Monday, August 2, 2010

sports salaries and priorities in life

I keep reading about all these pro athletes who decide to "hold out" or "sit out" or argue about their salaries.  They are of course making millions of dollars and playing sports for their jobs.  This isn't anything new; I know that a lot of people argue and complain about this because not all of us are fortunate enough to be gifted athletically.  While I am like many other people in that I don't see why these people complain when they are making about 10x what everyone else is making I do have another worry about this situation.
The educational system in the US is currently falling; you can ask anyone that is learned in the subject and they can talk about how the US is falling behind the rest of the world and we no longer set the standard for the world in brilliance and ingenuity.
It seems to me the problem is our thinking on sports.  Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy sports as much as the next guy.  I love watching and speculating and I yell at the television when the refs/umps make a bad call and I cheer viciously for my home teams.
The problem has become that the people that are making the big money are no longer the ones that are super smart and have invested time and brains into a product.  They are now those that have the biggest muscles and can jump the highest, run the fastest, or throw the hardest.
It saddens me that a person can be dumb as a box of rocks and if they can dunk a basketball they can make $100 million.
I am not saying that all athletes are dumb; there are in fact plenty of them that are very smart.  But even the smartest person can tell you that if they are asked to quit college in their 2nd year to play a sport the rest of their lives and make millions of dollars compared to graduating and only making thousands that the lure is to become rich and famous.
So where does this leave us as a country?  We have gifted athletes who make the most money and they are the inspiration and role models for our children.  They don't finish school, they never had to pay for school, they are given anything and everything, and when they get in trouble legally they are so rich and powerful they don't have to worry about getting into real trouble.  (Our sports world is full of convicted felons and trouble makers that repeatedly get chances because they are talented and can help their team win but they don't worry about that and just keep getting into trouble because they have never had to worry about losing it all.)
The sports worlds seem to realize too late that giving hundreds of millions of dollars to people to play a sport is problem.  They aren't making the world a better place for mankind even if they are entertaining millions of people.  The problem is entertainment doesn't make things better.  It only helps them forget about problems that are going to be there when the game is done.
You know who deserves the big money?  The people who make a difference in the lives of others and who are trying to better humanity.  The doctors and researchers who are trying to find a cure for cancer and AIDS.  The teachers who are doing their best to give the world smart people who can keep us from doing dumb things (yes I am a teacher and biased but it does make sense).  The ministers and priests who teach moral standards and pray for the world to do their best to keep a moral conscience for the world.  The police who put their lives on the line each and every day to uphold law and order and make the world a safer place and while doing it have to put up with people who complain after they have been caught breaking the law.
If we were to really look at the people who make a difference in the world for mankind and who try and make the world a better place instead of just grabbing what they can while they can and throwing it all away on stupid stuff we might have a better handle on being a part of the world and we might just find our country a better place to live in.

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