Wednesday 21 February 2018

$20,000 a pass the bargain of the year

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

Eamonn Sweeney and Marie Crowe

One of the great sports books of recent years was Moneyball, Michael Lewis's account of how a canny statistics-based strategy helped Major League Baseball side the Oakland As get the better of much richer rivals.

The message that sporting success isn't always about spending money is reinforced by the presence of the Seattle Seahawks in tonight's Superbowl. Because Russell Wilson, who mans the key quarterback slot for the NFC Champions, is the lowest paid player in his position in the NFL. Wilson earned just $526,000 last year, not a bad salary by any means but peanuts in comparison to the $20m earned by his opposite number tonight, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. Wilson had the seventh highest Quarterback Rating in the league, easily outdistancing the likes of Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions who took home $31.5m, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens ($30m) and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys ($26.5m).

This value for money is important in the NFL because American Football's salary cap meant employing their quarterback on the cheap allowed the Seahawks to strengthen the team elsewhere.

To put it into perspective, Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes during the regular season which means each of them cost the club around $20,000. Flacco threw 19 which means they worked out at cost of around $1.5m each.

Win or lose tonight the Seahawks seem to have bagged the bargain of the year.

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It seems like an appropriate time to use the phrases "can of worms" and "pandora's box" because after last week's black card controversy both look set to be opened.

On Thursday it was decided that the Corn Ui Mhuiri quarter-final involving Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and Colaiste Chriost Ri is to be replayed after the referee Kevin Walsh made a black card error.

The captain of the Kerry school was issued with a yellow and a black card. Under the new rules the midfielder should have been given a red card after his second offence but the referee failed to do so and allowed a substitute to replace him.

In the past referee error was not usually a basis to order a replay – as we saw in the Meath Louth Leinster final – but that is now no longer the case. What could possibly go wrong?

* * * * *

Dunshaughlin GAA are fundraising for a new clubhouse and they are using social media to tell everyone about it. A video featuring players and club members outlining plans for the clubhouse has appeared on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

With a full size floodlit pitch and an astro training pitch completed over the last two years the County Meath club hope to complete their development with a new clubhouse.

They are running a Clubhouse Launch Night on Friday in An Sibin Dunshaughlin at 8.30pm. LMFM's Brendan Cummins hosts a Q&A with past and present Meath and Dublin stars including Bernard Brogan, Caoimhin King and Anthony Moyles.

Irish Independent

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