sports, what is America really going to do? No more
useless hours spent at a ballpark or a stadium.
No more piles of dollars spent on "authentic"
team gear that could have gone to something with
more use. But more importantly, no more complaining
about every single thing associated with the sport.
That is where we are today.
has become everyone's confessional.
the chance for the lower middle class factory worker
to complain about the salaries of the people that
he pays to go see play. It's the chance for
the average baseball player to attempt to convince
the mainstream masses that he's merely doing what's
best for the "good of the game". It's
the chance for the owner to attempt to convince
the masses that in reality, atheletes are vastly
overpaid, and they're the reason why you
must pay five dollars for a damn plate of nachos,
or six dollars for a luke warm beer. Confessional
- and we, the average fan, are the priest. We get
to hear every single side of the complaint, yet
all it does to us is drive us away.
for instance the stance that the Atlanta Braves
took over starter Kevin Millwood. As opposed to
the team taking blame for making what many consider
the worst trade in baseball over the past five years,
the Braves instead blamed the players, and their
constant thirst for more money. Quite simply, the
Braves traded a pitcher a year or so from his prime,
because they couldn't afford him. Take into account
the basic flaw with this plan.
Braves voluntarily paid him that salary.
right, no one stuck a gun to the Braves forehead,
they chose to pay Millwood the money that
he recieved. Yet? What you heard was complaining
that salaries were too high, that the players were
being unreasonable, and he was traded for baseball
"economics". How about the Baltimore Ravens?
A mere six months removed from winning the Super
Bowl, the World Championship, the entire enchilada,
they completely imploded their team because in reality,
they only overpaid for a title. It's the "Florida
Marlins Disease". It's what's ruining professional
sports. It's the desire of a team and of a player.
To sacrifice his soul, every last fabric of his
own morality, in order for the all acclaimed "ring";
a simple piece of jewlery that somehow defines a
player's entire career. The Ravens cheated their
fans, their host city, and every single sports nut
that thought better of the game. And by doing so,
they sent the clear message to everyone: the Marlins
in reality, it's a complete cycle. The fans complain
about the state of the organization, ticket prices,
and player salaries. So, in time, the owner decides
to sell his soul. He or she overpays for every single
player that's the "missing piece" of their
championship puzzle, and suddenly the fans don't
mind. Ticket prices are no longer absurd, because
they're winning. Players salaries aren't that high,
because by God, "we're winning". The cycle
continues, a championship is won, or nearly won,
then it finishes. They rip the team apart, and the
fans come back out of the woodwork. It's what drives
the constant rotation of players in professional
sports. It's what drives the Arizona Cardinals to
sign Emmitt Smith. It's what drives the San Francisco
49ers to let Joe Montana wear the red and white
of Kansas City. It's what allows the New York Yankees
to spend infinitely more then any other team in
winning is the only thing that matters.
I never much cared for John Stockton. He was the
short white man that always annoyed the hell out
of me. Yet in the end? What he did was go beyond
the boundaries that we place on sports today. He
didn't get his "ring". He was never the
"final piece" of someone's championship
puzzle. But what he was, was loyal; to his owner,
to his teammates and to his fans. He never complained
about money. He never demanded a trade, and in the
end...he never won a championship.
I'd imagine John Stockton's content with that, because
John Stockton personified how sports should be played,
and he personified how athletes should react.
wasn't on posters. He didn't have a shoe contract,
and no fan cared. The Jazz owner, Larry Miller,
would have paid him any amount of money he asked
for, but he never got the chance. Think of that
this NBA off season. Think of that when the Miguel
Tejada sweepstakes begins this year in the major
leagues. Think of that as numerous veterans are
cut after June 1st because they don't "fit"...due
to economics. Want to know what's wrong with
look in the mirror.
it's us, the fans, that have ruined every single
sport we once held in reverance. It's us, the fans,
that cause players salaries to escalate. It's us,
the fans, that cause teams to ping pong across this
country. It's us, the fans, that allow players to
be traded at will, and then complain about a player
not having "loyality". If you ever cared
about professional sports, then simply do me a favor.
the accomplishments of the athletes...and just be
your opinion - it's the same principle that
I'm capitalizing on now by writing this article
- but take this into account. The next time you
complain about players salaries? Your favorite player
will be traded for a 18 year old pitcher that might
not ever amount to anything. The next time you complain
about ticket prices? A team will up and leave your
city, and then you'll be left remembering the "old
days". The next time you complain about your
team stinking up the joint, they'll overpay for
players that they won't keep, and you'll have one
season in Utopia, only to be followed by years and
years of heartache. Simply put, what's wrong with
professional sports isn't those associated with
those that watch them, and how they react.