Sports are not a pretty thing, despite how it may look on television. It’s not just the players or coaches, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people working hard at every game to try and keep fans happy. From the concession stand folks putting up with dozens of hungry people at a time to the guys having to handle clearing the parking lot, there are a lot of ugly jobs in sports that are bad to put up with it no matter the pay.
It’s easy to be snarky here and make up joke “jobs” like working for Jerry Jones or the barber for a guy with a bad haircut. But there are, seriously, jobs in sports that are just terrible in every way imaginable. No matter how good the pay can be (and in some cases, it’s not even that good), it doesn’t seem worth the massive effort involved and the sheer disgust, and even danger, the jobs produce. From cleaning up crap to putting up with massive egos of players, the issues of fans and more, there are a lot of jobs in sports that are bad and sometimes even worse than you think. Here are 15 of the worst jobs in sports and make you a bit grateful for what you have.
16 Soigneur for Cycling Teams
“Soigneur” is French for “one who cares for others.” Those in the job of cycling might think “near slavery” is a better definition. Imagine having to be personal chef, trainer, masseuse, psychologist, washer and driver all in one. Now imagine that instead of being for just one high-strung and difficult athlete, it’s for a TEAM.
15 Clubhouse attendant
Some folks complain about a 35-hour work week. Attendants have to handle 35 hour work days. Baseball is the obvious pick but it also pertains to football, basketball and just about any other team sport. You have to maintain the clubhouse in perfect conditions of cleaning, harder than it sounds after a rough game with sweaty and dirty players. An attendant needs to often cook for the guys, get snacks, put up with various pranks, be front and center for arguments and even brawls, make sure all the equipment is ready for transport for the next game and slews of other tasks.
14 Grounds crew
13 Rodeo Clown
12 Urine Collector
11 PR Managers
Talk about a thankless job. When a player acts up, whether cheating, getting arrested or anything else, one person representing his team has to try to put a positive spin on it for the media. It can be anything from a team having a very bad year to firing a coach or a brawl among players. The PR manager and their team have to try to maintain a good face, harder today thanks to the rise of social media.
10 Youth Sports Referee
It’s not so much the kids that are the problem. Sure, it can be aggravating seeing blown plays, botched calls and the occasional massive crying jag from someone after a bad hit, but hey, they’re kids, you can excuse it due to their youth. No, the real problem is the parents. There are those who will simply root for their kids and realize it's just a game. For every one of those, you’ll have a mom and/or dad leap out of the stands to scream at you for daring to uphold the rules and not push things their kid’s way.
9 Dugout Cleaner "Clubbies"
The next time you watch a baseball game, focus on the guys in the dugout. They spit, they toss drink cups around, they sweat like crazy and they even occasionally throw up. There are sunflower seeds, tobacco, gum and who knows what else getting tossed on the ground on a regular basis so that by the ninth inning, you have a thick layer of absolutely disgusting crap lying on the floor.
8 Sparring Partner
What’s more dangerous than being a boxer? Being a boxer’s walking punching bag. Yes, you have protective gear for your head and chest but you still have to endure a professional boxer slamming his fists to your body at high speed with the trainer yelling at him to make it harder. That’s just boxing, MMA is even worse as you’re the poor guy a fighter uses to test how badly he can twist an arm or leg and slam a guy down before it's too much. You’d think pay would be good but sadly not really enough to put up with getting more damage than your guy’s planned opponent.
6 Catch Can Man
5 Golf Ball Scuba Diver
3 Uniform Laundry
Consider just how much dirt, dust, muck and even blood that gets onto the uniforms for a single game of any sport. Football and soccer are the worst for the sheer amount of grime that gets in and you can’t just throw them into a simple washing machine and have them done with. They have to be cleaned over regularly as the owners prefer to see them bright and clean for every game and photos.
2 Stadium Custodian
Sure, it sounds fun. You dress in a big costume, you dance around, entertain fans and the kids, what’s not to love? Well, for a start, you have to put up with a very large and bulky outfit that’s nearly impossible to see out of and it gets unbearably hot in the summertime, meaning you stink like holy hell even after a shower. You have to put up with some fans being wise-asses to toss garbage and items at you and the unenviable task of firing up a crowd when the team is losing. That’s not to mention the guys who do “mascot races” and having to run around in those terrible things. It’s a bad job in so many ways and it’s a wonder anyone puts up with it.
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