In the end… is it really for the love of the game? Is that why athletes play sports?
Money and sports. Sports and money.
Can we stop kidding ourselves that athletes play for the love of the game?
Sure, they might have a job that they love doing, but it is a job. The major headlines these days centers on billion dollar owners threatening to lock out multi-million dollar athletes in the NFL and NBA, because after all, it is about money. Owners don’t want to give up too much and players think it might not be enough.
Albert Pujols has to consider whether to take an 8 year, $200 million contract to continue his career in St. Louis. Let me do some quick math for you, that is $25 million a season. To play baseball. He has to think about it? I thought athletes play for the love of the game… hmmm. Maybe for the love of the game… and money?
It just boggles my mind, and any hard-working fan, that it has come to this. Where Derek Jeter has to “settle” (in his mind) for a 3 year $51 million contract, which comes on the heels of a 10 year $189 million deal. Alex Rodriguez is in his second $200+ million contract (and still can’t feed himself popcorn). The NFL owners are threatening to lock out the players because they are afraid they aren’t making enough money. Really? A league that, according to Forbes, banked a cool $9.3 BILLION in revenue in 2009, is worried about spending costs. The owners want the players to actually take a pay cut. Revenue for the NFL is up 43% since 2006, and according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the current system is not working. Really? I would love to work in an industry where annual revenues are in the multi-billions.
The point is not to bore you with details. The issue lies in the fact we as fans are being sold on the idea that outside of genuine love of the game, we are the most important factors in the game. I think we are too smart for that now.
We know better.
We know that athletes play because it pays well. Yes, they have God-given gifts and abilities and tremendous discipline to succeed at the highest levels.But it is about the money. No one really wants to play for free. Owners want more money or they will shut it down. Sometimes players want more money or they walk out. It is all a business and sure, it should be treated as such. Being honest about it is okay.Let’s just be honest here, it is about the money.