So recently, I’ve been playing a lot of “Madden,” and it has brought one glaring trait of the National Football League to my attention: Football players get paid a ridiculous amount of money, and the owners of NFL teams make even more. But why is there so much money in sports? And should there be?

The answer all comes down to value. We place a value on everything: gas, money, education, food, sports; all of these things only really have the value we give them.

For instance, since we are all willing to sell our soul to get a college degree, we, as ETSU students, place a high value on higher education. American people typically place a high value on sports, so players and owners make bank appropriately.

Essentially, since football fans have become willing to pay $120 to sit in the club seats at an NFL stadium, owners make that amount multiplied by the tens of thousands of other people also willing to pay for those seats and others, so you have the owners of NFL teams making millions each week.

However, it is not the owners who are doing the work, so players have to get paid a fair amount of what the owners rake in every season. But millions of dollars going into a sport could surely be spent in better ways, right?

Funding is also attributed to value. Many would argue that people who work more important jobs should be paid more. Jobs like teaching, firefighting, writing editorials for a university newspaper and working as a police officer could really use some of the millions flowing through the NFL right now. Americans, however, would much rather pay for a third Tom Brady jersey than pay more taxes, which are exactly how three of those very important jobs get their money.

The sad fact of the matter is that capitalism can really screw us over sometimes. The people of the United States see more value in a bunch of guys tossing around a leather-covered ball two or three times a week rather than the people who risk their lives putting out fires, fighting crime or educating their children.

The value of professional athletics in and even beyond America is probably too high relative to the amount of money the people working tough, meaningful jobs make.

However, many professional football players and other pro athletes spend a great deal of their time and money doing pretty impressive charitable and philanthropic deeds in the world, so even if you despise the money in professional sports, know at least a lot of those dollars goes to a good place. At least.