For most of us who love sports, life has bursts of happiness, but is more often the object of melancholy, kind of like living with someone who looks like Kathy Bates but gets hot girlfriends. When teams don't win, something has to change, and more often than not it results in someone getting fired. However, in recent years players have started to go where the money is, signing lucrative contracts with the highest bidder. These actions harm not only the team but sometimes even the town itself.
Think about how much cement Dwight Howard could haul, or how quickly a Steelers offensive lineman could plow a field. Let's use basketball as an example. Just take a look at Cleveland, or as it's soon to be known, “Detroit: The Sequel.” Players are getting selfish and that's not what sports are supposed to represent. How can kids look up to athletes that have Looney Tunes-style dollar signs in their eyes? I think it's time some changes were made to protect the sanctity of sports. It's not too late, either. Every few years, sports associations and player unions have to sign Collective Bargaining Agreements. This year I think I'm going to print out my own set of rules and attach it to the back.
First of all, let's reduce salaries. I don't see why an athlete should make exponentially more than a doctor, astronaut, or comedy writer, and I think that money can be better spent elsewhere. Let's cap a player's salary at a million dollars and get rid of multi-year contracts; make them earn it every season. If a player is the best on the team, he'll have no problem living comfortably on a million dollars a year—plus, there's no way someone can support an entourage on that kind of money (unless you have a lot of Bangladeshi friends). Only players with a real love for the game will agree to those terms, so that cuts the ego out. And since the players will still have all the luxurious amenities modern pro athletes are afforded, they won't miss a thing, except for their trouble-causing friends. This pay cut will be passed on to fans, who'll see lower ticket prices and higher attendance, which in turn will improve the fan experience. The fans win, the owner wins, and the fans win again; it's a win-win-win!
Now, imagine if salaries were reduced even further, to the point that players would be forced to play for free…
Some critics will argue that a salary of under a million dollars will make it hard for players to afford the fancy suits that they have become accustomed to wearing, and I agree, which is why the dress code needs to change to something a little more modest, like Snuggies. People associate suits with money and money with greed, so obviously we will need to switch to something more humbling that a player simply cannot look like a douchebag in—if a Snuggie can't do that, I don't know what can… maybe burlap rags? Maybe we should make it a mandatory off-court uniform so that the players only have two options for clothes: team jerseys and team Snuggies. I mean, these guys are going to be getting paid dozens of thousands of dollars, it's the least they could do.
And good luck trying to smuggle a gun into a club with a Snuggie! I mean, they have deep pockets, but how are you going to get into a nightclub with a Snuggie? Bribe the guy? Yeah right, don't break the bank.
More importantly, it's time for players to really step up their involvement in the community. Flipping pancakes and serving soup are charitable tasks, but we're talking about world class athletes; we should put that physique to work. Think about how much cement Dwight Howard could haul, or how quickly a Steelers offensive lineman could plow a field. Hell, I bet LeBron James could build four Habitats for Humanity himself. This increased charity work not only boosts community involvement, but also acts as a high intensity work-out to keep the investments players in shape.
So yes, the sports system is skewed right now, but there's a cure in sight and it comes from above. Literally, it's all in text above this paragraph. Now all someone has to do is print this off and attach it to the back of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for all sports leagues. Hey, crazier things have happened, like a bunch of people being convinced that the cure to Irish over-population is eating babies.