Monday, May 14, 2007

Pete Seeger- wide receiver

As some of you probably know by now, Alan Faneca, the Steelers long-tenured All-Pro lineman out of LSU has said that he is skipping town at the end of the season. He's upset that the Steelers won't reward him with a long-term contract commensurate with the top guards in the league. Faneca is 30 years old, so the Steelers told him "that'll be all."

Over at Heels, Sox, Steelers, Ryan Wilson came across quite the tantrum by Adam Gretz of the Black and Gold Blog. Here's a taste
Somebody from my immediate family has been at every single Steelers game - Pre-season, regular season, playoffs - since Heinz Field opened. It's an honor. Really, it is. Around the time that Hines Ward held out - and I lost a lot of respect for him over that, as well - my dad made mention that it took him some 30 years of work to total a million dollars.

Alan Faneca has made more than 30 million dollars before the age of 30.

I don't feel bad for him that he's only(!) going to make 4.5 million dollars this year instead of 7 million dollars.

The only thing missing from his whiny ass, woe is me, tantrum today was the "I have a family to think about it here!" cliche. Give him time I suppose.

Hey Alan, you get to do what you love for a living, whether you want to admit it or not you are MORE than fairly compensated for it, and once you retire at the age of 35 you'll never have to work another day for the rest of life.

Shut up already.

Here comes the ether:

If you hate hearing football players bitch about money, stop giving your money to football.

Professional football is a business. You exchange your money for the pleasure of being entertained. As much as the Steelers may seem like family, they are no different. NFL owners are trying to get as much money from televison and merchandise as possible while paying as few expenses as they can. That's why pro teams extort troubled cities for stadiums and pay their players as little as they possibly can.

Professional football treats its players like shit. Players can be cut at any time and bumped off the payroll. They often die young. Many leave football with terrible physical and emotional problems and few obvious post-football career prospects. So when Alan Faneca says he's leaving Pittsburgh after this season because of the team's refusal to infest in him long-term, don't make him out to be Barry Bonds- he's thinking about Mike Webster and Justin Strelzyk. He's a guy who knows he better get his before he's brain damaged at fifty.

I remember once, years ago, when Curt Schilling was asked if he was overpaid. He said something to the effect of "I'm overpaid compared to the guy working minimum wage- he works as hard as I do, but wouldn't I be an idiot if I didn't try to get what I'm worth in the market?" Of course football players make a lot of money, but a guy like Faneca knows that he better get as much as he can because he could tear up his knee tomorrow and never make another penny from football for as long as he lives. And after football, then what?

Maybe the guy is kind of a dickhead, but he's staring Gene Upshaw's raw deal in the face. Football players don't have it nearly as good as baseball players- they have entered into an extremely lopsided union contract- one which has allowed the league (read: OWNERS) to thrive at the expense of the players. Faneca wants $7 million- the NFL's TV contract is worth $4 billion- he wants about one fifth of one percent of the whole TV contract. It seems more reasonable in those terms. According to Ryan Murphy at FoxSports/ "playing in the NFL is the fourth most hazardous occupation in America behind only firefighting, race-car driving, and fishing. In fact the career expectancy of an NFL player is less than four years." Whether or not playing football actually is the fourth most hazardous occupation (this is a hard thing to prove) football players do live, on average to the age of 55- 22 years less than the average American.

I say that if you work a super dangerous job and your employer shows a willingness to cut you adrift, guaranteeing nothing more than your signing bonus while they rake in obscene quantities of money- you reserve the right to fucking stick it to them, no matter how bad the boss has the customers fooled. That's right- Alan Faneca, the guy who wants more money to participate in the fourth most dangerous profession in America despite the constant threat of being fired with no recourse- Alan Faneca is the bad guy. Dan Rooney, who makes a shitload of money while his ex-employees dry up like brain-damaged sponges deprived of water, he's the benevolent grandfather.

Pittsburgh is supposed to be a union town. Fucking act like it.

[Heels, Sox & Steelers: I Don't Think This Is How Tomlin Envisioned It]

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