Where Does Food Cost So Much!

If there's one thing that really strokes my fur against the grain regarding pro sports, it's that many pro athletes that are spoiled rotten and completely out of touch with reality. Athletes that whine and complain about "feeding their families" off of "paltry millions of dollars."

Although perhaps improving, many of these same athletes have few other "skillsets", much less aptitudes, and by a long shot, than their athletic abilities anyway, which would offer a stark contrast in their "abilities to feed their families" if they were not capable of playing football or whatever other professional sport they play. Most get pushed through college on "greased skids" usually not even graduating. How many people in school with Division I sports have walked into classes on opening day and seen a room full of athletes only to say to themselves, "YES!"

Regardless, Lawyer Milloy was recently quoted in the Boston Herald, Friday January 21st online edition. It is not quite clear exactly what his point is. But the general gist of it is pretty clear. It almost appears as if he is somewhat regretful of having left the Pats, and understandably so. On the other hand, he appears to bash them as if their personnel policies are something to be ashamed of. Lastly he goes on to state that his decision was all business in ‘following the money' as it were.

Regardless, he also makes the following statement: "But the other part is (making sure) your family is stable after football is all done. You can't feed your family off of Super Bowl rings."

Now, in the greater context of the article, this likely is not a big deal. But it does make one wonder what pro athletes think that everyone else in the world does to "feed their families" throughout their lives. I mean how is it even possible to feed one's family earning as little as say 70 or 80K per year! Quite frankly, anyone earning NFL veteran-minimum salaries for a mere eight or ten seasons, if they are shrewd with their investments and wise with their money, should probably easily be able to make due for the rest of their lives and that would include purchasing a middle class home in most of "middle-class America." Why all of a sudden it's a real reach for athletes making tens of millions of dollars over a handful of years defies logic.

The underlying implications, strong ones, in Mr. Milloy's statements are that he came for the money. "Gimme, gimme, gimme" seem to be the words that come to mind. Naturally a willing Commander "Money Bags" Tom who was more interested in the resume than the performance was a willing accomplice. But Lawyer Milloy is a mercenary if you will. His statements are clear enough that the team comes second. That's fine as long as the performance matches the pay, then it's a two-way street. But this transaction smells more like a four-lane interstate in Milloy's direction and a county road in the Bills' direction!

Frankly Lawyer, here in Buffalo you are quite overpaid for your contributions. Did you ever perhaps for a single moment consider that your mouth and ego running inversely proportionally to your performance along with your inflated self-worth and non-team orientation are perhaps what "encouraged" the Patriots to let you walk? As one of the top 25% paid safeties in the league, your performance lags that same measure.

But that really isn't the point here. The next time you emerge from the tunnel at Ralph Wilson Stadium and set foot onto the turf there for a game, stop and pause for a moment. Take a good look upward and look at some of the individual fans there. Stick your ego in your pocket for a moment.

Then consider that some of the wealthier fans sitting there, paying their really hard earned money to come and watch you play, earn perhaps in the six-figure range, and that perhaps yes, a few of them scattered about, probably in the luxury boxes, are millionaires or multi-millionaires, but that most of them earn perhaps 40, 50, 60, or $70,000 per year. Many even less. Many must consider whether or not they can afford to run up to concessions for a beer that costs what, $8 these days, or a $5 hot dog along with a slew of other things that one could very easily drop $50 on for a quick meal for a family of four! Or a host of other concessions with prices making the Leow's Theater look like Walmart from a pricing perspective.

The NFL's minimum salaries for the upcoming 2005 season, which have not altered themselves drastically at all since 2002, are:

Rookies: $ 230,000 (An average recent college grad is fortunate to find a starting job earning $ 50K. Few traditional jobs where people are not the best in their fields or in some very high-demand field ever get much past $100K in terms of today's dollars. The ones that do usually live in large cities where the cost of living eats up the difference.)
1 Year: $ 305,000
2 Years: $ 380,000
3 Years: $ 455,000
4-6 Years: $ 540,000
7-9 Years: $ 665,000
10+ Years: $ 765,000

Applying those minimal standards only, an NFL player playing in the NFL for 10 years stands to earn $5,520,000 if my quick-math is right. By the same standard, a person earning $100K for 30-years earns $3,000,000 nearly half of that. But few NFL players earn only minimum for that duration and few middle class Americans, percentage wise, earn $100K per year, most less.

You talk about "being able to feed your family" Mr. Milloy. Do you shop somewhere where meat costs hundreds or thousands of dollars per pound? Or bread $50 a loaf? Obviously the question is facetious, but the point is clear. Here are a few that are not however. Have you ever considered perhaps working following football? At last check, you did not graduate from college. Have you ever considered what you would be doing in life regarding "feeding your family" if you could not play football?

I say this semi-affectionately yet very provocatively, but shut up and play football and be thankful that you have the physical ability to earn millions for what most American men would love to be able to do at anything close to your level for free on weekends!

Then take a moment, good long one, to thank all the clerks, cashiers, stockers, etc. that work where you, or someone else, buys your food and other essentials and earn well below $100,000 to do it. Thank them for buying tickets to games with money that ends up in your pocket! Stick around incognito sometime in the parking lots before or after games or as fans enter or exit the stadium and take a look at the number of "Milloy" jerseys you see! For they can ensure that it becomes even more difficult for you "to feed your family!"

Either way Mr. Milloy, if you truly believe that "getting by" and "feeding your family" is so tough on you and such an arduous and overwhelming burden given your means or even a fraction of them, other than utterly mismanaging your finances, you are always welcome to quit your poor-paying job and join those that feed your fellow athletes and peers if you believe you can do better! Or better yet, try applying for some jobs under an alias with your educational criteria and "achievements" and see what options pop up for ya without using your name to sell hemorrhoid medication! Then come back and utter some more statements about "feeding your family."

In the meantime, since it's the money you play for and the business end of things that concern you the most, then surely you will not mind if the fans take a a similar standpoint. So clam up and play football and see if you can get your performance to match your compensation one of these seasons!

Comments: mweiler.billsreport@cox.net

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