Hockey Players and My Salary
The hockey players in America and Canada are gonna strike against the hockey team owners. Nobody seems to agree on how much they all should be paid and how much profit goes to who.
Here's an idea... Quit trying to make profit from what should be done for fun and entertainment. I make just over $41,000 per year at teaching because I bust my butt and coach an additional activity beyond what I normally teach. I get loads of adulation from my adoring public and can make ends meet at my job.
If I played hockey the way I taught, I'd be expected to show up and practice, stay off the drugs, and play my best, and all I'd need more than my 41 grand is a travel allowance and a really comprehensive insurance policy. Total support costs for a hockey player or any other sport would be around $250,000 per year or so. You need just the one coach and an assistant, and they don't get hit as hard, so their premiums ought to be lower. Everyone can play their games in dusty outdoor stadiums with creaky old stands and have a great time.
So let's take Hockey, which used to require players to play the entire period, no substitutions. Fifteen per team, plus coaching support, would put things at about $4 million a year to run a city team. 84 games per year means $48 grand per game ought to be enough to support the team: $2000 per game pays for groundskeepers and security. OK, I'll allow $60,000 per game for whatever I may be leaving out in this bag-o-peanuts league. Average NHL attendance is over 16,000 per game: IHL attendance is over 7000. Say we get 10,000 per game, everyone pays $6 for a ticket, which is a buck more than seeing a high school football game in the big city. If there's only 7000 showing up, tickets are $9-$10, which is just a bit more than a movie costs, but you get the thrill of a live event.
Now the players collectively own their franchises and they play for the love of the game. If a legend arises in an area, then folks may want to travel far and wide to see the guy play... or pay to have him travel with is team to their town. Maybe he can leave out a tip jar to collect rave reviews in the form of cash contributions: something I'd love to do and which would provide a definite monetary incentive for me to continue my pursuit of excellence.
Heck, *I* should be getting offers of millions of bucks and people waiting in line to be in my studio audience for my number one hit show, "Social Studies", which gives "Survivor" a run for its money in the "reality show" concept world. Here's the pitch: I cover all kinds of wild subjects and, at the end of the shows, assign America homework. Americans go out and read more, get more politically involved, and generally become immune to the inane ideas proposed by advertisers and politicians. Everybody decent wins! Which, as we can see, is the kiss of death... not a lot of decent people have a stake in the success of television shows.
So, instead we get treated to crybaby owners and players fighting over millions of dollars paid out over meaningless activity, activity that can be used to dull the mind through massive advertising underwriting and further focus on trivial events as if they were important. I find if fascinating that the players and owners can spend all the time in the world discussing their supposed plight, while I only have time to knock off a few words on the subject after I grade some papers and before I get a test ready for tomorrow.
And I'm serious about the tip jar. Make it an anonymous donation via PayPal, if you'd like. I don't get millions of dollars a year under current school funding schemes, so every little bit helps. Anonymous cash contributions work for me, too.
by Dean Webb