If you stop and think about it and really break it down, professional athletes get paid every day to do the same thing that four year olds do on day-to-day basis: play games. Yes I obviously know it’s not that simple, calm down. But just think about it. At its most basic level, a professional sports league is a group of teams playing a game. LeBron is playing the exact same game that a 12-year-old kid from New York City plays after school each day. The only difference; LeBron gets paid millions of dollars to do so.
Now for an athlete to get paid in the first place, they have to sign a contract that was offered to them. In every job that requires you to sign a contract, all you have to do in order to stay employed and get paid is to follow any rules that your contract includes. That’s it. Really, that’s all you have to do. Just follow the rules and you’ll live happily ever after.
For professional athletes is a pretty fucking sweet deal they are getting. This is how I imagine a conversation between a player and a GM after the player signs a fat extension: “Boss, are you telling me all I have to do is follow these rules and I can make millions of dollars?” Yes, that is EXACTLY what they’re telling you. The GM wouldn’t even respond. He would just shake his head yes and that’s it. That’s how simple it is. Have you ever wished you could have a set of step-by-step directions that tells you how to make millions of dollars? That’s what these pro athletes are getting here. On top of everything, these rules also happen to be unbelievably simple to follow. Things like “Don’t get arrested” and “Don’t do drugs” top the list. Seems easy enough, right?
Now that we have established how easy it is for professional athletes to be and stay successful, we can talk about how dumb some of these players are when it comes to following these rules. And I say ‘dumb’ because honestly it’s the nicest way I can possibly put it when talking about some of these guys. For example, this past weekend the NFL was in the news for its players being really dumb. The news broke last Thursday on July 2 when the NFL handed out a multitude of suspensions, including some of the top players in the league at their positions. Antonio Gates, Sheldon Richardson and Rolando McClain were all suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. (Remember the “Don’t do Drugs” rule? Yup I was thinking the same thing don’t worry.)
To be fair, pro-athletes have been doing dumb shit for decades. Honestly a lot of the stuff people would consider dumb these days weren’t considered to be so back in the day. For example, Wade Boggs claims that he drank 100 beers the same day they had a game. Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter while tripping on LSD is another example. To put those things in perspective, Pablo Sandoval was benched being on his phone during a game, and a few years ago the Boston Red Sox got a lot of heat for drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during a game. Really? People got upset over that? WADE BOGGS DRANK 100 BEERS THE DAY OF A GAME AND NO ONE BATTED AN EYE. I can understand funny stories like this. I honestly don’t even mind Sandoval using his phone mid-game. What I do mind is players doing things to get them suspended or hurt for multiple games that were ultimately avoidable/preventable.
For example this past weekend Jason Pierre-Paul decided that, as a professional football player, it was a great idea to buy a truckload of fireworks and personally set them off. That really wouldn’t have been that bad of an idea as it was the Fourth of July and people tend to set fireworks off that night…except for the fact that he’s a fucking professional football player and fireworks are dangerous as shit. As everyone is well aware of by now, one of those fireworks went off in his hand, causing severe burns and potential nerve damage in his fingers. The man was just franchise tagged by the New York Giants and there was a long-term contract extension offer for over $60 million on the table as well. Well, after fucking up his hand, the contract extension offer was pulled and JPP’s long-term future with the Giants is up in the air.
Nothing in the world pisses me off more than hearing stories like the one about JPP and his fucking fireworks or guys like Josh Hamilton who recently mixed up his cocaine and Vitamin-C (he probably thought they were the same thing). They have one job: Don’t do anything stupid. I mean goddamn, if I had the talent that JPP or Hamilton have, I would make it my priority in life to NOT fuck up. If the Giants walked up to me and said, “You’re really great at football so were going to pay you $60 million a year to tackle whoever is holding the football. All you have to do in order to earn that money is continue to produce on the field and don’t do anything stupid off the field.” Come on, man. If you give me $1 million and tell me its all mine as long as I don’t do anything stupid for a year, you can bet your ass I’m swimming in cash a year later.
It’s pathetic that so many of these grown men continuously fuck up time and time again. I’m sure Justin Pierre-Paul is a great guy and all, but when you start drawing comparisons to Plaxico Burress you need to stop whatever you’re currently doing and start doing the exact opposite. JPP is lucky that he didn’t lose a finger or two, and while he didn’t shoot himself like Plax did, it’s still an all-time bonehead move to blow up your hand with fireworks. Bottom line is, if you’re a professional athlete stop doing stupid shit. Hey pro-athletes, FYI: there are hundreds of guys grinding every day to make it big, and they would gladly take your place if you continue to be stupid. So, stop being stupid so we, the fans, don’t have to watch scrubs come in and replace your sorry asses.