Thursday, February 6, 2014

Money of Sports

I had read David Carr's piece in the NY Times about the rise and popularity of live event television and it came on the news that this Super Bowl was the largest viewing crowd ever for a Super Bowl. Irony that it was between two teams whose States have legalized Marijuana, it should have been re-christened the Stoner Bowl.

Now it is true I live in Seattle and have immense fondness for Denver so much so I at one point considered relocating there but the current laws regarding this issue has been something I have had a problem with. Legal pot no, the law yes. And the issues about what it means with regards to handling of money, the federal government's position and finally the real money maker for Cities and States - DUI's.

So as I see we have what really matters decriminalizing pot to re criminalize users. And for the record the legalities surrounding liquor and sales have also changed dramatically across the US and again coming at a time when local legislators claim that driving under the influence is a scourge in the nation. Just ask pot smoking, chauffeuring kids high, Representative Goodman from Kirkland all about that. And the interesting fact here is that NFL includes Marijuana on the banned substance list despite the fact many are perfectly eligible to use it as a medical treatment. Shame they don't ban concussions or aggressive play and bullying of players. But hey that is what brings asses to the seats, violence.

And yesterday we had the welcome home parade for the Seahawks, mid week causing much hullabaloo and debate about closing schools, traffic, jobs and the like. Why mid week? Well there is another sporting event starting today - the Olympics - and they need asses in seats watching those on Saturday so it would have been a conflict.

So kids miss school, people miss work, businesses shut, buses were packed and roads a nightmare during our coldest spell ever to have over 700,000 people congest a City to recognize football players. REALLY?

I get that you can love sports but it is a business pure and simple much like the Olympics are. I had not watched an Olympic since the late 90s and I was a devotee where I would take time off, miss school and stay up all night to watch any and all of the Olympics. Then it changed or I did.

I think when then President of the Olympics,Juan Antonio Samaranch, who turned it into a type of professional sporting competition, the altering of years to ensure that it became every 2 years so we had no Olympic withdrawal, the competition among Countries to jockey to host at immense cost and losses and finally realizing that this was simply another dick measuring contest that made me stop. What really came of it was scandal from doping to bribing, his tenure was supposed to remove the stigma of Spain's reputation from the Franco days. I think it added to it frankly. But hey they gave us Picasso and amazing tapas!

I had not realized as a kid it was then the Cold War that had pumped up the volume and ensured the idea that these kids were monkey's for the State. I think that came later as revelations of drugs and exploitation of families to ensure Gold medals from particularly eastern block nations. Then we had the idea of it as Democracy versus Communism, whatever was needed to get assess in seats.

I have listened to the ever increasing debate about "Putin's" Olympics, the most expensive Olympics in history. Right there is the indication putting Putin's name first that is telling. Then the argument about Russia's laws and Homosexuality and of course the politics of Russia itself. I wonder if Edward Snowden will be there? Seriously this is shades of the 80s embargo for Russia's invasion of Afghanistan, guess we won that too in some twisted irony.

Sports is politics. I have said it before but read Dave Zirin's book, Game Over, it will change not how you feel about sports but about those behind the curtain of that Oz.

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