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Looks like Tryon may have...........

Well, actually …

In this day & age, a football player has no shot at the NFL without substantial support from home for many years, from the age of about 6, right through their first NFL contract. The days of the unschooled farm kid being taught to hold a football and run toward the goalposts are long over.

We are in the era of more expensive and higher-levels of sport at younger and younger ages, in virtually all popular sports. Without substantial economic support from home, a young football player has about as much chance at the NFL as a young rider has at riding at Intermediate eventing or above. Talent alone has no shot, any more than it does in horse sport.

In addition to the additional special equipment, private coaching, football camps, medical support for game recovery and injuries, the family must live where the young player will attend a high school with a top program that regularly goes to the playoffs for the state championship, which are usually affluent communities (average income $100k+). Etc. If the player is ever eligible for the draft or free agency, there is a whole other regime of coaching, practice, attending combines, etc., all on their own dime. No knowing if they will get a contract or even a chance at an NFL practice team.

New-entry NFL players may not have to come from millionaire families, but it is interesting how many do. As well as well-above-average income families. Of those few who manage to make it from families that originated from more modest circumstances, it is interesting how many have a close relative who is in professional sports and has the means to provide more help. It takes money as well as talent to have even a chance at the NFL.

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Did you just well actually me? :lol::lol: “needing support” is a far cry from being the children of millionaires and billionaires, but definitely thanks for the laugh!

Excellent post.

Recently an injured player with Ohio State quit school so he could get ready for the NFL draft in the spring. He leaves without graduating, and is being supported by his family, and a brother who plays in the NFL. The brother’s initial NFL contract was worth more than 25 million over 4 years, and he had also quit Ohio State a year early.

There’s mega money in college football, with sponsors such as Nike and UnderArmour. Alabama’s football program brought in $108 million in revenue last year, with a net profit of over $45 million.

We’ve also heard of gymnasts, ice skaters, swimmers, etc. who, as children, move across the country to locations where they can work with very expensive coaches and facilities. That move is likely similar in expense to a made show horse.

Then followed by thousands, of dollars spent monthly on coaching, facilities access, equipment, travel and competition. And medical support.

It is not necessarily more expensive to support a horse than it is to support a seriously competitive young athlete at the highest levels in other high-profile sports. Particularly those sports using expensive equipment that has to be maintained, upgraded and/or replaced at intervals. Crazy but true.

Are the riding children of millionaires and billionaires spending more than that in necessary expenses to train and compete? :wink: (Not counting 5* hotels.)

Comparatively speaking, gifted young football players on high school teams that are not located in affluent communities face massive frustrations to having any chance at the NFL. The players whose families can barely get off work and/or afford to travel to away games. Sitting in the stands at games with those schools, the difference in financial resources between the teams is painfully obvious. It is not fair or talent-based. It is clear on the faces of the players from those schools that they know that their talent will not take them as far their better-funded opponents with more family money behind them.

How does young talent find its way into the top levels of sports generally? Very often we see the best-funded talent at the top, not necessarily just the best talent.

Not sure how getting young talent to the level of WEG regardless of their finances will help WEG survive … but maybe broader interest helps. Considering that many of the other sports have considerable backer funding of athletic infrastructure from backers who don’t control it, maybe, that’s something to think about.

Right, as long as someone :wink: brought up the NFL. A lot of money from that profit is funneled back into the football infrastructure, from high-paid coaches to excellent facilities.

Do the riding children of millionaires and billionaires consume more resources than that? :wink:

This spending keeps the team in the running for the college national championship on a yearly basis. And it allows Alabama access to the top high school players from all over the nation. The players whose families have invested enormously in them. Their two top QB’s are from high schools in Hawaii and Texas.

Dunno the Alabama starting QB’s family finances, but when their son joined the Alabama football team, the entire family dropped everything and moved from Hawaii to Alabama. Their younger son is now a nationally top-ranked high school quarterback in Alabama. Both boys were standouts in different years at the QB camp/competition linked below, which helped get the oldest into a top college program. Preparing and attending, as well as the move and other career improvement steps, are not paid for by the school or by other sport backers (that would break national rules). That’s just the tip of the iceberg of all the investment the family has made into building high-level football skills in their sons, including private coaching, facilities access, gear, medical support, travel to clinics, camps & competitions, etc. https://www.elite11.com/

This family’s heavy spending on behalf of their sons’ football careers are not unusual for players on the championship-contender high school teams, and the college teams in the top five conferences that send the most players to the NFL.

Family resources are a major component of young athletes at the top levels of other sports, as well as riding. Many are in fact the children of millionaires, at least, and of families with incomes well into the six figures, including players in the NFL. Even if that fact doesn’t fit our stereotypes and assumptions. :slight_smile:

Wow - all that and brain damage.

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That was my point to my nephews who are in high school and college football. :wink:

Fortunately my nephews are getting good educations to go into any other field of work. (One might end up coaching if he doesn’t like engineering as much as he hopes.)

Eh…it was kind of a joke when I worked at the skating club that parents in particular would be amazed how I never batted an eyelash at things like boot and blade prices or ballroom gown costs. I’d just say “I did horses. The dress isn’t going to get an injury and still need to eat.” There were some people who HAD come over from horses and one thing we all agreed about either kids’ training or our expensive hobbies was “At least it’s cheaper than horses!” (Especially near Boston!) And yes, many of the kids were on the elite track. (One reason I’ll never forgive Adam Rippon–I still remember Ross Miner when was a Novice and moved to Juniors. His mom once did an emergency hem job on a dance dress of mine.)

I honestly would miss WEG. It gives some of us a chance to see the best of the best in sports we do not follow directly. What are the chances of seeing the best dressage riders compete on US soil. We did not get to see the musical freestyle at Tryon but I did see it in Ky in 2010. It was simply amazing. Normally, I follow eventing so this is a big treat for me and some others.
As far as elite athletes not all come from money. When I was in college, a division 1 school, our QB went on to the pros and did well and he was not from an elite family. Also, a basketball star who had signed with an NBA team, but died before he could play, was from a level of poverty most of us have never seen. These sports are very different both at the college level and pros. The NCAA has extended the time period for equestrian sports but they were having a hard time getting schools to join. That would be a big push for the sport… Not just IEA…

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Give some thought to how kids arrive at NCAA Universities before you compare their career paths to equestrians.

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I am not convinced that you need to come from a wealthy family to do well in sports outside of horses. I can think of at least individuals who are in/ have retired from the NFL (and one who went to the NHL) who grew up in perhaps the least affluent area of my city. They went to a below average highschool, but worked with a trainer who had contacts and got in that way. I highly doubt their parents were doing much supporting beyond paying for lessons from said coach which run at $75, but the coach also offers the ability to work off some of the price which I think many take advantage of. So their overall costs to get to the upper level professional level of their sport is pretty minimal compared to the cost that we are talking about for WEG level competitors.

You are obviously not a close follower of high school football in Texas. :slight_smile:
(And other places.)

Having an elite young athlete at the high school level may or may not be more expensive than horses - that’s a case-by-case comparison in any event - but it is most definitely not “pretty minimal”. I think that you are most probably not aware of everything that goes on behind the scenes to keep the players at the highest level of the sport. It is incredibly expensive, and without it, the players are unlikely to get the exposure and the ratings that they have to have to attract the recruiters and scouts. Many great high school athletes and football players are left behind because of this.

I suspect that what people think goes on with football and other sports that they are not personally close to is rather different than the reality.