The Social Contract of Professional Sports

A recent post and following comments have sparked something in my small brain that I can’t let go. I felt obligated to comment but didn’t know how without sounding like a giant prick. (I can’t afford to alienate our two readers) I gave myself a short waiting period to gather my thoughts and wanted to throw them out here.

Professional sports are a business.

It is their mission in life to make as much effing money as humanly possible. Nothing more. Hell, the NFL wants to invade England and take over the world. Every owner, agent, player, coach, cheerleader (yay cheerleaders), beer vendor and jersey chaser is in it for the money (ask Shawn Kemp). The only people not trying to make money are the interns. They are just trying to get a date by bragging they work for the ‘Hawks.

It’s not the league’s responsibility to make sure fire fighters, teachers and police officers make more money. It’s your poorly elected officials job….and therefore yours.

If you are thinking the NCAA is not a professional sports league you need your head examined. Everything above still applies. Those corrupt a-holes deserve their own “must be stopped” column. And pay the damn players already.

Athletes are morons.

Here is the list of athletes I follow on twitter.

1) Matt Hasselbeck.

2) John Ryan

3) Shawn Kelley

4) Andres Gonzales

That’s the list. I follow 12 journalists for every one athlete. Journalists get paid to communicate and can do so with complete, coherent (mostly) thoughts. I hate reading or listening to athletes in interviews. When one of them goes off script and doesn’t remember their clichés, I vomit. I don’t want those airheads making me dumber. (Get it, dumber isn’t a word) Listening to a rich guy who gets paid to hit a ball (or people) will ruin your perception of him. It’s like seeing a hot girl from 100 yards away. When she gets closer, the image is ruined.

Does it bother me that the Eagles hired a convicted dog killer to become the face of their franchise? Yes, it does. Would I stop going to ‘Hawks games if they had done the same thing? Maybe. Here’s my point, the Philadelphia Eagles have one obligation. Make butt loads of money. Dog Killer = Wins = Season Tickets = Money. If their stadium was empty the first game after signing Vick, he would have been packing his bags for the CFL that afternoon. You have a vote and it is with your dollar. Same goes for you idiots who pay $50 (approximately) for a warm cup of beer. Stop giving them money, they will change. Just ask the Mariners.

Don’t use athletes as an ambassador for pro sports. Don’t use the owners. Use the fans. They are the ones who have poured their heart, soul and money into rooting for something bigger than themselves. They go because they do in fact give a crap.

Our city believes professional sports are beneath them.

Ok, I might start stereotyping here and this is why I didn’t initially want to write this post. If you are not a sports fan, please continue reading the blog. However, instead of reading my posts, just go read the Citizens For More Important Things and you can discuss how much more enlightened you are than me.

When the Sonics came to Seattle, the city needed them. We were the last town on the way to Alaska. We were nothing. The Sonics helped create the Seattle Center and subsequently brought us the World’s Fair. Now that we have all our problems solved, we can worry about saving the salmon, building solar panels we don’t need, and bashing our under paid police officers and teachers publicly for doing a thankless job.

Go take a walk though Seattle Center and let me know how it’s prospered since we lost our basketball team. The Seattle University Redhawks really packed the Key. The surrounding area that used to have restaurants, bars and team shops are all gone. It’s a depressing landscape of cracked concrete and crack heads. At least they haven’t closed Dicks Drive In yet.

It’s obvious the NBA business model is broken beyond belief. I’d never let my hypothetical kid watch the NBA. You have players that get max contracts and then literally lose interest in playing. These players hold the team “cap hostage” while the OWNER OF THE TEAM loses 8 million dollars a year just by keeping the lights on and the doors open. I hate the NBA’s business model and fuck David Stern.

This regions wealthiest people have projects of their own. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is one of the most beautiful new buildings I have ever seen. Its purpose you may ask? To figure out all the philanthropical way’s to donate their money. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s great and just goes to show you where priorities lay.

If our city leaders and billionaires were sports fans, we would have an arena with a surrounding area for shops, restaurants and a team to draw people back into the area. The subject of the Sonics in general has been beaten to death. I’m just tired of the “we don’t need them, or any professional sports franchise here”. YES! YES! YOU DO! You need a thriving down town area and you need some civic pride back in Seattle. You also need a tourist draw in the winter months. I’m sometimes embarrassed about the “I’m too cool to give a crap about sports” attitude we have here. We deserve all the bashing from the national media we get. This town is soft and it pisses me off.

Last thought…

Do professional sports cure cancer? The Seattle Mariners donate heavily to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s hospital. You can argue they aren’t causing cancer. Ulcers, yes. Cancer, No.

Can sports stop a war? You must be referring to the Christmas Truce of 1914. Throughout history, soccer has in fact stopped or at least recessed war.

As a self described pessimist, I think all people are corrupt a-holes and I do believe sports fans are morons. With sabermetrics we are now educated morons. With the internet we are morons with a sense of entitlement. (Please continue to support www.thirdand7.com to inflate my sense of entitlement)

If we are putting athletes on a pedestal and calling them heroes unjustly, that is not the athletes fault. Blame the dead beat parents who should be the real heroes.

If you think publicly financing stadiums is a waste of resources, get off your ass and vote stadium initiatives down. (Which you have)

If you are pissed off when a few Dodger fans beat the hell out of a Giants fan because he wore orange, don’t blame the Dodgers organization. Blame the morons who beat crap out of the guy. It can be that simple.

When people are burning down their city when they win or lose a championship, blame the idiotic few who caused the damage. What did the Vancouver Canucks do to cause that? Win or lose, that city was going down.

Sports are important for all the reasons Jon mentioned in his comments that put my brain in a blender in the first place. I believe kids need to play sports to get the discipline our parents are now too chickensh*t to infuse themselves. I believe there is something special about taking a kid to a game and showing them what true talent is. I believe we need a sense of pride and something to cheer for together. We need to see a form of entertainment that isn’t computer generated. We need more professional athletes making millions so we can tax the hell out of them.

You want to argue teams should sign players for millions of dollars who possess a larger moral compass? Go for it. Vote with your wallet as I mentioned before. I’ll be in your corner.

Just don’t tell me pro sports aren’t important and have “no cultural value”.

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2 thoughts on “The Social Contract of Professional Sports

  1. I just caught up to this debate, but Jeff is totally right. As verbose as Jon may be, the argument that he’s waiting for sports to cure cancer is absurd. If you’re saying that you will not support an industry in which the wealthy are not curing cancer, or building better schools or paying for more teachers, than there’s a lot for you to start boycotting. Banks, movies, food, computers, cars, beer. There’s no shortage of millionaires.

    Sports salaries are an easy target, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that they’re fair. Unfortunately, this country isn’t built on fair. It’s built on supply and demand. As long as people keep demanding sports (buying tickets, merchandise, watching games on TV and the subsequent commercials), high salaries will remain.

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