The King Speaks from Across the Pond
One of my best friends made the move a few years ago from New York City to London. He’s always been somewhat of an introvert, so I am equally impressed with both his decision to take a risk, and the way he’s successfully pulled it off.
With the globalization of sport (NBA European Division?, NFL games in London, Buffalo Bills move to Toronto?, etc.) many of us our offering up resistance to these changes. Here to offer us his London perspective is my good friend “The King”.
“I have one problem with American sports today that I need to vent and it’s now taking over even here in England. Maybe you can take it up on your blog and bring some attention to it before it’s too late. That is the commercialization of sport. For Christ sake, going to a college Football game now feels like an NFL experience in some places. It’s all about money, tv rights, etc. Have you heard about this ridiculous idea of English Premier League Football (soccer) now moving abroad and scheduling one league game a season for each team overseas? This was direct response from the NFL having “successfully ” playing one game a year here in Europe and generating a bunch of revenue. Dolphins – Giants. But it’s causing massive shockwaves here in a country where tradition is king. Seems the American way is spreading over here to the owners and it’s not good. Alas, how does this really effect American sports fans (your readers). Well, read the link I provided about NBA’s european expansion plans all for money. Where does this quest for increased tv, ad, etc revenue stop for the love of the sport! We are no longer seen as fans, we are customers! Will we care about games between the NY Knicks and the Singapore Slingers? Can a game between the Dallas Cowboys and London Dragons really help the game? You think those are hypothetical? Not if you actually see what is going on around the world right now as we speak it’s not. Read this about the NBA’s plan. This quest for money needs to stop at some point. Teams need to realize that they play for fans, the fans don’t play for them. Have a read about the English League and it may be a preminition of whats surely to come in the States if it hasn’t already.
First of all, I’d like to thank The King for his unique perspective. I agree wholeheartedly that the commecialization of sports and the continual push for more revenue continues to separate the fan from the ownership. They deal in numbers that ordinary fans can’t even begin to contemplate. For example, if one of us blew the sort of money the Yankees did (even proportionate to our income) in signing Carl Pavano, we would likely be hurting for several years. However, when you’re dealing with big business like the Yankees are, you can shrug it off and just sign Roger Clemens to a $28 million pro-rated one-year deal. Everyone comes down on the players for their enormous contracts, but they rarely cast their stare on the management’s bankroll. It seems like everything is for sale. Candlestick Park and the Boston Garden are just a couple examples of the corporate greed. Even we as fans are up for sale. Do you think they care about us or the revenue we provide them? How else can you justify taking away a home game from diehard fans. When new stadiums are built, what is usually the most imporant thing? Corporate suites. They would rather wine and dine the corporate types than provide affordable seating to the fans who really support the team. We hear over and over again that it’s a business. Well, it wasn’t always that way. You hear that it’s entertainment. It wasn’t always that way. It was once a sport.