Friday, October 16, 2009

October... a time to argue

I went out tonight to watch the Yankee game with some friends. Well, with a friend and his friend who, as it turns out, is a big, wet, flapping douchebag. As soon as we got there, I asked the waitress what channel the game was on and she hooked me up by changing the channel on the nearest TV. I was psyched to check it out. This prick asks me, "Dude, you're a Yankees fan?" When I said yes, he said, "I fuckin' hate the Yankees." Here we go. I asked why and he proceeded to tell me the same thing I've heard a million times. The Yankees buy championships. Steinbrenner steals the best players. They're overpaid. They need a salary cap. And on down the line he went with the same Anti-Yankees rhetoric we've all heard a million times.

I told him I agreed that maybe there should be a cap but there's not. It's not Steinbrenner's fault. Talk to the MLB about that shit. Is ANY franchise in business to lose? If you had limitless funds, would you buy players that are bad? Would you plan to lose? No! If you won the lottery at $200 million, would you buy a Hyundai? Of course not. The point is that you have to pay to play. You're in it to win it. Gotta spend money to make money. And I repeated every financial based cliché I could think of. He didn't get it.

He's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I said, "Ok. Why did the Steelers buy Ben Roethlisberger?" Because he's good, because he could win and they pay for that luxury. Let's stay on football and their salary cap for a minute. Last year the Jets wanted Bret Favre. Why? Because he's a winner. So, they let go of Chad Pennington. Salary cap, right? Even so, Favre went where the money was because that's what it's about. Not loyalty to the Packers. Pennington went to the Dolphins. This year he's hurt and Chad Henne is filling in for him and he's having a good time. He's playing like a madman. Is he going to be worth money next year? Will he go where the money is? Yes and yes. It's all about the money.

You want to complain about the Yankees, then talk to the MLB and the MLBPA and get a salary cap put in. In the meantime, however, don't come bitching to me that the league allows limitless spending, the ball club can afford it, the players go for it and we, as fans, shell out our hard earned money for tickets to pay it. Who's to blame here? If a bar charges $20 a beer and you pay it, will they stop? No, of course not. If nobody comes back, you're putting the bar to a decision for all their chips. Do they go all in and keep the prices and risk going out of business or do they lower their prices? We pay stadium prices to fund these salaries. Steinbrenner has the best market in the country (New York) and he uses that to up prices (which get paid) to buy the best players to win. He's not buying championships. He's buying the talent to bring in the championships. Find me an owner of any business in any industry who says, "I buy the most worthless pieces of shit just so I can lose my customers and go out of business" and I'll delete this blog and kiss this douche on the lips. Until then, understand that the business of business is business.

A 4th in the crowd arrived late and asked me if sports are a business or entertainment. I just said, "to who?" because that matters. Frame of reference brother. To me, the spectator, it's entertainment. To the guy with billions of his own money invested in it, it's a business. To the players, maybe, hopefully, it's a little of both. To use a philosophy from the movie Joe Dirt, when UNICEF gets into this business maybe it will be different, but it's not a charity.

Well this wasn't really as much an argument as much as it was him spraying me with stupidity for a couple of minutes and then me firing back with sensible business backed ideas, clear lucid arguments, and simply supply-demand economics.

His final retort was, "I'm not good with numbers and my head hurts. I want to kill you right now because you made my brain hurt. I'm done with this conversation. Are you done? Let me know if you're done or not because I'm not sitting here if we're going to continue to talk about this."

I simply said, "I don't like ultimatums so if I have to sit here quietly during the playoffs of my favorite team just to not upset you and out of fear that you'll take your proverbial ball and go home then I'll make you a deal... I'll just say that I'm going to talk about it nonstop so you can go home and we won't have to walk on eggshells the rest of the night. It's the 5th inning and I've seen a single pitch. Yes I'm gonna talk about it. Cut your losses and go."

And he left.

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