The Recession and Sports
Today was a low day in the American Economy, 69,000 lost their jobs, bringing the total of people who have lost there jobs in 2009 to almost 200,000 people.
It was once thought that the sports industry was recession proof—that people would turn to their sports teams to find joy in a time of despair.
But this is not the case with this recession. This is the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's—people are out of work, people are losing their homes, bills are increasing, and people can not make ends meet.
While all of this is happening, baseball players are getting the largest contracts ever, NBA players, with guaranteed contracts, are whining about how much they make and playing time, teams are raising ticket prices, and asking fans to buy licenses for their seats.
What does this say? Well fans, the sports world has become greedy, and we are playing along with them.
While many people are out of work, so are people around the sports world. The NFL, the crown jewel of the American sports industry, was forced to lay off 150 people in December. Many individual teams are laying off employees.
So what needs to happen?
Well, we need to get back to the days when players played for love of the game, and not love of the paycheck. We need to go back to when the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back.
When I was in college, I stopped watching the NBA because I couldn't follow who played for what team anymore, and I couldn't stand to hear people talking about "the next Michael Jordan."
Folks, there will never be another Michael Jordan.
Jordan was the best at what he did, but he also helped his team win, he made players around him better, but the one thing he also did was win titles.
Why is it that we always hear about the next Jordan, but we never hear how a team could be the next Boston Celtics? From 1957-1969, the Boston Celtics won seven NBA titles, and they played great team basketball.
So, what else needs to happen? How about prices?
Why is it that an upper level ticket to a sporting event can cost almost $18? Then, when you want to eat, try $7 for a hot dog, $5 for a soda and almost $7 for a beer.
When people are trying to decide what bills to pay this month, they are not thinking about a $7 hot dog. To bring fans back to arenas, the price of everything must come down.
If you lower them, they will come.
Fans will always be there for there team, but in these times, teams need to be there for their fans.
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