People Forget…

that professional sports teams are, well, in the entertainment business, nothing more and nothing less and the result is a misplaced sense of loyalty that only goes one way, to the team.

Teams would like to have us believe, of course, that they are regional assets, that having one makes a city special and that the people in any given place owe the team a kind of allegiance because its there, and its “their” team. Yet nothing could be further from the truth, and the truth can set you free.

A professional sports team, perhaps outside of the Green Bay Packers, never belongs to a community. It’s always been and will continue to be the property of the people who own it, their business, their assets, and their profit. The team produces a product, the entertainment provided by watching people who claim to excel at a particular game, and people pay money to watch these events and buy various items related to the team. It’s a show and you pay for it just like you’d go to a concert or a rodeo or a restaurant.

Now they’ve done a very good job of wrapping it up in some kind of greater loyalty, but there’s nothing per se that’s in it for you. You are loyal to though team but the team is loyal to its owners and if the owners feel that you’re not loyal enough, that is attending games and buying things, they will simply move on and demand that kind of loyalty from another town. That’s why the Colts moved from Dallas to Baltimore to Indianapolis and why the Cardinals are in Arizona after being in Chicago and St. Louis and the Rams are in St. Louis after being in Los Angeles.

The truth is that you owe them nothing. They are a product like anything else. You don’t, for example, have to keep going to a restaurant when you dislike the food and so, in the same way, you don’t have to be loyal to a team that continually puts out a bad product. The “loyalty” professional sports teams demand is a very successful advertising gimmick designed to get you to feel an obligation to financially support their business because somehow its “belongs” to the community. Hogwash.

If a car repair place underperformed on their obligations you’d never go there again so why do you have to show up to watch an entertainment product that continues to disappoint? The answer is that you don’t.  The truth is that the team needs to be loyal to you, to give you something worth watching and your loyalty to them is only to the extent that they produce an entertainment product you enjoy. If they don’t you can move on any time you like to something better and let the empty seats tell the team that you’re not interested.

That’s the truth which sets you free. You’re under no obligation to support any professional sports team that fails to live up to your expectations. You’re the consumer. You’re the boss. The teams exist to entertain you with a product you enjoy. You are not obligated in any way to the team unless you choose to be. Good teams will get support. Bad teams will flounder because they should. the power is in your hands.

No more guilt because you think you have the support the local team. You don’t. No more frustration because you’ve invested your heart and soul into an entertainment business (team) that fails to meet your expectations. Switch the channel. Go online. There’s a hundred different things to do and a lot of worthy forms of entertainment  available even on Sunday afternoons.

What the heck, you might even relax enough in the morning to enjoy Church!


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