Mark’s Mayhem by Mark Lincir
After reading The Beckham Experiment in one sitting (six eye-burning hours from 8:45 pm to 2:45 am) I have come to the following conclusion…
I want to be a professional soccer player and I want to get paid millions and millions of dollars to do it. I just don’t know how healthy it would be for my career on or off the field. I feel like I would act like Judd Nelson did in the Breakfast Club when he talked himself into detention for the rest of his life.
Imagine me rolling into the stadium parking lot in my John Madden style bus-cruiser driven by Danica Patrick that features a Jacuzzi on the roof (room enough for ten…and yes, of course my wife is there!).
I’d casually repel down from the Jacuzzi and then motor up to the training field on my turbo-charged Segway Scooter. After parking it in an area that security adamantly tells me not to, I’d stroll over to the coaches in my flip-flops and with remnants of a chili-cheese omelet all over my jersey. I picture the conversation going something like this…
What’s up? Mark, you’re an hour and forty-five minutes late for training…that’ll be a $1000 fine.
Now’s it $2000.
Good…I’ll be at the beach if you need me. And make it $5,000 so I can skip training tomorrow too. You guys will be fine playing freeze-tag without me.
See, making too much money is bad. It skews your perspective. You stop living in reality. In a way, you have to. Because you have to convince yourself that you are worth every penny that you make. And even the most delusional of us can’t make a valid argument for that. Especially if we were making millions and millions to play a sport!
Another example of the trouble I would get myself into with that much money would be on the field…after a rash Michael Bradley-style challenge…as the ref prepares to send me off.
What’s it gonna take to keep me in this game (picture me peeling Benjamins off of a massive money roll that my personal assistant just ran out to me)?
You’re trying to bribe me in the middle of the game?
Here’s 10k…let’s pretend that ugly little red card never left your pocket.
I also know that I wouldn’t have any concept of the trials and tribulations that some of my teammates were going thru that maybe didn’t make as much money as I did. I can picture myself unintentionally being insensitive to their plight.
Let’s say I’m sitting next to a teammate after a great workout, toweling off and asking for some advice in regards to a predicament that I am in.
What would you pick…a two-year-old Maybach or a brand new limited-edition Porshe?
I can’t even afford a car.
Well, you’re certainly no help.
I would feel bad for my teammates, but not bad enough that I would spring for things like cars and vacations. I would buy post-game meals and spring for VIP rooms everywhere if my teammates helped me win, got me the ball every time I asked for it and never, ever made me work on defense. You can’t put a value on those types of things.
I would also hire a person to do my all interviews for me, maybe Jon Stewart. He’s a soccer guy and he’s funny. There’d be a former Olympic sprinter (Marion Jones…oops, I think she’s unavailable) to run all my Beep Tests for me and a stunt double to go out on all the dates I wouldn’t be in the mood for (Matthew McConaughey).
I think the part I would struggle with the most would be wanting everything, but not necessarily getting it all the time. I know that at some point, the people who are paying me would want me to live up to their expectations of me and I don’t know how fair that is.
Everybody would be making money. Why can’t I just be allowed to do what I want to do, when I want to do it? After all, everybody needs to realize that what they are ultimately paying for is my image, not my substance.
Eventually, I know there would be that much-dreaded sit-down with the folks flowing me all that cash…because remember, it always comes from somewhere.
Mark, we just don’t feel like you’re living up to your end of the bargain.
I would stop counting my money and hand it over to my armed security guard who carries around all my money in an armored vehicle that follows my party bus. I would lean across the table and draw them in close to me with my finger. Through squinted eyes I would tell them exactly how I feel.
Don’t ever use my name and the word “bargain” in the same sentence again.
This article was previously published in 90:00 Soccer Magazine. For a FREE PREVIEW of 90:00 Magazine…go to www.90soccer.com