IF THE SHOE FITS . . .
'Tis an excellent thing that Nike is doing - giving a 90 million dollar contract to an 18 year old high school senior. Despite the protestations of critics and naysayers, this is a good thing for our nation - for a lot of reasons:
- High school students will be ecstatic to learn that spending all their time playing ball can lead to a payday equal to 40 times the lifetime earnings of those nerds that go around with their noses stuck in a book all of the time. Why study when you can get a lot further in life by just playing around?
- Shoe and athletic gear retailers can expect to lead the economy out of its current doldrums. When Michael Jordan got a mere two and a half million for endorsing Nikes the price of sneakers promptly jumped over $100. All other things being equal, this new contract could foretell the coming of $500 LeBron Jumpers. Not a bad markup for a product that probably cost less than five bucks to make. Buy Nike! The stock market is headed for new highs!
- Naturally, there will be a big demand for the newest shoes among the younger set. Unfortunately, a lot of these kids won't be able to come up with five bills out of their weekly allowance, so they'll have to think up some more creative ways to make money - I don't think car washes, Krispy Kreme sales or selling chocolate bars door to door will be it.
- Gangbangers nationwide can expect a spate of new members - when you're sporting a half a grand on your feet you're going to need a lot of protection to keep from getting them ripped off. And then these gangs can come up with some creative ways to make money so all their members can be decked out in new Nikes - and maybe even the $1000 matching jackets that are sure to follow. Unfortunately, I doubt they will resort to car washes or selling sweets on the street corner to come up with their money, either.
- Law enforcement agencies can expect to get busier. With any luck, this will translate into higher funding, but don't count on it.
- NBA ticket prices will fall because LeBron will have so much money he won't need a multi-million dollar salary - he'll just want to play "for the love of the game". Of course, a lot of the other NBA players will realize that they already have more money than they can spend in three lifetimes and will forego their big salaries, also. Enough of this and a family of four will be able to go to a ball game again without taking out a second mortgage on their home.
Some of these things seem a little far fetched, but history would indicate that only the last item is the stuff of fairy tales. Would that it weren't so.