At the end of the day professional sports is a business and for it to be successful it must strategize and plan to remain profitable. I get that, I just don’t like it. I don’t want to think that guys like Reggie Jackson or Dr. J or Terry Bradshaw did what they did because they were motivated by money. I’d like to think they did what they did because they loved their sport, were good at it and strived to be the best of the best when all was said and done. That’s why I’m bothered by the role that money plays in today’s game regardless of sport or league.
Maybe bothered isn’t the right word, maybe distracted is more apt. It takes my attention away from what I truly love about “the game” and I’m bothered by that. Maybe that’s the kid inside me that used to go to Cubs games with my family back in Illinois or cheering the Bears winning the ’85 super bowl. I don’t remember money being a big factor that was widely discussed back then. I know guys got paid but it wasn’t a headline maker, not like it is now anyway.
I’m not against anyone making a good living at what they do and trust me, if someone offered me more money at my job I’d be a fool not to take it. That’s why I don’t necessarily fault the players in this situation as much I blame the owners for giving in. At some point you have to say “No” otherwise you’re always at the mercy of the agents and then I have to ask the question “Is it really worth 250 million to buy a championship?”
Guys like NFL’s Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco and Tony Romo, at best three average quarterbacks, command huge, inflated salaries, not doing much to dispel the myth that the pros are grossly overpaid, a viewpoint held by the public at large. And it’s not fair to just point fingers at the NFL, how about MLB’s A-Rod or Clayton Kershaw? How about the NBA?
Sometimes I feel like team owners approach their sport with a “fast food” attitude towards winning a championship. Instead of drafting players and building a team that could be viable for years to come owners instead opt out to buy top name talent to win right now.
I liken it to the analogy of ordering fast food. Owners go through the drive thru, order their championship, pay for it with their debit card and pick up their trophy at window #2. Why build a team when you can buy one pre-fab and ready to go, right?
Think about this the next time you hear about a player getting XX million for playing pro ball. Did that team get a good player or did they just buy a championship?