Split the Leagues

I’ve had this thought for some time, now I have a venue to share it.

Sports are broken. These are games, diversions. And the men playing them are making millions a year, some making more than the total GDPs for 71 countries, according to the CIA World Factbook. The top 48 sports contracts of all time total nearly $6.5 billion.

On average these contracts are worth $230,800 per game! There is something wrong with the kids looking up to these players receiving second and third-rate educations because we cannot pay our teachers or for the books we need.

I digress, that is not what this post is about, in full. There is a problem with our sports. Players want to get those giant contracts, and rightly so. If there are billions of dollars up for grabs who wouldn’t want a part of it. Earning that big payday is related to performance. For $10 million a year for the next 10 years you might do something crazy.

Like performance enhancing drugs.

They make the big bucks because we pay to see some huge dude rip the longball 500+ feet over and over. Or rush for an inhuman amount of yards. Or basically run up the side of a mountain on a bike. Sure, chicks dig the longball. We all do. But herein lies my problem. The longball, and its equivalent in other sports, as ruining the game. It’s destroying what made us love these sports to start with. Yes, there are still competitive games that are fun to watch that aren’t homerun derbies or American Gladiator recreation on a football field. But there are less than there used to be.

So I have an answer: Split the leagues. Like I said, we all dig the longball. But I think we also enjoy seeing baseball, or football, or any sport played clean and well. So split the leagues. One for roided out jocks bashing the hell out of the ball and each other and one league for the game, pure and simple.

For the pure game, test the players every day or every game. They fail, they’re out. For the roid leagues, let them take what they want, blood dope or whatever the latest thing is. People will pay to see 34-29 run games.

I just want the honest sport back. I want the purity of what made us all fall in love with these games.

And while we’re at it, no player of a game should make more than the teachers that taught them. It is after all, just a game.  

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Split the Leagues

  1. Finally someone with some common sense speaks out on the mind-numbing, apathy-inducing evil that is our professional sports industry. I’ve had this thought floating around in my mind for a very long time, and it’s nice to see someone else say what I’ve been thinking. Seriously people, it is JUST A GAME! and it has absolutely no relevance to the outcome of the world as we know it. Baseball will not end world hunger. The NFL will never prevent wars or nuclear holocaust. Shaq will never make our kids grow up to be the scientists, doctors, teachers, and skilled laborers of every trade that we so desperately need. So first and foremost, STOP the insane contracts and salaries for the players, coaches, and owners. We need to seriously cut this industry down to size. Yeah, entertainment is great; yeah, people need something to distract them from their troubles, from time to time; yeah, it’s nice for people to go out and support their home team. However, these few benefits are greatly eclipsed by these simple facts:

    – The United States (a.k.a. home of the largest professional sports industry in the world) is falling drastically behind in education, and as a result we will CEASE TO BE A WORLD SUPERPOWER and go the way of the Ottoman Empire (i.e. dead). [link: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/07/131884477/Study-Confirms-U-S-Falling-Behind-In-Education%5D If half the money that is spent on professional sports every year went into funding better schools, new programs, higher teacher and administrator salaries (i.e. make those jobs actually DESIRABLE), etc., I guarantee we wouldn’t be in this situation. Unfortunately, most Americans would rather complain about the taxes they have to pay for their local school district and then spend that money on a new jumbo flat screen to watch the game (EVERY game, sitting on their fat asses all weekend) or season tickets, or a collectible bobble head of their favorite player or some such bull$h*t.

    – People generally forget the fact that these sports are, in fact, MEANINGLESS! How many times have their been fights between fans of opposing teams in the stands, hatred (or at least not-so-friendly rivalry) towards otherwise likable human beings because of their team affiliation, riots in the streets after a team loses (or even WINS) a championship…etc., etc.? There is no cause for this, and it goes against all kinds of common sense. However, it has become more or less accepted/expected behavior from sports fans. In Europe, there is a whole culture of “football hooligans” that go to soccer games for the sole purpose or starting a fight (or more likely gang-beating someone senseless), starting fires, breaking $h*t, and generally causing havoc. I have seen with my own eyes graffiti in Poland showing thugs in masks (team colors, of course) burning things and threatening/condemning people who eat popcorn and actually sit to…*gasp!*…WATCH THE GAME they payed to watch. This is going much, much too far.

    – The athletes that play these sports for such exorbitant sums have (naturally, if they’re judging their self-worth by their paycheck) become frickin’ ego MANIACS. I won’t bother listing them here, I’m sure you can think up a dozen players off hand that believe their own excrement smells like roses and everything they do and say turns to frickin’ gold. The NBA probably leads the other leagues in this, but the NFL and MLB aren’t too far behind – and I won’t be biased, there are even a few of these in the NHL (*cough* Cindy Crosby *cough*). We revere these people like gods, and they contribute nothing to our society except distraction and diversion from reality. If only the teachers in the inner cities, scientists who work 60 hours a week to find a cure to cancer, and the soldiers and guardsmen that keep our country safe were so worshiped…

    I could probably go on here, but I don’t want to make my comment longer than Chase’s actual post, and I think I’ve probably made my point. The above reasons are basically why I’ve boycotted the industry as a whole. Sure, if someone hands me a free ticket and asks me to go to a game, I MAY join them just to spend some time with them and drink a few overpriced beers, but I don’t buy tickets, I don’t watch the games (except the Stanley Cup finals), I don’t buy the merchandise, and I sure as hell don’t worship the friggin’ cult of personality we’ve built around these people as if they were gods or heroes. And don’t bother with arguments like “Such and such a player donated such and such a sum of money to such and such a charity!” because I guarantee they did it for the tax write-off at the suggestion of their accountant. Anyway, people that make multiple-millions of dollars a year giving a whopping $10K once in their life don’t exactly strike me as saints. Yes, it’s good that they gave to charity. No, it doesn’t justify the damaging effects of the whole industry on our country and our culture. If I offended anyone, I have a few suggestions: 1) Get a f#*%ing clue, 2) Go f#*% yourself, and 3) Get your own f#*%ing blog.

    And Chase, sorry for hijacking your post.

  2. Chase,

    I agree splitting the leagues or just legalizing PEDs all together makes sense. Especially HGH because its still a long way before we find out the long term health risks.

    Jon,

    I couldn’t disagree more. Still love you though.

    1. I’m not saying pro sports are inherently bad, or that we should ban sports forever or something. I think pro sports have value as entertainment, the way movies, music, etc. do. And I’m certainly not discounting the value of sports as a whole, especially for kids growing up, and ESPECIALLY if the kids participate. Team sports were great growing up, in more ways than one, and I know I’m a better person (and in much better physical condition) for having participated for all those years. And I know you feel the same way in that regard, Jeffery. What I’m saying is this, essentially:

      Many of us grew up playing organized team sports of one or another variety. I played soccer competitively for like 8 or 10 years. I’ve been ice skating for as long as I’ve been walking, and I started playing hockey when I was 4. I played in some of the highest ranked youth hockey leagues in NY and WA, made the varsity hockey team as a sophomore (and didn’t just ride the bench), and played college hockey out here on the West Coast. Throughout all this time, either myself or my family payed good money for me to be able to do so. Any idea how much it costs to play hockey for a season? All the equipment, rink fees, ice times, team dues, travel expenses, etc. etc. It can climb into the thousands of dollars, for a single season. I still believe one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me was all the years of hockey they financed.

      Anyone who played sports growing up could tell a similar story, but something funny happens when you get older: You reach a point at a certain level of play where, all of a sudden, the game ceases to be a privilege you enjoy and pay for, and becomes your right, your job, and people pay you in the millions to continue playing, they worship you, look up to you as a role model, want to emulate you, etc. etc. Why should this be the case? Why should pro athletes deserve more money, more fame, and more respect than teachers, doctors, scientists, etc.? In terms of contribution to our society, the people in the latter category are much, MUCH more worthy of praise. Something is fundamentally wrong with any society where this is not the case.

      When baseball prevents World War III and cures cancer, I’ll change my opinion. Not that I expected you to agree with me to begin with. Love you too, buddy.

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