By Kevin York
Remember when professional athletes played their game because they loved it? When money wasn’t at the forefront of their decisions, trumping everything else, including winning? You’re not alone in having a foggy memory about this; I’m having a tough time remembering those days too.
Most athletes these days care about their pay day, just making as much money as they can. It doesn’t matter who they play for. It doesn’t even matter if they win. They just want to be shown the money. Jermichael Finley isn’t a culprit as much as he is the norm, just the latest in a long line of athletes that are in it for themselves.
But who are we to criticize that? Isn’t that how we all approach our careers on a smaller, much less lucrative scale? To a certain degree, yes, although there are exceptions. I’m not in a day job where I’m making as much as I possibly can. To me, there are other things more important than money. I think many others fall into this category as well. Us normal people have a number of other things that we weigh with jobs, including insurance, benefits, work environment and co-workers. The comparison of us as normal people to a Jermichael Finley won’t work because too many normal people really are doing what they can to scrape by for their families. When a pro athlete makes a comment about needing to support his family it makes me want to gag. When you’re making millions you’re able to support your family. Unless you have no idea how to manage money (granted, some definitely do not…) those few extra million don’t make that much of a difference in the life you give your wife/girlfriend/baby mama and kids.
Tom Brady is a throwback. He took less money so that New England can continue to build a winning team around him. I applaud that. We need more professional athletes like him. However, I’m smart enough to see we won’t see many Brady’s in sports anymore. Sports have most definitely become a business. Athletes play to make money, not necessarily to win. Is there anything wrong wit that? Not entirely, it’s just the reality of sports today.
As a Packer fan, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Jermichael. You’re far too expensive for the production you’ve given us the last few years.