How Much Are Your Friendships Worth?

LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 29: "Who Wants To Be A Godparent"  "” When Lily and Marshall can't decide on godparents for Marvin, they put the gang to the test to see who would make the best one, on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Oct. 15 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured left to right: Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders  (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)
Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Tonight I was at a bar watching the NFL draft with a few friends (not something we normally do, but I’m glad we did). The subject came up of college football players leaving school for the NFL draft instead of getting their college degree.

We put forth the following hypothetical: What if each of us were star football players in our junior year, and we had a high chance of being selected in the first round of the NFL draft? Doing so is generally worth at least $20 million over 4 years.

One friend said he would complete his education first, noting that he valued having a degree. I said that you only get to go to college once (at least as a 20-something), so I’d want to cherish those days and finish. The last friend said that while he values education and friendships, he wouldn’t pass up the $20 million.

So I followed up with another hypothetical to that friend as we sat there at the bar. What if a stranger from another table came over and said to him, “Hey, we’d like you to join us for the next round of drinks. We’ll pay you $50 to leave your friends and hang out at our table.” What would he do?

My friend pondered this scenario for a minute and said, “Make it $250 and I’m in!”

We got a good laugh out of this, so I thought I’d pose the same outlandish question to you. How much would a complete stranger have to pay you at a bar or restaurant for you to desert your friends for the evening and hang out at their table? For the sake of the question, assume that the stranger has no ulterior motive, and they look like they’d be fun to hang out with.

If I was with at least 2 friends (so they’d still have each other to hang out with), I’d probably do it for $50. The money is irrelevant; I’d do it for the story, just because it’s such an odd proposition.

What about you?

2 thoughts on “How Much Are Your Friendships Worth?”

  1. What an interesting conversation, it’s just the type I love. First of all, I would totally join another table for $0 dollars, because if they offered to pay me up front I would become suspicious. (I.e. “Hey Jayme I’ll give you $20 to eat this hot wing!” “Ummm, why?”) I should also say that I’d be the guy who randomly invited you to join our group/conversation so I’m fairly extroverted.
    The other interesting part of your post is about the draft vs education.
    The comment “you only have the chance of doing it once in your 20s”, isn’t that true of everything? And why is college great in your twenties, because of the social aspect? So is that implying making millions and playing sports isn’t social or as good, in your twenties?
    I would argue that playing sports when you’re young and finishing school when your done makes WAY more sense. At that point, with millions in savings 😉 you could take the courses you wanted to learn about, not just what you needed to do to get a job. I also believe most people at 20 don’t know what they want to do at school, but athletes know exactly what they want to play.
    Thanks for the interesting topic, I’m going to steal it to share with my friends 🙂

    • Conor: Thanks for indulging this hypothetical question. 🙂

      As for college, I was thinking more about the social experience than the education itself. You’re right that you’d probably be much more focused and driven to finish your degree after a 10-year athletic career. But at that point you’re not going to be hanging out in the dorms having late-night philosophical conversations and then like. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading