Sunday, February 6, 2011

“Let’s not talk football today.”
by John Alexander Madison
February 6, 2011

According to a report on the average salary for the highest paid Major League Baseball team is $8.2 million per player (N.Y. Yankees) and the lowest average team player salary is $1.3 million (Pittsburgh Pirates).

The average PGA tour player makes $800,000 per year. The main source of revenue for many PGA golfers is placing in the tour itself. Taking home first place on the PGA tour nets the winner between 10 and $11 million. Placing in the top 50 earns you more than $1.7 million, depending on your position. 100th place earns a tidy $1 million per year. Coming in 216th will get you about $100,000. Besides prize money, many players earn extra money through promotions and sponsorship from corporations. (as reported on

Tiger Woods’ career earnings of over $1 billion is the equivalent of 20,000 hard-working Americans earning $50,000 in a year. Put another way, Tiger Woods earned, in his first twelve years on tour, the equivalent of 500 average Americans earn in their lifetime.

If we wanted to talk about football today, we would learn that the average NFL salary was a shade under $1.8 million in 2009 and a few, of course, end up quite rich. The base salary is $295,000, according to the NFL Players Association and that money is guaranteed for any player who is on an active roster for at least three games. The average base salary was $990,000, but players can make much more money than that, according to an analysis of NFL salary databases. Signing bonuses are the way that most players make their money. The average signing bonus for all players is $1.34 million, which is a large number considering that almost 600 players don't have one in their current contract. Players can also add various other bonuses into their contracts, which unlike signing bonuses, count as part of the total salary. That average was $440,000 during the 2008 season. (all this according to

Also if we wanted to talk about football today, we’d learn that a televised football game in Dallas today commands about $3,000,000 for each 30-second commercial. Annualized to the 2,080 hours the average American works, that would be $748,800,000,000 in a year (that’s $748.8 trillion dollars). That number is the equivalent of the annual earnings of 14,976,000 Americans at $50,000 each, if my math is correct.

So what’s the point? Do these numbers bother you? Do you think professional athletes and team owners are making too much money? Do you think commercials on today’s football broadcast cost too much?

Professional athletes make much more money than the average American worker. But do you think professional athletes make too much money? What is too much? After all, they have expenses too…food, clothing, shelter, repaying loans for their college diplomas or law school tuitions, etc. If we add to that the rising cost for luxury sports cars, gold necklaces, gold rings and diamond earrings perhaps you will agree it costs a lot to be a professional athlete. And do you think extravagant, body-covering tattoos are applied for free?

Because current NFL/player contract negotiations appear to be stalled over critical issues including lifetime medical benefits, professional football players are threatening to boycott the 2011-2012 season. This makes me wonder whether they read the newspapers or watch television. Isn’t #44Care going to take care of us all, even professional athletes? How can the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates baseball players earning, on average, a measly $1.3 million per year afford to buy their own medical insurance?

My friend Roger* thinks everyone, including these athletes, should be free to buy insurance or not, that they cannot be forced to purchase insurance by the most left-leaning, radical leadership we’ve seen in our nation’s capital is U.S. history. (*ref. Federal Judge Roger Vinson’s decision in Pensacola, Florida a few days ago declaring the President’s healthcare legislation to be a violation of the U.S, Constitution, thus invalid.)

I know a majority of American citizen support our free-market economy. Therefore, how can we begrudge any of these athletes the compensation they receive? To do so would be anti-American. As for me, I believe in capitalism and our free-market economy and, of course, reducing government to the lowest practical level, and letting Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.

Therefore, I have mixed feelings today…a dilemma of sorts. Should I be an enabler and watch today’s game and the entertaining commercials which often have been more interesting than the game itself, or should I stay home and prepare my 2010 federal tax return only to learn that my after-tax, disposable income declined yet again over the previous year?

I’ve made up my mind. I’m not going to watch any football today, especially since nobody invited me to a watch party. I know I may be in the minority, but that is my final decision!

Oh wait, the telephone is ringing.

"Hi, this is John. …you’re having a Super Bowl party and you want me to come over and watch a bunch of over-paid athletes run around for about 6-8 seconds at a time, rest for 45-60 seconds, then repeat that over and over with constant interruptions for silly but sometimes creative and very funny $3 million, 30-second commercials stretched out over 4 hours or more? Uh, I’ll be right over. What can I bring?”


I will not bore you with a reprint of a recent message being circulated on the internet, but the article says “Let’s put seniors in prisons, and criminals in nursing homes.” Do you think that is a good idea? Think about it.

The article talks about warm showers, hobbies and exercise areas, unlimited free prescriptions, medical and dental treatment, allowances instead of fees, 24-hour video monitoring for immediate assistance, if needed, clean and ironed bedding, walk by checks every 20 minutes, catered hot meals and snacks, family visits in suites provided for them, libraries, weight-lifting rooms, spiritual counseling, a pool and education centers, in-house concerts by nationally recognized artists, clothing, personal computers, television, telephones, legal aid…all at no cost. And, the icing on the cake…the ACLU would fight for their rights and protection.

If I had more room for this article, I would also talk about facilities for seniors in nursing homes.

Folks, I don’t know about you, but things seem to be a little out of whack to me.


Speaking of compensation, it has been widely reported that the President of Egypt is worth 70 billion dollars. Surely that is a misprint. I wonder if they meant to say he stole $70 billion from the government treasury…or has he actually been earning more than $2 billion per year during his reign? If so, I support a salary increase for our President…or better still a very generous, early retirement package. Hail to the chief!


1 comment:

  1. I read somewhere that sports fans are generally happier than non-sports fans, so in the interest of being happy, I did watch the super bowl, and enjoyed it. How much is it worth to bring happiness to millions of people? Priceless?

    Although truth be told, I think playing sports, versus watching, is the ultimate happiness!