The Funk and Wagnall's Standard Desk Dictionary defines a star as anyone who shines prominently in a calling or profession. Professional athletes are, without question, the best at what they do and should be paid accordingly. There are at least three reasons why professional athletes should be paid millions of dollars: they help bring higher attendance figures, increased merchandise sales, and more appearances for their respective teams on national television. .
Attendance figures are very important to any sports franchise. Owners of these franchises pay millions of dollars to construct elaborate arenas so that people attending the games can have an enjoyable, fulfilling experience. It was once said that "if you build it, they will come" but arenas aren't everything. Fans come from miles around to see their favorite players and they long for the moment when they can witness history in the making. There is no denying that players such Michael Jordan, Barry Bonds, and Brett Favre have transcended their respective sports and are one the reasons why arenas sellout night in and night out. .
Children of all ages dream of one day growing up to be like their favorite sports star. They dream of hitting a jump shot at the buzzer to win a championship like Jordan, hitting seventy-three homeruns in one season to break the all-time record like Bonds, or throwing a game-winning touchdown with seconds remaining like Favre. Some children believe that if they wear the same shoes or jersey as their favorite player, they will suddenly be more like them. Companies like Nike, Reebok, and Adidas experience increased sales when their sponsored players excel and a portion of their sales filter down to the franchises and the players themselves. It is only fair that these stars be rewarded for their endeavors. .
Prior to 1997, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst team in the National Football League.