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100 highest-paid athletes


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Why is american football called Gridiron?

Im no American Football expert i have no idea's about the game at all but im guessing the grid is the layout of the pitch but whats the iron all about?

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Why is Joe Thomas in bold?

yep, whats so special about him??

He's being paid by Mr Lerner. One of the few gems on the Browns roster.

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Why is american football called Gridiron?

Im no American Football expert i have no idea's about the game at all but im guessing the grid is the layout of the pitch but whats the iron all about?

A more pressing question would be why is it called football?

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Why is american football called Gridiron?

Im no American Football expert i have no idea's about the game at all but im guessing the grid is the layout of the pitch but whats the iron all about?

A more pressing question would be why is it called football?

In that case. Why is Rugby called Football

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Why is Joe Thomas in bold?

yep, whats so special about him??

He's being paid by Mr Lerner. One of the few gems on the Browns roster.

That's the reason... highest paid of Randy's employees.

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As near as I can tell (I've a bit of an interest in the history and development of the codes of football):


Primordial football of the British/Irish Isles

  |           |         |             |       \

Gaelic   (Sheffield)  Original FA   Australian Boston

              |       /   \                     |

              |      /     \                    |

          Modern Assoc.     Rugby               |

           Football           |  \              |

                              |   \             |

                              |    +----- American

                              |          /      |

                              +------ Canadian  |

                              |                 |

                             / \     +----------+

                         Union  League

(some simplifications made (e.g. putting the Australian/Gaelic International Rules, noting the rather minor influence/commonality between [modern] association and gridiron))

All of the codes have a claim to the term "football", being able to establish lineages to the games played since times immemorial in Britain and Ireland (and the globally most-popular codes all can be traced directly to the FA). At times I think it makes a lot of sense for none of the codes to lay claim to being unmodified football (though politically this will never ever happen). As for using the term gridiron, I choose it in preference to "American" due to the similarity between the codes played on either side of the US/Canada border (there's fewer differences between them than there are between League and Union: this video shows most of the differences).

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excuse my ignorance but how can 75% of the list be made up of Basketball, Gridiron and Baseball when I thought that they wern't MASSIVE outside of north America?

Americans must spen shed loads on watching sports and merchandise then.

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They play a lot more games than football teams. Well, baseball and basketball teams do.

If I'm not mistaken, a baseball team plays hundreds of games a season.

So they must generate a fair amount of gate receipts.

That probably helps

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NFL, NBA, MLB, and world football clubs by revenue (US$, most recent Forbes data); clubs with less revenue than the 20th-ranked football club not listed (Forbes only lists revenue for the top 20)

$695m - Real Madrid (football)

$653m - Barcelona (football)

$532m - Manchester United (football)

$466m - Bayern Munich (football)

$439m - New York Yankees (MLB)

$406m - Dallas Cowboys (NFL)

$364m - Arsenal (football)

$362m - Chelsea (football)

$352m - Washington Redskins (NFL)

$341m - Milan (football)

$333m - New England Patriots (NFL)

$310m - Boston Red Sox (MLB)

$307m - Internazionale (football)

$295m - Liverpool (football)

$293m - New York Giants (NFL), Schalke (football)

$285m - New York Jets (NFL)

$283m - Houston Texans (NFL)

$274m - Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)

$266m - Chicago Bears (NFL), Chicago Cubs (MLB)

$262m - Baltimore Ravens (NFL), Spurs (football)

$261m - New Orleans Saints (NFL)

$259m - Green Bay Packers (NFL)

$257m - Carolina Panthers (NFL)

$255m - Denver Broncos (NFL), Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)

$253m - Miami Dolphins (NFL)

$252m - Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)

$250m - Tennessee Titans (NFL)

$249m - Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

$247m - Cleveland Browns (NFL)

$246m - Manchester City (football)

$245m - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)

$244m - New York Knicks (NBA)

$241m - San Diego Chargers (NFL)

$240m - Arizona Cardinals (NFL)

$236m - Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Buffalo Bills (NFL), Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)

$234m - San Francisco 49ers (NFL)

$233m - Atlanta Falcons (NFL), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), Texas Rangers (MLB)

$230m - San Francisco Giants (MLB), Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)

$228m - Detroit Lions (NFL), St. Louis Rams (NFL),

$227m - Minnesota Vikings (NFL)

$226m - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB)

$225m - New York Mets (MLB)

$223m - Juventus (football)

$218m - Marseille (football)

$217m - Oakland Raiders (NFL), Detroit Tigers (MLB)

$214m - Chicago White Sox (MLB)

$213m - Minnesota Twins (MLB)

$210m - Seattle Mariners (MLB)

$208m - Roma (football), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)

$203m - Atlanta Braves (MLB)

$200m - Washington Nationals (MLB)

$197m - Borussia Dortmund (football)

$196m - Houston Astros (MLB)

$195m - Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)

$193m - Colorado Rockies (MLB), Lyon (football), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)

$188m - Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)

$187m - Hamburg (football)

$186m - Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

$185m - Cincinnati Reds (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA)

$179m - Baltimore Orioles (MLB)

$178m - Cleveland Indians (MLB)

$169m - Valencia (football), New York Rangers (NHL)

$168m - Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)

$167m - Napoli (football)

That gives some idea of things. The NFL clubs (all 32 of whom are at least at the revenue level of a Roma or a Marseille) get most of that from TV: in 2014, when both the recently-agreed NFL and PL TV deals will be in effect, the PL will probably take in about 4 billion pounds worldwide over three years, while the NFL will take in at least (at current exchange rates) 3.6 billion pounds annually (of course, the domestic revenue extracted per capita will tilt to the PL: 1 billion pounds a year divided by 68 million people in UK/Ireland is a bit over 14 quid per person vs. just under 12 quid per American for the NFL... then again the NFL probably leaves a lot of money on the table by mostly dealing only with free TV). To be fair, most of the NFL players on the list will not be on the list next year: because NFL clubs retain the right to unilaterally terminate a player's contract at any time (and there isn't a transfer fee system that makes doing so costly), the typical player's contract is almost absurdly front-loaded. For example, Joe Thomas makes the list because he signed a contract extension in August of last year with the following terms

$6m for signing it

$4m if the Browns didn't terminate the contract within three days

$1.1m for showing up for preseason training (carried over from previous contract)

$8m base wages per season ($500k "game check")

(this season, though, Thomas will only get $10.5m in base wages and the $1.1m for training)

In the case of baseball and basketball, the clubs don't have the ability to unilaterally terminate a contract, but generally have a wage structure where there's a few players on big wages and then a bunch of really cheap players to make up numbers. USA Today maintains wage databases for those leagues... the Boston Red Sox, for instance, have an average wage of $5m-ish (which is less than Ireland or Bent is on), but have 7 players making at least double that vs. 20 (all senior, more or less) making less than half that average). In the NBA it's even more skewed (remember that basketball is 5 to a side): the LA Lakers' 2010-11 wage bill broke down as:

Bryant: $24.8m

Gasol: $17.8m

Bynum: $13.7m

Odom: $8.2m

Artest: $6.3m

Walton: $5.3m

Blake: $4m

Fisher: $3.7m

Brown: $2.1m

Barnes: $1.8m

Ratliff: $1.4m

I'm doubtful that there are many senior players who appear in league games for the elite football clubs of the world who are on roughly a 20th of what the highest-paid player at that club makes (e.g. Real Madrid non-reserves who are on 10k/week).

For baseball, also, the sheer number of games played (and the attendance that piles up) also plays a part: the average MLB team gets about 2.5m people through the turnstiles each year for its home games, or about what Man Utd gets in all competitions (though baseball tickets are a lot cheaper.. the league average is about $25).

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excuse my ignorance but how can 75% of the list be made up of Basketball, Gridiron and Baseball when I thought that they wern't MASSIVE outside of north America?

Americans must spen shed loads on watching sports and merchandise then.

North America is **** massive so it doesnt matter

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$4m if the Browns didn't terminate the contract within three days

$1.1m for showing up for preseason training (carried over from previous contract)

What the **** are clauses like this about? Something to do with paying tax if you receive one giant payment?

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How the hell does a sport played entirely without using the arms turn into one that does? :P

Simply because it didn't.

Originally arms were used in football, your question should be "how the hell does a sport played using the arms turn into one that doesn't?", and the answer to that would be "gradual refinement of the rules".

There are rules books from the FA that state players can run at goal if they make a clean catch, and that opposing players can full on rugby tackle them whilst they do so.

Not being able to catch and run with the ball is a fairly recent development in the timeline of football.

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How the hell does a sport played entirely without using the arms turn into one that does? :P

Simply because it didn't.

Originally arms were used in football, your question should be "how the hell does a sport played using the arms turn into one that doesn't?", and the answer to that would be "gradual refinement of the rules".

There are rules books from the FA that state players can run at goal if they make a clean catch, and that opposing players can full on rugby tackle them whilst they do so.

Not being able to catch and run with the ball is a fairly recent development in the timeline of football.

Which begs the question, yes, how did the no-arms rule come about in the first place anyway? Evolution - biological, linguistic, artistic, doesn't matter - is almost always about small incremental changes that accumulate over time. But arms to no-arms seems like a really big jump.

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