Since I left school in 1997, I have been in the same job. I work for a large British food retailer (otherwise known as a supermarket), putting in 40 hours a week. Do you want to know how much I earn each year? The grand total of £14,000. For my American friends, that translates to just over $20,000. Hardly a large amount of money, right? Now with various state benefits to compliment my wage, I am able to take care of my wife and our two boys, with a roof over our head and food on the table, and the occasional luxury, here and there.
Want to know how much money NFL linebacker, Brian Urlacher just turned down? $2 million for one year’s work. That’s right – the Chicago Bears reportedly offered the veteran a one-year contract that would pretty much have given him $2 million. If you take my wage of $20,000, it would be 100 years before I earned $2 million. And that’s just what Urlacher was offered this year. It doesn’t take into account all the millions he has earned throughout his successful NFL career with the Chicago Bears.
Now, I am not saying he doesn’t deserve the money. The nature of the business pretty much dictates how much players get paid, and if someone offered me millions of dollars as my wage, I wouldn’t hesitate in taking it. But here’s the truth – It was purely Brian Urlacher’s decision to leave the Chicago Bears. He could quite easily have accepted their generous offer and finished his career in the windy city, which is what I am sure he would have preferred. But no; he decided to turn down $2 million, for reasons which still remain a mystery to me, but I am going to go out on a limb and say it was a decision motivated by nothing more than greed.
Here’s what Urlacher had to say about it:
“I’m not upset. I was never upset. I understand the business side of football. It was just time to move on for me, that’s all there is to it. I was never upset. Disappointed, yes. I want to be a Bear one-hundred percent. It just didn’t work out. But I’ve never been upset about it, just disappointed.”
So, apparently, it just didn’t work out, eh? You know why it didn’t work out, Brian? Because you didn’t want to play football for the Chicago Bears. That’s the only reason it didn’t work out. No one said they didn’t want you to put on a Bears uniform anymore. No one physically stopped you from doing anything. It was your decision not to return to Chicago, and it looks as though it was a move fueled mainly by money. And that makes me feel a little bit sorry for you.
Just exactly how much money does Brian Urlacher or any other football player actually need. While we may not know the ins and outs of their financial affairs, I think it’s fair to say that most football players (especially those with the talent of Urlacher) are rewarded handsomely for their endeavours. And yes, I know that a football career does not last forever, but even with that in mind, most should rake in enough money to ensure they are more than comfortable for the rest of their lives.
If these figures are to believed, Urlacher has earned a butt load of money during his time with the Bears.
So why did he turn down the $2 million that Chicago offered him. Perhaps I have things wrong and Urlacher needs more money, rather than just wanting more. Almost as if $2 million is just not enough for what Urlacher needs. But to me, that just sounds ridiculous.
I think one of the problems with fame and money is that it sort of forces you to live a lifestyle that you might not previously have wanted. I have always said that if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t buy a helicopter or a huge mansion, because I have never wanted those things. I would just be happy to know that I could have the things that I can’t right now, due to lack of funds. But how frequently do you see NFL players with huge houses and a multitude of expensive sports cars. Why? It’s as if they feel duty bound to live that way, just because their income allows them to.
But I am sure they have advisers who let them know how they are expected to live, and how big their house should be, and how many cars they can afford. What’s wrong with a nice three bedroom property and a decent family car?
The sad truth is that we still hear horror stories of former NFL players that are now sitting at home without a penny to their name. Whether that is through poor investments, or just squandering the money away, it still paints a painful picture. But unless they had their money stolen from them, they realistically only have themselves to blame. I am positive that they would have earned enough money during their playing days to set them straight for the rest of their lives. But for some, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Like a lot of famous people who are suddenly faced with a large influx of wealth, they find themselves having to maintain a very lavish lifestyle that costs a lot of money. But do they really need to live that way. For the most part, NFL players don’t end up broke or having to work elsewhere once their football career is over. And these are the players who don’t subscribe to the millionaire lifestyle, and continue to live within their means, investing their money wisely and planning for the future.
Bear in mind that Urlacher also had this to say about the 2 frikkin million dollars he was offered:
“Which is a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but for me to go through a season, put my body through what it goes through during a season at my age, I’m not going to play for that, you know, not for the Bears at least. So we made a counter offer and that was never acceptable to them. They said, basically, our offer is one year, two million.”
There you have it folks. He is NOT going to play football for $2 million. Nope, Brian Urlacher is worth a lot more than that. He turns his nose up at your little $2 million. He finds that sort of offer insulting. For me, this tarnishes his career with the Bears. It doesn’t negate all the great things he did for the team, but it has left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths. And I for one, can’t shake it.
We’ll never really know why the offer from the Bears wasn’t enough for Urlacher. But I find it hard to believe he needed more than what was on the table. It’s more of a case of Urlacher just wanting as much money as he could lay his hands on.