As a sportsfan, it is inexplicably disappointing than when your favorite team/player loses. It's even worse when they lose when they should have won. And it's kick-you-in-the-nuts-spit-on-your-neck-fantastic when you realize your team/player is losing when it should be winning and they get the same obscene paycheck either way (I'm looking at you, Zito).
Which leads me to this interesting little analysis by Peter Bodo, comparing the player compensation systems between sports. Pete argues that tennis, with it's true performance based system, is the fairest:
Are tennis player salaries out of whack? I took a quick look at the most relevant prize-money figures (those in golf) and discovered this: The top tennis player and golfer (Rafael Nadal and Vijay Singh, respectively) are in a virtual dead heat, at about $6.5 million each. But the No. 5 golfer (Kenny Perry) has earned $4.6 million so far this year. His counterpart in tennis is Nikolay Davydenko, who's earned just $1.5 million.
No. 10 golfer Justin Leonard has raked in $3.8 million, while No. 10 tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro hasn't broken the $900,000 mark. Golfer Jonathon Byrd is at the entry level of the PGA Tour's million-dollar club for the year and ranked No. 85. His counterpart in tennis is Leander Paes, who's earned a little over $310,000.
Of course, it's hard to take actual dollar values and compare them across sports. Golf has larger sponsorship contracts and in America at least, is a premier ad-value sport. Therefore the numbers are inflated and misleading.
But there is something "romantic" about the "eat what you kill" mentality on the tennis tours. If you win you make money, if you lose you don't. It makes the matches, especially in smaller tourneys, more intriguing because it seems more primal. It makes me respect true "journeyman" players a whole lot more. They really are playing to put food on the table, flying from country to country, lugging their own gear, in hopes of pocketing $10-30k to pay for their travel, training, coaches, etc.