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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Salary battle: Mayweather vs Pacquiao

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International Sports Examiner | Marv Dumon

Albert Einstein: "The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive."

The exercise of profiling the compensation of the world's top athletes can be interpreted as solely the fortunes of the hard-working and tenacious. And what they can simply consume and purchase with their hard-earned dollars.

When one finally achieves high success, others focus on the luxuries, the women, and lifestyle of such athletes. But to attain that maximum level of physical prowess and mental state, an athlete will have accumulated tens of thousands of days at the gym and on the field - training, enduring, and giving maximum effort. When no one was looking. When they were "nobodies."

They pursued a goal, did not relent, and loved what they do. Despite what they did "not being rationale." Reasonable people go to school so that they can get a job, and earn a paycheck. The world belongs to unreasonable people.

A Lifetime of Tenacity >

When people partied, the athlete jogged. When people drank liquor, the athlete abstained. When people watched television, the athlete went to bed (at 8pm). When people slept, the athlete woke up (at 4:30am). When people conducted chores, the athlete outsourced. When people did everything else, the athlete worked.

When people complained about their boss, the athlete remained dedicated to a craft he loved. When people whined, the athlete endured - and excelled. When people switched professions, the athlete improved his skills. He stuck to it no matter what. When people were being "reasonable," the athlete was unreasonable. He rejected people's bull.

The athlete walked the talk. People speculated. When people got bored, the athlete honed basic fundamentals. He would not, and could not, relent. Despite unimaginable pain, he persisted. And it allowed him to experience ineffable highs.

Basketball phenom Lebron James is the third-highest paid American athlete, earning $40.45 million in the past year.

When Lebron takes off and goes for a dunk, he can generate up to 700 lbs of force in order to lift his 270 lb body as a projectile force in the air. Not everyone can do that.

Not everyone put in the thousands of hours of taxing physical and mental preparation that James put in. People don't know that James' mother was on welfare checks, maintaining a single parent household. Poverty. That they constantly moved around.

That the sensible thing as a young child was to perhaps think about being able to secure a stable job. Not everyone saw that. The world is created by what cannot be seen. Athletes - before becoming famous - chose not to break, even when they were broken.

In a prior article ("Highest Paid International Athletes"), we mentioned the awesome responsibilities of today's elite athletes, even outside of the courts.

The modern sports competitor not only exacts superior results on the field, he must maintain a regulated routine: supervised intake of vitamins, oxygen treatment, legal (and sometimes banned) performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), special diets and treatments. On and on. Then you have the product endorsements, interviews, family functions, awards dinners . . .

The top earners for international and American athletes reflect the tastes of sports fans around the world, and in the United States. The international top 20 are dominated by soccer players. Nine of the top 20 highest paid international athletes play soccer.

The top 20 for the U.S. are dominated by basketball players, with 10 coming from the sport. There is something telling about the global marketplace as well. Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson rank first and second on the top 20 list. These top two earn more than any other athlete in the world, American or foreign - by far. The list is not even close.

Combined compensation for Woods and Mickelson (for 2009): over $190 million (for the year). This supports the premise we presented in the previous article. Similar to wealth distribution statistics around the world and in the United States, the best of the best in sports enjoy skewed, disproportionate earnings.

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