Wednesday, March 11, 2009

5 baffling sports-related questions

1) How do athletes' salaries become public information? Who has the right to talk about their compensation agreements other than themselves? If any of my imaginary readers know the answer to this, please send me an email.

2) Why do so many athletes, coaches, analysts, and journalists speak of "going out on top" as a noble way to exit the game? To me that is the height of cowardice. If an athlete loses his drive and motivation after climbing to a certain height on the ladder of success, then I think that is a good reason to retire. But quitting so that everyone's last impression will be the one when you won is just another way of saying "now that I've succeeded, I can no longer bear to let anyone see me fail". I will never understand this attitude and I am amazed (and quite frankly, flabbergasted) at how casually and comprehensively it has been socially embraced. The poster boy for "staying too long" seems to be Willie Mays who loved the game so much he couldn't walk away even after his skills had diminished. In my eyes, that makes him all the more worthy of my adulation. He loved the game and played for as long as he could earn a spot on someone's roster, even if he no longer played like a superstar.

3) What is the basis for the common belief that a certain style of play or approach to competition may work in the regular season but not in the play-offs? I understand that the stakes are higher in the post-season and that there may be more pressure to perform on a bigger stage but the rules of engagement, the equipment, and the fundamental competitive parameters are unchanged. A competitive advantage in the regular season is still an advantage despite the date on the calendar, right? So why do I hear this nonsense spewed repeatedly by "experts" while other "experts" nod in agreement? Anyone?

4) Why does the NBA allow its referees to call games in such a way that the home team is expected to shoot significantly more free throws in a match-up than the visitig team? Over and over after game...season after season. This is a direct affront to the notion of fair play. What is the purpose of this travesty?

5) Ever been to the circus? Isn't it mind-boggling to see the upper limits of physical precision that a person can achieve with a concentrated effort? A human being can fly off a trapeze and land on a lever that flings his brother 30 feet into the air where, after a few twisting somersaults en route, he lands squarely on his uncle's shoulders and proceeds, in one fluid motion, to pull a 14-inch carving knife from his teeth with his left foot and flings it through an apple that is strapped to his daughter's head as she rides a roller-skating elephant along a high-wire with no net. Pretty impressive if you ask me. So, why has no major league pitcher developed a behind-the-back pick off move to first base? It is a very simple maneuver compared to the upper limits of what we know we can achieve. Do I have to think these things up or can we expect that the guys who are getting paid to win will start stretching their bounds a little?

1 comment:

  1. 1)Public posting of Athlete's salaries just comes with territory of being in professional sports. Alot of pro teams are sponsored to some degree with tax payer money and for that reason fans are justified in knowing salaries. Also celebrities are entertainers meaning they make enormous sums of money and are open to public discretion.
    2) People get tired of athletes hanging around too long if they are not producing, and sometimes even if they are producing (Brett Farve). The perception is that they are not playing for the love of the game as much as they are playing for a much needed check to support their lifestyle. Most young athletes tend to think their money will last forever and only realize this fault when their career is coming to an end.