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The winner of the “Living with Sportz” Fan of the Day for December 10th is Tim Brown. On the weekend that they name the Heisman Trophy winner, we have our own Heisman winner at Living with Sportz. Tim is up for the Hall of Fame this year and also a NASCAR owner. Tim is definitely “Living with Sportz.” Congrats Tim!!!

Thank you for all of the recommendations to Living with Sportz. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. If you would recommend “Living with Sportz” to any friends or fellow sports fans, I would truly appreciate it. Under the profile picture on the Facebook Fan Page is a “Suggest to Friends” button. If you click on it, it allows you to recommend the Fan Page to friends.

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Coryell Factor: Dan Dierdorf developed into an All-Pro offensive lineman under Don Coryell and would later be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Don Coryell, Hall of Fame 2011

With the recent signings of Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford, I thought today would be a good time to talk about the current state of our economy. I also am going to talk about you today, yes, you the reader of Living with Sportz.

Carl Crawford signed a 7 year, $142 million contract on Wednesday night. Let me put this in terms that everyone will understand. This breaks down to $55,577 every day for the next 7 years. That’s right, $55,577 for the next 7 yrs, 365 days a year. Now lets take out his taxes along with his agent fees and it is about $35,000 a day if he has any kind of tax attorney working for him. This does not count his endorsements or apparel contracts that he gets. How much is a Carl Crawford jersey going to sell for? Lets say $100, maybe more maybe a little less. Carl will get a % of that sale also. Another words, Carl can go out and buy a real nice car with 3 days pay and then 3 days later buy a matching set. Come to think about it, has Carl ever driven in Boston? He may be better off to hire a driver for $100,000 a year. That is only 3 days pay for an entire year of having a chauffeur. Hmmm, Maybe I could volunteer my services to Carl, I am a very good driver to quote Rain Man. Think about this folks, $35,000 a day to play baseball at Fenway Park.

Lets get to who pays this salary. It is you, the readers of Living with Sportz. I want you to look in your closet right now. Do you have a jersey or uniform that you no longer wear? Odds are the answer to this question is yes. The owners of professional sports teams know that the fans are gullible and will help them pay for these expensive players. I don’t see this changing in the near future but it is time for the fans of sport to take a stand.

The NBA and NFL are looking at a work stoppage next year. Are you kidding me? The people that created this problem, the owners, finally realize that they are over paying these athletes and want players to take pay cuts. How about the owners take an ego cut, then I might sympathize with them. What am I saying? I will never sympathize with the owners. They go out an pay these ridiculous salaries and then want the fans to accept hikes in ticket prices and pay for $100 jerseys. Hey, get me another round of $10 beers. Here is a $100 bill and keep the change. When and how does this stop? Folks, I am here to tell you that this doesn’t stop.

I know that there are many very excited Red Sox fans today. They now have Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. There are also some very disgusted Pittsburgh Pirate fans. The Pirates cover their entire payroll before a ticket or t-shirt is ever sold. That is good business but not good for their fan base. I remember when the Pirates were a really good organization and that was more than 20 years ago. Come to think about it, if I owned a professional sports franchise, I would want to make a profit also so maybe Pittsburgh is a real good franchise still today, they just don’t show it on the field.

Ok, whose side am I on? I am always on the players side of this argument. Crawford, Werth, Cliff Lee and other free agents are only taking what is offered to them. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you like to get $35,000 every day to play baseball or would you say, “I don’t want the fans to pay $10 for a beer so I will take less.” In my best Cris Carter voice, CMON MAN. We all would take the money and run. These players are not doing anything wrong. Free agency opened quite a few doors for these players and nobody should blame them for accepting what is offered to them. Then we blame agents, are you kidding me? They are doing a great job for their clients which is what they were hired for. Tell me if you were a world class athlete looking for a new deal, would you call Scott Boras first? I know I would. He is getting the maximum for his clients which is what he is hired for. The owners hate working with Boras which tells you how good of a job he does.

One of the problems we will see in the NBA and NFL is that it will also be the fans who suffer if we have a work stoppage. Funny to call this work but as I have stated so many times in previous articles, it is a game to the fans but it is definitely work to the players. I cannot imagine what next September would be like without the NFL. I cannot even go there yet, I get the shakes even thinking about it. The owners use the fans to get what they want and again the fans will have no say in anything that goes on with the negotiations of the upcoming collective bargaining agreements. The owners will claim poverty but if they want to see poverty, they need to look at the checking accounts of the fans.

I used to watch the NHL. In fact, I would have called myself a knowledgeable fan of the NHL, until the previous work stoppage. Now fans of hockey cannot even watch their teams on mainstream television. The popularity of the NHL has dropped faster than Albert Haynesworth’s career. Speaking of Haynesworth, the Redskins were waiting out in front of his house only a few short years ago so that they could be the first to talk to him when free agency opened at midnight for the NFL. How did that work out for the Redskins? Owners and egos are not a good mix for fans.

I know that most fans don’t care how much the owner of our favorite team spends to get the talent to make our team a winner. The problem is either a pay me now or pay me later scenario. The fans of these organizations suffer for years to come. I understand that as fans, we only want our teams to win but someone somewhere has to fiscally responsible or only a few teams will ever be able to compete. With the payrolls of the Red Sox and Yankees, you have to be surprised that they do not win the World Series every year. Then again, money doesn’t always but happiness or championships.

I also may have a different perspective because my favorite professional team, the Green Bay Packers, are owned by the fans. The Packers have been competitive for some time and the fan base feels an unusual bond to this team in the smallest market in professional sports. Lets face it though, do the fans really own this team? The people that have stock in the Packers only get to vote by proxy for the people that lead this organization. It isn’t like each and every fan is involved in discussions about possible free agents or coaching decisions. That would be some kind of conference call though.

I also want to explain that the contracts of MLB and the NBA are guaranteed contracts. Crawford will get his $35,000 every day whether he hits .230 or is injured or even cut by the Red Sox. A little know fact is that the NY Mets have to pay Bobby Bonilla, $2 million a year until 2035. Bonilla has not played for the Mets since 2000. Anyone have an old Bonilla jersey or possibly an autographed picture? Bonilla appreciates it. Nice work if you can get it.

In the NFL, the contracts are not guaranteed. That is why the bonus money of the contract is so important to players in the NFL. So as a fan, pay no attention when they announce a contract signing in the NFL, the only number that matters is the guaranteed money. When they cut a player in the NFL, the pay also stops. The other difference in the NFL is that they have revenue sharing along with an unbelievable television contract so at least ESPN, Fox, CBS and the NFL Network help in paying the salaries of these players. Think about this, the NFL has 8 home games to create the revenue that MLB has 81 games to produce. Yet, MLB cant schedule a true doubleheader. That is the reason for those split double headers, the greedy owners want two separate games to draw more revenue. By the way, I miss double headers as a fan. I hated them as an umpire but love them as a fan.

Like I said, this is not going to change but when you think about you the reader of Living with Sportz, working a 40+ hour week to make in a year what Carl Crawford will make each and every day, it doesn’t make sense. Maybe we all should have learned to hit the curve-ball, run like a deer and throw a baseball like Crawford. We would be the one benefiting from this terrific contract today. That is all I have for today, I have to go, I need to get my letter off to Crawford to offer up my services as a chauffeur.


About livingwithsportz

I was a professional baseball umpire for 11 seasons from 1979-1989. I follow all sports and read and study everything to do with all aspects of sport. I am now a 50 yr old man who feels the need for a new career and am hoping to get into the sports information age. I love starting discussions about controversial sports and life subjects. I am originally from Wisconsin. I am a diehard cheesehead and have been a lifelong Packer and Badger fan. I have lived all over the country and hope to give an interesting perspective to sports.


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