Can we try to get Sports in some perspective?

2 months, 2 weeks ago 4
Posted in: blog

Roger Staubach one of the richest ex-NFL quarterbacks, worth over 600 million. He made most of it in the real estate and construction business after his playing days. I shot this photo many years ago!!!  He is a great guy, if anyone deserves success this man does!


Let’s start here:  Who are the highest paid state employees by state in the entire United States?

In 39 states it’s a college basketball or football coach. The rest are all college administrators at Universities.


Here are some of the top highest paid public employees, all per year:


Nick Saban, Alabama football coach  11.7

Kirby Smart  University of Georgia football coach 11.5 million

Jimbo Fisher Texas A&M football coach  10.8 million

Dabo Swinney, Clemson University football coach 9.3 million

John Calipari, University of Kentucky basketball coach 9.3 million

Jim Harbaugh University of Michigan football coach  7.5 million

Lincoln Riley just got a new contract at Southern Cal and it is undisclosed but likely 10 million plus, for sure.


How about pro athletes?

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys  4 year contract for $107.5 million

LeBron James,  L.A. Lakers  96.5 million this list goes on with dozens of athletes making almost this much or more!!!!!


If you are a football coach at a middle of the road sports program like Nebraska, once a national football power, and you are there for 5 seasons and do not have a winning record the fans and sports media are calling for you to be fired, sounds awful until you learn that if Scott Frost is fired, they have to buy out his remaining contract for a measly 7 million!

Considering that a fireman in America has an average salary is $50K and a policeman’s median salary is $54k and they both risk their lives to do their jobs, does this make any sense?


I’m a capitalist to the bone, and I understand the these salary are based on how people are valued for their profession, and the money involved.  Sports in America is a multi, multi billion dollar industry.   I’m just saying that our values and expectations are terribly skewed.  A good school teacher that really loves her students and helps them build a foundation for a successful life, and has a profound on their futures. isn’t that valuable? It’s fun to watch a 7 foot tall man slam a basketball through the hoop, but how many lives does that change?  No matter how many Super Bowl Rings you have, that alone, is not a considerable contribution to others lives!


I attended the University of Kentucky in the early to mid sixties and we had a terrible football program, and lots of coaches came and went.  At the moment we have a pretty good program and have played in 5 straight bowl games, this coming weekend we play Florida, who will be a real challenge for us, I’m considering not watching the game, because I know how frustrated I will be if we loose, which we well may.  What’s wrong with me, it’s a game, when it’s over no matter what happens my life will not be changed in any significant way, why do I care so much?


I don’t know the answer, but I know I can only speak for myself and I need to get a better perspective on this whole thing!




the pilgrim




4 Responses

  1. Hi Bill
    I’ve never been good at keeping my thoughts to myself so here is my perspective. I no loner have any interest in sports. When I saw what they were doing with the National Anthem I said no more for me. I don’t miss it at all. I have friends that eat, sleep, and worry over sports. I don’t understand it, unless it is that they need something else in their life to take their mind off their own problems. There were probably 15 pro football games yesterday and the stadiums were packed with people. Today my life is the same as it was yesterday and I don’t know who won or lost. It doesn’t matter, because it has no bearing on my life. “Family & Faith” are the only things I focus on and my life is complete.

  2. David W says:

    Bill, sharing your thoughts has done a couple of things: you told us what you are thinking and you prodded us in considering the situation and sharing our thoughts. Dave clearly shared his prospective. (Thank you, Dave). Like Dave, I see much of the sports entertainment has no significant impact on my life. For me, knowing a bit about sports is good for talk around the water cooler or coffee pot. The economist in me looks at the situation and tries to understand how the absurd pay scales came to be. And another part of the natural philosopher in me wonders how we, individually and as a group, have come to identify so closely with particular teams and individuals.

    I see my interest in my alma mater is partially wanting to be a graduate of a school exceptional in all things. It’s partially due to the fondness I have for the the school, the many memories of friends and faculty, and the activities I was introduced to and was able to participate in. It’s partially wanting to see the kids succeed due to their hard work. There may also be a bit of thankfulness to the school as my education and experience has enabled me to succeed in so many other ways.

    After pondering the the pay situation, I think I know a bit why this has occurred but is does not mean I like the situation. I know that more of my income goes to the local police, firemen and fire women, and teachers than to any of the professional or college sports teams. I expect the same is true of many people including may diehard sports fans. I will do my little part to change the situation and hope enough others do the same so we can make a difference.