(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
I went out shopping with my three- year old on Saturday. A little home depot, a little CVS and a little Olympia Sports.
I have been getting the feeling lately that he is old enough for his first sports jersey. My choice of a team was easy.
We live in New England so the only merchandise available is Patriots, Red Sox, Yankees and Celtics.
I am a Buccaneers fan.
I like the Red Sox but my wife likes the Yankees.
That leaves the Celtics.
Right on, I thought. I'll buy him a little Celtics Jersey for him to rock. It's summer. He'll look adorable.
After not being able to find a price tag I asked a sales associate to help me.
The middle aged woman came over, she looked around for a bit and said
"Uhh, fifty-five dollars?" I asked shocked.
"Yes Sir." She said.
"No thanks." I told her.
We left the store, my son empty handed and I furious.
It of course got me thinking about the whole picture with sports marketing and salaries and etc.
My first issue with sports money is player's salaries.
I know, you think I'm going to lash out against the amount of money that they make.
My problem is that typically, football players get paid the least. I don't think it's right. Pro football players abuse and sacrifice their bodies for the sport more than any other professional athlete in the world.
Even though their schedules are shorter and less frequent, the amount of abuse that they go through in their career is extreme and I feel they should be higher on the pay scale.
My next issue is somewhat connected to the first one in that Baseball players make way too much.
I have always wanted to watch a Yankees game and actually time the amount of minutes that A-Rod is actually doing something, and not just sitting or standing.
When the lowest paid guy on the bench still makes more than the President of the United States there is a problem.
I don't really have much problem with the NBA salaries, those guys hustle their asses off and play a long season too. They earn their money. Well, most of them at least.
I debate with my wife's Aunt who is an outspoken teacher a lot about social issues and we have fought many times about sport and sporting salaries. She doesn't understand why pro-athletes get paid so much when teachers,doctors and others in the helping professions get paid so much less.
My answer is always
"People don't wear jerseys with your name on it."
I'll tell you though, I wont be wearing a jersey with anyone's name on it until pro-sports starts thinking about their merchandise prices.