Hey Sports Fan, You Don’t Matter!
One of the highlights of my week, week in and week out, is when I get home and there it is…my Sports Illustrated!
Oh I know, I’m one of the few old dog’s left that actually gets a magazine delivered the old fashioned way…by the postman (or woman, can’t discriminate!). I guess I could get it faster, cheaper, more easily with some electronic device. But you know what? There are still a few of us old dinosaur’s that like the feel, the look, heck the smell of a new magazine or book. A book, by the way, is something that contains several hundred pages, you turn them and…well, it’s kind of like a new blog on every page. You’d like it.
So anyway, I get my fresh new Sports Illustrated and see it’s the inaugural SI ‘Power Issue’, running down the 50 most powerful people in sports. These are always fun because they are always arguable. There is no definitive 50 most powerful of course. You may find someone left off the list, or maybe you think someone is ranked too high or too low, that sort of thing.
There I am paging through the issue and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, is ranked #1. Okay. David Stern from the NBA is #2, some guy named Philip Anschultz is next, then some ESPN big shot, Bud Selig from baseball and…well, you get the idea. This is a list of powerful sports people, in other words, the people who matter.
Guess who wasn’t on the list. Not on the list at all. Looked through the entire issue, front to back, page after page. This list was supposed to include everybody who was anybody, or at least the people who powered the sports world.
And who was totally left off, forgotten, not even mentioned in passing?
That’s right, you the sports fan. When I first saw the cover and it was going to be about the most powerful people, I thought for sure they would have mentioned you (and me). You know, at least a ‘symbolic’ ranking, maybe somewhere in the 40’s or so. We don’t have to be on top, not as a fan, but shouldn’t the fan be somewhere in the most powerful list?
You know, the fan who shell’s out all that dough so they (or their kid) can wear the shoes that LeBron, Kobe or Kevin wears? The fan that shell’s out hundred’s of dollars so they can be seen in Adrian’s, Peyton’s or Tom’s jersey? The fan who pays 10 times the price of a ticket so they can see their beloved Heat or Black Hawks or Patriots?
I think it’s that same fan who spends hundred’s of dollars to get a jacket that has the number 99 on it…or 24…or 48.
It’s the guy (or lady) that spends thousand’s driving, lodging, eating and drinking at that pro baseball, football, basketball or NASCAR race. Then, figuratively lives or dies when the last basket, field goal, pitch or lap goes well or ill.
And then does it all over again next season. And next. And next.
That man? That woman? Nope, not on the list. Don’t you think they could have collectively put us all together, us fans of all the sports, and just called us ‘The Fan?’. Just a symbolic nod of the football helmet, baseball cap, basketball shoe, hockey skate, race car hood. They wouldn’t even have to really mean it, just at least give us a wink and a smile.
But no. Nothing.
I have to go now. The game is just about ready to start.