Hungry? Try the new “Money Diet”

Robinson Cano at a press conference after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. (Photo via NY Post)

Robinson Cano at a press conference after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. (Photo via NY Post)

Professional athletes, especially Major League Baseball players typically sign huge, multi-million dollar contracts to play for their respective teams.  For instance, this past off-season Robinson Cano left the New York Yankees, who are notorious for having several players who fit this category, for the Seattle Mariners.  Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle. (Click here for an article on Robinson Cano with the Seattle Mariners)

Even by baseball standards (given that baseball is easily the highest-paying professional sport in the United States, this is a huge contract for Cano, and a huge gamble by the Mariners at the same time.  Cano has been in the majors for several years already and has even missed games due to an injury.

When I was still in high school, we held a surprise party for one of my friend’s birthdays at his house.  His dad hunts with the gentlemen that began coaching Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel at Peterson Middle School in Kerrville, Texas in the 7th grade.  When Manziel moved up to Tivy High School in 9th grade, so did this coach.

My friend’s dad told me after Manziel’s first 7th-grade game, the coach told him to remember the name Johnny Manziel because he would be special.  In high school, being from the San Antonio area, I got to witness how special first hand when he scored 7 touchdowns against SA Madison his sophomore year on a Thursday night game early in the season.

Back to the birthday party, we started talking about Texas A&M’s seemingly miraculous season under new coach Kevin Sumlin and my friend’s dad said, “Manziel is done after next year.  Dad’s extremely money hungry.”  Now, two months before the NFL Draft, Manziel has an agent and should be a top-10 pick.

Maziel is not the only one. Money hunger is extremely evident in sports, at all levels.

The Draft and its “Prestige”

South Carolina DE, Jadeveon Clowney during the 2014 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.  The Gamecocks beat Wisconsin 34-24. (Photo via CBS Sports)

South Carolina DE, Jadeveon Clowney during the 2014 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Gamecocks beat Wisconsin 34-24. (Photo via CBS Sports)

“Jadeveon Clowney could potentially be the top overall draft pick in 2014,” said everyone in America.

“Andrew Wiggins could potentially be the top overall draft pick in 2014,” they all continued before the season even started.

Too often now, may people start drooling over “draft prospects” when they are just coming into the major college ranks or even when they are still in high school.

Look at Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina’s “star” Defensive End who became popular after his brutal hit on Michigan Running Back Vincent Smith during the 2013 Outback Bowl.  At the beginning of the 2013 season, ESPN’s draft “experts” both had Jadeveon Clowney at the top of their draft boards and said many teams were drooling over Clowney. (Watch Clowney’s brutal hit here)

I can honestly say that Clowney, to me, was overhyped.  In their season opener against North Carolina, UNC just ran plays the other way.  Lo and behold, no Clowney affect.

“It’s not his fault other teams run plays to the other side”

Correct, it isn’t.  However, if Clowney was truly top pick material, wouldn’t he be versatile enough to, I don’t know, switch sides?  There’s not a truly significant difference.  Plus his own coach, Steve Spurrier, said his work ethic is “okay.” (For that story from CBS Sports, click here)

Enough about Clowney, what about others?

Kansas Guard Andrew Wiggins, a freshman, said prior to the season that this would likely be his only season playing college basketball.  In 2013, Nerlens Noel left Kentucky after his freshman year, even though he tore his ACL early in SEC play in a game at Florida.

Is the draft really as prestigious as we all want it to be?  Or are we simply ruining the young, promising careers of what we assume to be world-class athletes, like Jadeveon Clowney?