Friday, May 25, 2012

MLS Salaries, Efficiencies Drop the T

This may sound strange but you know what? The release of salary information on Major League Soccer employees reminds me of how my family lost the letter "T" in Johnston.

I'm a bona fide son of a Son of the American Revolution (SAR). As such, my family is required to maintain documents that trace my blood back to someone who fought against the British (which sometimes brings about friction in the family, as my mother was born in England. ALAS!). In those documents I see that more than a handful of Johnson tales are confirmed, maybe some dismissed.

One of which that can be confirmed is that we, the Johnson family, were so poor that we had to drop the 'T'.

Way back when I had a Johnston ancestor marry a lady Johnson. Mr. Johnston (Mrs. Johnson's husband) fell in battle. The Continental Army happened to award a small stipend to the widows of warriors but due to paper work inaccuracies Mrs. Johnston (formerly Johnson) had a hard time convincing the powers that be that she was, in fact, the wife Johnston. She wanted her payment but for whatever reason, she couldn't get it.

Eventually she signed her name as "Johnson", without the "t", in order to resolve the issue. She got her stipend but not without costing my family the letter 't'. Why she had to drop the letter 't' is lost to history. Maybe it's because Mr. Johnston was illiterate. Hell, maybe his handwriting was just bad. Who knows. It doesn't matter now. I'm a Johnson because of that.

When matching up my 73 columned MLS weighted player ranking excel spreadsheet to the PDF of MLS player salaries I notice a lot of player name changes. Sometimes it's as simple as Anthony turning into Tony. Other times it is a tilde getting lost. Sometimes it's a simple as a space betwixt letters.

I imagine that the file the Major League Soccer Players Union puts out is what players wrote down as their name. The name that the check will be made out too. Perhaps some players "Americanize" their names because they think it is simpler. It's interesting to me that when huge statistic compilers record things that players names are largely intact but when it comes to depositing that American Dollar? Things change.

This matters because this is the name that The United States of America recognizes as yours.

The one you pay taxes under.

The one descendants, 200 years from now, will dig up and as questions as to why the 't' was dropped.


This is the time of year when the old text to columns and vlookup's get a workout. I feel like it should be a holiday of some sort because Major League Soccer (more than any other United States sports league) has fans, bloggers, beat writers and columnists put their cynical fiscal hat on.

"Oh! Look at how much they paid that guy!!" they will say. "Look how poorly that club pays players", others will say. "Read us here! Seattle Sounder stuff! We are educated, witty, spoiled and fun yet lack any sort of historical significance to our country!"... "wait?!".

There's a bottom line here. Major League Soccer, ultimately, is the boss of everything when it comes to money and what names those bills get sent too.

Here soon I will deep dive MLS salaries and shine a light on players making less than the average visitor to this blog. For now? Right now? I just wanted to get out what I feel is more important. Something more significant than a stupid list of highest paid to lowest paid, finger pointing and whatever.

Just sparing a though for Abel, or Abell. Johnston or Johnson at the moment. Carry on.


David Burgin said...

Cool story bro! My fifteen-year-old says that, I just wanted to type it. Now I'm sorry I did. Not as impressive when a late forties guy says it.

I look forward to you breaking down those, very much common man, numbers, Mr. Johns(t)on.

Larry W Johnson II said...

hahaha! glad you did type it! The breaking down the salaries doth commence.