Monthly Archives: February 2012

Who is overpaid again?

A lot of people think American professional athletes are overpaid, especially in the big-time sports (Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL). You will get no argument from me on the first two sports, but I think football players earn their large salaries, generally speaking. Here’s why:

1. Nearly half of all NFL players make the league minimum. This year, that ranged from $375,000 to $910,000, depending on how long the player has been in the league. Good money, but not the multi-millions imagined by casual fans. The money is not guaranteed (for the most part); if a player is cut before a game, he is usually not paid for that game.

2. The average NFL career lasts about 3 1/2 seasons.

3. Unless he is a kicker, an NFL player is virtually guaranteed to walk away from football with serious, lifelong medical issues. As John Madden once said, “If you play one NFL game, you will never be the same again.” I will never forget meeting a group of former 49ers at a sports banquet hosted by Yosemite High School. Most of those men walked with noticeable limps and several had canes. They weren’t octogenarians, either – I had watched a lot of them play within the last couple of decades.

Football has a lot of rewards, to be sure, and I am certain that most former players will tell you that they wouldn’t trade their time in the NFL for anything. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that they all live a life of wealth and ease after they are done playing.

Grace is a good deal

One of the underpinnings of Christian belief is the concept of grace — that God gives you His gifts without making you earn them. I understood grace as an idea, but it was not until things took a serious turn for the worse recently that I started noticing and appreciating what He does for us in little ways that are easy to overlook. Some of these things I ask for, and most of them I remember to thank Him for, but it doesn’t matter – He provides them all the same. I’m not talking about abstract things like eternal life; I mean that I get all kinds of useful gifts every day. Ever have to go without a shower because you couldn’t pay your gas bill? I have. Now I thank Him every time I turn the handle and hot water comes out. I had a radiator hose blow when I was driving on the freeway recently. I was at least 2 miles from home, and yet I was able to drive home safely without overheating. Now *that* is a practical gift!

The really amazing part of this deal is that you don’t have to earn it. Every day of my life I fall short of what I should do and be; if I was a professional Christian, I would have been fired long ago. Yet God continues to bless me every single day without fail. It doesn’t matter if I have saved a busload of orphans from fiery death, or if I kicked a kitten, or just forgot to do the dishes again. I turn the handle, and the hot clean water comes out. I try to remember to be thankful for everything, but it doesn’t matter if I forget something — it just keeps coming. Grace is like that.

Just enough to be dangerous

Finally decided to head down this trail, for no other reason that to see where it leads. I know a little about many things, hence the title of this post. Stay tuned…