Below are two recent news items. The first is from Sports Illustrated's Peter King; the second is about Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
Item No. 1 can be found in King's most recent Monday Morning Quarterback column. The headline is "Mister Meester's got the right idea," referring to Jaguars center Brad Meester.
Meester signed on for his 14th season in Jacksonville the other day, taking a pay cut from the $3 million he earned last year to $1.5 million in 2013. He said this about getting half of what he made last year as a starting player at 36: "No, it was not hard. That comes. That happens. I'm never going to complain about a pay cut. I have the opportunity to play the game I love, and I'm going to make a lot more money than most people out there, more than I could ever make doing whatever else. So no, I'm never going to complain about that. You've got to be thankful for what you get, and I'm very thankful for what they gave me.''
I spoke to Meester over the weekend, and asked him to explain why he is so grateful.
"We've got a new coach and new general manager,'' he said from his offseason home in Iowa. "I'm going to be 36 years old. They have decisions to make. I understand that. To offer me anything was a huge compliment. My situation is a lot different than a lot of guys who are asked to take less, so I don't sit in judgment on anyone else. For me, this is a great opportunity. I grew up on a small farm in Iowa. (In the NFL, some people make more in a year than he'd make in his lifetime working the farm.) I just think to complain about the money we make, with the economy and job market the way it is in this country, is not something I would ever do."
Watch out in Jacksonville, or there will be a run on Meester "63'' jerseys.
In the moral universe of the hack sportswriter, no one is more virtuous than the guy who happily accepts a pay cut. In the actual universe, well, we have our second news item, this one from the New York Post. Headline: "Sports Illustrated inks a deal fit for a King"
Sports Illustrated has inked a new deal with its star football writer, Peter King, for three years at more than $1 million annually.
It is estimated to value between $1.2 million and $1.5 million annually, making him one of the highest-paid writers inside Time Inc. today.