On Strikes and Seasons

The NFL lockout looks like it is coming to an end. By all accounts the NBA one though, has the potential of taking down all or part of the season. In the revenue strong NFL it was a battle over splitting up an exponentially growing pie. In the much weaker revenue world the NBA lives in, it is a matter of fighting over scraps of a smaller and smaller pie. When bench-riding shooting guards are guaranteed tens of millions to suit up and sit in half-filled arenas, you need to seriously rethink your financial structure… maybe even contract a few teams.

For those of us who live and work in the real world, these off-season battles are mere irritants. Once they interfere with the season however, they become something much more serious.

Before the 1994-95 strike, I followed baseball as closely as I followed… religion. Then they had a “work stoppage” and I learned what many did:  that I could live quite well without baseball. I have never regained even half of my love and devotion to the game, I never will. In my mind and heart the game is forever lessened. Performance enhancing drugs did not make baseball irrelevant, greed did.

Target Field (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

Target Field (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

I am a hopeless sports fan. In the right context, I can watch and enjoy most any sport. Given a choice, I would choose sports every time over a movie or television program. Unscripted drama is much more compelling. I am glad that there will be football this fall. I hope that there will be an NBA season. If there is a shorter, more meaningful NBA season… say 50 games… everyone would be a winner.

For now there is long summer days and there is baseball. The Twins are playing better and Mauer is transitioning to first base. Greed has meant that I do not get to watch the Twins on “free” television anymore. But for the most part, I do not mind. Baseball on the radio is one of the definitive sounds of summer. I prefer it on the radio, in fact.

Re-invigorated by my recent vacation, I am writing again. Common blog wisdom is that to grow your blog readership you need to consistently and reliably post. Re-energized, I hope to do better. Yet blogs, like sports, also seem to me to need an occasional off-season. At least that is the way I am spinning it to myself.

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