Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Walker’s injury makes Packer brass look smart

So I was thinking last week, I know I've only been with The Badger Herald for a couple of weeks now, but I must admit, I think my performance over that time has been exceptional.

So great, in fact, that I started thinking holdout. I mean, I've got a bit of experience and, currently just a lowly associate sports editor, deserve the same pay and recognition as the sports editors.

Who cares if I have just a few years of sports-writing experience? I had an outstanding year last year — so great, I might add, that I got a duo of promotions with an exponential pay raise. But that's not enough. I had just as good a year as Adam Parks and Tom Ziemer last year, and I want more money.


I took my demands to the top — to the editor in chief — and you know what he said?

He apparently thinks I need to have one more great semester to earn a new contract.

What, you think I need to prove I'm consistent, that I can have more than just one standout, injury-free year?


I'm good. The world knows it, I know it. Now show me the cash.

Well, unfortunately, my efforts went unrewarded, and the Herald informed me Friday that they would not renegotiate my contract. So there began my holdout.

It didn't last long, however, because as news got around of my "selfishness," I started to take some heat in the eyes of my peers. I decided I didn't want my street cred to take a hit, so I showed up for work yesterday.

All went well until, lo and behold, it hit me. I went down like a ton of bricks. At first we were hoping that it was just writer's block, but further examinations revealed our worst fears — I had a severe case of carpal tunnel and would be out the rest of the semester.

You are probably sitting there shaking your head, and I hope you are. By now I also hope you realize that, no matter how far out I've taken this, I'm referring to the situation of Packers' wide receiver Javon Walker.

I want to preface by saying that I am not a Packer fan and never have been. I also happen to think, based on hearing him in interviews, that Walker is a pretty nice guy. But when he went down Sunday with a torn ACL, he made the franchise look pretty smart — pretty depleted, but pretty smart.

One phenomenal season should not garner a major contract renegotiation. Many said it when he first held out, and now that's been proven true.

After all, the Packers did pay him for a rookie season that saw him catch 23 balls for merely 319 yards. They didn't sit down with him and ask him to take a pay cut.

One average season and one great season later, why should it have been his right to ask for more?

It's not like he's Hines Ward, who has spent seven loyal years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, gaining more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last four years. Yet he still had to battle before finally getting the contract extension he deserved last week.

We're talking one fantastic season here, and I don't care that he's playing a sport that could see his career end any day. He knew that when he signed his rookie deal worth nearly $7.5 million over five years.

When it comes down to it, football is a business. Everybody knows that, and this is just another part of the business.

I understand the players' desires to restructure deals immediately for fear of injury. But they are the ones who signed their original deals, and the fear of injury is just as much the right of the football teams.

If Green Bay had signed Walker for tens of millions of dollars and then he tore his ACL in week one, they would be in a bind right now and would be second-guessing themselves — kind of like they should be second-guessing themselves for letting go of offensive linemen Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle. … But that's a different story altogether.

I wish nothing but the best for Walker. After seeing Lee Evans suffer the same injury, I hope that the Florida State grad will make a similar recovery.

I want to see him perform again like he did last year. I want him to be outstanding and get a great contract. But I want to see him do it the right way, by earning it, and hopefully he gets that chance.

As for me, my contract calls for me to achieve sports-editor status next semester despite my injury. I negotiated the deal I deserved from the get-go. Unfortunately for the Herald, it looks like they're stuck with me.

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