Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pro Athlete

A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side; a compressed paradox. Adjective: oxymoronic.

We've all heard them and probably all used them at sometime in our lives. We never question them, maybe we never even think about what we are saying, but at the time they make sense.
Here's a few of the all time great ones:
Crash landing-did you crash or did you land
Free gift-when was the last time you charged someone for a gift you gave them, honestly I kind of like the idea
Detailed summary- do you want the details or just the summary
Light armor-now that's my kind of armor-nice and light, what?

Here's one probably many of you have never heard- pro athlete. Yes you heard right, pro-athlete, I'm guessing that your thinking- hey that is not an oxymoron. "Oh contrair" To me it is and I want to take a minute to let you know why.

Being an athlete is being a person who has been blessed with some talent, a lot of guts and great humility realizing that at any time this gift might quickly be taken away. An athlete must realize that this gift in no way ever is intended to make them superior to someone else or better than another. In fact the greatest athletes of all time have probably been the ones you have never read about or seen on tv. Why? Simple because they are the ones who train when no one is looking on, they are the ones who competes not for recognition, fame; and yes not even for money, none of that really matters to a real athlete.

Pro Athlete, it should be pro businessmen who can make a whole lot of money using a gift that they have been entrusted with and getting people to think that they somehow care about them so they will keep coming to the games, paying a lot of money, buying their jerseys and waiting in long lines to see them even when they don't take the time to acknowledge them.

Now before you start to gather a list of pro athletes who have done wonderful things and do really care about their fans let me calm you down. I don't really nor can i put all the blame simply on the athlete themselves.
Sports is a huge money making machine and there are people behind the scenes who know how to manipulate and how to market these athletes so that people get into a frenzy and will do almost anything to "be a part" of the athlete.

This past few week we have heard so much about some athletes who were deciding to make a move from their current team and move on to another. What a dog and pony show! First off owners, managers and coaches were meeting with these perspective athletes letting them know that the sky was the limit. Organizations were willing to let go solid players who are somewhat unknown so the cap might be freed up and more money could be given to said "superstar". It was at least for me uncomfortable to watch this kind of idol worship taking place just because someone can throw a ball.

If you haven't noticed we live in extremely tough economical times and many people are just getting by. Yet we see hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at someone or someones while in reality the money that is being thrown is from people who come to see the games and buy the jerseys and t-shirts and who watch the commercials and buy the products advertise. Yet when do we see the athletes give back. There was one very touching scene in Chicago during this circus. I really hope I can write this without getting all choked up!

A man approached the chauffeur driven, darkly tinted windowed SUV and knocked on the window where the athlete was sitting comfortably in his leather seat waiting to be whisked away to his next destination where more of the same would be waiting. The man called out his name and said, "Come man"; and oh, here's the Hallmark moment, the window lowered about 5 inches and the hand, yes the hand of this pro athlete, reached out the window and handed the man a few dollars, ah I just have to take a minute!
The newscasters went wild, the press loved it, this was a sign of a caring, non-self absorbed athlete that only wanted to give back, tear tear.

Just a few days later a stadium was rented so that said superstar could announce his intentions of which team he had chosen. The announcement took what, 3 hours? All the powers that be knew where he was going, they had already worked out a strategy of how to market him more. For the more they do the more they get. People filled the stands of this arena, (I wonder if they had to pay to get in?), as three saviors made their over the top, most non-humble, selfish appearance I have ever witnessed in my life.
The fans, oh the fans, you know maybe your one, they were screaming, shouting, holding up the number one sign, looking at these men as if their whole life was held in the hands of these athletes. People get a grip!

They are simply men who have a talent. Do they care about you, maybe a few and I mean a few, but with out a doubt they are few and far between. They will care about you when they are too old for the game and they need you to stand in lines at state fairs and conventions getting their autograph, for a fee of course.
Sports are awesome and athletes real athletes are amazing to watch both on and off the playing field, but seriously this thing we call professional sports, in my opinion-way out of control.

Now you keep praying that ridicules ticket fee and those unbelievable prices for merchandise, keep wearing their numbers even when they keep changing them-keep it up I'm sure they care about you! Pro athlete-a real oxymoron.

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