How could anyone turn down 4.5 million dollars to do what most American men would gladly do for free? How could you leave so much money on the table due to burnout? I think maybe I can answer that question, at least to my own satisfaction. I live in a country where even my very modest salary seems like a fortune to most of the people in my neighborhood. I have a job that is extremely demanding, but one that a great many people would do for free. There have been many times that I felt drained and wanted to quit. Had I tried to express that desire to someone in my neighborhood, they would have said, “Are you insane? You make 90,000 pesos a year! You get to spend all day doing what I do in my free time!” My friends and neighbors here in Buenos Aires would think I was selfish, self-absorbed, weak, arrogant, and letting them down if I just walked away. And on one hand, from one perspective, they would be right.
Of course, they don’t know my life. They don’t know my pressures. They don’t know that while $30,000 is a fortune to 99% of the world, it is not very much in my context and among my peers. I don’t know Tarik Glenn. I don’t know his pressures. I know that the $4.5 million he was slated to make this year was quite modest compared to his peers. I do know that I can’t understand nor evaluate Glenn without far more information about his life and pressures. I want him to come back and play, but I’m not going to hold it against him if he doesn’t. I’ve walked some in those shoes, and I don’t envy them.
In other salary related news, if you are interested in the cap mechanics of Freeney’s deal, here’s a good recap: