Blame it on the Cha-CH$NG





I don’t know if you have noticed (or if you’re a lame sauce sports nut like me) but a lot of sports teams have recently been dumping athletes for the Cha-Ch$ng.  Cha-Ch$ng: the moolah, the dinero, the greenbacks, the cash, the big buckeros.  Yes, sports is a business, a lucrative business.  The big guys upstairs with the deep pockets are the kings while athletes play the mere pawns on the chess board.  Hard work doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore because it won’t bring in the much desired and needed dough.  Only few get to reach that status of “king” or “queen” but even that doesn’t mean you won’t get jerked around, traded or dropped.

Case in point = The Great Peyton Manning  

Peyton Manning is already considered one of the greats.  He has played with the Indianapolis Colts for more than a decade and yet, has been let go by owner Jim Isray due to the Cha-Ch$ng.

Before his health issues, Manning hadn’t missed a game in 13 seasons, leading the Colts to unprecedented success along the way as he piled up more than 50,000 passing yards.

The Colts let Peyton go rather than pay the $28 million roster bonus Manning was due March 8th.

“It truly has been an honor to play in Indianapolis,” a tearful Manning said. “I will leave the Colts with nothing but good thoughts and gratitude.”

Why Peyton?  You have done nothing but give back to the Colts in the most positive and beneficial way.  You started your NFL career with the Colts and hoped to end it with the Colts.  He is still one of the highest paid athletes in the game and those checks aren’t only coming from Indianapolis, they are coming from commercials, sponsorships, endorsements, etc.  Let’s be honest, who cares about Indianapolis without Peyton?  Yes $28 million is a big chunk of change for any football team, but the Colts are blinded by their need to have a bright future.  Peyton is old and the Colts just can’t envision Peyton in that bright future.  It’s sad.

Second Case in Point = Derek Fisher  

This is truly a tragedy in the NBA.  The papa bear of the Lake Show was traded last week to the Houston Rockets, then later suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

After winning five NBA titles with the Lakers, Mitch Kupchack (the douche) didn’t want to worry about Fisher’s future salary–$3.4 million guaranteed next season.   Fisher was initially traded for an awkward Jordan Hill, who was a lottery pick three years ago and apparently can only stay on the court for less than 15 minutes.  Seriously?

D Fish only had a good two years left in him.  And yes, D Fish hasn’t been looking to hot in recent years, he has been averaging 5.9 points on 38.8% shooting.  He routinely struggled to defend young point guards.  For a second can we ignore the obvious…..

Fisher kept the locker room together, more importantly kept Kobe Bryant together.  He was their leader and kept them focused.  Fisher opted out of his contract from Utah in 2007 to seek care in LA for his daughter’s eye cancer, taking a significant pay cut to come back and play for them Lakers.  He just wants to play.  Sigh

And the fellas upstairs pay you a trade in return.  That doesn’t seem fair.

Third Case in Point = Lam Lam Odom   

I know it is another Laker, but it is a prime example for this sad but true reality of the sports Cha-Ch$ng factor.

Lamar Odom was a money dump as well.  The Lakers saved $17 million in salary and luxury taxes by letting him go, trading him to a team who won the national championship the year before, The Dallas Mavericks.  But for what?  Making an ailing team even shittier by letting go of their versatile 6th man? God Mitch Kupchack is just destroying the Lakers.  A team that will now be lucky enough to make it to the second round of the playoffs

The year before he was traded, Lamar won the 6th man of the year award and won two national championships with the team.  His game was on top, then all of sudden was taken away by an attempted trade for Chris Paul, which was unfairly squashed by NBA Commissioner David Stern.  Lamar felt so disrespected by the alleged trade, he demanded to be traded. Now he is playing like diddly squat for the Mavericks (he scored a total of 1 point in yesterdays game against the Lakers), clearly still negatively affected by the uproot trade.  After all he has done for the team, he never thought he would be put on the trading chopping block for the money sucking vultures in the front offices.  This is sad

Sadly in the sports world, money always controls these situations, not talent.  Isn’t sports all about the talent and character athletes, as well as coaches, have that routinely fill the baseball stadiums, basketball courts, football fields, and even our living room couches with eager fans and viewers.  Sports will forever be dominated by economics, like so many other fruitful businesses. As time goes by, I would like to think back and reflect on sports fondly.  Sports should always remind us of what was once good and pure in this world, genuine talent, drive and love for a game that mirrors that traditional belief of integrity and dignity. Money does not guide one towards integrity and dignity.  I just hope that sports can find its way back to that beloved tradition and once in a while, look beyond the cha-ch$ng and truly celebrate the athlete, celebrate what they represent and what they could represent in the future to make it brighter.


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