I know this is about the Chicago Bears, but when I see people write stupid stuff that insults another writer's well written article, I feel the need to defend the guy who got it right the first time. In this case, AOL Fanhouse's Michael David Smith took it upon himself to bash Chicago Tribune writer Jack Kee for a short article he wrote which made fun of Devin Hester's ridiculous claim that he should be paid elite WR-like money.
For those that don't know what's up, recently the mentally challenged Devin Hester (long known by NFL scouts as an idiot, which is why he has no real position in the NFL other than kick returner) stated recently that he would not play under his current contract, which pays $445,000 a year. He stated that wasn't enough money and he would hold out of camp. Chicago Tribune writer Jack Kee torpedoed Hester for these comments, and rightly so.
With his current salary, I calculate that Mr. Hester currently gets paid (in 16 games) between $2,000 and $3,000 every time he runs onto the field. Who can possibly live on that? It's just plain wrong. And he actually has to work six months out of the year. That's unreasonable. No wonder he wants to jack his salary up to ... what, $8,000 to $10,000 per play? After all, on any given play he might touch the ball. Or, maybe not.
In a time where people are digging under their couches for change to buy gas (which for some fill-ups averages $65-$100), to hear a specialist position player for an NFL team actually complain about making $450K is insulting to the individual paying fan who shells out hundreds of dollars to drive to, attend, and eat at games.
But for some idiotic reason, AOL Fanhouse's Michael David Smith, who is supposed to be blogging from the POV of a "fan," sided with Hester on this issue.
Let me spell it out to Mr. Kee and any other people who think Hester is overpaid: The Bears' annual revenue is somewhere around $200 million. Hester is one of their most important employees. His abilities as a return man make more people want to buy Bears tickets, more people want to buy Bears jerseys, more people want to watch the Bears on TV, etc.
Um, what! Are you friggin' kidding me.
Please, let me spell it out for you, Mr. Smith. Devin Hester is a kick returner who asking to be paid elite WR money even though he has not proven he can play the position at all, let alone at an elite level. Hester is a dynamic returner, yes.
You win in this league with offense and defense, something the Bears sorely lacked last year. It's why Bears GM Jerry Angelo spent so much time repairing Chicago's offensive line in the draft and signing players like LB Lance Briggs and DT Tommie Harris to big extensions. So clearly, Devin Hester is not one of the Bears "most important employees." Last year, Hester was his usual, dynamic-returner self and it propelled the Bears to an awful season. Kinda tells you something about how "important" he is to the only bottom line anyone should care about: Winning.
And please, if you think Bears fans are not going to buy tickets because Devin Hester isn't playing, you're delusional. This is Chicago, Michael. The Cubs have stunk for 1,000 years, and that stadium still fills up. The Bears are as tied to Chi-town as that smug look is to your face. Fans showed up and watched Bears games when they trotted Kordell Stewart out as QB. If they'll watch that, they'll watch anything.
The point here is it is incentive and silly for an NFL player to openly complain about money right now. Whoever does should be bashed mercilessly, because these people are paid well above the rich line to play a kid's game. Yes, I understand the risks involved, but construction workers, miners, and engineers also have very risky jobs, and they certainly aren't compensated at roughly $450,000 a year on average. The argument is made more absurd by the fact that Hester, a man too stupid to learn a real position on a team, wants to get paid like he's Reggie Wayne.
If Michael David Smith is advocating that Jerry Angelo pay Hester such a sum, then make a mental note: If Michael David Smith ever catches the hear of an NFL GM, pray for that team. Devin Hester is only effective when someone actually kicks the ball to him. If someone doesn't do that (like Indy learned after the first play in Super Bowl 41), then he's useless. And he can't play any other position effectively. Hester was drafted as a CB who couldn't cover, and moved to WR last year. If Smith wants to pay $40 million for that, he's an idiot who I wouldn't trust to ring up my groceries let alone give advice on how to manage a football franchise.
I'll remind Colts fans that Smith was one of the morons who got caught up in all the furor over the Philadelphia shooting which involved Marvin Harrison, even though the incident didn't even name Marvin as a suspect in the shooting. I sometimes often wonder if Smith is even a fan of the NFL, because if you go back and look at all his writing, you rarely (if ever) see him write anything that suggests that he actually likes football. I believe Smith is a Lions fan, and if I'm right on that it explains a lot. But it doesn't excuse him. Sean Yuille is a Lions fan, and he's got more brains in his noodle than Smith seems to.
Kree was right to bash Hester, and Smith was silly to defend Hester. The whole Hester wanting money thing is a farce that concluded, somewhat, yesterday when Hester showed up to camp on time after threatening all off-season to hold out. I don't know what Smith was thinking in defending Hester, but what I do know now is the guy is totally clueless when it comes to talking about NFL football and he's completely out-of-touch with what normal, everyday fans experience when they see rich idiots like Hester complain about money.
Devin Hester, apparently, needs more money. Photo via The Big Lead