Everyone moderately in touch with the sports world. . . Wait, that needs re-phrasing. Everyone who is even remotely aware of North America and its culture knows what a juggernaut the NFL is both in regional popularity, and its margin for profit. It might not have nearly the same (not even close, really) worldwide draw as say Champion's League soccer or other wildly popular European leagues, but it's profitability is through the roof. Especially since it's regarded as a non-profit organization in the eyes of the IRS. How that is allowed is beyond mortal understanding, but nevertheless, the NFL has a tax-exempt status which applies to the $9 billion+ it made in 2013.
Over $9 billion in one year. Now that's just not fair. Especially given the players themselves pay federal income tax on their wages. Remember folks, next time you complain about pro athletes making millions, know that it's a drop in the bucket compared to what the league makes. And at least some of it goes back to the people. To illustrate just how absurd the $9 billion per year profit margin is, here are the top 50 countries whose GDP was less than the NFL's profits last year. And for those curious, GDP is gross domestic product, basically an accounting of all the goods and services a country provides--representative of its monetary generation.
Tajikistan had a GDP of $8.497 billion in 2013. Also, three of its four bordering countries names end in -stan.
This once French-imperial country has a GDP of $8.458 billion. This half of a Caribbean island is the only French speaking independent country in the Americas.
48 The Bahamas
This 700 island Commonwealth is known for having its name stolen by a guy named Tommy in order to produce floral button up shirts for old dudes. Gross Domestic Product of $8.367 billion.
Apparently Benin is a place that exists wedged in Western Africa that managed to muster a $8.31 billion GDP in 2013.
Another tiny country that only existed after the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union. This little Romanian neighbor produced $7.935 billion in GDP in 2013.
See Hotel. In all seriousness, the 1994 genocide by the Hutu extremists is a horrifying blight on the history books. No jokes here. GDP of $7.431 billion in 2013.
Despite being massively bigger in size than all these aforementioned countries, Niger's GDP is $7.359 billion.
Okay, Russian may be a complex language and whatnot, but this looks like they just mashed a keyboard and added a -stan to the end of it. GDP of $7.225 billion.
Everyone immediately thinks of NATO's famous 78 day assault of Serbia and Montenegro when Kosovo is mentioned. And if you don't, well, you're too damn young. GDP of $6.827 billion.
Famous for their pigs. Not really. GDP of $6.282 billion.
Okay, are people just making these places up? GDP $6.147 billion.
Little known fact, Suriname is always below your name. This small South American country flies way way under the radar. GDP $5.057 billion.
38 Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone, another tiny West African nation with a DPG or $4.788 billion. Not to be confused with the Sierra Nevada that you wash down a plate of wings with.
If there isn't a black mountain somewhere in this very small country they should be sued for false advertising. GDP $4.377 billion.
Togo is so small that it actually doesn't exist. But it made $4.36 billion in 2013.
Barbados is only 167 square miles. One guy with a butter knife could invade it. $4.284 GDP in 2013.
Mauritania is a friendly reminder that there are some very large countries out there you've never heard of before in your life. 2013 GDP of $4.187 billion.
Most well known for its water which is bottled and sold to people too stupid to just get regular water. 2013 GDP of $4.037 billion.
How tiny African countries like Malawi can maintain their independence is beyond understanding given that Africa is the world equivalent of the Thunderdome. GDP of $3.814 billion.
This tiny African nation's motto is "We hide ourselves away." No kidding. I imagine it's only a matter of time before someone makes a Swagland. GDP $3.62 billion.
It has coastline on the Red Sea, and a bird once landed on the ground there to peck at something it thought was edible. GDP of $3.444 billion.
Guyana resides in Northern coastal South America, and its capital is named Georgetown, becuase there aren't already enough places named Georgetown. GDP of $2.97 billion in 2013.
Burundi is best known for no one knowing it exists. GDP of $2.723 billion.
Motto: "Peace, Rain, Prosperity." When the second most important thing to a country of 2 million people is rain, you know it's poor. GDP of $2.276 billion in 2013.
A bunch of islands off the coast of India that is tied with Lesotho in GDP at $2.276 billion. It's never good to be tied with Lesotho in anything money related.
Bhutan: we're not a part of China, we promise. GDP of $1.985 billion.
It's called Liberia becuase it was originally populated by freed slaves. Makes sense. GDP $1.933 billion.
23 Cape Verde
The only country where it's mandatory to wear a green cape. Populated only by LOTR nerds. GDP of $1.92 billion.
22 San Marino
Long lost brother of Dan Marino. Alas, San only succeeded in becoming the world's best chicken fryer. GDP of $1.802 billion.
I know someone who saw someone chop off someone's head in a bar in Belize. True story. GDP of $1.604 billion.
20 Central African Republic
This very large country rich in resources has a population around 4.4 million and is exceedingly poor for its scope. In fact it's one of the 10 poorest in Africa. GDP of $1.538 billion.
Djibouti doesn't conform to other people's standards of not putting two random consonants next to each other. GDP of $1.457 billion.
An island chain just above Madagascar. I'd be willing to bet even super villains who say "there's nowhere to hide" don't know about Seychelles. GDP of $1.398 billion.
17 Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is French for Saint Lucia. But really, it is a Francophone nation. GDP of $1.317 billion.
16 Antigua and Barbuda
The British empire once spread across the world just so they could rename cities around the world to boring names like Condrington and Saint John's, and even English Harbour Town. Yes, that's a city in Antigua. GDP of $1.212 billion.
15 Solomon Islands
Solomon was definitely a dude in the Bible/Torah/Quran. GDP of $1.097 billion.
14 The Gambia
If the A was changed to a T, "The Gambit" it would be the de-facto most badass place on Earth. But it's not. GDP of $850 million.
Their motto is Unity, Struggle, Progress. So wait, you want to struggle? Mission accomplished. $845 million GDP.
Another obscure Island chain in Oceania that sounds like it could be the name of a vampire. GDP of $821 million.
This tiny island country is part of an island chain called the Grenadines, which are made of sugary red syrup. GDP of $814 million.
10 Saint Kitts and Nevis
It's two tiny islands in the Caribbean. That's basically all you need to know. GDP of $767 million.
9 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
It's been recently discovered that this is actually just a well to-do cover band in Tiffin, Ohio. GDP of $720 million.
This tiny island in the middle of the Pacific has only two exports: huge linemen with tribal tattoos and girl scout cookies. GDP of $705 million.
Apparently Comoros was actually an April fool's joke played on the U.N. by Madagascar. Such jokesters, those diplomats. GDP of $652 million.
Dominica is actually a tiny piece of the Dominican republic that broke off and floated away like Florida soon will. GDP of $498 million.
Tonga is known as the Friendly Islands because Captain James Cook first arrived there in 1773 during a festival and was well received. Bam, historical curveball. GDP of $477 million.
4 Federated States of Micronesia
So it turns out it wasn't just a place made up for Zoolander, it's actually a real place. Who would've guessed. GDP of $333 million.
3 Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe is the second smallest African country behind, you guessed it, Seychelles! What do you win? The last two countries on this list. Congratulations! GDP of $308 million.
Palau is unfortunately most well known in history for the bloody battles and skirmishes between Japanese soldiers and American Marines during the Pacific campaign in World War II. GDP of $246 million.
1 Marshall Islands
Having been taken during the aforementioned Pacific campaign by the U.S., the Marshall Islands are an independent nation but remain as a sort of U.S. province. Also, people from there should be known as Marshmallows. GDP of $175 million.