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Leave the money alone

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 6, 1998
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dan Rosen

Ladies and gentlemen, athletes make way too much money. Oh, I'm sorry, you already know that.

Well then, athletes ask for too much money. Wait, did you know that also?

Wait, wait, wait, actors and actresses, musicians and any other entertainer that you can name makes just about the same amount of dough. If you are smart, you probably knew that, too.

The problem here is that no one knows exactly how much those entertainers make.

Everyone knows about Mike Piazza's astonishing $91 million salary, or Alonzo Mourning's astronomical $105 million salary that is worth more than the entire Miami Heat franchise. Everyone knows because the owners let them know.

"Oh no, I am paying him $7 million a year and he is only hitting .300 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI," or the great, "Are you kidding me, he only scores 22 points and pulls down nine rebounds a game for his $13 million a year?!"

These are words you can hear any owner say, year in and year out without failure.

You know what? Who cares how much these guys make? Honestly, I know that most sports fans are interested, but does it have any bearing on you at all?

It is true that they make sums of money in which some of the zeroes may not even fit in this column, but they also provide endless entertainment and great conversations.

They provide a bonding between friends, an outing for a family, heroes for children and most of all, history. Just think about all the history this past baseball season gave you.

This is a business, enough said. It hurts to say it, but professional athletics have become part of corporate America. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig wouldn't have it that way, but they can't do anything about that now.

So here is what we fans can do: LET IT GO! Just relax, enjoy yourselves, head out to the ballpark or arena and enjoy the game. Sure it will cost you, but you can't put a price on your happiness.

Now, put the money aside and think about what these athletes give you. They give you the same joy that a good movie with a Robert DeNiro or a Nicholas Cage gives you, the same fun you get out of a Phish concert or Dave Matthews Band show.

For all of you entertainment freaks, could you imagine life without these great Hollywood stars or the icons of the music world? I don't think so!

Now sports fans, what about a world without your entertainers?

Think about how pissed you get when you go to a professional sporting event and your favorite stars such as Michael Jordan, Eric Lindros, Mike Piazza and Jerry Rice are not playing.

Now think about them never playing. Could you imagine the Bulls without Jordan, the 'Niners without Rice, the Jazz without Malone, the Flyers without Lindros or the Orioles without Ripken?

No, you couldn't. It would be damn hard to try.

The bottom line here is we have to just let the owners, agents and players work out all the details. Leave the business up to them. It is our job as fans to reap the benefits from the athletes in uniform, not the athletes in suits signing their name on a contract that will make them richer than a franchise.

Enjoy the games. It is a luxury we have in this country that we can brag about. Don't ruin it by caring about how much they make. No one cares how much you make.

And remember, athletes are just human beings. You wouldn't turn down a salary like theirs, either.

Dan Rosen is a junior majoring in journalism and can be reached via e-mail at