Sports opinion: Stubborn athletes earn more cash
We live in a time when the economy is in a downward spiral; adults can't find work and students, as a result, are intimidated of the situation they walk into as soon as they graduate. However amidst the major depression that defines this era, professional athletes are finding ways to get paid millions more than offered to them originally, simply by not showing up to work.
It seems like an interesting dynamic, as in the real world displaying such insubordinanace would buy any employee a pink slip in a matter of minutes.
But in the world of sports, the talents and abilities of these individuals allow them to hold multi-million dollar organizations for hostage, and for the most part get their way.
The resulting effects are detrimental to the perception of these athletes, as well as to the organizations themselves.
While initially it would be assumed having a stud on your team would always mean success, the effects of owning such players can hurt not only a team's immediate success, but their long-term prospects as well when they hold out for a bigger contract.
Los Angeles should be all too familiar with the headaches caused by holdouts, as most recently the Dodgers had to endure a long off-season due to Manny Ramirez's stinginess after the ‘08-‘09 season.
The result? A two-year $45 million dollar contract that the Dodgers didn't even see the end of, amidst the steroid allegations and suspensions that Ramirez faced throughout his time with the club. In short, it was massive waste of cash.
Additionally, the Dodgers also missed out on improving their team in areas that needed to be addressed, as key free agents were overlooked, making their competition only got stronger as a result.
The Dodgers' organization found itself short-handed at times, questioning itself and the lack of morale in the locker room that was expected to propel them when Ramirez first arrived.
It's that same boost that compels teams to spend millions more on players, because while some turn out to be busts, there's always a glimmer of hope that things will work out.
Enter Darrelle Revis, cornerback of the New York Jets, who is such a unique talent that teams have to plan around him: with that in mind, it should be known that he decided it was in his own best interest to holdout on his initial $1 million contract.
Aside from the fact that his talents provided compelling evidence that he should be paid like an elite player, he had another reason for increased allotted income, which lay in the mortal confines of a human body.
Injuries are a constant for athletes, and because of this they know how to capitalize when their stock is the highest or risk it dropping to pennies on the dollar.
College players often drop out for this very reason. If they face even one major injury, coaches and sports analysts alike automatically label them as "injury prone."
Given this, Revis' actions were completely justified since he puts his body at risk every week. Conversely this same reasoning can be used in another case – Brett Favre.
There's no doubt that Favre makes an impact on a game, he's a seasoned quarterback with fundamentals that many young players wish they had in their arsenal.
However Favre finds himself in the dimming days of his own Hall of Fame career, one that has allowed his ego to inflate to the point that he puts himself above the team.
Favre was fully aware he probably couldn't make it through another season this year. Look no further than the NFC Championship where the Saints showed that constantly attacking the arthritic and fragile quarterback was enough to make him play erratically.
With this in mind, he still found it perfectly reasonable to reconstruct his contract to $20 million guaranteed, and the Vikings, regretfully, agreed.
Favre constantly urged that the move "wasn't for the money", but instead was based on the health of his ankle. Truthfully it was a question of his ankle and just how much it was worth to him.
The answer was apparently $8 million more than the team previously determined.
As a result the Vikings have to watch their season go down the drain as a team that isn't getting any younger and has many questions going forward.
When speaking about holdouts, the question organizations should be asking is if the player is really worth it and examine the situation from a panoramic perspective.
Big contracts and instant gratification is the more enticing option however, and like anything in life, the long-term must be focused upon.
Although it may be hard to find a player who can stand in the spotlight, they shouldn't let that cloud their judgment from what they know is a bad decision.
Given this, L.A. natives can be glad for two things – that Manny Ramirez no longer has to plague our outfield, and that Kobe Bryant is making enough to be happy for a few more championships.
Then again, in four years that may be a different story.