Ill take that…

Believe it or not, contracts have become a huge part of life. We use contracts all the time whether it be to buy a house or a friendly deal. They are good for holding somebody accountable for something but if it is for relationships it might not be the best idea. The place we see them most, s professional sports. All they time we are hearing about contract extensions or huge contract offers. Lets take a look at a few that catch everybody’s eyes.

Mike Stanton just got a contract offer for $325 million for 13 years. This almost is not fair. It has somewhat come down to, in professional sports, that there really is no concept of the team. When the player is through with his/ her contract, they seek more money and do not necessarily care what team they are on. Obviously there are some exceptions but this has been an occurring thing as time is going forward. This relates to Hobbes because in his book “The Leviathan”, he explains that people are self- motivated and selfish. The people will try to better themselves before looking at the whole (team/ group). Speaking of being selfish and not for the team, we can look at Frank Gore.

Mike Stanton 

In 2011, Gore was in the last year of his contract with the 49ers. He decided to skip mini camp (which was mandatory) in order for his deal to be put through, if you will. This is a prime example of what Hobbes was talking about. He did not care about the team or them getting better, he only cared about getting his money and doing what he had to do. Doing things differently, the 49ers made a rule that only when the player reports to camp that they can negotiate their contracts (1). This ultimately helped them, becoming more of a team and becoming a dominant team in the NFL.

Frank Gore

Speaking of this team concept, the Kansas City Royals are a great example. These players were a bunch of “no name” players for a while, all coming together in the minors. They did not have huge contracts, they just played for the love of the game. They struggles for a little but, this past year, they made it to the world series. Everyone of them did not care about how much they were getting paid, but cared about being a team and winning and losing, how sports should be portrayed.

Kansas City being a team

I have a younger brother at 10 years old and you can see this taking a toll on him and his peers. Kids now a days are seeing the selfishness of these athletes and it is rubbing off on them. As I watch my brothers basketball games, I can see the two kids on the court, on the same team, hog the ball and play for themselves. I ask my brother “Why don’t the other kids on your team pass the ball?”. He responds, “In the NBA….” and go off on a rant on how the best players play for themselves. Kids idolize tons of athletes all over the world and in today’s world, there is a huge change that is making professional sports something it never was and something that needs to be changed.

(1): http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/49ers-way-no-contract-negotiations-until-player-reports

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8 thoughts on “Ill take that…

  1. Contracts in the sports world often leads to diminishing returns, if you will. What I mean is a team may sign a franchise player, and pay him a lot of money, but he will play for the money instead of for the team.

    I think college sports are the most genuine and pure for of athletics. Student-athletes are not paid for their services; we only play for the love of the game. There is an argument that our scholarships are similar to contracts, but we are not really compensated financially.

    There is no financial incentive, or a contract, involved; we play because we love the game.

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  2. I agree with your point that contracts often lead to a sort of diluted attitude toward the game professionals play (which is why there’s nothing quite like high school/college sports, due to no ulterior motive like money, particularly in high school), but to say that because players are paid causes the team aspect of these games to go out the window might be an exaggeration. The best teams in sports today still tend to be those who truly work as a team: the San Antonio Spurs being the best example. Still very true that money can motivate players negatively.

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  3. I agree with your notion that large contracts are leading to a more selfish environment in the professional sports world. For example, Kobe Bryant just signed a huge contract with the Lakers even though his talent is clearly not at the level that it once was. I also think this large contract has had a big impact on his overall style of play in the game. It does not seem like he is as focused about winning and the team’s success as he once was. He is constantly taking 30 to 40 shots a game even though he is only shooting like 40%, it makes you wonder whether he is truly trying to win games for his team or if he is just trying to chase MJ’s overall points stat. All in all, I think that these big contracts have brought a more selfish atmosphere to professional sports, unfortunately today, it seems that players are playing for the money rather than their simple love for the game.

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  4. I agree with the last point you made in the post about how this form of selfishness through contracts has had a negative influence on children. But what I do want to point out is that, most of the time people want to get paid for what they are worth and the work that they put in to better their “brand”. I can not say that I would not do the same thing, when it comes down to it, that is still their career. Though for some it is strictly about the Benjamins, they don’t even care for the sport too much. A contract is only as good as it’s enforcement mechanism. Maybe if the contracts enforced a way for the players to display more of a loyalty to the team, it would cancel out the window of opportunity to leave for monetary reasons.

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  5. I agree with what you are saying. As you talked about, contracts are one of the biggest, and probably the most debated thing about professional sports. You would think, that simply getting the opportunity to play for a team and do what you love would be enough to cut your contract demands at least a little bit. Also as you pointed out, I believe contracts are making players more selfish in the game, as most of the talk now is about the work of single players rather than the team as a whole. Take LeBron James for example. All anyone was talking about this summer was what team was LeBron going to end up on and what kind of contract is LeBron going to get. And while I know that James is an extremely great player, what about his team? He couldn’t just play the game alone, he needs those other players, yet in comparison to him, many of their talents are very much overshadowed by the hype surrounding that single player on their team. Also, in agreement with the commenter above, maybe players should be rewarded for loyalty to their team. Maybe that is something to talk about in contract negotiations, something LeBron would not necessarily benefit from for the record.

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  6. I agree that contracts can make players selfish. Your example of Frank Gore was great because holding out for a new contract is very common, especially in football. Many players don’t show up to mandatory training camp in order to put pressure on the organization to resign them to a contract of their own terms.
    I disagree with you when you say that Stanton does not ‘deserve’ the contract he was offered. Sure, you may think, along with myself, that $325 million is absurd. However, the Marlins organization decided that he was worth that much money. It’s a supply and demand issue. Stanton is still very young, and has performed at an exceptionally high level in his first several years in the majors.

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  7. I agree with you that many players are merely self interested. Players demanding bigger contracts is truly an issue in sports because it makes the player seem more important than the team. The team is the most important aspect of sports because players cannot win by themselves, its teams that win the games. While many players are self interested, there are a significant amount of players that do look out for their team; therefore the selfish players need to follow the actions of the players that care about the team.

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  8. I agree with your point that large contracts at a professional level are setting bad examples for younger athletes. Today sports can result in scholarships and, for a lucky few, lucrative careers. However competition for this is becoming increasingly heated. I feel that younger and younger players are subjected to the idea of sports as work and not as fun as they are pushed to develop skills that will earn them money or even reduced tuition. Even as an elementary student in AYSO, my coach removed the fun and play from the game as he groomed a select few promising player for competitive travel leagues, which would in turn prepare them for high school varsity athletics and even more competitive travel leagues, hoping for the chance at college level competition. However, for many, this was not for the love of the game, it was because their families forced them into the sport or that the sport was their only means of getting into and paying for post-secondary education. This of course, is only my experience and does not hold true for all.

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