Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soapbox Saturday........ overpaid Athletes

So here we go - I may get sued for plagiarism - I wrote this up last night - filed it in my drafts - and TODAY it's a big story - almost verbatim..................
As I read it to John last night - he said You're Wrong - Hockey will never lose it's importance here
Well, I don't know about that anymore......................
Promise I'll have a makeover on Monday - but I AM curious on everyone's thoughts
on what Athletes earn today - over the top crazy?
Or well earned? 
Let me know

I'm Canadian - and if you know anything about Canada at all, you certainly know this.
I'm a Montrealer to be specific - home to where the game originated and so it's almost a genetic thing for most of us - it really is in our blood - and it's most definitely who we are in the winter months.
We're fiercely devoted to our teams - this mild polite country is unapologetic when we claim that we produce the best hockey players in the world.  We can turn into raging animals over this game, seriously, raging animals and Montreal in particular has been the source of many embarrassing riots through our obsession - and still we remain unapologetic - nothing comes between us and our beloved sport. Nothing.
During playoffs I become someone I don't even recognize - running around the house - screaming - doing happy dances on the couch or the bed - or walking around with a heart so heavy it's almost unbearable.
AND this sport can be far more polarizing than politics could ever be - it also has a way of uniting our country in ways politics never could.  When we're at a game it doesn't matter if you're a conservative or a liberal we're all on the same team for 90 minutes - sharing the same dream.
Each province believes "their" team to be far superior than any other ( and we justify it when we lose, trust me, because we still keep believing that unconditionally )
We hero worship our players - we bow down to their greatness - and we wait with baited breath for the first game of the season before our winters kicks off - it's as Canadian as, well, snow and maple syrup.
We grieved here in Montreal when they gutted the famous Montreal Forum ( one of the first hockey arenas in North America and for many decades the protocol for arenas that were built after ) even though it was time to build a bigger and better one. We have monuments to some of the greatest hockey players that ever lived.
And we always have.
We love hockey so much that many of the GREATEST players that ever lived, would go to work all day in a factory - punch out their time clock - and rush to the Montreal Forum sometimes by BUS to represent the Montreal Candiens that night - they played for the love of the game - with very little benefits - with very little pay ( which was why a lot of them had to have day jobs ) and of course that was a huge miscarriage of justice.  With corporations getting incredibly wealthy on the backs of these extremely devoted men.
It took many years before players were compensated for their expertise in this franchise - many many years.
( I suppose it was the same in the U.S. with football and baseball as well ) BUT......................
These were the days when anyone could afford to go to a game....................I can remember paying 2.00 for tickets in the 70's - and with a pop and bag of chips or chocolate bar maybe 5.00 - horrible seats? yeah, for sure - but we were THERE, a perfect night out for 5.00.

OK - where was I?

Oh Yeah - 5.00 for a night out to watch our favorite game..............................
That was the 70's -
by the 80's it was getting a little pricier - but what the hell - the players were finally being compensated and because we love the game - and the players so much - we happily paid the going rate and continued spending our winters in cold arenas screaming and cheering our boys on.
By the 90's people were starting to grumble about the cost of taking the family to a game - it was getting a little high for the average Joe Blow to splurge on an evening out for 4 - so it happened less and less - corporations began taking over - literally - buying corporate packages - so if you were lucky enough to work for a company that supplied the tickets it was a great " perk " to have.
By the 2000's it was getting out of hand - I can remember John and I going into shock at the concession stand one evening - when 2 beer ( draft - not even in a bottle ) and a snack cost us over 40.00 - and I actually told the man who served it to us that I thought he had made a mistake. No Ma'am - that's what it costs.
When did it become ok to charge 75.00 or 100.00 a ticket to sit and watch a game for 90 minutes?
How can families possibly be expected to bring their kids more than a couple of times a year - how can you justify spending 500.00 for 90 minutes worth of entertainment when there are so many other expenses to consider when raising kids?  AND when the hell did sports - something that grew to the magnitude it did because of working class people - become something only the well off could enjoy?

Hockey has come to a stand still in North America this season - because of negotiations between players and management - millionaires and billionaires both stubbornly gridlocked - in a battle royale -
Between greed and spoiled brats literally.
And for the first time in my life I am not on the side of the players - and don't get me wrong - I most certainly am not on the side of management either.  In fact, I'm on neither side.  Do what you want guys, I'm one Canadian who has folded away my Canadiens jersey - it's tucked in the bottom of a box along with other memorabilia that I no longer need.  It's comforting to know it's there - along with my graduation ring - and prom photos - but it belongs to yesterday now - with other memories I hold dear.

As for today?
Well I no longer look at those photos to be honest with you - and there'll come a time in the not too distant future when I'll no longer care about the sport that was such a part of my life.
You are no longer the game I cherished -
You are no longer the players I admired -
You are no longer a game of the people - by the people - for the people
You've become unrelatable and that's a dangerous thing
And before too long - you'll have negotiated your way out of too many hearts my friends,
I feel it coming -
It's in the air -
And as surely as snow will still come to Canada this winter - less and less fans will care whether professional hockey does or not.  It'll end up back in the alleys and the parks where it began.
And maybe, just maybe, that's not a bad thing after all.
I'm sharing with!!!

The Rustic Pig


  1. People are willing to spend lots of money to watch sports, wear their team gear and eat/drink at events. Players only.get a fraction of the revenue it's the owners who make the real money. So as long as people continue to pay to come to games, buy merchandise and special tv packages then nothing will ever go down in price. ;)

  2. I am not Canadian and do not know about hockey but, can honestly say that for the US it's the same with baseball and football. I am appalled at where baseball has gone. Albert Pujols (one of our families favorites) just negotiated 10 years/250 million dollar contract. Now, I ask you REALLY??? Who needs that much money? And because they have to pay him and the rest of the team who also makes in the millions - we cannot afford tickets and if we could - concessions would be out of the question. And, the owners question why attendance is down, duh..... It has gotten out of hand and I for one am totall disgusted with the greed that continues to reign in these arenas. But, as long as people attend and watch it will continue. Sad, sad situation.....

  3. I'm with you on the ridiculous price for a ticket and even a bottle of water. And Although I enjoy hockey. I really don't miss it and don't even want to hear about their dispute because they all make me sick. What they should be talking over is how to make it a safer game.

  4. Cyndi Lauper said it best...."Money Changes Everything".

  5. Don't even get me started on this crap. I live in Minnesota, remember? THE HOCKEY STATE OF THE WORLD.

  6. I gave up on hockey a long time ago for that reason and also for the fact that there's way too much fighting. And too many cheaters now in all the sports, with steroids, etc. Too many Lance Armstrongs getting rich while cheating. What is that teaching our kids? (Could never stand Lance Armstrong by the way, something about him...especially after he walked out on his wife and kids. And everybody admires him because he survived cancer, but he probably got cancer from the steroids...)

  7. Hi Suzan! Thanks so much for linking up to "Its Party Time" linky party and for dropping by my blog, Setting for Four, saying hello and following me! So I came over to your blog to say hello back and to follow you as well and discovered that a) You are Canadian too - woot! b) You're a Habs fan too! (so are we!!) and c) You live in Montreal (we lived there for 2 years!! So we have so much in common! Are you on facebook and twitter? I would love to follow you there as well! Let me know! Have a fabulous day :) Heather

  8. I will try to use lady like language, ok? I don't care what sport it is, there is NOT one individual worth the millions they are paid! Maybe I do sound "old" but that's ok...the sports used to be played because of the athlete's love of football, baseball, hockey, whatever. It's absolutely ridiculous to pay anyone these high salaries. So many of them develop the God complex and that is so sad. Many turn to drugs, women, spending foolishly, etc.

    I wish the money would go to our veterans that are having such a difficult time, especially if they suffered injuries. Battered women's shelters, after school communities for kids, cancer research, the elderly that have to choose either their meds or food, electricity, gas. Contributions to pet rescue and shelters...I could go on and on.

    The $$$ can look really good to our young people and that's not what life is about.


  9. Hi, Suzy! New follower via GFC (follow-back from Shona Skye Creations).

    Wow, you are so spot-on here. We are big hockey fans and this lockout is just killing my son in particular, who is positively rabid about hockey. All that gets the press is the love of money. What happened to love of team and sport?!

  10. Growing up in Toronto, I have always been a Leaf fan. (yeah I know, we have not won the Cup since 67) My grandfather had season tickets and we still have them. My brother purchases them and 99% of the time, he sells them off to friends and business associates since the rest of the family cannot afford them anymore! They are good seats (we have only gone a couple times to the new you, I think they should never have moved from the Gardens...what a historical building!) but oh so expensive!
    I really miss the days of the original six...Canadiens, Leafs, Rangers, Bruins, Red Wings & Black Hawks. When hockey was great and prices were affordable. I lost interest in hockey a few years back...they have added so many teams I don't even know what teams are in it anymore! My ex and current husband were talking about it today (my ex is a diehard Leaf fan) but with this strike, my husband has given up and couldn't care less.
    Such a shame...
    Debbie :)

  11. Hi Suzan!!!

    You asked for it!!!!

    I LOVE the Montreal Canadians...Back in the day that is. Especially Yvan Cournoyer!!!! Look at him in your photo...Isn't he cute!!

    But, the amount the athletes make today is absolutely CRAZY!!! Are they trying to tell us that a basketball player is worth $98 million over 5 years? No wonder parents push their kids so hard in a sport. That's incredible money!!! But, is a human worth that amount of money and what does he do that warrants that amount of money?

    The way I look at it is this way, I've been a diabetic for the past 41 yrs. If scientist didn't invent insulin, I would be dead. If people didn't become doctors, who would we go to? Who is worth more?

    I find that with the amount of poverty(yes I'm preaching) that is in North America alone...How many would $98 million worth of food feed? And that's just one athlete.

    The owners want to say their team is the best. The players say they are the best. But, it's gotten out of hand. I say make up new teams using players from the junior team and drop the old teams and players. That way the new teams won't be at a high rate and maybe if the ticket prices came down, most of us could afford to go to a game or two.

    I don't know, maybe I talk and see things differently, but, I feel that a guy running down a court and making a basket or any other athlete is not worth the money they are paid. So, that's my two cents worth.

    Have a great week Suzan!!


    1. That wouldn't work at all Pam - you don't seriously think that management would pass those savings on to us do you??? Never!
      And I agree with every word you said - put more money in research in sciences - find a cure for cancer for crying out loud!!!

    2. No Suzan, never!!!! It's all greed!!!

  12. Replies
    1. hard not too right? unless you're the mother - sister - aunt - neice - of a hockey player lol

  13. Are you sure the negotiations aren't a publicity ploy to get people riled up and talking about a game that was losing ground to basketball and soccer? In my family, you are born with a blue and white Leaf jersey so we're quite used to sighing over the game. lol ~ Maureen

  14. I hate the fact that these crybaby, entitlement-seeking idiots get more pay than our nurses, teachers and cops.
    Makes my blood boil!!!

    And yet, I will still watch every chance I get when the 49ers and the Steelers are playing! (American football) There is an emotional attachment I just can't get over...


    1. me too Bobbie - except I didn't watch this year - really I didn't watch at all - they peed me off lol


Due to a large amount of spam ( that I'm tired of going back to posts and deleting ) I'll be using comment moderation from now on !!!
Can I beat these spammers at their own game? Probably not - but I'm going
to try my damnedest !!!