We all marvel at the money athletes make these days. It really does seem amazing that people can be rewarded so highly for something they would probably do for free. ESPN recently did a story about the highest paid in each sport. The typical sports and figures you can probably guess but what I enjoyed the most was some of the "sports" you really don't think about as being money makers like badminton, darts and competitive eating.

First let's take a look at the major sports:

Boxer Manny Pacquiao was the highest paid last year earning a cool 50 million dollars.

Formula Auto Racer, Fernando Alonso made 40 million.

Football defensive end Charles Johnson made 34 million dollars.

Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still rules baseball payrolls at 30 million.

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant brought down 25.24 million dollars.

Other notables, Novak Djokovic made 12.6 million in tennis, Brad Richards of the Rangers made 12 million dollars playing Hockey, and Luke Donald took home 9.5 million dollars playing golf. (I in contrast spent thousands to play it.)

Not many of them may surprise you but these are fun non traditional sports that you can make a pretty darn good living at:

Kevin VanDam made $706,500, fishing.

Sean Rash made $140,250 bowling.



Lee Chong Wei made $267,350 playing badminton.

Joey Chestnut made over 205,000 dollars EATING.

Maybe my favorite of all is Darts. That's right that game you love to play while drinking with your friends at the sports bar netted Phil Taylor $938,497 last year.

So there you have it there is still plenty of money to be had playing sports, maybe pushing your kid to run , pass and catch isn't such a bad idea but remember, when he's at the bowling alley, eating hot dogs and playing a little darts after the league is done he may be training for a triathlon.