We all think about it. We all watch Sports Center and wonder what it would be like to be one of those guys being interviewed after the game. We all tell our friends that if we were one of those guys we would never complain about the press becuase we would be grateful to be there. We wouldn't be like these selfish self-centered pros who don't care about the fan. We would be different.
My question is, what sport would you play if you could be a professional?
There are many pros and cons for each sport. For just about all sports (except soccer, you can only make money in that sport if you have one name), you are rich if you play. Even if you aren't a starter or an all-star you are rich. The league minimums in each league are far more than most of us make and will ever make in our jobs.
In the MLB the league minimum is $390,000.
In the NFL the league minimum is $285,000.
In the NBA (the league with the weakest Players Association) the minimum for the '08-'09 season is $442,114.
In the NHL the league minimum this year is $450,000 (thats $1 for each fan that actually watches the NHL by the way).
In the MLS the league minimum is $33,000. Like I said, soccer doesn't pay here in the States.
In the PGA, where you only make money if you do well, the lowest paid guy with at least 10 tournaments played is a guy named J.L Lewis at $25,318 through 14 tournaments. He is ranked 236 out of 250 on the tour this year.
If you could play in one of these leagues which one would you play in?
If I had a genie and he was going to grant me the wish of being a professional athlete and I could only choose one, I think I would choose the PGA. I had an argument about this with a friend before and he changed my mind.
How many crippling injuries do PGA players suffer? When was the last sickening ACL injury you saw on Sports Center involving a bad golf swing? None. While there are injuries, they don't compare to the kind of injuries you suffer in any of the other sports.
It would be cool to be a football player, but those guys die young. It seriously takes years off your life playing in the NFL. Brian Urlacher is a god in Chicago. Brian Urlacher has arthritis in his back. How is it going to be for him when he is 40? Are any of us going to be there to help him get out of bed in the morning? He's got a lot of money but only his wife and kids are going to be able to enjoy it.
Baseball players are gods in this country. Baseball players always had the hottest girlfriends and they have the most fans following them. There is a lot good about being a ball player but if you want a family, being a pro ball player is not the sport to play. How many days a year are you on the road? How long are you gone from home? Granted you make tons of money, but your wife will probably get most of it in your upcomming divorce.
Even if I had a genie I would be far too white to play in the NBA. No genie could cure my lack of ups.
Soccer? Come on. Lets be serious. I think I'd play in the WNBA before I played soccer. Yes its popular in the rest of the world and yes there are more fans world wide of soccer than any other sport. I've heard all the arguments. The fact that soccer is not popular here but is very popular in say Germany is really more a point of pride than anything else. No one gets killed at football games.
Yep. For me it would be the PGA. They travel quite a bit but it is at their option. They can choose not to play in some tournaments if they want to and can be home when they need to be. Plus, there is a ton of money in the PGA. The lowest ranked guy who is making over $1,000,000 this year is a guy named Jonathan Byrd. He's ranked 84th on the money list. Who the F is Jonathan Byrd? His best finish came this year when he came in 4th in the AT&T classic. Unless you write for Golfers World you probably have never even heard of this guy. He's making over a million dollars playing golf and you don't even know who he is. You get to be a pro on the PGA tour and you can still be anonymous.
Try going out to eat if you are Derek Jeter or A-Rod or Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. I bet Jonathan Byrd has no trouble going out to dinner. He could probably go out to dinner in a shirt with the words "I PLAY ON THE PGA TOUR" emblazened on the front and still no one would bother him. That guy has a million dollars in the bank.
Yes, if I could be a pro it would definitely have to be the PGA. How about you?