January 30, 2016 - by Jim Neff


The Neff Zone

Cadillac News




I'm a words guy, not a numbers guy. However, as I do research for this column I often run into numbers that are interesting or amusing. I'd like to share some of these with you, but to do that you'll have to trust me that everything referenced is from a legitimate newspaper of news media. (It's just to unwieldy to list all the long Internet addresses.)

With the Super Bowl on the horizon, you might be interested to know that according to Statista the average NFL length player career lasts just 3.3 years. First round draft picks fare a bit better at 9.3 years, but running backs take more punishment and only survive 2.5 years on average.

In those 3.3 years, the average player will make about $6.7 million. Compare that with the average Major League Baseball player whose career will last 5.6 years and who will earn $17.9 million. Only 1.7 percent of college football players make it to the NFL, but 11.6 percent of college baseball players make it to MLB.


By the way, if you want to watch those NFL stars playing in the 2016 Super Bowl, you can still buy a ticket on the secondary (resale) market. The price was $5,335 but according to USA Today the price has “plummeted” to $5,100. Last year’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks cost $4,271, 2014 Broncos vs. Seahawks was $2,537, 2013 49ers Vs. Ravens was $2,479, and the 2012 Patriots vs. Giants game was $2,991.


If a career in the NFL is not an option, perhaps living in Michigan may be a way to go. A report says that Michigan will need 779,000 more residents with post secondary degrees in the next ten years. The problem is that, as 24/7 Wall Street found, Michigan is one of the least educated states, ranking thirty-third out of fifty. Plus, it's tough to attract educated workers when: “A typical Michigan household earned just $49,847, significantly lower than the median national income of $53,657.”


Related to the employment outlook for Michigan, a recent study by JP Morgan Chase somewhat answers the question, “Why don't those people in Detroit get jobs?” The study found: “There are more job seekers in the city than available jobs. In fact, there are only enough jobs in Detroit to employ roughly 37 percent of the population. That is significantly less than the number of jobs available in comparable cities, such as Atlanta, Cleveland and Baltimore.” Even if there were enough jobs for everyone who is looking for work, “only about 26 percent of the jobs inside the city limits are held by Detroit residents.” The good news is that: “Improving economic conditions have led to a net gain of over 7,900 residents employed since January 2014.”


Even with a college degree, there is no guarantee the degree holder holds an abundance of knowledge in their noggin. A survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni found: Only 20.6 percent of respondents could identify James Madison as the Father of the Constitution, almost 40 percent didn’t know that Congress has the power to declare war, and almost half could not recognize that senators are elected to six year terms and representatives are elected to two-year terms. The most disturbing (or hilarious, depending on your viewpoint) finding was that 9.6 percent of college graduates thought Judith Sheindlin-“Judge Judy”-was on the Supreme Court.


With results like this maybe it's a good thing that more millennials are opting not to drive cars or obtain a license. According to a U of M study, in 2008, 82 percent of the 20-24 age group had a diver's license. That dropped to 76.7 percent last year. More millennials are using public transportation or ride-sharing. (Or, maybe they don't want to risk being in an accident and having their court case tried by Supreme Court Justice Judge Judy.)


My guess is that millennials are not driving because they are too busy Instatextafacegramming. If so, they might want to be aware of SplashData's new list of the 25 least secure passwords. They are: . 123456, password, 12345678, qwerty, 12345, 123456789, football, 1234, 1234567, baseball, welcome, 1234567890, abc123, 111111, 1qaz2wsx, dragon, master, monkey, letmein, login, princess, qwertyuiop, solo, passw0rd, and starwars.


Sometimes there's a number that just astounds. According to a report presented to the World Economic Forum: “If we keep producing (and failing to properly dispose of) plastics at predicted rates, plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish pound for pound in 2050...worldwide use of plastic has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years, and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years. By 2050, we’ll be making more than three times as much plastic stuff as we did in 2014... if it was bagged up and arranged across all of the world’s shorelines, we could build a veritable plastic barricade between ourselves and the sea.”


Finally, just when you thought things were so bad out there in the world that you've decided to just stay home and avoid it all comes this - since 2004 there have been ten cases of dogs shooting their owners. What happened to that “man's best friend” theory? It turns out that most of these are accidental, but in at least one case it was self defense. A Washington Post blurb relates: “A three-month-old shepherd mix puppy shot a man in the wrist with a revolver while the man was trying to shoot the puppy and its siblings because he couldn't find them a home.”


I don't own a dog, but ever since I read this aloud to my wife our cat has been eying me. I'd add more to this column, but I better stop and go run the can opener if I know what's good for me.


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at www.CadillacNews.com and www.NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.