The United States is going through one of the worst financial crisis’ in American history. People are getting laid off everyday and the economy isn’t showing any signs of picking up. During this time of struggle, I turn on the TV to watch ESPN in order take my mind off the financial crisis.

The first headline I see is breaking news: “Ryan Howard Signs Contract Extension For $125 Million”.

I shake my head and turn off the TV.

At first I say to myself, “Well Howard deserves it, he hit 45 homeruns and drove in 141 runs. He helped his team reach the World Series and although they came up short to the Yanks, he has been one of their most consistent players.” 

As I try to justify Ryan Howard’s multi-million dollar contract-extension, I turn the TV back on, but this time I turn to the news channel. The first thing I see is, “MTA Laying Off More Than 1000 Workers”.

I shake my head once again, and hit the power button.

I can’t help but think about how everyday the country sinks deeper and deeper into debt. Good, hard-working people are being laid off because the government can’t afford to pay them.

But what’s confusing to me is while the government can’t afford to pay MTA workers, the Phillies can afford to pay Ryan Howard, one man, a $125 million sum for the next five years.

In a world where seemingly rational people coexist, how does this make any sense?

To put things into perspective, I did some research.

The average annual salary for a player in the MLB is $2,699,292. The average annual salary for a player in the NBA is between one and two million.

The average annual salary for an MTA track-worker is $51,000. That kind of makes you scratch your head.

For a human being to be paid what professional athletes are being paid, he should be able to do a lot more than hit a baseball 400 feet or throw a ball 90 mph.

I mean, If I’m paying someone vast amounts of money I would want these guys to be able to create new technology, or have super powers, or at least save lives.  

On a more realistic note, instead of the government imposing budget cuts to city, state, and federal workers (the people who keep our country functioning), they should be talking about making cuts to (or at least taxing) the incredible salaries that professional athletes earn.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that athletes do deserve some sort of compensation for the grueling length of long seasons and all the pressure they endure over the course of their careers.

Is A-Rod doing that much for humanity that he deserves $33 million a year? On an even more realistic note—wouldn’t as little as $10 million a year suffice?

Better yet, why pay him $30 million a year when we could pay him $100 million a year? Or how about $1 billion a year? That seems like a nice round number. Maybe we should set A-Rod up in the White House and start taking suggestions from him on foreign and domestic policy—hell, he gets paid enough. <!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>


But seriously, I understand why A-Roid makes as much money as he does.

What I don’t understand is how this has been going on for so long without being addressed. With the country in debt and major companies facing financial problems, how can the Philadelphia Phillies afford to pay Ryan Howard $125 million and still sleep at night?

Imagine what that money could do if it went towards cancer research, or hiring more police officers, or firemen, or teachers. Imagine how many more jobs would be available with billions of dollars allocated away from players’ bank accounts and towards federal and state funding.

While this suggestion might seem unrealistic, it’s something that the public should think about when tax time rolls around. The next time you hear an athlete complain about his contract, I hope you’re shaking your head the same way I do when I turn on Sportcenter.


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