Sports need fans, continued

by Bryan

A few more thoughts on Chris Jones’s Grantland headscratcher:

• Either rooting for a sports team is an inherently silly enterprise or it isn’t—that’s your judgment call. I say that it’s not, and I say that is only by the collective decision of myself and others that it’s not that the Boston Red Sox continue to exist. If we all disappeared tomorrow and John Henry still roamed the Earth, the Red Sox would no longer be a viable business enterprise. We are, in a sense, the real owners of the team, with our NESN surcharges and MLB.tv subscriptions. Breaking the experience of a fan down into its discrete elements, and evaluating them logically, will lead you straight to volunteering at a health clinic in sub-Saharan Africa. (If you would like to do this, by all means go, and you are a wonderful person.) For the 99.9 percent of us who live in a world where we acknowledge that hardships are relative, and life can be tough enough as it is, including ourselves in team experience is neither conspiratorial nor grandiose—it’s just reflecting the reality of the situation. Can it be annoying? Sure, but it’s a key draw for why people become fans in the first place.

• Using the Marlins as an example would seem to be the exception that proves the rule. The Marlins are only able to exist because the Yankees, Red Sox, et al have so many fans that there’s spillover cash. If anything, this would give Yankees fans an opportunity to call two teams “we,” instead of zero.

• It just seems like it’s buzzkill for the sake of buzzkill, and preaching to a choir instead of trying to make any real argument.

I understand that tearing Grantland down is easier than putting it up, so I’m trying to be nice about this (for once), but jeezo peezo, as Frowns would say.

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