Saturday, April 05, 2008

Daugherty's ignorance

Imagine God offered you a deal: You can make $5 million a year, but there's a tradeoff. Everybody will know that you make $5 million a year.

Would you take it? Damn right you would.

That's a deal many professional athletes make. They just don't understand it, and neither does Paul Daugherty.

Today's column by Daugherty carries the headline "Fans' fascination with dollars makes no sense." It should instead read, "Fans' fascination with dollars makes no sense to Paul Daugherty."

This is a column written by someone who lives in a shell, a shell called the press box. A sportswriter is someone who, with a press pass and a phone call, can get into any sporting event any time for free. Even if they have to pay, a phone call to the team will get seats the team has set aside, and they'll be just great. Too many sportswriters never stand in line, never sit upstairs, never have to bear the high cost of taking a family of four to a major-league sporting event.

Daugherty asks the questions "Why do we need to know a ballplayer's salary? Why should anyone beyond the IRS care?" without giving it 90 seconds of thought. Player salaries are a bit of information that puts sports into perspective. There are plenty of people who see the salaries and don't care and buy tickets anyways. And there are many (former) fans who see those numbers, see how much grown men are paid to play children's games, decide the system is way out of whack, and stay away. That's their right. That's how intelligent adults make informed decisions, and it's the job of journalists to provide the data that informs our decisions. Would Daugherty argue those former fans would be happier if they didn't know how much athletes make?

Daugherty knows better than this. He needs to take a year off and attend only those events he spends his own money to attend. I question why the Enqurier allowed such an ill-conceived, pointless piece of crap like this to be published.

There lots of people in our society not only don't care about professional sports, but they reject its fantasyland elements, the way it has been corrupted by money. Sports sections are not written for those people, but sportswriters should at least respect that people can view the big picture and make their own decisions.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the fact that they make millions playing in tax payer funded stadiums goes right by him. Let alone the legal status that's been afforded to MLB...they have a virtual monoploy on the game.

But hey, that would kill his naive point.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, thought this column presented a bizarre and thoughtless point of view....

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night on the radio, Daugherty was talking about how Opening Day and Opening Week baseball games should be moved to Florida because of the weather in Cincinnati.

He seemed mystified by a caller's comments that many people could not afford to travel to Florida to watch those games.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You described me exactly. I no longer will pay for a ticket to a pro game. I support capitalism...supply and demand 101...and that is what allows those salaries. If the players can legally earn it, more power to them. But I'll do my tiny part to move the demand curve down. (I will take the occasional free ticket that comes my way...it's already paid for so the damage is done, and I get to see a game now and then. How's that for rationalizing?)

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Daugherty is due for a beat change out of sports as he appears to be "covering" the sport from the athletes perspective.

Then, let's see how he feels about seeing his "friends" play on his own dime.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people covering the game generally get free food and drinks too.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous mr. whig said...

I knew it all along - sports talk radio causes brain damage if you listen to it too much.

10:41 AM  
Blogger ThatDeborahGirl said...

I guess the fact that they make millions playing in tax payer funded stadiums goes right by him.

Stadiums, that even though I subsidize with my tax dollars, I still can't even afford to buy a ticket to go into and even if I could, I'd have to be searched like a criminal to get in.

I can't we as a people stand for this bullshit sometimes.

11:33 AM  
Blogger UncleRando said...

^A bit extreme Deborah...you can get into Reds games for as little as $7. Even if you decide to get a drink and some peanuts that adds up to roughly $14. Sure a family becomes more costly but to say $14 is too much to pay for 3 hours of entertainment is a bit extreme. I guess you certainly never go to the movies.

In addition to that, you are certainly not "searched like a criminal" when you enter. The Reds are one of the most lax places in professional sports...and pretty much just give you a quick glance. No pat downs and very little searching.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do fans care about a player's salary? Please...As a sports columnist that's a given. The impact on tickets, the subsidization of the leagues by taxpayes etc. Daugherty appears to be suffering from working two jobs. Maybe, he should hang up the microphone and get back to breaking new ground in a column. It appears his column is more and more warmed over radio talk. Nothing innovating and nothing compelling to make a reader want to pick up the newspaper and see some freshly plowed ground. As a columnist, he's about as tepid as they come

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, Daugherty's Enquirer blog is copied and pasted on the WLW website and passed off as a whole other blog. Talk about warmed over.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Jim Hopkins said...

Let me second one of these comments: Sky-high player salaries are a consumer issue. Game tickets are out of reach for many working families, partly because players get paid so much. Will the press EVER cover sports for what it is -- a monopolistic business?

6:23 PM  
Blogger Paul Daugherty said...

To correct a perception posted by yet another gutless "Anonymous'' poster:

When I attend a sporting event with my family of four, I pay. Never in almost 30 years of covering sports for a living have I gotten a free ticket or preferential treatment.

Do I go to games for free? Yep. Do you pay an entrance fee to get into your place of employment?

Something else: It's work. Thirty years into it, it is a job. It is not whoopee, I get to go to a game for free. You don't do it, probably never have, so you'd have no idea. And yet you write as if you do. Anonymously, of coursew. How courageous. Paul Daugherty

10:58 AM  
Blogger ThatDeborahGirl said...

The Reds are one of the most lax places in professional sports...and pretty much just give you a quick glance. No pat downs and very little searching.

Unless you have a purse - which means a search for a woman is always more invasive than for a guy. I always make sure to put a ton of tampons on top. Not to mention that I am extreme in my view that any search is a violation of our civil liberties.

OK. And I stand corrected about baseball ticket prices but I wasn't just talking about the Reds I was also talking about the Bengals. Find me a $7 football ticket and then we'll chat about how "affordable" going to games are for families.

3:12 PM  

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