I am an avid sports fan. I love football and hockey and am a novice fan of other sports. As much as I love sports, I have very little patience for the overpaid, greedy, self centered pro athlete.
With the impending 2011 NFL work stoppage on the horizon, one has to ask, when is too much money enough? We look at the pure greed in pro sports. The 1981 and 1994 Major League Baseball strikes, the 1992, 1994 and 2004 NHL lockouts, and the NBA lockouts are a testament to the greed in pro sports. And of course we can't forget the strike of 1982 and the 1987 lockout in the NFL.
For the most part, pro athletes are over paid, spoiled and totally clueless about how real Americans deal with personal finances. When I hear an athlete say, "I have to feed my family," it makes me want to barf. How many millions of dollars does it take for an athlete to "feed" the family? Matt Nokes of the New York Yankees declared that the players were fighting for their "freedom" during the 1994 MLB players strike. I don't know about you, but I would love to be put on shackles and chains if that meant I'd make seven or eight figures a year. That stupid statement by Mr. Nokes prompted me to proclaim a lifetime boycott of Major League Baseball. Although I'm sure MLB hasn't been the worse for wear for losing my gate, I haven't been to a MLB game since May of 1993.
Pedro Martinez of the LA Dodgers makes $12 million a year, which works out to $74,074 a game. Lets break this down for the average worker who puts in 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. If the average American worker made $12 million a year, s/he would make $230,569 a week, or $5,769 an hour. Matt Nokes, I'll be glad to fill your shackles for you.
The National Football League is by far the most popular and richest of the major four leagues here in North America. But the greedy players and owners may not have a season in 2011 because the collective barganing agreement will have expired. During the negotiations, we will hear how the owners are bad and that they (the players) are victims. I'm sorry, guys, you're not victims. Now I admit I love the NFL. I am a self-proclaimed sucker because I will continue to support the NFL; now, during and after the 2011 strike. And by the way there are about 50 million other people who are in the same boat as I.
Now back to the real world. I'm a school teacher. I work for Baltimore City providing services to students in city private schools. I work with many very wonderful, dedicated teachers who work for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The archdiocese has mandated that all Catholic school teachers and principals reapply for their positions. Also schools are going to be consolidated and merged. The bottom line is a lot of good people are going to be unemployed in June. With Baltimore County and City tightening their belts, teaching jobs will be scarce. These real Americans are the people who have to worry about feeding their families.
March 3 was D-Day for these wonderful teachers. The word came down on who would have a job in September of 2010 and who would be unemployed. Seven schools with which I've been associated with will close. Four of them are Sacred Heart of Mary in Dundalk, Our Lady of Fatima in East Baltimore, Cardinal Gibbons in Southwest Baltimore and Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington. These are real people who will be looking for another job. These are good, honest, decent, hardworking people who are really wondering how they will feed their families.
Every pro athlete should be required to live like those of us real Americans who make the economic engine run. If the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB ceased to exist tomorrow, the country would survive. But if teachers ceased to teach, the country would go into chaos.
Martin J. Mossa, White Marsh
Send letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.