The 2007 50 Highest Paid American Athletes

Still good to be Tiger

SI has released their list of the top U.S. money earners for 2007. Of course, Tiger Woods is #1 with his $100M in endorsement money and the regular cast of characters fill out the top 10 (Shaq, Kobe, Mickelson, A-Rod, etc.) but it’s really the middle of the list that is the most interesting.

We spotted two types of athletes in addition to the genuine superstars. First, you have the washed up former superstar that is making a ton of cash on their contracts (thank you stupid GMs!) and practically nothing in endorsements. These are mostly NBA players (Michael Finley, Jalen Rose, Eddie Jones, Steve Fraacis, Grant Hill) but also includes useless baseball player Jason Giambi.

The second anomaly is the overhyped athlete that hasn’t done a damn thing but manages to get into this list by virtue of the great hype machine. Well… it’s just one person actually — Michelle Wie. With only $700k in earnings, she manages to come in at #22 with $19.5M in endorsements. What a joke.

The full list of the Top 50 earning American athletes in 2007 after the jump.

Denver Nuggets

Tiger Woods and Carmelo Anthony top charitable athletes

The Giving Back Fund released the 2006 Giving Back 30, which lists the top 30 most charitable individuals in sports and entertainment. Tiger Woods was the top athlete on the list, with $9.5M in donations but the next most charitable athlete had most people surprised — Carmelo Anthony sits at #8 with his donations to CAF Youth Center in Baltimore, AAU
Basketball, Syracuse University Recreational Center, and other charities, totalling $4.3M.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise because Carmelo Anthony seems to be such a punk, with that sucker punch in the Knicks-Nuggets brawl, and especially because he appeared in that Stop Snitchin video. While a lot of people will cynically think that all the charitable donations are meant to repair his image, we’re going to give Melo the benefit of the doubt and give him his kudos for helping out. If you want to donate money just for the PR, you donate something like $10,000, not $4.2M. It doesn’t matter how big his contract it, that’s a lot of scratch.

Other athletes on the list are: The Rock ($2M), Andre Agassi ($1M), Tiki and Ronde barber ($1M), Tony Stewart ($1M), Mike Sexton ($560k), and Lance Armstrong ($500k). These figures are only the publicly announced donations. There might be athletes who donated privately.

[The Giving Back Fund]: The Giving Back 30


Odds and Ends: Zach Johnson gets the shaft

What more does a guy have to do to get some credit in the golf world? Zach Johnson comes from nowhere to rip the green jacket from Tiger Woods’ hands in a story that Disney would probably refuse because of a lack of authenticity, and Sports Illustrated puts a tree on the cover of their latest issue.

Are you serious? A tree! Of course, Tiger is standing behind the tree so apparently that justifies it to the fellas at SI. But if you notice, they did give Johnson a little bit of pub on the cover. Thanks for squeezing that in guys.

In other news…

[Our Book of Scrap]: Speed skating just made its way into the hearts of men across the country

[Can’t Stop the Bleeding]: All this over a free burger?

[]: Jason Whitlock is on Don Imus’ side. No, surely not Whitlock.

[]: Michael Irvin will see your lawsuit and raise you one.

And finally, we all knew that there would be a movie about the rise and fall of Anna Nicole, but what we didn’t know is that a babe would play Anna. Looks like pop singer Willa Ford is the lucky winner of the role. Now she just needs to practice on her slurred speech and start fluctuating dress sizes like a white Oprah.


Nobody cares what Greg Norman thinks

Hey look, it’s Greg Norman opening his mouth — and it’s not even cause he’s choking away another major! Norman said that golf was in big trouble in America because of Tiger Woods and better technology.

With fewer and fewer people watching golf in America, the sport has become stagnant…Players need to bring the spirit back. There have always been great players to bring people to the game to lighten it up so that it’s not so serious.

Look at what (Rafael) Nadal has done for tennis because of the way he is, like a boxer. You never hear anyone coming out and saying I want to beat Tiger Woods — I haven’t heard that. Nadal comes out and says he wants to beat Roger Federer because he’s No. 1 and that’s great for tennis.

I have a problem with someone winning a golf tournament without using a driver. The game has always been dominated by power-hitter players, but today you can’t tell the difference between the players because of the technology.

Yeah, Greg, cause pro tennis is doing so great in America. We’re all riveted watching Nadal and Federer. Would that be the tennis that has rackets with sweet spots the size of trampolines? When an actual legend like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer has something to say about the state of golf, let us know.

[Sportsline]: Norman: Technology, Tiger stagnating PGA Tour in U.S.


Tiger says: lay off my wife

Tiger Woods is furious at The Dubliner, an Irish magazine that called his wife “filth” and published a photo of Elin Nordegren nude that wasn’t really Elin Nordegren. A columnist for the Dubliner protests that he didn’t know that photos that have been floating around the internet of a “topless Elin Nordegren” are really some other blond with large cans. He put the photo next to copy that read “Most American golfers are married to women who cannot keep their clothes on in public. Is it too much to ask that they leave them at home for the Ryder Cup? Consider the evidence. Tiger Woods’ wife can be found in a variety of sweaty poses on porn sites.”

Tiger Tiger Woods yall was not amused.

My wife, yes, she has been a model prior, and she did do some bikini photos. But to link her to porn Web sites and such is unacceptable, and I do not accept that at all. Neither does our team.

The Dubliner responded by issuing a lame apology that the piece was satire. I realize the Ryder Cup stirs up some American-European rivaly and fun but this was really weak. Do you really want to rile up Tiger? He’s going to destroy the Euros now.

By the way, how could the Dubliner possibly not know the topless photo wasn’t of Elin Nordegren? If such a photo existed, we’d have found it by now. After all, she is a woman we love.

[AP]: Woods rips Irish mag for story on wife

[Fox News]: Irish Magazine Calls Tiger Woods’ Wife ‘Filth’


Odds and Ends: Can we put a moratorium on Michelle Wie coverage?

Al Czervik is more interesting that Wie

The latest headline from ESPN says that “Michelle Wie getting buried at 84 Lumber“. As of press time she is 13 over par. So besides the fact that she’s young and (fairly) good, what is the fascination with Michelle Wie? How did it become that her losing was news? When Tiger Woods loses it is news because he’s earned that right. He is so dominant that an off day like the one he had at the Match Play Championship is newsworthy. (By the way, Bill Simmons has a great article on Tiger Woods that reminded us how good Bill Simmons can be when he’s not writing about the Red Sox or the Yankees.) But Michelle Wie? Please. She hasn’t won a single thing since she announced she was going pro.

We are proposing a moratorium on the Michelle Wie coverage. It’s never going to happen though. People don’t call ESPN the Worldwide Leader in Hype for no reason.

In other news…

[Sign On San Diego]: Woman gets $2.75M for her house and land where new Cowboys stadium will be built

[Fox Sports]: Police think backup punter/stabber had an accomplice

[Cubbiepalloza]: Nobody Likes Jay Mariotti

[NY Post]: CBS’s NFL Pregame show gaining traction

And finally, via Twin Cities, Minnesota, a video of Brad Johnson throwing a TD to himself in 1997.


Odds and Ends: Tiger Woods finally loses

Bitter beer face? Switch to
Keystone Light

Tiger Woods is human. After a two month winning streak, Tiger played his worst golf since the U.S. Open. Tiger lost in the first round of the World Match Play Championship to Shaun Micheel 4 and 3, his worst loss ever in match play. Micheel is ranked 77th in the world golf rankings.

I just had a hard time with my pace, and if you have a hard time with your pace, it’s hard to read greens,” Woods said. “It got a little better in the afternoon on the back nine, but by then it was already too late.

Asked what he would do, Woods said he was going to go home, roll around in his money and then bang his ridiculously hot wife. Or maybe he said he’d go hit the gym. We’d choose the former though.

In other news…

[Detroit Free Press]: A state representative is proposing a bill that allows Lions fans to start drinking and dawn and wave signs ripping management. Re-election!

[SignOnSanDiego]: Former home of Bush’s parents put on market for $775,000

[Inside Bay Area]: Chargers’ Steve Foley might face DUI since getting shot wasn’t punishment enough

[The Offside]: Celtic (Scottish soccer team) fan will only eat green foods for an entire season

[No Man’s Land]: Who the hell thought of Beach Tennis?

[Flyers Fan Central]: So long Primeau, you will be missed


Tiger Woods wins stockcar race in New Zealand

Tiger Woods is so good that he decided to let Stuart Appleby win the Houston Open and head down to New Zealand for the wedding of his caddy Steve Williams instead. While in NZ, he put some more gray hairs on the the head of his agent Mark Steinberg and Nike executives by jumping off New Zealand’s highest bungee jump twice and driving in a charity stockcar race.

Of course, Tiger wasn’t content to just be in the race. After a rough first race (including a couple of spin outs and being lapped), Tiger learned quickly and won the second race for his team with some aggressive driving. They lost the rubber match but Tiger proved that he can win at anything.

We’ve been obsessed with Tiger Woods lately. Partly because his wife will top our upcoming list of athlete girlfriends/wives but also because we’re completely addicted to Tiger Woods PGA Tour for the Xbox. All right, Tiger, we’re challenging you to a Flip Cup tournament. Best of 5 series. Our monthly salary vs yours. Have your people call our people.

[NZ Herald]: No put-putting for hard-driving Tiger
[TV Z]: Huntly turns it up for Tiger