Sunday, November 23, 2008

Leroy, Oh No You Didn't

by: Michael Steffes

Leroy, Leroy, Leroy. I love you. I bought your Jersey in 2005--it took two years before I saw anybody else with one. But you didn't really say that, did you?

Frank Hughes' story this morning focuses on the possibility of Leroy Hill leaving after this season. There are a few things that can be nitpicked from the article, such as that Ruskell didn't draft Marcus Trufant and Lofa is the ONLY guy he has signed long term before his deal is up. However, there is one thing that caught my eye that couldn't go without comment. Hill is quoted as saying,

“We all have grown close, especially the linebackers. I have a lot of friends in the city. It’ll be something different if I am not here. It’ll hurt. But at the same time it is a business and I have to feed my family.”
This has to be my least favorite expression that pro athletes use. "I have got to feed my family." Yeah, we know, life is tough. How could they possibly eat on your meager salary? Remember when Latrell Sprewell held out from his 14 million dollar contract because he had to feed his family? That was disgusting.

Leroy is not in that class just yet, but regardless I am pretty sure his family is going to get fed no matter where he plays. The veteran minimum these days is almost 700K. My family eats just fine on a lot less than that. I am not suggesting that Hill should take a deal light on cash to be a good guy, but when you make a comment like that, let's be straight about what it means: I like the city, I have friends here, but I NEED TO GET PAID. Professional athletes rightly associate their contracts with respect, and while I am sure Hill would like to stay in Seattle, he will only do so if they offer the most or match the highest bidder. Does that mean he is leaving? Maybe, and that will be a tough pill to swallow if he does. One thing I will not be worrying about though is whether or not Leroy is having financial troubles like the majority of his fans out there. ~END~