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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Best and worst jobs in sports

Most jobs in sports are pretty good. But some jobs are better than others and some are way worse. So here’s a look at the best and worst jobs in sports.

Five best jobs in sports
Tiger Tiger Woods' caddie
Most caddies get about $1,000 a week plus 5 percent of the tournament purse, and even more for a top-10 finish or a victory. Tiger wins too much to pay out that kind of dough, but Forbes magazine once guessed Tiger's caddie, Steve Williams, makes more than $1-million a year. Not a bad gig for carrying around a bag of clubs and saying, "Nice shot, Tiger.''

Team owner, National Football League
There's a salary cap, so you can only spend so much. And the league practically prints money. The TV contacts alone pay the league more than $3.7-billion a year. That's billion with a B. And you get the same money whether you go 0-16 or 16-0.

First-base coach, San Diego Padres
Can you hold batting gloves? Work a stopwatch? Yell "Back!'' when a pitcher throws to first? Great, you're hired. When a guy named Stump Merrill was hired to be the Yankees first-base coach years ago, his wife asked, "What's a first-base coach do besides pat guys on the rear end?'' He said, "Nothing, let's practice!'' Why the Padres? They've had the fewest baserunners this season.

TV color analyst, any sport
I'm not suggesting they don't work hard and do homework and all that jazz. But don't all of us sit at home and yell out stuff at the screen? The only difference is analysts don't swear, don't have potato chip grease on their fingers and they usually have to wear a shirt with buttons. And, oh, yeah, they get paid.

Boxer Trainer of boxing contender
You only work a few hours a day, and by "work'' we mean "bark out orders to your fighter during training.'' You get to watch while they’re the ones taking punches in the face. Then you get paid when your guy wins. And if your guy gets knocked out, he doesn't remember what you did or didn't do, so he can't blame you. Then you get paid.

Five worst jobs
Public relations director, Cincinnati Bengals
For starters, there's a good chance of a weekly 4 a.m. phone call from a bail bondsman, followed by a hastily-called news conference to explain how another player has been arrested for domestic this or possession of that. And after all that, you have Chad Johnson. Lone perk is you’re on a first-name basis with all the local cops.

Nelson Head coach, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have had nine coaches in the past 13 seasons, making it the most precarious job since Naomi Campbell's personal assistant. And you play in Oakland, which, sorry, isn't exactly San Francisco.

Director of ticket sales, Pittsburgh Pirates
Sure, you can market the swanky new stadium until you realize that it actually isn't all that new anymore. After eight years at PNC Park, Pittsburghers pretty much have seen all the downtown skyline there is to see. Now you have to sell a team that hasn't had a winning record since 1992 and looks like it's not going to have another one until 2092.

Bettman Commissioner, National Hockey League
An impossible job. Eighty percent of your teams play in a country where no one cares. The rest of the teams play in a country that invented the sport and likes to remind everyone, especially you, of it. Whatever you do, it's never good enough.

International soccer referee
If you a blow a call in an NBA or NHL game, you might get pelted with expletives from a few fans. Blow a call in some soccer stadium in Europe or South America and there’s a chance you'll get pelted with a few bullets. Here, bad referees live in infamy. There, bad referees can live, so to speak, 6 feet under.

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:41pm]


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