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a pro prospect
i don't want to be an athlete, just act like one.
by matt morin
8.28.02
sports


So I'm watching the Giants/Cardinals game the other night when a commercial for Monster.com comes on. I don't really remember it all that well, but I do remember it got me thinking about a new job. Surprisingly, it didn't take me long to decide on a new career.

I want to be a professional athlete.

Of course deciding on a sport proved to be a bit challenging. I'm pretty athletic, but despite playing 8 years of organized football as a kid, the NFL is pretty much out - my 40-yard dash time looks like a NASDAQ reading, and it makes my testicles shrink just thinking about all the horse steroids I'd need to ingest to compete. Baseball is not going to happen. I neither hit a fastball nor spit particularly well. And the NBA? Well, let's just say White Men Can't Jump isn't a movie, it's God's law. On top of all that, I'm not real keen on the constant travel, the training camps, injuries, and signing autographs for little brats who are just going to turn around and sell them on eBay.

So what's left to like about being a pro? Plenty.

I want an agent. How much fun would it be to have your own personal agent? Bad day at work? Demand a trade and let your agent work things out. Time for that raise? I wouldn't have to go in, sit in my boss' office, make feeble arguments about how I'm valuable to the company and come away with a 1.5% bonus and an extra week of vacation. My agent would waltz in for me, put his feet up on my boss' desk, toss a seven-year $45.6 million contract on the table and light a stogie while waiting for him to sign on the dotted line.

I want a per diem. Athletes get them all the time. Pro players get between $90-$150 per day to eat. The best any former company ever did for me was Bagel Wednesdays, free Cokes and the occasional piece of over-frosted supermarket birthday cake. I want to be able to eat three Zagats-rated meals a day and still have cash left for a half dozen microbrews and a lap dance.

I want free stuff. Sign me a deal with Nike. I mean hell, I come in contact with more people on a daily basis than any superstar athlete. Thus, I can get their brand message out to more consumers. Score me a new pair of shoes for every day of the week and about 40 track suits in various colors. Sunglasses, hats, socks, backpacks, watches, and, oh why not, some wristbands, too. I'd also be willing to be a presenter for some sports award. Did anyone see the gift bags the ESPY presenters got? "Bag" is a loose term for it, seeing as how it included a week's stay at any Ian Schrager hotel, a one-year bi-costal membership to SportsClub LA, and about $20,000 worth of other goodies - all for standing up at a podium for 30 seconds to say, "Male Golfer of the Year goes to...Jasper Parnevik...just kidding! Tiger Woods!"

Speaking of events, I want personal appearance fees. Tiger gets a cool million bucks for showing up at some tournament in Malaysia. Why can't I get a few grand for showing up at a friend's party? Drinks tonight? I want to see a cashier's check for $10,000 or forget it. And I'll need at least $50 grand if you want me to watch Pay It Forward or some other chick flick with you. The Beerfest (because it's for a good cause) will only cost you a mere $5k. While you're at it, I'll take a few autograph shows. $200,000 to sit at a table and sign my name for 4 hours. Maybe then I could deduct $50 off every check I wrote because that's how much my signature is worth.

I want to be able to get away with stuff most people can't. After being pulled over for doing 135 in a 55 zone, I want the cop to find drug paraphernalia and a small amount of crack cocaine in my car, but get off two months later with 40 hours of community service. I want it to make the news that the police have shown up at my apartment 38 times in the past 3 weeks for noise violations, but still only issue me warnings. I want to get caught in a hotel room with two hookers, a Santa Claus suit, and four suitcases full of marijuana and be given a $50 fine. I want to call a press conference, tell a national audience my boss is an idiot and my coworkers suck, and only get suspended with pay for a week for "conduct detrimental to the office."

I want trading cards and video games about me. How cool would it be to open up a pack of Upper Deck Writer's Series cards and pull out one of me? On the back: 5'11", 175 lbs., Writes - left, Spells - well, SAT Verbal - 640. You might even win an authentic, hologram-numbered shred of paper from my last article. Or a key from my last computer keyboard. What about Electronic Arts' Matt Morin 2003 (for PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube), where you try and write an Intrepid Article that gets all 5s, or an ad that doesn't get killed by the client? As the levels get harder you have to fight the urge to watch Blind Date or start drinking at 11:30 am. I want an action figure. I want a 'Matt Morin Li'l Writer's Set' at Toys 'R Us. I want the Matt Morin Wheaties Box and the limited edition Franklin Mint collectors plate.

I want columnists to write articles about how I make too much money when the average teacher only pulls in $27,000 a year, or how I'm the person to put my next agency in the Finals. I want to be interviewed by Dan Patrick. I want a biography written by Rick Riley when I'm only 35. I want a "Fox Sports Behind The Glory" - Matt Morin episode. I want a collection of short stories about me written by Michelle Von Euw.

Most of all, I want a posse. I want 10 guys who talk like me and dress like me. They'll go on burger runs, wash my car and "pre-approve" hot women in bars for me. If a brawl breaks out, they'll shove me in a stretch Humvee first, then finish beating the crap out of whoever thought it was a good idea to spill beer on my yellow Timberlands. They'll have names like "Bug" and "Stookie" and hang out at my house playing video games and pool all day. And every time they laugh at one of my jokes, I'll toss a $100 bill on the floor and watch them fight for it.

So as soon as I finish slaving over this keyboard, working until 2:00 am on a client's whim, and worrying about quarterly taxes, I'm going to Monster.com and see where I can apply. As the commercial said, my dream job is out there.


ABOUT MATT MORIN

Matt would love to be George Plimpton...welll, except for the being dead part. He supplies the doing and the writing. All he asks of you is the reading.

more about matt morin

IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...

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i'm breaking the first rule of fight club.
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topic: sports
published: 1.15.03





COMMENTS

michelle von euw
8.28.02 @ 11:15a

Matt, I'll make you a deal: you can find someone to pay you $5,144 an hour, and I'll start writing.

matt morin
8.28.02 @ 11:49a

Michelle, you're on. $5,144 per hour - I wonder what that breakes out to per column inch...?

jael mchenry
8.28.02 @ 12:11p

Depends on how fast you write, naturally.

jeffrey walker
8.28.02 @ 12:52p

Rock star is a better line of work. Vince Neil (of motley crue)took a joyride after 3 or 4 days of solid drinking (etc.), killed the passenger in his car, and spent only 30 days in jail. Then he was back on tour, where a manager was instructed to keep him laid at all times; pre-show, post-show, mid-show.

PLUS, as evidenced by the current Billboard top ten albums, it takes a lot less talent to sell albums than play a professional sport.

heather millen
8.28.02 @ 1:00p

I'm with you, Jeff. Went to see Lenny Kravitz last night, show was awesome, but I'm pretty damn confident that the real entertainment was going on backstage.

I wanna be a Rock Star! But I guess you can't go wrong with anything that makes you rich and powerful.

matt morin
8.28.02 @ 1:02p

Oh Heather, I've got a great Lenny story. Remind me and I'll tell it this weekend.

matt morin
8.28.02 @ 1:25p

Rock star would be cool, but I think pro athlete has more perks - definitely more endorsement money.

heather millen
8.28.02 @ 1:36p

There are endorsements, but Lenny can't being doing too bad after reassessing the money I spent last night. If I'm dropping hundreds on a Tuesday, maybe I already am living like a Rock Star.

Can't wait to hear your Lenny story.

jeffrey walker
8.28.02 @ 3:34p

endorsements, schmendorsements. These end with your career, which is short in sports anyway. Average retirement in MLB, NFL? Early 30's, and you'll spend all your money on hip and knee replacement.

Rock Star - can go on forever (Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger), and royalties go on forever.
Not selling in America? Tour in Japan and Europe - they'll buy anything.

[edited]

adam kraemer
8.29.02 @ 10:11a

Becky (DC girl) went to school with a guy who works for some sort of management company for rock stars. She asked him about the best thing that's happened to him since graduation. His answer, "Well, I'm probably supposed to say the time I shared a pint with Bono in London, but actually it was getting to see Gwen Stefani's tits." That's the life.

matt morin
8.29.02 @ 11:50a

The Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders are suing the NFL because Philly had peep holes that looked into their dressing room and shower area. Apparently it was common knowledge among the players.

I forgot to put that as a perk in my column - cheerleader peep shows.

adam kraemer
8.29.02 @ 12:43p

Well, they still have the court within the stadium for quicky arraignments, Matt.

matt morin
8.29.02 @ 3:15p

Oh, here's another one I forgot about: Shawn Kemp. The Portland Trailblazers owed him $46 million in guaranteed money. But he sucks so bad, they negotiated - They paid him $26 million to leave the team.

Talk about a golden parachute...Here, we'll pay you $26 million NOT to play for us.

[edited]

jael mchenry
9.10.02 @ 1:50p

So he's the sports equivalent of Mariah Carey?

matt morin
9.10.02 @ 2:02p

Except he's got a lot more kids. (Like 11 with 8 different women or something like that.)



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