 1970's and early 1980's when colleges colluded to sell the television rights to their games, a collusion found to violate US antitrust law in the famous 1984 SCOTUS ruling NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. As if the Awts were any different from the 1990's when the stadium game was being played full tilt, and teams lobbied for billions of dollars of public subsidies for palatial stadiums, stadiums designed to keep people out, stadiums with multitudes of gold-plated amenities in which to play their games.
The motives today are the same as they ever were. Sports teams, fans, players, and coaches are all motivated by self interest and all act more or less rationally. That's been true since the beginning of human history and will continue to be true until history ends.