Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Is The World Coming To?

After a 2-week 'vacation', we are ready to get back at it. It was nice to take some time for remeberances on Veteran's Day, and to begin preparations for the holidays beginning with Thanksgiving. But all that did really was to store up a few gripes......
First, our Veteran's day parade in our little home town was pathetic. Only one town official actually showed up to march in the parade. The whole parade passed in 10-15 minutes. There were no marching bands (where was the high school band?), very little substance at all. In this time when our troops sorely need our support, out little town failed. Hey, Town Officials, you missed it! Shame on you!
Now, another pet peeve. Athletics. We all revere our athletes, college or pros. We love to see them run faster, jump higher, hit it further. But what about those that are stars, then fail in their position as role models? Michael Vick kills dogs and is going to jail, rightfully so. Barry Bonds is indicted for steroid use and likely will also go to jail. He lied to us, and will deserve what he gets. He also should be forced to change his name to "Bail" Bonds.
Ray Lewis has been in jail. College kids are getting kicked off teams for violating rules and felony charges of all kinds. What is going on? Sadly, although there are some athletes out there who are good people, it seems that the majority of the time we hear about the bad apples.
What is really frustrating about this is the amount of money these athletes make, good or bad. Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) from the New York Yankees bailed out of the last two years of his contract, then opts back in (without his agent) to a 10-year, $275 million contract. Folks, that is $27.5 million per year! To put that in perspective, NY City school teachers make on average $60,000 per year. A-Rod's salary for one year could hire 458 teachers for NY for the same year.
I'm not just singling out A-Rod. This is rampant throughout sports. Just today you can pick up the paper and see the new signings for some of the fee agents or soon-to-be free agents from this past baseball season. Mariano Rivera, also with the Yankees, re-signed a 3-year deal for $45 million, $15 million per year. People! He is a 38-year old relief pitcher. His salary will be per year will be $4 million above what every other relief pitcher currently makes. Compare that to Greg Maddox who just signed a new contract with the San Diego Padres for a 0ne-year contract of $10 million. All Maddox has ever done is win over 300 games, 3 Cy Young awards and several Gold Glove awards for his fielding of his position from the mound. Luis Castillo just signed with the Mets for $25 million over a 4-year deal. The list goes on .....and on.
What does this say about us? Some of the current athletes can't even spell 'baseball' or 'football', yet they are paid millions. Our real heroes, our firefighters, police officers and soldiers don't get paid what theses athletes do, yet they risk their lives every day for us.
By the way, as of this writing no published report has been released outlining the income of our college athletics stars...................

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