Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hazard Pay

I want to talk about the atrocious salaries that NFL players make today and all the changes that the league makes each year to promote player safety.

First let me start with an example of appropriate salary for a specific "dangerous" job

The fisherman who go out each season in Alaska's Bering Strait  and fish for crab and other sea life are among the highest paid in their field. Captains can bring home up to $150,000 per season while deckhands can earn up to $80,000 per season. This salary is appropriate because of the high amount of risk involved with crab fishing in this area. Crab fisherman face a 141.7 per 100,000 fatality rate, the highest among all occupations. That is 75 percent higher than pilots, flight engineers, and loggers; the next highest jobs on the list. Bering Strait fishermen face a 90 percent higher fatality rate than the average American employee.

They deserve the high salary that they receive because they go out and work, basically unprotected, in the harsh cold of winter, in Alaska, on fishing boats and brave the elements and Mother Nature, putting their lives and livelihood in jeopardy every time they do their jobs. This in my opinion is a wage that is well earned.

They get "Hazard Pay"

Now, moving on to NFL players...

These men who are athletes and spend pretty much their whole lives preparing and training to play a game for a living must be aware that it is a dangerous job going in. There is the risk for injury, possibly life changing injury such as paralysis and there is even the possibility of death in the proper circumstance.

They are paid millions of dollars a year to entertain us and play a game, which I have no problem with. I am an avid football fan and I have no problem with men putting their bodies at risk for money and fame.

What I do have a problem with is the NFL changing the game so much over the last 20 years that it is almost to the point of two-hand touch.

I have a problem with players like Tom Brady pleading to referees for penalty flags on what used to be legitimate hits.

As an NFL player you must know going into your career that the average length of time you will play is 3 years and that the average yearly salary is roughly $770,000 (almost 16 times that of the average yearly U.S. income) and what that equates to is: in 3 years you will make 2.3 million dollars while the average American will not make that in a lifetime.

That is the definition of "Hazard Pay" my friends...reaping monetary benefit for putting your body or life in harm's way.

So when a WR is going across the middle of the field and my FS comes across on the blind side and makes contact helmet to helmet and knocks said WR the fuck out...don't boo him for doing his job. Don't boo me for getting excited at the fact that a great bone-crushing hit was made. Don't say it was "dirty" just because it was a jarring hit and he may have made helmet to helmet contact. They are just doing what they get paid to do...playing a violent game.

 None of these men, well, most of these men are not out there trying to kill anyone or ruin anyone's life. They are gladiators on the field of battle and most treat that with the respect and honor it deserves.

If the NFL really wants to make the majority of fans happy, stop making the greatest game in the world for sissy boys and pussies and let these athletes go out and do what they get paid so much money to do...entertain me and "Just Win Baby" at any cost.

Let them earn their "Hazard Pay"...

And if they don't want to do that, in the words of the great Jack Lambert, "Put a skirt on 'em".

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