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    sweabs
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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    The athletes do owe us something. They are a product WE pay to see. Without us they aren't getting paid. That's like saying a restaurant doesn't owe their patrons a quality meal or friendly service. Yes you do, I'm paying you.

    Lebron did owe the Cleveland fans something, at the very least he owed the franchise a phone call before he pulled the rug out from under them.

    Surely, in the end, it is Lebron's life and his own decision, but his claims of just wanting to win and it not being about the money ring hollow to me.

    He may be entitled to make this decision, but at the same time the fans every right to feel jilted and pissed off. Just like Applebee's has every right to serve me a ****ty meal and make me wait an hour to receive it, but they shouldn't feign the victim when I refuse to pay the bill.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    The athletes do owe us something. They are a product WE pay to see. Without us they aren't getting paid. That's like saying a restaurant doesn't owe their patrons a quality meal or friendly service. Yes you do, I'm paying you.

    Lebron did owe the Cleveland fans something, at the very least he owed the franchise a phone call before he pulled the rug out from under them.

    Surely, in the end, it is Lebron's life and his own decision, but his claims of just wanting to win and it not being about the money ring hollow to me.

    He may be entitled to make this decision, but at the same time the fans every right to feel jilted and pissed off. Just like Applebee's has every right to serve me a ****ty meal and make me wait an hour to receive it, but they shouldn't feign the victim when I refuse to pay the bill.
    Actually the fans weren't paying him anymore, so no he didn't owe them anything. Services rendered, payment in full. Transaction completed.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    The athletes do owe us something. They are a product WE pay to see. Without us they aren't getting paid. That's like saying a restaurant doesn't owe their patrons a quality meal or friendly service. Yes you do, I'm paying you.
    from his first year up to his last year as a Cav he gave the best service he can give to the fans night in and night out. And that is by playing well and giving them quality basketball they haven't seen from most Cavs players. It's not like he's missed a ton of games on the bench being paid tens of millions of dollars, nor did he has shown too much poor or subpar performance in his career as a Cav.

    So in that essence, he's getting paid and he's returning the favor with his high quality basketball. The support fans and the Cavs organization gave him were all returned by superstar performance every year, and made that team a contender in the NBA for several years. Just like an employee providing high quality of work as a return of favor for the company hiring him. LeBron has paid his dues. No matter how much fans are upset, he'll never feel he's owed them because he has done so much for them.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Actually the fans weren't paying him anymore, so no he didn't owe them anything. Services rendered, payment in full. Transaction completed.
    Ok well if Applebee's told me to go **** myself, right after I paid my bill, I'd still be pissed at them.

    Maybe you're different.

    I guess I feel like we treat athletes like they are better than us. Sorry, but I don't bow to Lebron James, yeah he's really good at his job, but I'm pretty good at my job too. You're probably pretty good at yours so on and so on. You would never treat your paying customers the way Lebron treated Cleveland last night, even once your services were rendered. At least I would hope you wouldn't.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by 15th parallel View Post
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    from his first year up to his last year as a Cav he gave the best service he can give to the fans night in and night out. And that is by playing well and giving them quality basketball they haven't seen from most Cavs players. It's not like he's missed a ton of games on the bench being paid tens of millions of dollars, nor did he has shown too much poor or subpar performance in his career as a Cav.

    So in that essence, he's getting paid and he's returning the favor with his high quality basketball. The support fans and the Cavs organization gave him were all returned by superstar performance every year, and made that team a contender in the NBA for several years. Just like an employee providing high quality of work as a return of favor for the company hiring him. LeBron has paid his dues. No matter how much fans are upset, he'll never feel he's owed them because he has done so much for them.
    Yeah, you're right Lebron even said so much, he said he'd spoil the fans of Cleveland with his play and they should be oh so privileged just to watch him play.

    The length of rope this guy gets to hang himself is amazing...He's a spoiled prima donna. I feel like that is something everyone should agree on. He completely mishandled the situation last night. It was one of the most self centered, look at me, moments in the history of this country. Forget sports.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    I said I wouldn't comment on another Lebron thread, but this one opens up to more then just Lebron. It is a great topic to cover and talk about, thank you for posting it.

    My feeling is that Lebron doesn't owe Cleveland anything, except maybe more of an advanced warning that he was leaving. He got Cleveland to Finals and he got them to the playoffs numerous times. With a limited cast for the most part. He gave them 15,000 points, he gave them the powder in the sky, he gave them his blood sweat and tears for seven years. He made the franchise and the city way more money then they ever paid him in salary. Every night he put on one hell of a show, not just for the home crowd but for every arena he played in. He gave them a hero, someone who might break that dreaded Cleveland curse. But the day came and he decided to leave, he decided to join forces with other top players he likes playing with and to have a better chance at playing for a title every year.

    Cleveland got lucky to even get Lebron in the first place, picking number one in any draft has a lot to do with luck. It's like they feel like they owned him or something. I understand being fan we can become so attached to a player, feeling like we are part of them and that they are part of us, and deep inside we all want to be that player we love, we want to do the things they do on the basketball court. And sometimes I feel we can develop a sense of ownership and entitlement, like we pay their salaries so they should follow our vision of what is right. Truth is we don't indivdually pay their salary, it is a collective thing that spreads out far beyond us as individuals. Sure we contribute, but if we step away, someone else will most likely step-in and pay.

    They don't owe us anything really, imo. Sure they need to play hard and perform, if they don't they won't last long, it's their career and living, they are working just like anyone else. It's hard to be a professional athlete. It helps to be like Lebron and be so blessed with god given talent, but it is still hard. I just enjoy watching them perform and when I am on the court I think of the players I like and want to perform like them, but of course I am not that blessed with that level of talent, but I still play hard and try to be my best, but that is a separate story.

    And now the judgements of what Lebron should have done come raining down. It's open season for those who already dislike him. It wouldn't of mattered what he would of done for some, they would still have issue with it, that's what happens when you are great. The fan and even those who hate you can feel attached and entitled, they can feel like they can judge you if you don't fit their view of what is the right thing to do for a pro athlete.

    He did the smart thing in my opinion, he aligned himself with two other top level players, giving him the best chance to win a multiple titles. To me this marks a new era of professional sports. We saw it with Boston, only circumstance were different. Loyalty is becoming more a thing of the past. This is also a rare opportunity, where everything lined up right and Riley and the Heat owner made it all come together.

    The whole one hour special with Jim Grey (can't stand him) was just too much and that was something that should have been handled better, but you know what, most of us basketball fans in general watched it. Even if you dislike him you watched it or read about it or complained about it here. Why, because he is a global icon and one of the best basketball players in the world. We either want to love him or hate him because of his greatness, because it seems like it comes so easy for him. We are either jealous, envious, or appreciative of his talents.

    Some here say some of the most hateful and disrespectful things about him, it blows my mind. I know it is within each persons right in a forum like this to express how we feel. But most of the hate of him is just plain jealousy, period. Of course it is partly about the money for him, he has a family and friends to take care of, but some act like he is some money grubbing whore who only cares about the money and not winning. I could care less about how much money he makes, it's his life and his talent to market how he chooses. We would all probably agree he should have handled it differently, but calling him names and hating on him is just childish in my opinion.

    The Modern-Day athlete is different breed then those of the past. There is more money to be made and more opportunities to maximize your talents and career. I think it effects the sport and all professional sports in the modern day. It hurts the small market in many ways, we all know that very well. That is probably the saddest thing to come out of this. The Cleveland sports doesn't deserve it. But also in my opinion it can't all be thrown on Lebron. He has to live his life and make decisions for himself and his family. Being such a global icon, he isn't always going to make the decisions we think he should make, but that is the business. As sad as it is for Cleveland, they will move on. Lebron will be behind Art Modell as the most hated Ohio sports icon. But in the end the he has to make the best decision for himself and his family. There are exceptions, Kevin Durant comes to mind, he seem like a guy who will stay, but that team is a special team that is loaded with young studs who are all on the same page. I am sure there are others, but in the end this trend will continue and we will probably see more of it in the future.
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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    LeBron gave Cleveland seven years of the best basketball ever played on planet earth. He doesn't owe them anything.

    But if you disagree, answer this:

    Let's say the best basketball player in the world grew up in Evansville, played his high school ball in Indiana, was drafted by the Pacers and won multiple MVPs while the team had massive amounts of success (but not a championship) and made the Indiana Pacers an internationally known organization. And he did all that for 7 full years.

    If that player did all that for our team and our state, would you hate him if he decided it was in his best interests as a person and a player to move on to a new team?

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
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    Let's say the best basketball player in the world grew up in Evansville, played his high school ball in Indiana, was drafted by the Pacers and won multiple MVPs while the team had massive amounts of success (but not a championship) and made the Indiana Pacers an internationally known organization. And he did all that for 7 full years.

    If that player did all that for our team and our state, would you hate him if he decided it was in his best interests as a person and a player to move on to a new team?
    If it left our organization in bottom-feeder mode, yep.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by odeez View Post
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    Loyalty is becoming more a thing of the past.
    Should it?

    The NBA in particular has chosen more and more to try to wean fans from cheering for a team and toward cheering for a half-dozen superstars. The teams exist only to showcase the superstars, and teams without a superstar exist only as a foil for the superstars when they come into town.

    How long can a sports league exist in this way, when there aren't enough superstars to go around?

    The question is whether or not the league exists to provide huge incomes for the players and the league office, or whether it exists to provide a continuity of professional sporting events around the country.

    If the former, then they are certainly there,

    If the latter, then loyalty isn't just not a thing of the past, it is VITAL.

    Of course, I am talking about loyalty of FANS to a TEAM even when the team isn't one of the Big Five. But to GET to that, you need loyalty of players, whether forced (by league rules such as the NFL Franchise Player rule) or unforced (like players choosing to stay with their team as opposed to taking opportunities elsewhere).

    I am afraid, however, that the NBA Management has decided that a few players who can command "top" ratings (which, I believe, are not even close to NFL ratings) for the year is the best profit model, while other teams are left to struggle because they don't affect the league's bottom line. I think this will lead to a contraction within the next decade, as there simply aren't enough superstars to go around - especially if they decide to triple-up on the lucky 4 or 5 teams at the top of the league.

    As I said to UB on another thread, I think NBA management is not just OK with that, they desire it. Fewer teams may screw much of the country, but if they can sell twice or three times as many seats for ten times as much in the biggest market then they make their money with less hassle and - since the number of places for players becomes much more restricted - ultimately drive player salaries down for an even HIGHER margin.
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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by sweabs View Post
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    Are the players to be thought of as nothing more than a contract?
    Great post, and to me, this question you pose is basically what it comes down to.

    I do agree with you that players should be thought of as more than a contract.

    But I also respect the fact that Lebron James is a mere mortal and like the rest of us has his own hopes, dreams, and desires and is entitled the freedom to choose where he wants to play and how he wants to utilize his talent. Lebron James is not, and never was, the savior of Cleveland. Lebron James never chose this role, for he did not draft Cleveland, Cleveland drafted him. He is not a Christ-like figure who exists for the benefit and the realization of the hopes and dreams of everyone except himself.

    The slogan generated around Lebron in Cleveland was "We are all Witnesses." Witnesses are people who have the benefit of seeing and possibly benefiting from a moment, but in my opinion they do not take ownership of that moment, instead they are observers. The only person who really has ownership of the generated moments are the generator himself, and that is Lebron. Because Lebron is the one who generates those moments and they would not exist without him, he is free to take them wherever he chooses. Only Lebron has complete ownership of what he does. And when your product is accepted universally like Lebron's is, you don't have to worry about finding one particular market for your goods. By being more than acceptable to everyone Lebron is accountable to no one.

    I enjoy watching basketball as entertainment but I don't expect Lebron or any other athlete to manufacture true joy and happiness on my behalf. Only you can generate that for yourself, in my opinion.

    (Full disclosure: This was written after reading the following blog post, which I recommend:http://www.cavstheblog.com/?p=2604#comments)
    Last edited by idioteque; 07-10-2010 at 05:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Can You Say.....Franchise Tag In Next CBA

    David Stern is a filthy crook and worthless NBA commissioner to let this crap take place (again). The NBA owners need to dump Stern and find a real Commissioner and then ensure a Franchise Tag clause is added to the next CBA that's agreed upon. It is totally BS for small market teams to LOSE their only NBA superstar (i.e. Toronto and Cleveland) to scheming NBA superstars and their money grubbing Agents. In 2008, the LA Lakers started this BS by scheming with Memphis GM Jerry West (ex-Laker Hall of Famer) to steal Paul Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies after the Timberwolves' Big Ticket had been traded to the Celtics and Ray Allen signed with them the year before.

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    Default Re: Can You Say.....Franchise Tag In Next CBA

    Quote Originally Posted by TooBigNdaPaint View Post
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    In 2008, the LA Lakers started this BS by scheming with Memphis GM Jerry West (ex-Laker Hall of Famer) to steal Paul Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies...
    I hate to interrupt a conspiracy theory with facts, but West had been long-retired when Memphis GM Chris Wallace made that bad deal.
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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    I love how we’re supposed to feel bad for franchises that lose big players. Knife in the hearts? Give me a break. I would die to have LeBron or Bosh play for my team for just ONE season. It would make watching games so much more fun, it would make being a fan so much more enjoyable. All these fans are acting so entitled and ungrateful. You had them for seven years, enjoy the time together and get over it. It’s just like any other relationship. Burning jerseys and whining about tweets makes you guys look much worse than the players who departed, regardless of the terms they did it on. There is no rule book for how to leave a team. There is a rule on being a fan, though. The rule is suck it up and move on.

  20. #15
    billbradley
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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    were fans or franchises unfair or disloyal to mcnabb or patrick ewing? why is it okay for a town to give up on its hometown hero (brady quinn) but the hero can't give up on the town?

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Sweabs - good post. I don't have much to add because I don't understand posts that are longer than two sentences and don't have a fart joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
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    Ok well if Applebee's told me to go **** myself, right after I paid my bill, I'd still be pissed at them.

    Maybe you're different.

    I guess I feel like we treat athletes like they are better than us. Sorry, but I don't bow to Lebron James, yeah he's really good at his job, but I'm pretty good at my job too. You're probably pretty good at yours so on and so on. You would never treat your paying customers the way Lebron treated Cleveland last night, even once your services were rendered. At least I would hope you wouldn't.
    you are comparing apples and oranges. You are comparing retail, Point of Purchase customer service with private contract work. Its completely different. Lebron met the terms of his contract, and decided that he did not need another one from that particular employer. Thats business. Lebron Jame is not at risk if he pisses off the fan base in Cleveland at the end of his contract.
    Last edited by graphic-er; 07-10-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Should it?

    The NBA in particular has chosen more and more to try to wean fans from cheering for a team and toward cheering for a half-dozen superstars. The teams exist only to showcase the superstars, and teams without a superstar exist only as a foil for the superstars when they come into town.

    How long can a sports league exist in this way, when there aren't enough superstars to go around?

    The question is whether or not the league exists to provide huge incomes for the players and the league office, or whether it exists to provide a continuity of professional sporting events around the country.

    If the former, then they are certainly there,

    If the latter, then loyalty isn't just not a thing of the past, it is VITAL.

    Of course, I am talking about loyalty of FANS to a TEAM even when the team isn't one of the Big Five. But to GET to that, you need loyalty of players, whether forced (by league rules such as the NFL Franchise Player rule) or unforced (like players choosing to stay with their team as opposed to taking opportunities elsewhere).

    I am afraid, however, that the NBA Management has decided that a few players who can command "top" ratings (which, I believe, are not even close to NFL ratings) for the year is the best profit model, while other teams are left to struggle because they don't affect the league's bottom line. I think this will lead to a contraction within the next decade, as there simply aren't enough superstars to go around - especially if they decide to triple-up on the lucky 4 or 5 teams at the top of the league.

    As I said to UB on another thread, I think NBA management is not just OK with that, they desire it. Fewer teams may screw much of the country, but if they can sell twice or three times as many seats for ten times as much in the biggest market then they make their money with less hassle and - since the number of places for players becomes much more restricted - ultimately drive player salaries down for an even HIGHER margin.
    This also gets into the realm of profit sharing. Does profit sharing motivate owners and GMs to put the best product on the field or rely on the top teams to generate profit for everyone? In the NFL, you have alot of teams that just coast by year after year. But it certainly helps the small market teams stay in the black on the financials. Where as in the NBA, your teams financial success is more determined on your regional market size. IE. the LA Clippers who have been a disaster for longer than anyone can remember and yet still they pull the profit in because they are LA.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by sweabs View Post
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    Eek. I was hoping to get a few more responses, but thanks to those who have chimed in so far. Perhaps the lack of responses illustrates, in some capacity, an answer to my question.


    Is there some truth to this, or is it part of some mythologized past? Is there ever any way to know for sure whether one is acting out of "loyalty"? What is "loyalty"?

    Furthermore, if one accepts the idea that "loyalty" once existed - what has led to its deterioration? And are professional sports better or worse without it?

    Of course Loyalty is a thing of the past. It is this way in every facet of business. In most fields employers have completely victimized the work force in the perpetual race to the bottom we are experiencing here in America. Loyalty has been replaced with fear. Loyalty is a product of investment from both sides, being treated as an asset rather than a liability or expense to the bottom line.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    If you want loyalty, adopt a dog.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    you are comparing apples and oranges. You are comparing retail, Point of Purchase customer service with private contract work. Its completely different. Lebron met the terms of his contract, and decided that he did not need another one from that particular employer. Thats business. Lebron Jame is not at risk if he pisses off the fan base in Cleveland at the end of his contract.
    When you order food at applebee's you are entering into a contract with Applebee's. It's short term, but it is a contract in the most simple of terms. There is an offer, consideration, acceptance.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    you are comparing apples and oranges. You are comparing retail, Point of Purchase customer service with private contract work. Its completely different. Lebron met the terms of his contract, and decided that he did not need another one from that particular employer. Thats business. Lebron Jame is not at risk if he pisses off the fan base in Cleveland at the end of his contract.
    I would argue he is at risk, or at least his image is.

    A really good thread, and some great discussion.

    My opinion is athletes do not owe a franchise any thing, though personally I liked the old school mentally of "hell if I am going to join them, I am going to beat them instead" better.

    I personally think all of this is a moot point (except for in Celvland) if Lebron handled this better. If he just has a basic press conference, people in CLE would be mad but the rest of the world would go about their business. Lebron did himself no favors by turning this into a spectacle, and I am sure referring to himself in the third person during his (joke of an) interview with Jim Gray.

    I will sign off with this: THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. THIS IS SPORTS.

    We have young men and women fighting a war, who are risking thier lives on a daily basis. We have people trying to find jobs, who are begging for work out of college. It is kind of sad who seriously some poeple take sports now a days. Yes it is an escape from reality, but you should never want to kill a fan for catching a ball. You should never HATE a grown man for leaving your franchise. If it one thing to have a rivalry, it is another to burn his jersey in the street.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    One last thing "loyalty" does not exist any more. It is just another reason why I loved Reggie Miller (and Darell Green, etc etc).

    I have older friends who have stayed with some companies 13-15 years. I have another friend who is the same age as me, and in 4 years has been in 3 different companies. He almost moved every 3 months before finally settling down.

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with either approach, but loyalty from both employees and employers IMO is a thing of the past.

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    I am sure there are people out there who disagree with me, and that is cool.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact I have taken a step back on being so extreme with sports in the past, partly because of time (and financial) constraints, and partly because being a Pacers, Notre Dame, Redskins, and O's fan will do that to you.

    I still contend sports are an escape from reality for me, a chance to wish I was running onto FedEx or running out of the tunnel into Conseco, and caring about men who make 10X that night then I will make in my life, but that is just me

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    Default Re: Modern-Day Professional Sports & the Athlete

    Quote Originally Posted by sweabs View Post
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    But I believe this is what I was alluding to in my original post. Even look at the types of words you're using to describe this scenario...as a fan, no less! And as billbradley points out, this thinking permeates to all realms of professional sport (franchises, owners, athletes, fans, etc.).

    So I'm wondering - as fans, what is it that we want? What do we want to experience? Can a radical paradigm shift away from the aforementioned narrative have any sort of impact on athletes, organizations, owners, etc.? Are professional sports always doomed to this type of thinking? Because some of you make reference to the fact that it didn't used to be this way. Perhaps fans at that time were not talking about products, markets, goods, salary negotiations, etc. - maybe they were experiencing something closer to basketball? Or is it just some nostalgic, but fabricated illusion? And what sort of effect would such thinking have on other parties?
    I will take a shot at your questions

    As a fan of basketball, I want to enjoy what I'm watching, but I don't expect to experience true joy from what I'm watching. Mere enjoyment is the culmination of what one can get from basketball or professional sports, a "witness" if you will. I can only attain true joy and happiness by my own actions and accomplishments, because I believe true joy cannot be taken away. Athletes are like beer, candy, two hours in a movie theatre, or whores: enjoy them while you have them, but don't expect them to be a gift that keeps on giving because that's not what they're there for. And I'm totally fine with that. I don't want what I value most in life to be something someone else can take away with one decision.

    I don't think there can be a radical paradigm shift away from this current line of thinking, ever, as long as the NBA remains as popular as it is. We have to remember that years ago when athletes ingratiated themselves more with the fans, the NBA was a niche sport and wasn't even hardly ever televised live, even during the Finals. So the players didn't have the breathing room to act however they wanted, they were much more accountable to the customer at that time. Now, however, everyone is the customer, and if you **** a million of them off, there are 20 million out there that are still ready to embrace you.

    The paradigm has also shifted because athletes now make so much more money than most in society, and are so sequestered from mainstream society, I think they lose touch of what the average people really want and how much they really care about sports. Athletes were not so wealthy years ago and were much more exposed to and hand things in common with the average fan. By being intimately familiar with something most people are really obsessed with but aren't intimately familiar with, you lose touch of how much it means to some people. Look at how so many politicians are labeled as "losing touch" after being in power for so long. They forget how important their actions really are to everyone else. So yes, I do think that people may have been experiencing "more" than what we experience now as athletes and fans were once more intimate with one another and shared some of the same hopes and dreams.
    Last edited by idioteque; 07-11-2010 at 12:27 PM.

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