A Better Time

*This was an old post I wrote on my former blog*  

Can anyone tell me at the exact moment when Sports became a business.. instead of a sport?? Id like to think it was when the AFL became the NFL and signed its life away to major networks to broadcast games.. I could be wrong.. I am told stories of when players played sports for the love of the game.. Wow what a concept.. Doing something you love, because you love doing it?? Impossible.. I have even heard stories of football players that went back to their normal jobs after their seasons ended.. Really?? You mean players havent always been paid millions of dollars from companies, just to say they like the crap they are selling?? Sports today are nothing more then a business??

Think about this.. whatever happened to the days when a college player declared themselves for the draft, a team like his performance.. and come draft day.. this team selects the player, and wants them to join their team, only to be told.. “If you draft me, Ill sit and wont play for you” Excuse me?? Eli Manning did this 3 years ago.. San Deigo has the first pick in the draft, they draft Eli, and then they trade him to the Giants to get Philip Rivers.. who by the way had a better season this year.. The Manning family felt Eli would make more money in New York.. you know contract, endorsments.. ect.. You can thank John Elway for this.. he actually did the samething.. later followed by Bo Jackson..And here I thought if a pro team wanted you.. you should be happy because you made it to the highest level of your chosen sport.. When did your abilities to play a sport earn you more money then people make to run the country? The president makes roughly last I saw about $300,000 a year.. and after he leaves office.. he is taken care of for the rest of his life.. if you add up the salary for a 4 year term.. and the pention he draws after he leaves office.. it still doesnt add up to a rookie’s signing bonus..

 Whatever happened to the days when a feild was named after a great person, not the highest bidding company?? We see how that worked out for Houston.. Remember Enron?? Have you ever watched interviews with players these days?? Most sound uneducated.. and the phrase “Ya know what Im sayin” comes way to often.. Well yeah I know what your sayin.. had you stayed in college, instead of looking for the fat signing bonus you might sound alittle more educated! I know its a tough choice to stay in school.. when you listen to Mel Kiper yelling about where you will go in the draft.. and then you factor in what happens if you get hurt.. well you could use that college degree to get a job?? I mean hell your there on a full ride scholarship.. where kids who cant play sports are stuck working 2 jobs, and their parents take out a second mortgage to give their kids the education you take for granted….

16 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this. I went looking for it last night with no luck.

    The point about the president is especially poignant. That man runs the country, and we pay some 20 year old kid who can catch a football 100 times more money than him…

  2. sports were always a business… its a subdivision of the entertainment industrial complex…

    sports were created by people who loved sports… professional sports were made by businessmen. and before you give me that college bs, that was always a “professional” sport in that schools and employees were always raking in $ for it.

    lets take a look at america’s oldest major professional sport… please tell me you think baseball owners/players in the 1919 weren’t taking in as much money as possible without consideration for the overall sport!!! (yes that year was chosen intentionally)

    so to answer your question, there is not a better time… there is now, and the way its always been.

  3. There was a better time.. when salaries were not millions of dollars to play a sport! No matter how you look at it!! Its still a sport.. that was turned into a multibillion dollar business..

  4. It costs about the same amount of money to go to a game as it always has, inflation considered… just now it doesn’t all go to the owners. why do people have problems with players making millions, and not have a problem with owners making BILLIONS.

  5. oh yeah, and i just REREAD your post… you my friend are naive! no offense, please grow up and visit the ugly real world.

    The president makes 300k JUST for being the president. Soft money, cigar smoke room deals, military industrial complex, appearance fees, and future employment benefits take that well over Tony Romo’s contract. Dick Cheney’s taxes show he made over 8 million last year (this is before the halliburton stock).
    read here from 2000 holmes:
    halliburton (of which he is the chief executive officer!!!) has already MADE OVER 1 TRILLION DOLLARS IN MILITARY CONTRACTS FROM THE WAR IN IRAQ!!!

    i would say it was a better time when our politicians weren’t bought and sold.

  6. we will debate this subject further over a nice bottle of whiskey 🙂

  7. Sports became a business the day the courts sided with Curt Flood and free agancy was born. Obviously, some kind of change needed to be made, but I don’t think anyone could envision what would happen when a few super rich owners let their egos overide common sense. Charlie Finley saw it coming, and let Catfish Hunter bilk the Yankees out of a fortune. And from that point on, the whores were in business. The owners created a monster they can’t kill now even if they wanted to. If George sold the Yankees, Jerry sold the Cowboys, and Mark sold the Mavs, there would just be a new rich kid on the block. The baseball owners tried once to put a little reason back in the salaries, and when the free agents didn’t get the huge salaries they were after, back to court the union went. The owners were found guilty of colusion, and the salaries continued to sky rocket. And one thing some tend to lose in the “owner vs agent/player” war – IF the team loses money, the owner takes the hit, not the player. I can’t recall a player that ever went to the owner and said “Gee, we really sucked this year. I’m going to give back some money”. The fix? Force both the owners and the players to honor contracts. No renegotiating, no getting cut. None of that. You play out your contract, then start over negotiating. If you have a great year one year, good for you. One season does not a career make. But, what do I know. By the way, politicians have been bought and sold since the days of old Rome, so don’t expect that to change. But, the Pres has a hell of a lot more to worry about than T.O.

  8. You know.. I just reread you comment liverdamage.. My point about the President salary.. was JUST his salary for running our country.. Side deals, other contracts, other business were not included in that portion of my post for a reason.. I realize that Politicians make alot more money then the salary would show.. but that wasnt my point.. My point is a rookie signing bonus is MORE then the Presidents SALARY to run the country!

  9. I would say the huge jump in baseball salaries was more to do with arbitration more than free agency itself… one player gets a stupid money contract, and now there is a precident for player worth.

    I don’t see any franchises going out of business.

    I’m so on board with “play out your full contract, no hold out, no trade demands, no cutting players” but will add in that i would want a final year leeway for renogiations so a player could have an extended time to get a renewal contract done. Teams and players need insentive to stay with their current clubs for the overall wellbeing of whatever sport.

    And yeah, I wasn’t trying to insinuate crooked politicians were a new thing, only trying to discredit that an entertainer’s salary should somehow be held to another professions salary and the salary in question was highly suspect in the 1st place.

    Once again, why the outrage at players making millions and the owners not making billions.
    Jerry Jones bought the cowboys for 100 mill, made around 80 mill a year, and increased the franchise value to 1.5 billion.
    George Stienbrinner bought the yankess for 10 million. I can’t even imagine how much he has made… but toss a whole cable telivision company on top of whatever crazy number you might have in your head.
    Tom Hicks bought the stars for 80 million, and made 300 million JUST BY MOVING THEM TO DALLAS… but its modano is making too much money!!! PUT HIM ON THE 4th LINE!!!

  10. Modano took a pay cut to stay with Dallas.. you remember last year when he was about to sign a deal for more money, with another team.. matter a fact he had about 4 other teams that were prepared to give him more money…

    The days of players staying with one team for an entire career are over.. except for a few..

    Tom Brady will retire a Patriot
    Mike Modana will retire a Star
    Peyton Manning will retire a Colt

    Sadly enough.. those are the only three that I can come up with off the top of my head that will retire with the team they started their career with..

    As far as the owners go.. This has been a thorn in your side since the NHL lock out.. I dont dispute the fact that Owners make Billions.. but that is also on the BUSINESS side of the deal.. Players are only responsible for their play on the field.. Owners are responsible for EVERYTHING else!! So yes.. the owners are going to make more money.. Owning a team is just like running a company.. But answer me this.. If the players werent making all that money they are, would the owners still be making as much money??

    I am also on board with making a player honor the contract they sign! T.O. is a prime example.. T.O. comes to the Eagles.. signs a contract where he was making more money then in San Fran… and because of ONE! good year.. he wants more money? Another prime example.. Kobe! Kobe isnt happy.. so he wants to be traded.. if I were the Lakers I would tell him “Sorry.. you signed a contract.. we traded another superstar *shaq* to make you happy.. you sit your ass right here.. and honor your contract” Teams really need to stand up to these superstars and make them honor the contracts that they sign! I agree with Liverdamage about the final year of the contract being up for dicussions.. I also agree with Lajitas.. One season does not make a career.. and should not be a barganing chip.. If thats the case.. put a clause in your contract.. its called a “Performace Bonus”!

  11. “But answer me this.. If the players werent making all that money they are, would the owners still be making as much money??”

    this is way to easy… we both agree owners are BUSINESS men. (and i’m sorry if i get moralist against the greed gripping our country):
    – Would American Airlines cut the pay 1/3 of all of their pilots and flight attendants then give themselves a multimillion dollar pay raise?
    – Would wal-mart make $20,000 per SECOND in profits selling 3rd world sweatshop goods, destroy most of America’s small town commercial industries, disallow their workers to unionize, and disallow them health insurance?
    – Would American CEO’s layoff thousands of american jobs to outsource the labor to some 3rd world country so they could add 10 million to their yearly salary?
    – Would American grocery stores and home depot invest 6 thousand dollars a unit for “self checkout” registers if it didn’t eliminate a lower/middle income salary? (btw, those are good jobs for high school students and the mentally handicapped… please don’t accept it when people say those jobs aren’t worthwhile for anyone!)
    – Would Bill Wirtz deny televising home games if he thought he couldn’t squeeze blackhawk fans for an additional couple hundred thousand dollars?

    I think I’ve made my point and tied it directly back to the sports world.

    Unions and Owners are both corrupt and greedy, don’t get me wrong… but there needs to be a negotiated balence… they come in the form of bargaining agreements… all of them are far from perfect, but it is as a whole acceptable to both sides on the producer end… and if it screws the consumer, see “LiverDamage vs. the NHL” or “LiverDamage vs Wal-Mart”… we don’t need to invest our time, money and interest in that business.

  12. American Airlines cut salaries to keep themselves out of the red and compete with Southwest Airlines.. least that what I remember reading somewhere..

    Walmart sucks! I avoid this establishment like the plague..

    I agree with you about the self check out lanes.. Waaaaaaaay back in the day I was a sacker at Randalls.. in Houston.. Also known as Tom Thumb in Dallas..

  13. testing…. it keeps eating my replies… automated censorship? of course not… i’m not even liberal enough to believe that… annoying bug though

  14. although i’m starting to believe it now (it twice kicked out my reply then just allowed that “testing” response through)! i’m going to paste my reply in short bits without the links to references…

    short version part 1, American airlines:
    They cut salaries across the board for all employees “to stay in business” then gave a 21 million bonus to the top 5 executives.

    part 2: Sports unions have been able to keep the compensation rates between managment/ownership relatively in check with the Joe Q. Prosportplayer. Imagine if Joe Q. Averageworker kept his salary in check with the CEO raises over the past 20 years:
    “1. Over the course of the 1990s, corporate profits rose 108 percent, supporting an S&P 500 Index increase of 224 percent. Who gained? After nearly two decades of real wage declines, workers’ pay has risen 28 percent in the 1990s (before adjusting for inflation). Meanwhile, CEO pay has risen 443 percent.
    2. If average production worker pay had risen at the same rate as CEO pay between 1990 and 1998, worker pay would be $110,399 today, rather than the current $29,267. The minimum wage would be $22.08, rather than the current $5.15 per hour. “

  15. I’m a firm believer that no CEO, CFO, or any corporate leader should be allowed by law to receive a bonus if that company has to lay off even 1 worker, or cut back wages or benefits to stay in business. Also, J, you forgot about Bagwell and Biggio. Astros throughout their playing career in the bigs.

  16. Good point Lajitas.. I did miss those two! But we can all agree that its a rare thing these days??

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