Attention, Pro Athletes: Just Shut Up and Play

Jonny SAnalyst IAugust 19, 2010

I am so sick and tired of hearing the words "holding out", "he feels he is worth more," "... demanding a trade." What happened to playing the game for the love of it? 

I was born in 1984 so you can't go as far as to call me "old school", great movie by the way, but I guess when it comes to sports, contracts, and attitudes, you can. Can you imagine if Dan Marino sat out of Dolphins camp and requested a trade non-stop until he got one because they couldn't win the super bowl? How about picturing Jerry West testing the waters of free agency and deciding he wants to join up with Bill Russell and John Havlicek in Boston? 

Money can do some great things and buy some awesome toys, but in the end do people remember Michael Jordan for winning or the size of his contract? I would bet more than half of you reading this don't even know how much Jordan's deal with the Bulls was worth, I don't. And why is this? Because nobody cares about anything in sports except for underdog/favorites' stories, winning championships, and entertainment.

LeBron, no matter what, will never be remembered anymore for winning titles. He will always be known as a self-serving athlete who held the NBA hostage for weeks. I seriously don't care that he went to the Heat, to me, he could have gone wherever he wanted to go but to create your own TV show and hand pick your interviewer, questions, and setting is borderline psychotic self-loving syndrome.

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Now, the NFL has some pretty bad "guaranteed money" contract rules and I don't blame guys for wanting some type of money because those guys' bodies are being ruined in front of our very eyes for our pleasure. Half these guys can't even walk once they hit 50-years-old. Nonetheless, when players talk about how they deserve the richest contract for their position in the NFL, I immediately get ticked off. In my mind, the player never has the right to tell the team and owner how much they think they are worth. Imagine if the ordinary office man/woman walked into their boss randomly one day and said, "I'm not coming into work until I get paid $2000 more per week." You know why most of us wouldn't do that? Because we wouldn't have a job the next minute.

While hold outs, trade demands, and the self-worth money system bothers me, the aspect of sports today that irritates me the most is the lack of hustle. If you are getting paid millions of dollars per season, you better run down the damn line when you hit a ground ball to the shortstop. Suck it up, you have another five minutes to chill in the dugout to catch your breath before you have to go back out onto the field. 

Football guys, tell me how some of you can play with broken body parts, sprained wrists or ankles and yet some of you other guys miss three weeks with a tight hamstring or strained calf? If I have to show up to work on time with a nasty hangover that I got from watching your whiny butt chat it up on the sidelines, you better get rid of the phony crutches. We have all had strained muscles and we don't need crutches.

NBA guys, people who watch your sport for the first time probably think fouls are called when guys actually start running up and down the court. Listen, I know some of you hustle but contract years don't count, okay?

Call me "old school" call me so blind that I can't see the changes society has made, fine... but that doesn't change the fact that 90 percent of the crap on sports sites is self-indulging B.S. We know you are great. We know you are superior to us athletically. We even know and accept that you pull more chicks than us. So, can you just play the game now... and put self autographed posters of yourself inside your own room and not tell it to the media? 

There are college kids graduating now with $50,000 student loan debt and no job prospects. There are parents who are working two or three jobs just to put enough food on the table in their house. There are educators everywhere being laid off. The last thing we all want to hear about is you complaining that 13 million isn't enough.

We the fans pay your salaries. We the fans support you guys and make you the stars you become. Your hard-work is appreciated every time you take the field or court when we applaud for hours on end. It is time for you guys to appreciate the rest of the population. Just shut up and play. 

I'm not talking about being politically correct, I am talking about remembering how you felt as a little kid and when you talked about loving the game so much you would play for free. Before you demand a trade or shed tears about your millions of dollars, look back into your childhood, dig deep, and think about the good times you had in your backyard with your mom, dad, brother, sister, friends; whoever it was. 

Everything is a business today, I get it. Everyone wants to be secure, I get it. Everybody wants to be paid and called the best, I get it.

Everybody wants to step on everyone else to get to the top, I don't get it.

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