Hey Ed, I’ll switch places with you!

July 11, 2012 | Paul Hoke

This is going to be short and sweet.  A quick blurb aimed at one person.  Baltimore Ravens’ All-Pro safety Ed Reed.  Hey Ed, if you’re not happy making $7.2 million this year,  have a proposal for you…switch places with me for the 2012 NFL season.  I’m 36 years old, and was an All-State football player in high school 20 years ago.  My knees creak, my back is iffy, and my son is quickly surpassing me in the world of athletics.  My best days are behind me, after all, the wear and tear of playing some type of sport at a variety of levels over the past 25 years has taken it’s toll.  But from what I hear, you’re not in the best health either.  And here’s something else…I’ve made a grand total of $0 doing it.  Matter of fact, given the fees and equipment associated with little league, travel and high school baseball, rec and high school football, rec and travel hockey, and semi-pro baseball, I would say I’m over a thousand dollars in the hole.

You’ve made over $60 million playing pro football.

And God bless you.  You earned it.  You played hurt, and played at a high level.

But that’s your job.  Your chosen profession.  You chose to play pro football, and were more then good enough to do so.

I wasn’t.  I was scouted by Florida State, and a few other colleges, but I wasn’t good enough.  So, I had to have a backup plan.  I went into law enforcement.  And for the past 16 and a half years, I have enjoyed the opportunity given to me by the Baltimore County Police Department.  I earn a good salary, with good benefits, and I’m able to support my family on that.  But I don’t make $7.2 million.  And my job sure as hell, isn’t a game.  It’s real life.  You know, that thing professional athletes only have to deal with after they’ve made their millions.

But I would LOVE to earn $7.2 million.  So, I’m going to offer you a proposal, Mr. Reed.  You do my job during the 2012 NFL season, for the salary I earn, and I will do yours, since apparently, you don’t like what you do, for the amount of money you make.  Not saying I will be a $7.2 million player in the NFL, but then again, really, are you either Ed?

But that’s what you are scheduled to make this year.  $7.2 million.  And yet, that’s not good enough.  So I’m offering you the chance to see what it’s like to be a regular person making a regular wage.  And maybe then, you will shut your mouth, stop whining, and act like the professional you’re paid to act like.  Football is dangerous, don’t get me wrong.  But so is my job.  At any given time, my wife and children could be recieving a folded American flag in my honor.

The difference is….I don’t get $7.2 million to do my job.