Sports apparel has long been a source of revenue for teams and players alike. Many athletes make more money from their endorsement deals than they do in salaries and wages. The top endorsement contracts are more ridiculous than the salaries that leave our jaws agape on a regular basis. LeBron James has a $90 million Nike contract and David Beckham received $161 million from Adidas for a lifetime of servitude. Yes, that’s correct, a lifetime contract. Anna Kournikova, the former pin-up star and occasional tennis player, was offered $50 million over 6 years. The catch was that she needed to win, and since she never won a singles tournament in her life, she ended up taking home the $3 million guaranteed signing bonus. Tiger Woods, the disgraced golfer, was making a cool $20 million from Nike alone at the height of his stardom. Even after his fall from grace, he managed to take home $70 million in endorsements from a variety of sources. Startling numbers, really. Read the rest of this entry
April 10th, 2012, and Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is suspended for 5 games by his team for saying he admires Fidel Castro. The suspension raises some issues. Should athletes be able to say what they want? What about free speech?
Ozzie Guillen was a successful player and has been, arguably, a more successful manager. He played throughout my youth and was known for his defense more than anything. He was however, named to the all-star game a few time. He began managing shortly after his playing career ended. He won two World Series’, the first as a coach for the Marlins and the second as the manager of the Chicago White Sox. The title with the White Sox, in 2005, was the first for the club since 1917 and for many on the South Side of Chicago the man is a hero. Recently he had signed on to manage the Miami Marlins and become the new ‘face’ of the organization. They have just built a new ballpark in the city, revamped their uniforms and spent tons on new player acquisitions and wanted Guillen to help guide them in their new era. Read the rest of this entry
I was reading over the sports news on the internet, as I am wont to do, when I came across an article about the Tampa Bay Rays’ new mascot. Its name is DJ Kitty. I know what you’re thinking: ‘Bullshit!’ But it is no lie. There he was; a costumed cat with a backwards baseball cap, gold chain and a team jersey. Ray, the incumbent mascot, is an undeterminable Muppet-like beast with silver blue hair all over its head and face. It makes sense that the team might want to update its image, but he will only relinquish part of his duties to DJ Kitty. Now if this was a one off occurrence it would be forgivable, but the world is literally littered with ridiculous, retired mascots. Read the rest of this entry
When I first moved to Australia, one of the first things that struck me was the obsession with betting on sports. Sports betting in the United States is condemned to winos and the 1950’s caricatures that inhabit the horse tracks or weekend trips to Vegas. But here it is a part of every day life, completely normalized.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the greatestsportingeventsintheworldunmatchedgloballyforitsgreatness blah blah blah. This is what you would be reading today had my team, the San Francisco 49ers, won the NFC championship game, or semi-final as those of you who don’t speak American may want to refer to it, on January 22nd. Alas, we fell 3 points short in overtime, after exceeding the expectations and pundits’ predictions that had us pegged as a bottom feeder. I was, thus, thrust back to earth and the reality that the Super Bowl is an exercise in excess and greed featuring hideously overpaid athletes that only the most privileged of fat, lazy Americans can afford to attend. The truth, however, may lie somewhere in between. Until my fanrage and despair subsides, I’ll stick with the latter view. Read the rest of this entry