I’m all over the map today… a football story, Charlie Sheen, rookies, goalies… really these are just five topics of discussion that are bouncing around in my head today. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet me (@KevinBartl) your thoughts on these subjects.
5. Youth is king. The Condors certainly hope so. Bakersfield has probably never had a class of rookies coming to training camp like they have this season. Some of them WILL be contributors this season. This differs in past years when Bakersfield would have one or two rookies take key positions in the lineup, while veteran players abound. Jimmy Martin, Parker Stanfield, Mike Gurtler, Kevin Lohry, Mathew Sisca… and there will be more. This isn’t a question of if the young players will contribute, but how much? Now, I would be surprised if all of them make the squad, especially if a few more players are added in the next week or so, but many of them will, and they will be expected to be a part of the team’s success. Stay hungry, my friends.
4. Turning his back on riches? I know a million bucks is a million bucks, but I’m not sure two years at $2 million on an NFL contract is really turning your back on “riches,” when you’re lining yourself up for a six-figure salary instead. But that’s how a story was phrased on Yahoo! about Jason Wright, who abandoned an opportunity to continue playing so he could go to school. Either way, I’m giving Wright a ton of credit for walking away from the game he’s known and loved since he was a boy, to go back to school.
I’m guessing most of the NFL-aspiring college football players don’t realize that while going to Michigan or Ohio or USC or Notre Dame might land you an average career in the NFL, the reality is that having an honors degree from one of those football powerhouse universities is likely to earn them more money in the workplace over the course of an average lifetime than that of an average football player. The average NFL career is 3.2 years and the average salary is $770,000, which equals $2.46 million. Wright’s (free) MBA that he’ll pursue will earn him an average of $100,000 a year in the workplace. And he probably runs a much smaller risk of getting a concussion on the job or being released at the drop of a hat.
Wright played seven years in the NFL and made over $4 million, so he’s in good shape right now. So I’m not saying to give up the NFL dream. But as long as you’re there on a free ride for four measly years, you might as well take it as seriously as you can. You never know, you might get rich a little slower, but it could still happen whether or not that whole “NFL thing” pans out.
3. Winning? Charlie Sheen’s Roast on Comedy Central was pretty entertaining, albeit a bit repetitive. But he can laugh all the way to the bank with recent revelations that he will rake in about $100 million in syndication salary for his show (which was horrible without him on Monday, in my opinion). We got some negative comments on our Charlie Sheen Night last season, and a lot of people seemed curiously concerned for the over-indulgent actor. His state at the roast the other day was remarkably sober, considering he’s a millionaire with NOTHING to do all day. The thing to remember in regards to his meltdown is this: he is an ACTOR. That’s what he does. His ACT was the tirade… his ROLE was the crazy man who will stop at nothing to defeat his evil “troll” bosses… his lines were well delivered and his delivery calculated. And we all bought it.
And by the way, we can thank Charlie Sheen Night for landing us The Green Men for our Oct. 28 game, since they were so impressed all the way up in Vancouver with the idea, that they told us they’d love to come down for a Condors game. #winning? No. #epicwinning.
2. Are you going to San Francisco? I’m sure we’ll see a lot of Condors fans up there next season, when the Condors take on their new neighbors, the SF Bulls. The Bulls are scheduled to play in 2012-13 at the legendary Cow Palace, the former home of the San Jose Sharks (while they had their building constructed) and the ill-fated San Francisco Spiders of the old International Hockey League (There is actually a Condors fan who frequently wears his Spiders jersey to games, and it always makes me grin), who lasted only a year. The Spiders won 40 games that season, averaged over 5,000 fans a game, and reported losses over $6 million for that season (the financial disaster of the IHL’s member clubs is an entirely different blog altogether). According to Wikipedia, coincidentally, the Spiders were preparing to relocate to Victoria but couldn’t get a new building built. A weekend Condors/Bulls series is a really great excuse to visit a great city.
1. The Big D – If goaltending and defense win championships, I like where the Condors are starting out. With a defense that poses the question of whether Erik Burgdoerfer is a number four or a number five d-man, and “two NHL-drafted goalies with significant AHL experience” manning the back end of this Condors team, I have an open mind about their potential.
Head Coach Matt O’Dette revealed at Wednesday’s Media Round Table that very description of his goalie tandem, which he thinks will be among the best in the league, and hinted at the signing of Jonathan Zion and another AHL-experienced defenseman, to go with Alain Goulet and rookie Dan Lawson, who is attending AHL camp in Connecticut and had a good career at UVM. Meanwhile Burgdoerfer led the Condors in +/- as a rookie last season, and was probably the team’s best d-man in his own zone. He’s a good player who is only going to get better, and he’ll have some good company on the blueline this season.
Kevin Bartl is the Vice President of Communications and broadcaster for the Condors, entering his 9th season with the team. His blog is supposed to come out every Tuesday. Follow him on twitter @KevinBartl.