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Chase The Money. At Your Peril.

May 11, 2024 3 min read

Chase The Money. At Your Peril.

  

By Ray Glier

I have talked to a number of Geezer Jocks who don't travel as much as they want for competitions. They love their sports and they have a terrific time with their pals on the road. It costs money.

It is a shame they don't have all the funds they need to see how they measure up to others around the U.S. or world.

And then I see what is going on with professional sports. The money is over-rated.

I covered professional and college sports for 45 years. I was never bothered by the money, unless it was a city caving in to extortionists threatening to move their team without a new ballpark.

Now, the money bothers me. You walk into a stadium or arena with $20 and they try and get $22 out of your pocket. The gambling infection means they are trying to get a lot more than $22. Owners of sports teams are making piles of money off gambling. I believe in personal accountability, but the psychological tactics teams use are unfair. It's sorry. 

I'm not sorry I'm not in that cauldron any longer.

Geezer Jock stories are enticing enough:

*John Weeks, a runner, who overcomes a lung disease with nightly treatments to raise his blood oxygen level. Doctors figured he wouldn't survive through his teens.

*DeEtte Sauer, a swimmer, overcoming addiction and alcoholism to become one of the greatest Masters swimmers of all time.

*Jerry LeVasseur, a track & field man, was 6 when his mother died while covering him in a circus fire. He pours out the gratitude daily.

These stories are more than good enough for me to turn off pro sports. I still watch some, but I can walk away easily.  

I mean people get hurt for the money in ways that didn't use to happen.

Look at Chris Finch, the coach of the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves. He's standing inches from the sideline. He is crashed into by one of his own players. Finch could not get further from the sidelines because the T-Wolves had sold tickets courtside for at least $1,000. There was no room for the coach to get out of harm's way because high-dollar fans had him hemmed in. 

Finch suffered a ruptured patellar tendon when his team needs him most, the playoffs.

And how about this?

On May 1, 166 players began the 2024 season on MLB's injured list and 132 were pitchers. That's 80 percent.

In 2023, MLB told pitchers they had 15 seconds to throw a pitch (20 seconds with runner on) and batters had to stay in the box. Fans were getting aggravated by the Human Rain Delays at the plate and on the mound as players took their sweet time. Games were taking 3 1/2 to 4 hours and fans were turning away. I was one of them.

MLB needed to speed up the game. The players needed to show some respect for fans' time. Now, The Players Association is claiming rushed pitchers are injuring their arms.

It's the money. 

The over-heated emotion in arenas. The abusive fans. The cheating.

It's been great for me to talk to Geezer Jocks and find out about their athletic backgrounds, their personal story, and why they play.

I needed the break from the money.

 


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