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ma-gaga
12-09-2002, 10:32 AM
Just reading the FT thread, and I'm curious how people feel about this.

fuzzy_patters
12-09-2002, 10:43 AM
Athletes definitely owe something to the fans. When you get right down to it, they are working with the public. It's no different from any other public job, from McDonald's worker to President of the US.

voodoochile
12-09-2002, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters
Athletes definitely owe something to the fans. When you get right down to it, they are working with the public. It's no different from any other public job, from McDonald's worker to President of the US.

What do McDonald's workers owe the public? Your analogy is inconsistent at best. By that standard, everyone who ever interacts with the public has to do more than just their job.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-09-2002, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
What do McDonald's workers owe the public? Your analogy is inconsistent at best. By that standard, everyone who ever interacts with the public has to do more than just their job.

The conventional wisdom holds that ballplayers owe the fans something. They are role models. So we end up admiring...

1. drunks such as Mickey Mantle,
2. womanizers such as Babe Ruth,
3. drug addicts such as Daryl Strawberry, and
4. racist, vile personalities such as Ty Cobb.

The ugly truth is, we fans are hypocrites. As long as an athlete performs well, we'll forgive damned near any of their personal faults. Don't believe it? How many second chances was Steve Howe given? As long as he could get hitters out, some team knew he was worth having on the staff. He helped the team win, and winning put butts in the seats.

Signing autographs for kids? That's rich! How many athletes have signed some piece of memorabilia and later found it for sale online, through a dealer, or at a card show? Did I call fans hypocrites? Make that rank hypocrites.

You want role models for your kids? Take them to the police station or the fire house. These are the people who are a credit to humanity by action and deed. Hitting a fastball just doesn't compare.

You want athletic excellence to inspire your kids? Take them to the ballpark. Their devotion to refining highly technical skills is worthy of emulating, but sadly, they as group are not the kind of people you would want your kids to become. Many of these star jocks are nothing but arrested adolescents, as anybody who has ever taken a high school or college class with one of these clowns will attest.

The sooner we stop confusing athletic achievement with exemplary human behavior, the better off we as a society will be.

That's why misguided fans start comparing Frank Thomas's easy life with the daily grind of workers at McDonald's. It's just so stupid, and the blame lies right at their own feet.

voodoochile
12-09-2002, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The conventional wisdom holds that ballplayers owe the fans something. They are role models. So we end up admiring...

1. drunks such as Mickey Mantle,
2. womanizers such as Babe Ruth,
3. drug addicts such as Daryl Strawberry, and
4. racist, vile personalities such as Ty Cobb.

The ugly truth is, we fans are hypocrites. As long as an athlete performs well, we'll forgive damned near any of their personal faults. Don't believe it? How many second chances was Steve Howe given? As long as he could get hitters out, some team knew he was worth having on the staff. He helped the team win, and winning put butts in the seats.

Signing autographs for kids? That's rich! How many athletes have signed some piece of memorabilia and later found it for sale online, through a dealer, or at a card show? Did I call fans hypocrites? Make that rank hypocrites.

You want role models for your kids? Take them to the police station or the fire house. These are the people who are a credit to humanity by action and deed. Hitting a fastball just doesn't compare.

You want athletic excellence to inspire your kids? Take them to the ballpark. Their devotion to refining highly technical skills is worthy of emulating, but sadly, they as group are not the kind of people you would want your kids to become. Many of these star jocks are nothing but arrested adolescents, as anybody who has ever taken a high school or college class with one of these clowns will attest.

The sooner we stop confusing athletic achievement with exemplary human behavior, the better off we as a society will be.

That's why misguided fans start comparing Frank Thomas's easy life with the daily grind of workers at McDonald's. It's just so stupid, and the blame lies right at their own feet.

Stupid Internet glitch...

What I was trying to say is...

Well said. I think Charles Barkley got it right when he said, "(Charles Barkley) is not a role model."

I don't understand why fans think players owe them more than an honest effort on the playing field. No one complains when Tom Hanks is late for filming or doesn't spend hours signing autographs. The professional athelete is no different from a movie star or a rock star. They are purely entertainers and fans have a right to spend their money on whatever entertainment suits their desires. The fans have shown this when they spent less of their money during 1994 and during this last season. I understand that people feel more of a connection between themselves and professional sports teams/athletes, but that is a relationship strictly in their own head. It doesn't help when cities shell out big money for new stadiums and compete to bring teams to their towns to bolster town pride, but again, the people who actually do the performing are just entertainers. Well paid and highly skilled entertainers to be sure, but still just entertainers...

ma-gaga
12-09-2002, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The ugly truth is, we fans are hypocrites. As long as an athlete performs well, we'll forgive damned near any of their personal faults.
...
That's why misguided fans start comparing Frank Thomas's easy life with the daily grind of workers at McDonald's. It's just so stupid, and the blame lies right at their own feet.

I agree. Everytime I hear someone saying that baseball players are overpaid and teachers are underpaid, I cringe. The people that typically say this stuff, are 'fans' that shell out $120 for this years hot rookie phenom and vote 'no' on public school referendums.

:) Still, I'd like a baseball player to make an appearance at the local bookstore to do an autograph session at least once a year.

Kilroy
12-09-2002, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
:) Still, I'd like a baseball player to make an appearance at the local bookstore to do an autograph session at least once a year.

Why do you need that when you have SoxFest??

Cheryl
12-09-2002, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy
Why do you need that when you have SoxFest??

Because there's an admission fee for Soxfest.

Dan H
12-09-2002, 03:31 PM
Atheletes really don't owe us anything except that they should remember the fans are the source of their reveune and income. Alienate the fan, and you may be rich no longer. That is why I don't think we owe them anything as well. I just tune out the talking heads who scream about fan attendance, especially about the Sox. We are and never will be obligated to go out to the ballpark.

As far as role models go, there aren't many good ones in society. And the best ones aren't the ones who are famous.

guillen4life13
12-09-2002, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Dan H
Atheletes really don't owe us anything except that they should remember the fans are the source of their reveune and income. Alienate the fan, and you may be rich no longer. That is why I don't think we owe them anything as well. I just tune out the talking heads who scream about fan attendance, especially about the Sox. We are and never will be obligated to go out to the ballpark.

As far as role models go, there aren't many good ones in society. And the best ones aren't the ones who are famous.

I think you put it best

PaleHoseGeorge
12-09-2002, 06:47 PM
On a related subject, how many of us get our political points of view from what the Hollywood stars tell us to think? You know the usual suspects: Streisand, Sarandon, Beatty, etc.

I can admire (even envy) these people for their acting talent and their resulting fame. However, the notion that they would think they could persuade me to their point of view by holding media events and press conferences about their political sentiments serves only to highlight how totally stupid and narcissistic these people truly are.

Hell, I find myself leaning the opposite direction simply by hearing what these fools think I should think.

Hollywood stars are not deep thinkers, and baseball players are not role models.

hose
12-09-2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
On a related subject, how many of us get our political points of view from what the Hollywood stars tell us to think? You know the usual suspects: Streisand, Sarandon, Beatty, etc.

I can admire (even envy) these people for their acting talent and their resulting fame. However, the notion that they would think they could persuade me to their point of view by holding media events and press conferences about their political sentiments serves only to highlight how totally stupid and narcissistic these people truly are.

Hell, I find myself leaning the opposite direction simply by hearing what these fools think I should think.

Hollywood stars are not deep thinkers, and baseball players are not role models.


Ronald Reagan is a good example

stingo
12-09-2002, 07:26 PM
I hear the comparison between sport athletes and actors a lot, but I'm not really sold on it. There are some important distinctions to how the money is made between the two. Most of the entertainment value of professional sports, IMO, does not come from the display of athleticism on the field or because a game is intrinsically entertaining, but because fans have a strong, not-entirely-rational attachment to a particular team, generally, the hometown team.

The athleticism and drama of the game matter, but they don't carry our interest as far as one might think. If they did, we would watch an Australian rugby match with as much interest as a local baseball game, for example. In fact, there's little as boring as watching a sporting event for which you can drum up no rooting interest in either of the teams.

That's why I think athletes need to foster fan relations more than actors do. The attachment fans have to a team is founded on a dubious, tenuous premise, given that few athletes come from the cities they represent. Therefore, athletes have more responsibility to promote it, and avoid undermining it. Athletes do erode the fanbase with they act like aholes and ignore the fans. Whereas serious actors, for the most part, are more dependent on whether the films in which they appear are entertaining or interesting, and less on the irrational loyalty of their fans.

Jjav829
12-09-2002, 08:18 PM
Yes the fans owe the players something, but let me clarify here what I mean.

First off I am against the whole notion that athletes are role models. I've said this before and I still believe it. Admire a players talent but there are few athletes in the game that are true role models. You get guys like Cal Ripken Jr., Luis Gonzalez, Sean Casey, and other guys like that who would be true role models. Those types are few and far between. But in reality athletes do a lot of bad things off the playing field that keeps them from being role models. I agree with that.

However, the players do owe the fans something. I am not necessarily talking about signing autographs, though they should have an occasional autograph signing or sign before the game. Is it really that hard to take 5 minutes before the game to sign some autographs? I know that few athletes are willing to sign for everyone there. I understand that if an athlete comes over and signs but can't sign for everyone, those who don't get an autograph will probably say hes a jerk. I, like most other people here, have stood in lines at the ballpark waiting for an autograph from a player that walks by. If a player comes by and signs for some fans but can't sign for everyone, I understand that. I respect them more for at least taking however long (a minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes) to please a few fans, than for walking past the fans like they aren't there. Acknowledge the fans. Don't turn your head and pretend like your in an empty stadium.

The fans ARE the reason that players can make a living doing what they do, and the players should recognize that. What do I think they owe the fans? Well, maybe some people think that Im expecting too much, but here is what I expect. 1.) Take a little time once in a while and sign some autographs. Like I said, it doesn't have to be much. It takes maybe 10 seconds to sign an autograph. If you take a minute before each game, you will have signed approximately 970 autographs by the end of the season. (Give or take, maybe some days you sign for 2 minutes and other days you don't sign at all). I don't think thats too much to ask for. You get done stretching, and as your walking back to the clubhouse you stop shortly and please a few fans. I really don't think thats that hard to do. 2.) Play hard. Give effort. Realize that you are one of the privileged people in this world that has been blessed with enough talent to make a living playing a game. No, I wasn't born with enough talent to play professional baseball. But if I was, I would certainly understand how lucky I am. Fans are paying money because they want to be entertained by you the professional athlete. At least pretend to care.

Thats my opinion of what the players owe the fans. Maybe it sounds like too much. I don't care what a player does off the field unless it prohibits them from playing. Otherwise go get drunk, do drugs, be with a different woman each night. I don't care. Just remember why you are out there being payed to play a game.

TornLabrum
12-09-2002, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by Cheryl
Because there's an admission fee for Soxfest.

Then come to a Windy City Sox Fans luncheon or annual meeting. For something between about $20 and $35 (part of which covers the cost of the meal), you could have gotten autographs this year from current players Kelly Wunsch, Rocky Biddle, Jose Valentin, or former players Billy Pierce, Ron Kittle, Donn Pall, Moose Skowron, or Minnie Minoso, or even executive Roland Hemond (or if you're into radio types, Dave Wills, an avid reader of the "Fallen Arches" column (I guess, since he's always giving me a hard time about it) and other good stuff here at WSI.

They ain't superstars, but they donate their time, and the proceeds beyond expenses go to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, earmarked for Children's Memorial Hospital. An annual membership is $25.00, and you get a few bucks off the price of events, can take a trip to see the club on the road, once each summer, and you get a quarterly newsletter that I contribute to. (Never mind....)

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that some players do give autographs and don't make anything off of them if it's for a good cause.