Sports: Just a Money Game

Not to Mention a Lust for Money

Alas, sports is quite the antithesis of entertainment today. You may well ask, sports…what is it good for? A sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive, and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play.(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

That is not what I think of when I think of sports today. Unfortunately, sports has become a never ending series of players using performance enhancing drugs, being arrested for domestic violence, defying time honored traditions with selfish behavior, cheating in order to improive their chance of winning and certainly succumbing to the chase of the almighty dollar.

I cannot get excited about sports today. Of the reasons I point out in the above paragraph, many problems are shared throughout everyday society. The main problem I have with strictly the sports culture today is that the greed of the players AND owners has stripped away any semblance of purity from the games. There have been too many holdouts, contract extensions, player agent demands, salary arbitration hearings, mid-level exceptions and million dollar crybabies.

My First True Love

When I was young, I remember going to my first baseball game and holding my breath when I saw the green of the outfield grass as I walked up the ramp to my seat. Today, the only green I see that makes me hold my breathe is the almighty dollar sign. I hold my breath and count to ten in order to not yell out loud my best primal scream. Today’s player only cares about signing the dotted line instead of playing the foul line.

I was born in 1953 and saw a few major league baseball games back in the 1960s. Players didn't make a salary to last a lifetime just to play the game. Just the opposite. Many, if not most players, actually had to carry off season jobs to feed their families. Honest to Gods truth. So even if you wanted to argue inflation, it won't matter. Sports athletes had to earn an honest salary during the season and then work some more after their season ended. And if they were real good, they might get a slightly higher rate of pay in some job categories where public recognition would be an advantage to the company.

Nonsense, or should I say Dollars & Cents?

In the NBA, you cannot even make a trade for talents' sake because there has to be matching $$ contracts within a certain percentage. That's the result of a salary cap which is a result of the NBA players demanding a bigger share of the owner profits to be allocated for player salaries. In everyday America, the employee has no such option. It's there's the door and don't let it hit you on the way out.

Major League Baseball has become a farce because players follow the gold. Owners spend as if there's no tomorrow and even minor league talent can't be promoted on their skill level alone because it messes up the major league teams remaining 'controlling the player years'. The sad thing is even marginally decent MLB players demand AND receive a kings ransom to play baseball. In 2014, an average baseball player salary exceeded $3.8 Million.

Most laughable of all is the ever popular NFL. These poor guys get extravagant contract offers, we read they've signed for mega-millions,; but wait! NFL contracts are not guaranteed! So, let's just all play Let's Make a Deal and just as on the television show, after the player thinks he is getting the mother-load, pull the rug out and ask, "or would you rather have what's behind the curtain"?

We cheer on the very players whose enormous salary we help pay, yet they could not care less where or who they play for…as long as the price is right. Loyalty? When pigs fly! Remember when I said above; " In everyday America, the employee has no such option. It's there's the door and don't let it hit you on the way out." ?

Here's an Idea

Why not try that very tactic on these overpaid, pampered and selfish "stars"? Instead of the owners trying to stoke their own egos by being the best and in turn allowing them to sell the team for an even bigger profit, why not just say no ? Stop paying asinine amounts of money even by Monopoly standards. Let these greedy folks go and try to find that kind of money somewhere else. Instead, offer modern day, realistic salaries to less talented, but still high performing athletes. Isn't that the system we support today anyhow? Do we not have a minor league system in MLB? Isn't there a developmental league for the NBA? Doesn't the NFL benefit from the nearly as cash rich NCAA football programs?

For those of you not familiar with sports, that would be a Yes, another Yes and another Yes. Owners have a choice. But they gouge each others eyes out to sign the best players. Why? To keep the fans buying ever-increasing costly tickets to the games. If the fans refused to be held hostage for the ransom known as players salaries, order could be restored. Instead, it's this maddening Catch 22...players want more $$, owners pay more $$ to attract more fans...fans in their maniacal desire to identify with a championship team continue to pay higher ticket costs...teams can ask for more $$ advertising from companies...owners make more $$ profit...players want more money...ect. ect. ect.

Just one man's opinion.

Take me out to the ballgame? No thanks. Buy tickets for the big game? Sorry, can't afford them. The business side of sports has completely soured me on the pleasures of watching these fine athletes. No one is worth that kind of money...not athletes, not movie stars and not even heads of corporations. Sure, most athletes have worked hard to develop their God given talent, but the amounts of money that players make can't be justified for any reason, bar none.


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Joe Andover 6 years ago from North Ridgeville, Ohio Author

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