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Taking the High Road or the Low Road

Multi-sport athletes are hard to come by in college. For those that can do it, it takes a lot of commitment and will to be able to excel in two sports and continue to complete classes.  These athletes are a rare bunch and are really special. From experience I know how hard it is to have a busy schedule with just one sport. I cannot image how busy it must be for them to do two sports, and back to back at that. Some of the past athletes have so great at both sports that not only did they do it in college, they have done it on a pro level as well. Athletes like Bo Jackson, Deon Sanders, Jim Thorpe and Brian Jordan have excelled at playing two professional sports. (Here is a list of the top 10 multi-sport athletes).

For some of the players, there are decisions to make as to what sport you want to play after college. Given the opportunity to choose what sport to play has to be a dream come true. But how do you really decide. Is it about money or passion? The most common multi-sport seems to be Baseball and Football. These sports have opposite affects on the body but it can be an easy transition. Football is none stop, while baseball tends to have a slow pace at times, giving the body a little rest to recover so that you can play at your highest potential. I have know a few players that completed both baseball and football in college. My old teammate Eric Decker excelled at both sports and after being drafter twice by the MLB, he decided to play football and is now a member of the Denver Broncos. Pat White from West Virginia was drafter 4 times by the MLB, but decided to play football as well and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins.  Jeff Samardzija was a star wide receiver at  Notre Dame but decide to forgo the NFL to pursue his Baseball dream. And now Wisconsin Star QB will take a chance in the NFL after being drafter by the Colorado Rockies. Check out this surprising list of athletes you would have never known were multi-sport athletes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multi-sport_athletes).

To me football is the higher path. You get a lot of money early and plenty of opportunity to play within your first few years if you take advantage of it. Also it is a high risk high reward sport. There is plenty or risk of not being good enough to stay on the level of these world class athletes and plenty of risk of injury that can ruin your career and finances. Football is not guaranteed money and more or less you have to prove your worth everyday or risk having it taken away from you. Yea sure if you are among the best in the league then you don’t have to worry about it. But most players in the league only last 3 to 4 years, if that, if you are not among the elite. Plus it will take a toll on your body. However, playing football gives you a feeling like no other. The team chemistry you build and the battles you face bring you closer. The excitement of each play and the fans following brings chills down your back.  Football is truly America’s Favorite sport, and the love of the game is evident in the players, the fans, and the advertisement.  With football, you have an opportunity to make huge Marque name for yourself.

Baseball is the low road of  the two. That is because usually, it take a long time before you are actually on the team and doing well. It takes an average of about 4 minor league years before you are really called up to the big leagues. Unless you know how to handle the most unique curve balls and 100mp fastballs with ease.  Baseball is America’s past time and the popularity for the sport has fallen off. However, the rewards are one of the greatest. With baseball you are guaranteed the money in your contract. And they get paid, just ask Albert Pujols how does 250 million dollars feel. Sure you play 162 plus games a year but, the risk of injury is significantly lower that football.  Baseball is a sport of wisdom and hand and eye coordination. Once you have master how to play the game, you can do it for a long time. Sure there are steroid scares to try to maintain a long career, but that is not need to be a great player. Baseball may last long and might not get the high ratings until the playoffs but it is still a great sport.  I can be swayed by an individuals swing at times, but it is still a team game.

So I leave you with this. Deciding to play either sport can be a hard decision. It all boils down to what you passion is and what you want to do. But I am telling my kids to take that baseball contract. You will play for years and years and can really get overpaid for the work that you do, guaranteed, ha ha! What would you do?

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