For NFL QBs, It Really Does Pay To Be Attractive

Darren Rovell reports on his SPORTS BIZ blog about research done by sports economist David Berri showing a correlation between an athlete’s attractiveness and their salaries. Which probably explains why Willie McGee never received the big money contract he deserved.

Brazil face lift

Berri wrote an article for the NEW YORK TIMES PLAY MAGAZINE detailing his research. Since “attractiveness” is a relative term, he used a program to analyze the symmetry of the faces of 121 NFL quarterback - research suggesting that humans perceive symmetrical faces as more attractive. The results were clear: the better looking you were, the better you were paid:

To put this result in perspective, we found that a “good-looking” quarterback like Kerry Collins or Charlie Frye earned approximately $300,000 more per year than his stats and other pay factors would predict. Meanwhile, quarterbacks like Jeff George and Neil O’Donnell, who, sadly, were not found to have very symmetrical faces, suffered an equivalent penalty.

First off, Charlie Frye - who knew? If I were to make a list of pretty-boy quarterbacks, he wouldn’t be on the list. But you have to pity poor Jeff George. Not only is his name poison around the league, but apparently we’re learning that his face resembles a Picasso painting. Cubism and quarterback play don’t mix, I guess.

But maybe we’ve found the real reason that Vince Young is so depressed. It’s not about the fans, or losing his love of football - he’s just self-conscious with a looker like Kerry Collins on the team. Maybe the “sprained knee” is just a ruse to buy Young some time to get a few nips and tucks done here and there.

I’m very nervous that this knowledge could lead to the “nose job” becoming the minor medical procedure of choice for athletes. Pretty soon, we’re going to have half of the NFL running around looking like Jennifer Grey with half of her face sanded off, and Dr. Christian Troy as the Patriots’ new trainer.