Monday, March 14, 2016

Sports and Liberalism

There was a gentleman on the radio talking about why liberals and the liberal ideology doesn't work and he cited sports. I apologize, I don't know who he was, he was definitely a Republican from Ohio (as they later referenced Ohio) who was supporting Kasich for president.

I am paraphrasing, again, I apologize for not having a source here, but he basically said: There are no handouts in sports. There are a set of rules that everyone has to play by, they aren't different from teams that aren't doing well, and the teams that work the hardest win. That's America! And that's what liberals don't get.

Really? Let's examine that, shall we?

The most popular sport in the United States is American Football. Sorry, baseball, you have the title of "America's pass-time", but since the 1960s Football is where it's at in most Americans' hearts.

  • Football teams all have the same number of players.
  • There are rules to the game that apply to all teams and all players regardless of their win/loss record or how much money the team makes.
  • The rules are enforced by a team of objective officials run by the league. Officials performances are reviewed regularly and if they aren't making fair and balanced calls they are removed.
  • There is a salary cap, that is to say a maximum amount you can pay players, and that cap is the same for all teams.
  • There is a team salary budget cap, that is to say the whole payroll for that team can't exceed a specified amount, and that amount is the same for all teams.
  • There is a minimum pay for players. Whether you're a backup long snapper or a starting tight end, there's a minimum they have to pay you.
  • There is profit sharing among the teams. If one team makes more revenue because they are in a larger market they have to share it evenly with teams that are in smaller markets.
  • When players feel their needs aren't being met there is an organization, that negotiates on their behalf. If their needs aren't met, they don't play.
  • Each team plays the same number of games. The teams with the best records play each other in a single game elimination round until the two teams that have won all the play-off rounds face off for the championship.
  • In the following season; the schedule is arranged to favor weaker teams. The stronger teams from the previous year play each other more to allow the weaker teams to have a better chance at improving their record. 
  • There is a draft system for obtaining new talent that favors teams with a poorer record, to allow them to get better young players, so that they are more competitive.

And year after year football is f**king great. It's always exciting. Yes, your team may suck, it happens (for several years if you love the Bears), but the competition level shifts dramatically from one year to the next. Even the top teams that should "win it all" can get knocked out before the playoffs even begin.

And you know what all of that smacks of to me?


Everyone is given an even playing field. Success is rewarded, but then a little booster is given to those that didn't do as well to encourage them to strive for more, but by no means are they handed anything. If they fail they fail because they sucked. Every opportunity was given them to succeed.

Economic life in the United States is nothing like sports. That's probably the worst possible analogy you can make.

Even in baseball, which is a barely regulated money-game, there are at least rules that govern how long each team has to play and how many players they have.

The Yankees don't get to say "Oh, well... now there's a tax on each player you have in the lineup. It's one million per player in your lineup per offensive inning... what? You can't afford that... well, sorry, but having 9 men on the field and playing the full nine innings is a privilege of successful teams. You'll just have to play with fewer men or play fewer innings."

Because, you see, teams like the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and so on can afford to pay that and thus ensure themselves an endless loop of success.

"But, there was that one season where the Cincinnati Reds played 7 innings with only 8 guys in the lineup and won! If one team can do it, all teams can do it. That's no excuse!" -- Is what defenders of the system would say if baseball worked that way.

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