Thursday, August 11, 2005

How much is enough?

I really wanted this blog to be more music based but I have been sidetracked. Right now the Boston Bruins are trying to build a team for the coming season. I am in the minority here in New England in that I'd watch (or attend) a Bruins game well in advance of the Pats, Celts and Sox. Anyhow I am a huge fan of Joe Thornton. Currently Joe is in contract negotiations. He rejected the teams first offer of 5.whatever mil a season. They recently came back and said about 6.5 for 5 years? Joe is "thinking" about it. I don't understand the bushiness/contract side so bear with me. I guess Joe, if he says "no" will basically play for the Bruins this year (barring a trade) and then test his value at the end of the season. In Joes mind he is thinking why take 6.5 a year when I can play for 5 for one year and then pretty much go where ever I want for upwards of 7 Mil a season. I am a big fan of Joes (I know I said that) but Joe has yet to win any NHL Award (top scorer, MVP etc) or as the captain of the Bruins, take the team into the playoffs. He has had good seasons and is a little hot headed (we in Boston call it a passionate competitor). Still I think the Bruins have made a fair and reasonable offer. Joe would be the 11th highest paid player in the NHL. The talk now, and the sad realization I/we have as fans of him is that if he says no he is making a clear statement he just flat out wants OUT of Boston. Would 500K more a season make him suddenly "LOVE" Boston? Its gotten me to think though, how much is enough to athletes. I'd love to have the money to take care of my family, college for the kids, and retirement. If I could give back to my parents 5% of what they gave for me I'd be thrilled. Taking care of my immediate and extended family would be wonderful. Where am I going with this....? I was thinking what my father would say to me if I were to say "Dad, the bruins want to pay me 6.5 million for 5 years but I am thinking of saying no". I know my dad would support me and agree on ONE level that "if you can get more money why not" but I think he'd slap me and say "take it" you never EVER know what can happen. And finally I feel bad for the younger fans. I have a nephew that lives and breathes hockey. When I was younger (before cable and dish networks and the web) we knew a handful of the local players. If the player had no goals all season but one night when we happened to be watching scored 2 or 3 goals we suddenly "That guy" the next day in the driveway. When the US Hockey team won in 1980 we were not NHL players we were no name college kids. Its okay to have "idols" to look up to, to emulate its harmless fun. The issue that I have, even in this getting the information as it happens world we live in, is that kids can't get used to players. My nephew might know someone was traded, but where? He may love a player, beg is parents for merchandise with his hero on it, then after 2 years his idol says "you know your city see ya". I recall when Nomar was traded from Boston. Diehards and fanatics knew it was for the best, but kids were DEVASTATED. It was a name they all knew. If Joe is to go, the Bruins will quickly need to find a hole..can Manny skate? Can David Ortiz clean out in front of the crease? So the Joe watch is on. Rumor has it he has until Monday to accept or decline. Take it take it take it...but somehow I feel like my heart will get broken.


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