Pine Nuts: The lowest paid player in the league


I would not like to be the lowest paid player in any professional sport. I’m much too conceited. I once crowed like a dunghill rooster for a week after entering a Marine Corps R&R tournament in Vietnam and beating a Red Cross nurse in ping pong. So I have to wonder how Tyrone Swoopes felt when he became the lowest paid player in the 2019/20 National Football League. My heart went out to him and I only wished I could give him a hug and shed some tears down his back.

Tyrone was waived nine times by the Seattle Seahawks practice squad as a tight end. I can only guess that he could not catch the football, which is an essential component of being a tight end. How can you get cut from a squad nine times and not give up and go applying for a job as a shakes man at McDonalds, who is not allowed to approach the window for fear of spilling a milkshake on a paying customer.

At risk of damaging my reputation for modesty, I still hold a record in football at my old high school. Yes, please hold your applause, but I was carried off the field twice in the same game on a gurney. My girlfriend told me she almost died twice at the sight of it, and that made me well again.

Reeling back to 7th grade, I only knew one thing for certain, that I would be a quarterback for the UCLA Bruins. As it played out, I was a diver for the Oregon Ducks. Bruins, Ducks, well, I got the Division right …

So I guess what I’m asking of you is simply this, the next time you feel sorry for me, lying there on a cot on the sidelines, hoping for a kiss from my girlfriend, or the next time you feel sorry for Tyrone Swoopes becoming the lowest paid player in the NFL, please remember those poor people in Haiti and Afghanistan and Tennessee who have it so much worse. And be comforted in knowing that Tyrone made a reported $378,000 for the season, or $24,000 per game, to get by on, and I got a kiss from my high school sweetheart as I lay prostrate on that gurney on the sidelines, resting comfortably, as I was only tired.

And to keep you from having to wipe a tear away from your eye, it has been reported to me that Russell Wilson, the stellar quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, will earn a cool $35 million this year to get by on.

So I guess the moral of the story, if there is one, is this, “Don’t teach your kids how to catch, teach them how to throw, and don’t let them lie idle on the sidelines, too tired to participate, but hoping for a kiss.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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