Game Point:

Finally, the football season has arrived, and you know that it’s made its presence for sure when you smell the fresh aroma of an ugly contract holdout in the air. Words just can’t express the joy I felt when the football season began; however, contract holdouts are beginning to be just as much a part of the game as is throwing the ‘ole pigskin around. The season had not even been born, and we already witnessed our first player complaining about a new contract-Deion Branch. Branch, the former New England Patriots wide receiver and MVP of Super Bowl 39, held out for forty-five days, accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines because he refused to show up to team meetings and practices. Unhappy with his current contract situation, Branch refused to do anything that had to do with his team, forcing the Patriots to either give into his demands of “showing him the money,” or dealing him to another team. The Patriots were obviously put into an ugly situation: Pay a player who is a focal part of their team more money than he deserves, or forever lose his services by trading him away. Unsure of what to do, the Patriots didn’t allow for Branch to play in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills, then sending him to the Seattle Seahawks for a first-round pick a few days later. Upon his arrival, Branch was rewarded with a reported six-year contract worth upwards of $39 million. Well, I guess we know what Branch spent his money on first. No, not a brand new house…his fines.Look, the point that I’m trying to impose here is whatever happened to displaying loyalty to the game, let alone, your team? These teams give the players the chance to play for their teams, not to mention, also helping them make a living. When you and your parents come to a disagreement, do you refuse to do anything for forty-five days and ask for a new set of parents? No, I didn’t think so. Ok, well…maybe some of you do, but that’s beside the point. Branch, or any other player for that matter, should realize that there are obviously going to be differences between you and your team over how valuable you are and what your salary should look like. Of course we all want to make loads and loads of money, but you also have to be realistic in terms of how much of an integral part you are to your team, and how much money you deserve to make. Also, isn’t it the agents’ job to negotiate the best deal for his client, not the client playing the role as the agent himself?Nowadays, many football players are getting paid millions of dollars in endorsements, ranging from shoes, clothing and video games. So I’m sure that they can continue to live wealthy and fulfilling lives with a couple million dollars shaved off of their contracts.In their own right, every athlete is looking out for number one, but I’m sure that he can continue his life without the brand new Mercedes Benz in his driveway and a 50-inch flat screen TV in his living room. I sure as heck can, so I don’t see why they can’t either.