In the last two days I’ve devoured every article in the Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the National League Division Series. It was a tough way to see the season end, there’s no doubt about that.
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation, and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners, and the games aren’t usually available to those without cable.
This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It’s the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners who call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they’re willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much they charge their fans for the privileged of attending a game. They get to decide whether having a winning team is more profitable than having a losing team. Hell, they get to decide whether to even stick with their current city or pack up and leave for another.
In this arrangement, the “fans” are really “customers” and the “players” are just “employees” of the company that is the franchise. The fans put their hearts into their favorite teams, but it usually feels like the billionaire owners think about themselves before they think about the fans. Psychologically, fans don’t like the idea that they’re customers of their favorite team for the same reason college students don’t like the idea that they’re customers of the schools they attend.
[Continue reading Rob Pitingolo’s post at Extraordinary Observations.]
Rob Pitingolo blogs at Extraordinary Observations. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.