Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Phil Doesn't Owe Me Anything

Today, I want to talk about my favorite member of the 1%: Pro golfer Phil Mickelson.

Last year, Phil made an estimated $54-million for playing golf, wearing sponsor logos on his shirt and hat, using his sponsors equipment, attending corporate events and giving speeches.  His current estimated net worth according to Forbes magazine is $180-million.  That's about 60-times what my wife and I will have as a net worth by the end of our working careers.

Here is what I expect of Phil Mickelson: To entertain me with unbelievable recovery shots, to frustrate me with wild shots that require unbelievable recovery shots, to sign a ton of autographs for fans at tournaments and to make me laugh with his brutal honesty at press conferences.  For that, I will watch the tournaments in which he plays--boosting ratings for those networks and building additional sponsorship for the PGA Tour and larger prize purses.  I will buy some of the equipment he endorses--boosting the sales of his sponsors--leading to additional sponsorship revenue.  And I will remind people who rip on Phil as being a "phony" that he does more to improve the image of professional athletes than a certain other high profile golfer who acts like the fans are the biggest annoyance on the planet.

Here is what I DON'T expect of Phil Mickelson: For him to pay for my retirement.  For him to pay for my health care.  For him to pay for me to go to college for free.  For him to pay for my childcare needs.  For him to pay for my transportation.  And for him to pay for my broadband internet service.

Some people you heard talking between 8:00 and 9:30 last night think Phil should pay for all of that stuff I just mentioned.  They think that is Phil's "fair share".  They want me to be jealous of Phil's success and they want Phil to give back the money that quite honestly, he got from me and other golf fans voluntarily.

If you disagree with me--and you believe that Phil Mickelson does owe you that stuff--might I suggest that when the PGA Championship comes to Whistling Straits near Kohler in August that you sneak onto the grounds (because I know you are opposed to paying for anything yourself) and instead of yelling "GET IN THE HOLE!!" when Phil hits his tee shot on a 580-yard par five, you instead shout "PAY FOR MY KIDS' COLLEGE!!"  If golf is "too elite" for you, you could always attend your next Packers game with a sign that reads "AARON: BUY MY BIRTH CONTROL"  Or if music is your thing, why not demand that Beyonce or Madonna or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift provide free babysitting services for your kids while you enjoy the concert?

Again, we just want everyone to "do their fair share".

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