Friday, May 28, 2010

If you haven't read the news, Jamarcus Russell was cut from the Oakland Raiders a few weeks back and now the Raiders are seeking to get back $9.55 million dollars that they already paid him.  They released him because he underperformed and are convinced that due to his lack of work ethic that his actions (or inactions) constituted breach of contract. 

A comment on by 1shot2many suggested that the money in question should not go to either the Raiders nor Jamarcus, but the money should be given "to an association for the prevention of overpaid-underperforming obese athletes and to halt the collective stupidity of professional sports overbearing and napoleonic managers." 

I agreed. In fact, I think we could start several more funds to slush this type of mis-spent money. Like, the "Get out of Jail Free" for athletes that find themselves incarcerated after drinking, smoking, injecting, partying, whoring, etc. and need to find a way back to the (obviously more important) football field. For that matter, maybe they could use the fund to also absorb the inevitable fines from Roger GODell.

But seriously, we support this crap. We buy the tickets, merchandise, parking and concessions. We watch the games on tv which drives even more revenue. And this is our money and how it is spent. All we ask as a fan is that the owners of our team spend the money wisely so that the team wins or at least has some respectability. By continuing to put on the eye black and don our crazy Raider Gear or wave our Terrible Towels or wear our "Dog Pound"/Pig masks we are condoning the organization's choices.

If the owner of your favorite team mis-spends money in such a way, does it encourage you to "Show your support in your home and office" and "Shop Now?" Does it motivate you to fork out that mortgage payment for tickets/concessions/parking? Are you salivating over your cable provider's NFL Sunday Package? Or do we blindly and subserviently continue whipping the dead horse and funnel money into owners' hands that are either poor decision-making egotists at best and crooked at worst?

No, the Ryan Leafs and JaMarcus Russels of the world are written off as abberrations, as jokes. Some assistant coach or middle management player personnel guy finds his head rolling into the alley beside the stadium and the organization moves on. Its lawyers decide to pursue the lost dollars (because they know odds are in their favor and even if they lose, heck, the owner is gonna pay them--they paid that poor slob QB, right?). No, the joke is that we get caught up in the whole drama. Coaches hitting coaches, players hitting coaches, coaches fired because a RB doesn't like them, owners hiring coaches as if the only qualifications are that they have a food handling card and aren't averse to wearing team color windbreakers in interviews: these are the atrocities to which we are subjected every year.
I say, stop. Maybe if we stop, they will start running our favorite team like they care. Stop watching. Stop buying. Heck, stop praying. If God doesn't care who wins, then let's pray for something meaningful. Like a playoff in college football or a new commissioner in major league baseball.