Articles on athletes earning less than you think
June 30, 2008 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Every once in a while a mainstream newspaper or magazine does an article on how little the 100th ranked athlete (or lower ranked athletes) makes in a particular sport. I can distinctly remember reading about stories of nascar teams barely scraping by but can't seem to find these types of articles anymore, anyone know of any? Thanks.
posted by wangarific to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
On the PGA Tour, the 125 golfers who win the most money in tournament winnings in a year are fully exempt members of the tour for the following year, so the golfers hovering below the top 125 are on the fringes of success. John Feinstein wrote a book all about the PGA Tour's Q-School-- the tournament that the golfers ranked below 125 on the money list play for the final spots to make it to the big tour. Tales From Q School: Inside Golf's Fifth Major is all about the golfers teetering on the edge of success on the tour and who need to make the cut at Q-School to stay on the tour for the next year.

(Here's the list of exemptions by priority and which current PGA Tour golfers are on the tour under each exemption).
posted by andrewraff at 2:34 PM on June 30, 2008

I would check out the work of the amazing Dave Zirin - radical sports journalist extraordinaire.
posted by jammy at 3:40 PM on June 30, 2008

Football and basketball (and especially lower level minor league baseball) are rife with stories like this. There are teams where the players room with local families.

NASCAR is a little different, but the result is the same. It takes a tremendous amount of money to run a car, and one good crash can bankrupt a team. On the other hand, a top finish can do wonders.
posted by gjc at 5:45 PM on June 30, 2008
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 6:08 PM on June 30, 2008

David Foster Wallace wrote a story about a middling tennis player named Michael Joyce that details what it's like for a guy like this trying to earn a living qualifying for tournaments and getting meager endorsement deals. It's collected in his book A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again under the title "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness."
posted by mattbucher at 12:08 PM on July 1, 2008

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