Anyone who has followed along here for a while knows I respect Peyton Manning. He's a great player. He's not a bad interview either. He's a pretty sharp, funny guy. He's also one of the league's good guys, as far as charity work goes.
All that said, would I pay him $105,000 to speak for an hour? ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS? Oh my goodness, no. Nobody would.
Wait, Oklahoma State University really did pay Manning that much? Sigh. Never mind.
Manning, the Broncos quarterback and reigning MVP, spoke to about 4,250 Oklahoma State students at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Wednesday night. He spoke for 30 minutes and had a 30-minute Q&A session afterward. According to the Tulsa World, Manning told the students things like, "This is your world. Own it" and "Enjoy the journey, not the destination,"
Yep ... $105,000. From a public university that Manning has no significant attachment to. At least there's not a problem with the ridiculous cost of higher education in this country or anything.
The Tulsa World wrote there was "a debate on campus" about how much the school was paying Manning, as there should have been. The chairman of the OSU Speakers Board, Patrick Alland, told the Tulsa World the money on Manning was well spent and he would do it again. Really though, what's he supposed to say, he wanted a refund? I guess if you're going to pay a football player six figures to speak, Manning probably is the right one.
He can teach lessons on preparation, dealing with adversity physically and mentally, and he's as good of a leader as there is in the NFL. You could certainly see Manning being a politician someday when he's finished playing, if he wanted. Or, obviously, he could get into public speaking, which brings in a lot of money. Forbes says the price of a "serious" speaker starts at $5,000, jumps to $40,000 for a New York Times bestselling author. Elite speakers such as former U.S. Presidents can get six figures. Bill Clinton averaged $189,000 per speech in the 11 years after his presidency, the Washington Post said. Manning is a bright person with a great deal of charm and charisma, so he could make it in that realm, and obviously OSU was willing to pay him like a former President. (It should be stated as well that Manning is as generous with his money as anyone in sports, having given more than $1 million to various charitable causes last year including $500,000 to the Pat Summit Foundation to help fight Alzheimer's disease.) And I have no doubt it was a tremendous speech and he was fantastic in the question-and-answer portion. Manning doesn't do anything half way; that's part of what makes him great.
But for that price? How about you just get them Brandon Weeden for a few bucks and let the students keep the change?
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