Essay, Research Paper
When Salaries Get to High to See
When people think of high salaries they turn to the world of professional sports, because that is where athletes are paid outrageous amounts to do the things they love. Although some would argue that the athletes deserve these wages, I fell that not all professional sports are paid adequately. For an example of this statement take into consideration the time and effort that most pro athletes spend at perfecting there acquired talent. They are fine tuned instruments, who work hard to do their jobs on the field, on the court, or on the course. They do this because they love the game. Golfers don?t get paid as much as other Pro-sports, but do their job just as well. Athletes are paid way to much, but golfers are not.
Now take into consideration how much professional baseball players make a season. ?The average earned income in major league baseball is over $800,000 a season?(Fizel, 83), and some of these players just ride the pine all year. How is it fair that a man that can hit a ball four hundred feet to send a baseball out of the park make $30 million a season. Barry Bonds is truly a great athlete, but to be paid that much he should be able to hit home runs with his eyes closed. I know that these baseball stars bring in a lot of very good paying customers, and they like to watch the games. Then though, I could eat for a week on what they are charging to get into Wrigley Field with good seats for one game.
If you will step back with me in time for a moment you will understand why I am so concerned about this issue about over paid athletes. In the forties each player was paid fairly but not extravagantly. ?When I joined the Cardinals ball club in 1943 we were paid fifteen dollars for each game?.(Harig) Back then the players had other jobs to help them make ends meat. They just played the game on the side and on the weekends for extra cash.
Other sports have the same problems, take professional basketball. Michael Jordan is the greatest man to ever walk across the hard wood floors of professional basketball, but to be paid $63 million in one season is almost sickening. Jordan has so much power when it comes to the NBA, that he is able to drop out of the National Basketball League and start playing baseball. Then when he was tired of baseball, the Bulls begged and pleaded for him to come back to their team. That just doesn?t seem right and fair to me, especially to other players in the NBA. He may be the greatest basketball player ever, but in my books he doesn?t have a lot of character and integrity. ?Jordan made sixty three million last year and the closest man to him was Patrick Ewig; who made twenty million,?(Partinie) which is a little better character wise. It is true that these men bring on big crowds and lots of money to the owners, just like baseball players, but again have to much control. They probably aren?t paid near as much as the owners could afford to either, the owner can go home with a fat pocket too. Pro?s are just taking advantage of there talent, at least in some cases. God gave them their talent and some of them are being very greedy and not using it for what it was meant to be used for; the pure love of the game.
Football players aren?t any better but are a little different when it comes to why they are paid so much. They have a lot more at steak when they go out on to the field to crunch heads. They have to consider the possibility of getting injured. They are paid to be big, mean, fast, and ruthless out on the grass against men just as big and ruthless as themselves. Football players are rewarded money if their talent is exceptional, for touchdowns, yardage, sacks, stops, interceptions, and many more. If they don?t perform they don?t get as much cash. If they do live up to what they are expected to, they get over loaded with money. Emmit Smith, and other runningbacks are paid more than any lineman, because they are the ones that put on the show, and are what the spectators came to the game to watch. They also make all the points and make all the good plays that keep viewers interested. Now I do know that the linemen are a huge part of how a good half-back performs, with blocks and stuff, but when there is raw talent in a man you notice it like in Emmit or Barry Sanders. It is also true for the quarterbacks; they are paid more because they are the conductors out on the field. They conduct the orchestra out on the field. John Elway is a great example. He has the strongest, fastest, and most accurate arm in pro-football, which he has proven. That is the main reason he is one the highest paid professional football players in the NFL. Some athletes out on the football field are more aware to the situation of the high prices they are paid. Kevin Green, a defensive linebacker said ? It is true that we are getting paid outrageous amount for what we do out on the turf, but we are the most likely to get hurt in all professional sports. We want to make sure we get what we need before we get out of the league.?(O?Hara, 12) Kevin Green gives a lot of his money to charitable events and is a very honorable player also, he is not just out there for the money.
Now then amongst the most popular television events there is a sport that is respected and loved by millions, but being the men they are, tour golfers aren?t paid extreme amounts. Golf is a gentlemen?s game and is respected by all. You don?t see any of the professional players complaining about their pay, because in the golf world you have to earn your salary. Players aren?t paid a salary like most sports, they have to win a tournament to earn it. From tournament to tournament they are struggling to make a living by doing what they love. The truth is that there is not a whole lot of money to be won on tour either. For an example Greg Norman is the top money winner of all time. Greg has raked in $11,936,443 in his entire career (Howard,12). Compare that to any other sport and you will see that the average baseball and basketball players make that within two or three years. Golfers are also working all year-round. They don?t get to practice during the off-season, because there isn?t one for them. Golfers work very hard in a very competitive sport. Other sports are competitive, but not in the same way that golf is. Golf is an individual sport, so they don?t work with others. They don?t have anyone to fall back on if they need it, it is all up to them. Other thing that makes golf so different than other sports is that it doesn?t require that you are either huge, muscular, fast, or tall. Golf comes down to whether or not you can hit a little golf ball down a narrow fairway, onto a tightly guarded green, then to try and put that little ball into a four inch diameter hole. Golfers aren?t treated the same way that other athletes are. Jack Nickalas, a well know golfer with out sanding talent, explained ?Professional golfers are respected for their talents, character, corizma, and integrity.?(McCormick,32) I myself don?t think that they are paid accordingly, at least not compared to other sports. I?m not saying that they should pay professional golfers more, or that they shouldn?t pay other athletes as much as they do(even though what they make is unbelievable). Now with what pro-golfers are paid they can still make a decent living, this is because they make plenty of money from endorsements. From golf balls and gloves, to hats and clubs, members of the PGA don?t have a hard time with making money on the side.
To me it just seems that the salaries that are made by most professional athletes is outrageous, but then when you take a look at the money that is made on the PGA tour, you don?t see outrageousness, just simplicity. Now then for a man to make over a million dollars on tour he has to win at least four big tournaments. This is also a contributing factor in how much a man makes on tour; which tournaments he is invited to. Only the big tournaments pay off big cash, but in order to get to the big tournaments you have to make a name for yourself in the littler tournaments. Craig Stadler said that when he started the tour in the eighties, he was shocked at the difference in the level of play and that ?Getting on tour is hard enough, but then you have to try to get invited to the big stuff, that is what really take talent.?(Simpson) Scott Hoch is referring to the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and other majors that not everyone is invited to. Depending on how you have done that year and how you have placed in all the tournaments that you play in is the deciding factor on whether or not you can go play in the big dog events.
The truth is that golfers don?t have it rough, but that they have different. Again, they don?t have to be tough, strong, or large, just competitive and hard working. They don?t have to train the same way; with weights and running; but have to train and work at their game on the practice tee or putting green to make it perfect. John Cook has said in an interview with Sports Illustrated ?We don?t get paid as much as other sports, and don?t get as much publicity, but God, I would rather be doing anything else on this beautiful planet.? (Jefferies,65) It is not right how they don?t make as much but it is just how society has set it up. Professional golfers still make a good living but their salaries aren?t outrageous like other sports. They make enough to get them by, and a little extra to help them live stylish.
All in all professional athletes are paid way too much, but they keep us entertained and give us role models. Golfers aren?t as bad when it comes to salaries as the others but they deserve what they are paid. I guess if you want to keep a game respectable you have to keep the salaries respectable also.
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Jefferies, Parker. “Come Back City.” Sports Illustrated. August 1997: 65.
McCormick, Mark. The World of Professional Golf. Doubleday & Company. New York: 1978.
O?Hara, Mike. ?Football: Cap and Salaries Will Rise With New T.V. Deals.? The Detroit News (1998): Online. Internet. 15 Jan. 1998. Available: Http://www.detnews.com/1998/sports/9801/15/01150085.html
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