Did You Know?

Though most are aware that taking care of one's body is a good way to increase a person's chances of a long and healthy life, it can also be a good way to increase one's chances of living a lucrative life. According to the 2009 Sports Illustrated "Fortunate 50," no American athlete made more in seasons completed in 2009 than golfer Tiger Woods, whose earnings fell just shy of $100 million. Woods secured the top spot in spite of losing lucrative endorsement deals (no doubt due to the slumping economy) and missing time due to recovery from knee surgery. What's more, Woods' earnings are even more jaw dropping when considering the earnings of the second best earner among American athletes. That distinction goes to Woods' rival Phil Mickelson, whose earnings were slightly under $53 million, or a little more than half of Woods' earnings. Still, while both Woods and Mickelson are masters of the links, both earned most of their money in endorsements, as their combined salary/winnings was slightly more than $14 million, essentially a fraction of their combined overall earnings that exceeded $152 million. While some might find it unsettling that Woods and Mickelson make such a small fraction of their earnings actually playing golf, at least Woods and Mickelson competed. The same cannot be said for the 22nd highest earning American athlete, former NBA guard Steve Francis. Despite not playing a minute last season, Francis still earned more than $20 million, the bulk of which was the remainder of a 2007 buyout of his contract by the Portland Trail Blazers. Francis also earned another $2.6 million from two teams who released him.
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