Tag Archives: Endure

A new level of respect for the physical pain that professional athletes must endure

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain – All Posts

The Pain, Anguish and “Sacrifices” that Some Athletes have to Endure with their Contract Situations


On Thursday, it was announced that Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to a 12 year, $ 104.4 million contract extension that will keep the star hockey player in Pittsburgh until the year 2025.

It is a whopper of a deal, but it’s no surprise since Crosby is still only 24, hasn’t reached his prime years yet, and is already considered by many to be the best player in the NHL. But if you listened to a lot of sports talk radio over the past few days, you’d think that the Penguins got one heck of a bargain and that Crosby made a huge sacrifice by signing this deal. The $ 8.7 million that the contract will average annually will be the same as Crosby’s current deal.

Considering Crosby’s status as the hockey’s best player, many thought it was admirable that he didn’t try to go for the maximum NHL annual salary of $ 14 million.

Yes, Crosby may have cost himself upwards of around $ 60 million over the next 12 seasons by making this huge “sacrifice,” but I find it hard to feel any sorrow for the lad. He’s already a millionaire 100 times over, and he is going to collect another $ 104.4 million by the time he’s in his late 30’s. I’m guessing he’s going to be OK; I don’t think there will be any food drives for him anytime soon.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that, in the world of sports where most athletes keep score with their bank accounts and will sign just about anywhere that pays them top dollar, what Crosby is doing may be considered a sacrifice. What he did helped his team a great deal. It frees up cap space for the Penguins and enables them to go after some top free agent talent. And in the end, this might actually make them a better team if they can sign a winger such as Zach Parise.

But it does get a little annoying when I hear about the great “sacrifice” because when it comes to stuff like that, I really feel a disconnect with the professional athlete.

Even with the Steelers, it irks me when I hear that so and so decided to be a real team player by restructuring his contract so the team could make more room under the salary cap. In most cases, when a football player restructures his contract, the only thing that happens is the language is altered so that how and when the player gets paid changes. It doesn’t really hurt the player, and it’s not as much of a sacrifice as people make it out to be. Maybe some players get screwed over by this, but usually, the ones who are asked to restructure their deals are among the highest paid players on the team, and therefore probably already have a few million stashed away in the bank.

Alright, that was the “sacrifice” portion of this piece.

What makes me even more irritated is when I hear about professional athletes who had to endure the “pain” and “anguish” of a contract negotiation. You see this every season in every sport. Often, the player will be interviewed about his contract situation, and he’ll say something like, “It’s been difficult. All I want is to be treated fairly. The sooner this gets done, the sooner I’ll be able to put it all behind me and get on with my life.”

That isn’t an exact quote from any particular athlete, but I’m sure I’ve read it word-for-word a thousand times over.

Speaking of difficult ordeals, last season, former Browns running back Peyton Hillis was going through so much “hell” over his contract status with his old team, it hurt his ability to function the way he did the year before.

Hillis was only making $ 600,000 in the last year of his rookie contract, and I guess the thoughts of poverty and being treated “unfairly” by his employers were just too much for him.

Hillis signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs for the upcoming 2012 season, and I don’t know how much his new contract will pay him, but because of his hellish 2011 campaign, I’m pretty sure it’s around the same as what the Browns were paying him. If that’s the case, I hope poor Peyton can find a way to get through another “hellish” season of only making a six-figure salary.

If he can endure that and perform like he did two seasons ago, he’ll probably be able to sign a multi-year contract worth seven-figures a season. If that happens, Hillis can then put that whole “$ 600,000” ordeal behind him.

I get that professional athletes are just like everyone else, and in their world, maybe turning down millions to stay with their current team is a sacrifice. And, maybe, the prospect of getting a new contract done might be a daunting and stressful process.

But, when you look at the big picture……….I will gladly pay these professional athletes Tuesday for some perspective today.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Get your Steelers Fathead!

As Long as the Steelers Have a Franchise Quarterback, They Should be Able to Endure the Inevitable Roster Changes


As many long-time Steelers fans will tell you, one of the biggest mistakes the franchise ever made was passing on Dan Marino in the 1983 draft. Some have said that had the team drafted Marino, they may have won another title or two in the 80’s.

I have a hard time believing that. It seems to me that those 80’s squads were filled with a lot of mediocre talent, and it’s hard to picture guys like Walter Abercrombie and Weegie Thompson being part of a Super Bowl parade, but after watching some of Bill Cowher’s playoff teams come up short time and time again, maybe there’s something to that.

Cowher’s Steelers playoff teams from the 90’s and early 00’s were loaded with talent, but the one thing that seemed to keep them from winning a championship was the lack of a bona fide franchise quarterback.

When the Steelers finally drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, it ended their 20 year drought in the elite quarterback department , and it soon put them over the top to the tune of three Super Bowl appearances and two World Championships.

It’s been a wonderful ride and a new golden era for Steelers fans. Unfortunately, however, the team faces major decisions regarding some legendary players, and there is a fear that the time for Super Bowl championships may be coming to an end.

However, I think the 2011 New England Patriots proved that as long as a team has a franchise quarterback, it can still be a serious Super Bowl contender.

To be honest, I thought the Patriots run as legit contenders was pretty much over. After their 18-1 campaign in 2007, the Pats failed to make the playoffs in 2008 and were one and done the following two years.

By 2011, the Patriots were seven years removed from their last Super Bowl championship, and it’s pretty rare for a team to remain in the hunt that many years later. Besides, New England’s 2011 roster looked nothing like their ’04 team as legends like Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Willie Mcginest and Rodney Harrison were long gone.

The one constant, however, was Tom Brady. While the roster may have been younger in a lot of areas–the defense was certainly a work in progress–with Brady under center, the Patriots were able to maintain their championship level and make it to their fifth Super Bowl since 2001.

The Steelers will be forced to make some tough decisions here in the near-future, and there is no doubt that the roster will undergo some serious reconstruction.

Hey, that’s life in today’s NFL.

With free agency and a salary cap, it’s harder today than it was years ago to maintain a championship level–kudos to the Steelers for keeping the team together for as long as it has–but with a franchise quarterback, an organization can still stay in contention as long as the front office and coaching staff do a decent job in overhauling the roster.

As Steelers fans, we’ll have to say goodbye to some beloved Super Bowl heroes in the weeks, months and years to come, but with Ben Roethlisberger still in the prime of his career, we may not have to say goodbye to Super Bowl runs any time soon.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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