Thursday, 27 October 2011


Yet another rant from my university newspaper days at UBC circa 1988.
Can't remember if it ran in the Ubbeyssey, the 432 or Red Menace ...

So, the St Louis Blues have traded Adam Oates because he wants to renegotiate his already signed contract. Well, I for one am not overly concerned about money.

Sure, I care about my own money (or at least I would if I had any) but I simply do not care about the contents of Adam Oates' wallet or Trevor Linden's or Roger Clemon's or Hulk Hogan's or anybody else's financial situation either.

If I live another 106 years, I don't care if I never hear another athlete complain about how he is underpaid or hear him defend his greed with that thin weak explaination that he is only trying to 'guarantee security for himself and his family' or some such rubbish.

Of course you're underpaid, of course you only have a few peak earning years ... of course, of course, of course. But here's what you can do, Jock-o: you can quit your whining, move back to Sudbury and work in the nickel mine or move back to Saskatchewan and work at the grain elevator or you can stay in BC and get into an unemployment line. But stop crying to the press; nobody wants to hear it.

What I would really like to hear is some overpaid, coddled, momm'a boy tell the truth -- I'd like to hear at least one player say, 'All I really want from this game is enough money to build a regulation size hockey rink in the back yard for my kids and fill my Olympic size swimming pool with $20 bills and go skinny dipping with Victoria's Secret models until I get ink poisoning'.

Until then, keep your piggybank woes to yourself.

And apparently its not just money either. Some athletes are claiming the money is just incidental,  that its really all about respect; respect from their teammates or from management or from fans or from strangers on the street.

Here's what I wanna hear: I wanna hear an owner tell a player, 'Okay, Meat, you want respect?  We'll give you respect. All team employees will now be required to salute you on sight, your assigned parking space will be repaved in gold and your locker carpeted in ermine. We'll bronze your skates and hand-rub Bavarian goat cream into your glove -- and oh yeah, since its only respect that you want, we're respectfully cutting your salary.'

And while we're on the topic, how many of us are tired of hearing club owners lament about being forced into bankruptcy because of drastically spiralling salaries?

If a player is paid a million dollars a year, its because that's what the owner figures the player is worth in increased ticket sales or souvenir sales. And if the owner can throw around that kind of dough, the team must still be wallowing in profits or else they'd sell the franchise or go bankrupt or hold a clearance sale or hire an arson or whatever.

And as long as I'm on a good rant here, I'm tired of fans whining about overpaid and greedy ball players. Don't tell me jocks are overpaid; just stop whining and stop going to the games and stop buying souvenir jerseys and caps.

And don't tell me that you think Igor Larionov or Jose Canseco should be happy with his current contract and shouldn't get a raise unless you turned down your last pay raise because you already make more money than a Haitian seamstress, or unless you swing a better bat than Jose or have a better wrist shot than Igor.

And don't tell me Mike Tyson or Razor Ruddock is overpaid. What exactly should be the going rate for performing 12 rounds of open face surgery or for exposing your mug to twin battering rams for the amusement of blood thirsty, barbaric, frothing fight fans?

Would you rather see the millions go into the pockets of promotors like Donald Trump or Donald King?

And I don't care how much money the winner of a tennis tournament or a golf tournament will earn either. What difference does that make? Do you think they play harder if the pot gets bigger? Of course not. I like to think they play hard every time out because they like to win.

And I don`t want to hear about incentive clauses either. Or about ticket prices. Or about free tickets. Free tickets work on the basic assumption that empty seats don`t buy peanuts or programs or beer or souvenirs, so even if you got in the gate for free, the owner still has his cash vaccuum hooked into your pocket.

So the owners are getting richer, the players are getting richer and the grandstands are getting fuller.

So what? Who cares? Play ball!

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