Open Mic: Sometimes Heart Plays Over Money

Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IJune 21, 2008

In today's lifestyle, most athletes are in the game for one reason: to make as much money as possible. Let’s take a look at the MLB, NFL, and the NBA to see how much each top paid player makes:

MLB- Alex Rodriguez- $27.7 million a year

NFL- Peyton Manning- $14 million a year (not including endorsements)

NBA- Kevin Garnett- $24.75 million a year

Now I know what some of you are saying: "These are some of the best athletes in the world, so of course they make huge salaries." True. However, when it come the MLB, Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi are both next to A-Rod in top salaries. Most players now-a-days are attracted to certain teams for the money they will make. That's just how life is in this day-in-age.

So let's put an example out there for you. We have a top young American athlete that has a choice. He could either make top dollars playing in the MLB, or he could opt for playing soccer for the United States Olympic team. Normally, a person would choose the MLB. But instead he chooses the Olympics. Why?

Some people in this society that we live in don't choose to think about the money, but instead decide that the heart is what counts. Here is what one girl said after her team became state soccer champions: 

"I believe in playing with your heart, with every fiber in your body---fairly, squarely, and by the rules---to win. And I believe that any woman's finest moment, the greatest fulfillment of all she holds dear, is that moment when she has worked her heart out and lies exhausted on the floor of battle---Victorious!"

Here is a quote from Bill Shankly, former manager of Liverpool:

"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

These are the kinds of people that see a sport as more than a chance to make a buck. They see it as a lifestyle, filled with the passion and heart of the game. This is the reason why the young American turned down the MLB. His heart was on the soccer field, not on the baseball diamond. 

He saw the fans screaming their lungs out as the ball cruised into the net.

He saw himself playing for his home country, the United States.

He saw where his heart always belonged.