There have been a few things in the last week that has made me think a lot about this topic. The first one being the signing of Albert Pujols (yes, that's pronounced "poo-holes") by the Angels this last week. A lot of people are jumping on him, mainly in St. Louis, because he seems to be leaving the Cardinals not only for greener pastures, but just plain ol' more green. The result has been a barrage by him and his wife saying that they didn't do it for the money.
Leaving that rationale aside, is there anything wrong for him doing it for the money? The Angels offered him $40 million more to play for them, and that's not including the continued involvement that the club wrote into his contract once he retires from actually playing baseball. $40 million is a sum I can't even comprehend, but what about a 20% increase. Wouldn't most people choose the higher offer if they were given the choice between $50k and $60k a year?
There are many other factors that went into that decision, and I think the thing that bothers me the most is that people are applying to others criteria for behavior that they wouldn't impose on themselves. I'm sure that I fall for that tendency myself, but this seems to be one of those things that's really easy for me to pick out because I tend to think about these personnel moves so often.
The other instance comes from one of the recent ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries that they had recently about Todd Marinovich called The Marinovich Project. He was a former Raiders QB so that's why the story piqued my interest, but it was an incredible story about the development of Todd as a can't miss prospect for the NFL. He grew up in Newport Beach, played at high school powerhouse Mater Dei, went to USC and won the Rose Bowl his freshman year, succumbed to drugs and seemingly wasted his talent and opportunity.
In the film he goes on to talk about how when he was on hard times many people would look at him with derision and openly criticize him for wasting what he had. I really felt for him. What is it like to be forever known for and judged by people for the worst thing(s) you have ever done when you have paid your debts for those offenses? That's a question I've wondered a lot about.
I know this is an area that I need to work on a lot myself. It's so easy to cast aspersions when we're on the outside looking in. I just thought these were two very interesting instances of that phenomena.