Dec 052017
 

I do not understand blind loyalty.

My wife and I have a group text going with my Uncle, where we coordinate going to see movies and discuss things that we all have a common interest in (the primary categories being Marvel movies, sports, and technology). The other night he excitedly sent a text message to us about the fact that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was on. I replied that, after a few episodes, we had given up on the show because it had not sparked our interest.

You’d have thought I slapped his baby. Considering the fact that he doesn’t have children or pets, maybe I did.

A brief (and, I feel the need to point out, good natured) argument ensued about the fact that I should be Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, for that matter, The Inhumans, because…Marvel. Really, that pretty much seems to be the extent of the argument. I love Marvel comics, and I love the movies, so as a result I should watch anything even tangentially related to those two things.

Not my style.  When it comes to entertainment I’m particularly picky in that regard. I’m not going to support something just because I, in theory, should. If a Marvel series sucks, I’m not watching it. If a Marvel movie doesn’t work for me, I’m going to say so (I’m looking at you, Thor: Ragnarok). If my local sports franchises suck I’m not going to waste my time watching them on television, and I’m certainly not dropping the significant coin required to see them play live (and if, for some reason, a sports franchise from another metropolitan area is doing well and catches my attention I’ll feel no guilt about rooting that team on).

If I have learned anything balancing work, school, family, and acting over the last 16 years, it’s that the single most precious thing in my life is my time. It’s a gift I can give to the people who care about me, and it’s a commodity I stockpile because there are periods when I feel like I simply do not have enough of it. I’m certainly not going to spend it consuming entertainment out of some sense of loyalty if it isn’t actually worth the investment.

 

Dec 092010
 

I wrote the following during a back-and-forth about sports on Facebook. I decided I kinda liked it so I’m posting it out here (slightly edited for clarity).

What, exactly, is “local” about a sports team these days?

Are they owned by local businesspeople?

Are they staffed by local players who really care about the community?

The only thing that makes a sports team “local” these days is location. Money goes back into the community, sure. I know that Raymond James Stadium allows local charities to run the concession booths and take part of the profits. That’s cool. Local businesses see a spike in sales on game days. Also awesome. But do you really think that ANY of the owners of the major league teams in the Tampa Bay area give a DAMN about this area beyond what they can do for the bottom line? Same goes for the players. Do they care about playing for US or do they care about making money and playing for a winning team. The Bucs have had a few examples (Mike Alstott being the most prominent), but they also had one guy who loved this area so much he offered to take a pay cut just so he could retire here and they STILL got rid of him (John Lynch). Shaun King was born and raised in this area, graduated from Gibbs High School, but he wasn’t good enough of a Quarterback so we got rid of him. Winning matters, because winning makes you more profitable. If an owner could make more money by having a crappy team you can damn well bet he will (and has…case in point? Hugh Culverhouse).

Sports is a business these days. You know what they see us as? Dollars. They don’t give a damn about the fans unless the fans are increasing the bottom line (Tampa Bay Rays – Seriously profitable even with crappy attendance numbers but they want to move anyway).

So – If all I am to a sports team is a dollar symbol, I’m going to make sure I get a decent Return on Investment. If the team does not entertain, does not do well, or does not do anything that inspires my loyalty? Hell with them. I’ll invest my capital elsewhere.

“King” LeBron James had an entire city literally begging him to stay because they loved him so much. He went to Miami anyway. Why? He wanted a ring. This is the new reality. If the players on the teams (you know, the people who we’re actually supposed to be out there rooting for) aren’t going to have any loyalty why the HELL should we?

You want my loyalty? Don’t suck.