Commentary, opinion and news on the world of hockey.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Why pro sports isn't as fun

It's a funy thing, the evolution of sports. I remember back fondly to a day when hockey and baseball were all about excitement, the cheering of the crowd, the crack of the bat, the flashing red light signaling a goal. But when I turn on the television these days, whether it's to catch a Raptors game or last year's NHL action, I can't help but think back to the time where things like player salaries, revenues, the CBA, TV contracts, pay-per-view, salary caps and luxury taxes were basically unknown to the average sports fan. Times were better, the games were more exciting, and sports was much more than a business to all involved.

Now, sports is all about the mighty buck. That's reality. I accept that, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Take, for example, Eric Gagne and his brand new $19.5 million dollar contract. Or how about Roger Clemens and the fact that he filed for a record $22 million US in salary arbitration. Let that ring off the tongue a few times. Twenty-two million dollars. Twenty-two mill...........sigh. I have a hard time watching a hockey or baseball game without being consciously aware of the amounts of money required to field these athletes. And the more I think about that, the less attractive the games become.

Now, I realize that pro sports have evolved into much more of a business and entertainment entity than anything else. Gone are the days where sports was merely a game. And as revenues rise, so will the expenses (i.e. player salaries). Like I said before, I can accept that, but I do not like it and I will continue to struggle with what I interperet as the diminishing entertainment value of pro sports.


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