The bad dance


The bad dance

Stateside Gooner

By Chris Toronyi

It's that time of year again.

Players + Agents + Family Members + Clubs + The Posse weigh-in on where a player should play next season, or better yet how much money he's worth and should be paid. It's an entertaining dance that has many leads and different musical tastes. Sadly it's not a line dance, so everyone is pretty much stepping on each other's feet and complaining how someone isn't in rhythm, ruining the fun.

Is it fun? I'd say it's like watching Elaine from Seinfeld  dance.

Anyway, the world of football isn't the only sport that's involved in the dance of transfers and trades. We here in North America are in the middle of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) off-season breaks where teams are releasing players, trading players and signing players to ridiculous contracts.

It's quite maddening. American sports history is full of ridiculous contracts - teams even buy out player contracts and then negotiate a payment plan. The NBA and NHL in recent times have allowed teams to buyout contracts without any penalty against the salary cap. I mean, what is the point of the cap if you can buyout a contract? That's another conversation.

For me this strategy can be traced back to Mr. Bobby Bonilla, who played for my beloved New York Mets, and was released years ago - 1999 to be exact - but continues to be paid by the team. I think he receives more than $1 million per year until… 2035.

So, don't ever complain to me about a player's salary. Seriously don't!

Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard just bolted one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, the Los Angeles Lakers, for the Houston Rockets. The Lakers employed all kinds of tactics in hopes of re-signing Dwight. The franchise has the built-in contract point of being in Los Angeles, but they also called on celebrities to call Dwight personally and placed billboards all over town to show their love.

It seemed the Lakers held all the chips, but in the end the player chose what was best for him. A place where he was more comfortable, more at home. And maybe without the pressures of living in Los Angeles. It's not the Lakers fault that he chose the Rockets, it's just that everyone has different desires.

Signing a player is like starting any relationship. It takes two for it to happen and in the end he may not like how you make him arrange the pillows -- or even the way you dance. There's always someone else, somewhere else to call home. And it may be a place where they just feel more comfortable. 


'Stateside Gooner' Chris Toronyi is a longtime Arsenal supporter and the host of The Arsenal America podcast, available every week at and on iTunes at "Arsenal America Podcast." You can read more of Chris' thoughts on Twitter

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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