Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: America’s Wildly Successful Socialist Experiment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    13,955
    Post Thanks / Like

    America’s Wildly Successful Socialist Experiment

    America’s Wildly Successful Socialist Experiment

    In sports, and in life, Europe and the United States see their societies differently—just not in the ways you might expect.

    Memphis, Tennessee, is known for lots of things: Elvis Presley and B. B. King, the blues and barbecue. All these things, and more. But not Grizzly bears.

    I did not think much of this while on holiday from London when my wife and I escaped the city’s steaming, unbearable heat to look through the Memphis Grizzlies’ (gloriously air-conditioned) fan store. The Grizzlies are the city’s professional basketball team. Their mascot is Griz the Grizzly Bear. Their crest is a Grizzly bear. It’s all about the bear.

    Puzzlingly, in one corner of the store were shirts and other merchandise for a team called the Vancouver Grizzlies—one whose name made much more sense. In fact, the two teams were the same franchise, which in 2001 relocated 1,900 miles, across an international border and three time zones. Vancouver had not been able to support a professional basketball team, so the Grizzlies left for Tennessee. This is not unique in American sports—even in Tennessee. In 1997, American football’s Houston Oilers moved to Nashville, where they played, incongruously, as the Tennessee Oilers before becoming the Tennessee Titans. The most absurd example remains the Jazz: a perfect name for a basketball team from New Orleans, where it was based; less so from Utah, where it now resides.

    As we returned to Britain, the annual soccer-transfer frenzy was reaching its usual fever pitch. Would Neymar Jr., the Brazilian superstar, move back to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain? How much would he cost—$200 million? More? At the same time, two small but famous clubs in England, Bury F.C. and Bolton Wanderers, were—like the Vancouver Grizzlies—facing the end of the road. They were losing money and could not find a buyer. Yet this did not mean relocating to a different city, but the prospect of bankruptcy and ejection. The contrast between American and European professional sports could not be more stark. In the United States, teams live on, just in a new location, and failure offers the opportunity for a reprieve. In the brutal world of European soccer, strength and success are rewarded, weakness punished.

    In sports, the U.S. and Europe are different worlds, each revealing wider truths about the societies in which they operate—though perhaps not the ones the casual observer might assume.

    Europe is oft-seen, and derided, across the Atlantic as America’s technocratic mother continent where collectivism and do-goodery reign. Yet it has developed a soccer model that is a form of hyper-capitalism, in which the strongest teams are businesses that live and die on their ability to win. Those at the top grab enormous amounts of prize money, allowing them to secure the best players on the best wages. The three highest-earning sports stars in the world this year are all soccer players: Lional Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar, who each earn more than $100 million a year.

    In European soccer, there is no salary cap or overall spending cap; players are traded as commodities—literally forming a part of the business’s balance sheet. You “buy” players in Europe; you do not trade them. Those clubs that spend too much go bankrupt. Those that fail competitively, finishing in the bottom few positions in the league, are relegated, removed entirely from the top tier and forced to play with another, lower echelon before they prove themselves worthy of returning. (This holds true for Europe’s elite too. If they do not perform well enough, even for just one season, they cannot compete in the Continent’s preeminent competition: the Champions League, a contest open only to the teams that finish near the top of their domestic league.)

    The United States, by contrast, holds a reputation in large parts of Europe as the epitome of winner-takes-all capitalism, yet it operates variants of a proto-socialist model for all of its major sports. Success is hailed, yet curtailed, and failure rewarded: The worst-placed teams get the first pick in the following season’s draft of new players, allowing them to restock on talent, a form of redistribution rejected elsewhere in the American economy. There is no relegation for those who finish last. Salary caps ensure something of a level playing field each year, and rules are collectively agreed upon by the franchises. There is even, in some cases, a salary floor to ensure that clubs remain competitive.

    If American and European sports leagues were politicians, Europe would be Donald Trump, and the U.S. would be Bernie Sanders.
    “Totalitarianism in power invariably replaces all first-rate talents, regardless of their sympathies, with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity is still the best guarantee of their loyalty.”

    ~ Hannah Arendt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 10:56 PM
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Posts
    13,946
    Post Thanks / Like
    Anyone trying to claim that Memphis is any sort of success clearly has too warped of a view of reality to be taken seriously.
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 8:22 AM
    Posts
    11,362
    Post Thanks / Like
    What a stupid article. The very reason to maintain the competitive balance is to MAKE MONEY.

    Otherwise, the US would have just a few teams. And no real fan base to speak of.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 2:40 AM
    Posts
    13,796
    Post Thanks / Like
    It's an interesting framing.

    Of course, the United States is not averse to hierarchy and sporting birthright rooted in city and state, but this is reserved for college sports, another exclusively American concept, separate from—and, to some extent, more popular than—the pro leagues. In the American travel writer Paul Theroux’s book Deep South, he reflected on Alabama’s obsession with its dominant college football team, which plays its home games at the 101,821-person-capacity Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa—the eighth-largest sports field in the world and bigger than any soccer stadium in Europe. Game day in Alabama is a statewide event, Theroux wrote; cars carry the italicized A of the team on bumper stickers, and fans have the letter tattooed on their necks.

    “That is a scenario where you have entrenched, historical superpowers,” Marcotti, the ESPN writer, told me of American college sports. “They are good every year, because they recruit the best players. They recruit the best players—and bear in mind they can’t pay them—because they throw other things at them: visibility and status and having great facilities and being in a great conference and being part of the tradition.”
    And now, just to put a bow on it, the people's republic of California just opened the door to paying college athletes. That should reinforce the dynasty aspect of college athletics.

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 @ 10:00 PM
    Location
    LA (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    5,726
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by 80zephyr View Post
    What a stupid article. The very reason to maintain the competitive balance is to MAKE MONEY.

    Otherwise, the US would have just a few teams. And no real fan base to speak of.

    Mark
    Judging by the numbers paid out to soccer stars in Europe, and the money that the most successful teams bring in, I don't think they are going broke over there, either. It seems like the system in the US is designed to spread the wealth around. Which is socialism, is it not?
    You can't spell "hatred" without "red hat".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 8:22 AM
    Posts
    11,362
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Judging by the numbers paid out to soccer stars in Europe, and the money that the most successful teams bring in, I don't think they are going broke over there, either. It seems like the system in the US is designed to spread the wealth around. Which is socialism, is it not?
    I have no idea how things work in Europe. I do know that the buying power of teams like the Yankees are killing baseball. In sports competition is crucial to survival, and ALL teams rely on the others to stay alive. If you want to "drill down" on this issue, the NFL is a single entity that doesn't fund other leagues. If the XFL dies, they don't care.

    Mark
    Race Card: A tool of the intellectually weak and lazy when they cannot counter a logical argument or factual data.

    "Liberals have to stop insisting that the world is what they want it to be instead of the way it is." - Bill Maher

    Political correctness is ideological fascism. It’s the antithesis of freedom. Dr. Piper

    Gender is not a "Social Construct", it is an outgrowth of biological reality.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 2:34 PM
    Posts
    10,817
    Post Thanks / Like
    Meh. Americans lay football. Real actual football. Not some sissy kick game.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 11:50 PM
    Posts
    19,188
    Post Thanks / Like
    Let's face it - these people are playing a kid game. They do much better than 10 year olds but it's the same thing. Now, many adults will pay to watch this and that's great but if every pro or amateur sport disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn't affect anything aside from cities trying to recoup infrastructure investments and colleges figuring out another cash cow.

    These people are actually entertainers. That's fine. You pay a fee to hear a singer or get an artwork or watch somebody dance or act. That's fair.

    But no entertainer 'deserves' any set money. It's up to the fans and team owner what that amount may be.

    Just as no novelist 'deserves' a specific revenue and no chef 'deserves' a set income. It's what that market will provide. Good or bad.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  9. Likes Tom Servo, scott, Celeste Chalfonte liked this post
  10. #9
    Join Date
    Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 2:34 PM
    Posts
    10,817
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post


    And now, just to put a bow on it, the people's republic of California just opened the door to paying college athletes. That should reinforce the dynasty aspect of college athletics.
    Booomvvvbasuugheeers…………….. they're already getting paid what with free tuition, housing, and "stipends".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •