Episode: Teacher’s Bet (1×08)
Production Code: B610
Director: David Trainer
Teleplay: April Kelly
Main Cast: Ben Savage, William Daniels, William Russ, Betsy Randle, Will Friedle, Lee Norris, Rider Strong, Lily Nicksay
Guest Cast: Danielle Fishel, Lindsay Price
Original Air Date: November 19, 1993
In the cafeteria, Shawn brings over a newspaper article on “the $43 million dollar man,” Barry Bonds. Minkus, standing nearby, asks why he’s called that, and Shawn explains it’s because of his six-year contract for that much. Minkus figures out that it amounts to $7.16 million/yr. Well shoot, I know it’s a different sport from basketball and all, but Ersan Ilyasova is due for $7.9 mil this year. (Who? Exactly.) Bonds’ contract doesn’t seem like anything to me, relatively speaking. Cory points out that Bonds is a premier baseball player. Ah, the 90s were such an innocent time, when a boy could idolize a baseball player without the possibility of steroids crossing his mind! (I realize that Bonds has never actually been found guilty of doing so. I am accusing him of nothing.) Minkus observes that Mr. Feeny is a premier teacher, who makes only $40k/yr. This is pretty much on target for a Pennsylvania elementary teacher’s salary in 1993-94. For curiosity’s sake, I looked up what Mr. Feeny would be paid in the 2010s. Not bad, in my opinion. Apparently PA pays its teachers better than in some places, though. Anyway, Mr. Feeny’s salary is news to Shawn and Cory, and Shawn expresses his disapproval, as he thinks it’s too much money. Cory rhetorically asks Minkus if spelling and history ever change, and posits that Mr. Feeny doesn’t have to change because Sixth Grade is constant. To prove his point, Cory predicts that, within the next five seconds, Mr. Feeny would walk into the cafeteria, drink at the fountain, flick the water his mustache, walk to the coffee machine, and say, “Good morning, Mr. Matthews. I trust you’ve done the homework.” Mr. Feeny walks into the cafeteria and does each of these things. Cory replies that he did do the homework, and he and Mr. Feeny say in unison, “But my little sister ate it.” Mr. Feeny rolls his eyes at Cory’s predictable self.