Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Because the new national pasttime these days seems to be picking at everything not football or baseball (*cough*, the NBA, *cough, cough*), the recent commentary on the league's economic challeneges is interesting, to say the least.

Bill Simmons of ESPN.com wrote an article that has since made the rounds by way of seemingly paraphrased articles from the Wall Street Journal and of blogs such as Friend of Scribe, Sports Media Watch. Now, you can take Simmons' words with a grain of salt (kosher or not is up to you), along with many others. Yet, in reading the news about the league, NBA fans have come to expect the "this is why I don't watch the NBA" legion to make themselves known. In terms of the current economic malaise, it seems that the league cannot get a favorable shake, even with a rise in merchandise sales, television ratings and popularity in many markets.

While reading the comments on various forums, I can't help but to wonder has anyone pro- or anti-NBA asked this one question: why do professional leagues such as the NBA and NHL (though the latter is understandable in some ways) get slammed for expansion when the NCAA has been guilty of such over the past decade?

In fact, why doesn't the NCAA get slammed for any of the business decisions that, despite the amateur status of the players, are not uncommon from the pros?

There are thousands of people - even some of you who come across Scribe - who are unabashed college sports fans who have varying interests in the professional level. Unfortunately, there is a group out there who love to go out of their way to assert an arrogance that is unbefitting of the college sports fan base as a whole. They go out of their way to slam not just the NBA, but anything that does not exemplify the virtues that their game represents. The critiques are far too long to chonicle here and to be honest, most of them are so ignorant and absurd, your IQ will plummet instantly.

There are nearly 350 basketball and 120 football programs in Division 1 sports. All of the arguments people make about the dilution of talent in the pros is exactly what has gone on in the NCAA realm for years. And before anyone mentions the fact that these are amateurs, advertisers pour dollars in as if they are savvy and headline-grabbing vets in the pros.

Yet, it's the pros that are overreaching and are in dire straights? Please explain.

1 comment:

Stephon Johnson said...

Remember Jason when I made that joke about asking college b-ball fans what would make them watch the NBA (and the response I proposed was "scholarships"?). This reeks of it. They don't care if there's expansion, as long as these players aren't making as much money as them (or more) than they're ok. With the NFL, they can tolerate the salaries since the signing bonuses are the only guaranteed dough.

Seriously, money is a problem in sports, but it's not the players and money. It's the fans inability to look past the money.