We read a lot in this business of broadcasting and sports commentary. People have said to me “you must have help because you can’t know all that stuff.” They are correct. We are much smarter now that we have the internet and things like Google.
Here are some of the stranger stories I came across as I was waiting for the first pitch the other night. There’s a Frenchman named Philippe Croizon who completed a swim across the English Channel and then said he is going to swim around the world. What makes Mr. Croizon unusual is that he is a quadruple amputee. He has no arms or legs. He lost both when he was electrocuted while changing a TV antenna on his roof. He swims with short leg prostheses and flippers and remarkable upper both strength. He swims with a partner and is starting this month with a swim between Indonesia and New Guinea.
We all know that Chicago Cub fans are special. You’d have to be to have a passion for a team that has gone 104 years without winning a World Series. But, any team can have a bad century! There is a legend about a Billy Goat curse on the Cubs. It’s a long story that Cub fans are familiar with. So,three fans, including Matt Gregory, are going to walk 1900 miles WITH A GOAT they paid $60 for…to try and break the curse. They plan to walk from Arizona to Chicago. Poor goat. The group will also be raising money and trying to draw awareness to cancer. So, a good cause along with a hopeless cause (have you seen the Cubs play this season?).
We are all kind of obsessed with how much money athletes make. Most Cardinal fans know that Albert Pujols signed a 10 year deal with the Angels for about $240 million. At 24 million a year he will make about $40,000 an at bat (based on 600 at bats a season).
But you will probably be surprised to learn (like I was) that the highest paid player in the National Football League is Charles Johnson of the Carolina Panthers. Who? Well, he’s a defensive end and a good one but is he worth $34 million dollars he made last season? I guess he is if he can get it.
Some of the other top salaries in their sport: Boxing–Manny Pacquiao made $50 million last year for TWO fights last year. Baseball–Alex Rodriguez did $30 million. Basketball–Kobe Bryant about $25 million. Other sports are not quite as rich. Iditarod–Dallas Seavey won $50,400 for winning the race. The dogs didn’t get anything but a good meal. World Cup Skiing–Lindsey Vonn about $612,000. Professional Bull Riding–Silvano Alves cashed in for about $1.4 million. Hot Dog Eating–Joey Chestnut won $205,000 stuffing his face with dogs. And, he did so with relish. (Sorry)