Michael, I know you’re a big fan of this blog. Hell, I’ve yet to meet anyone born and raised in Texas who wasn’t an avid TheScore.com reader. So I think it’s my responsibility to address you personally on your little holdout situation you have going on down there in California.
Essentially, you’re the reason sports are going to hell. Yes, steroids and thuggery and massively disproportionate contracts and unbearable ticket prices are playing their parts, too. But it’s situations like yours that really piss off sports fans.
And here’s why. Because while performance-enhancing drugs are disturbing, at least they don’t typically keep athletes off the field. Sports are about entertainment, and we can still be entertained by juicers. Because while unimaginably large contracts are frustrating for your everyday Joe Six Pack, most of us realize that that’s the nature of sports. Millions of fans are willing to reach into their pockets to fill up stadiums across the country, and so it’s only appropriate that the athletes who are putting on the show reap the benefits from such events.
But one thing people can’t stand is a guy who hasn’t done anything to merit the money he’s asking for.
And another thing people can’t stand is a guy who is destroying his future, his present and his reputation, for nothing. In this case, it’s nothing more than nickels and dimes.
Nickels and dimes, Mike. That’s all we’re talking about here. You were the 10th-overall pick in the draft, but you don’t feel as though you’re the 10th-best rookie, so you want to be paid like, say, a seventh-overall pick.
But the one problem is that you were a 10th-overall pick, not a seventh. The difference, in terms of the vast amount of money you’re supposed to make in your career, is miniscule. It’s nickels and dimes.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but NFL careers don’t last long. Your shelf life is extremely short. In 15 years, you’ll be a has-been. Your biological clock is ticking as we speak, and because you want to whine over celebrity pocket change, you’re wasting your opportunity to become the star you can be.
Seriously, have you considered the amount of money you’re costing yourself in the future by throwing this hissy fit? Because of this holdout, you’ll be viewed for years to come as an off-the-field liability, and you’ll be well behind your cohorts on the field.
Oh, and I guess the ultimate laugher is the money you’re costing yourself right now. Since you hold no leverage, most expect the 49ers to start to lower the money they’re offering. You can either accept that or lose your entire rookie season. Since that doesn’t alter that biological clock, you’ll simply lose an entire year worth of pay, and you’ll never get it back.
I don’t know what your end game is here, mainly because I’m starting to doubt you have one. I think you have a couple of problems. The first is that you and your agent are clearly not about to fill out MENSA applications — you don’t appear to be smart enough to understand your own quandary. Second, you have too much pride for your own good. You simply slipped in the draft. That happens, and it means you’ll be paid appropriately.
When the NFL puts a cap on rookie salaries in two years, guys in your shoes will be laughing that you had the audacity to bitch about your situation.
You have the talent to be a future star. You have an offer to don the jersey Rice wore, playing for a legendary organization with the chance to follow in the footsteps of the wide receivers you once called idols.
Now you can be an idol yourself, and you’re pissing it away because of irrationally placed pride and nickels and dimes.