Baseball On My Brain


Spander on Sports
January 26, 2008, 9:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Art Spander, a legend in Bay Area sports writing, contributes this piece to the collective consciousness.

(Thanks to the crew at USSportsPages.com for the link. Gotta give credit where it’s due…and where they have those little Visa stickers in the window.)

I’ve re-read this piece a half-dozen times now…it’ll probably be a dozen by the time I finish this. When I initially glanced at it, I thought it was a feel-good story about how sport serves as a refuge, allowing us to forget about the rest of the world, even if only for a little while. Almost the same effect as going to a movie theater.

But as I came back to the piece and spent some more time with it, it didn’t sit so well with me…calling to mind the “sports junkie,” but with emphasis on the word junkie, desperate to get another fix.

Not to mention the corporate side of the equation, as Spander illustrates through golf tournament sponsors. But when seen through the eyes of corporate preservation – it becomes a little cleared. Protect the brand long-term by keeping the name visible and associated with feel-good things, and protect it short-term by cutting employment to keep cash flow going in the right direction.

There is certainly a puzzling dynamic at play here — to spend your last $20 to watch some guy making $20 million, and put more money in the pockets of the owner making $20 billion. It’s no secret I love sports – particularly baseball – and I also work in the professional sports industry. How do I resolve it?

As of now, I guess I don’t. I’ve always said that the fastest way to affect change is to vote with your wallet. Cut off the water in the well and people will stop going back when they’re thirsty. But I also don’t want to give up my season tickets. Maybe I just won’t buy a new hat this year or I’ll get a few less bread bowls of clam chowder.

How do you resolve it? I’d like to know. Post your thoughts!

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