Archive for the ‘#sports’ Tag

Rah-Rah, Let’s Go   6 comments

Are any of your characters fans of a particular sports team?

54,984 Soccer Player Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

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It’s the Apocalypse

In Transformation Project, my characters are living through the apocalypse. Terrorists destroyed the major cities and the long-line electric and communications grids and so there’s not a whole lot of time in their days to enjoy their favorite sporting teams, and even if the time was available, the electronics in their TVs and computers have been fried, and Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta–the nexuses of all broadcast channels in the United States–are now all three nuclear wastelands. Shortwave radio and the spy nest in Jericho Springs are about the only sources of news from distant locations. The spies don’t care and the shortwavers are just figuring it out in February — five months after the events that altered the entire country.

In Their Before Lives

Before the bombs went off, my characters were living ordinary lives and, yes, of course, they followed sports teams. Rob Delaney, a career soldier before he “retired” to become a feed store operator and then mayor of Emmaus, Kansas, loved to watch the Army-Navy match-ups in football and of course he tuned in for the Super Bowl every year. His wife Jill would watch with him for the ads.

Both of their sons, Cai and Shane, played soccer in their younger years. Both followed the Colorado Rapids soccer team, although Shane often was out of the country and had to catch up when he came home. In Life As We Knew It, Shane describes his friend Mike as a super fan of Cruz Azul, the Mexico City professional fotbal team. Shane competed as a kickboxer in college and during his time overseas and did keep up with some MMA fighters. Click Michaels, the former-Chicago Times reporter stranded in Emmaus by the bombs, is a big hockey fan. Marnie Callahan Delaney is a huge fan of the Denver Broncos. And Jazz Tully, who spent her formative years training in dance, follows a Christian ballet company called Ballet Magnificat. Alex Lufgren played football in high school and was good enough to get a scholarship to University of Kansas as a Jayhawk. He had to turn it down when his parents were killed in a car accident and he found himself owning the largest farm in Emmaus and raising his toddler sister. He still roots for the Jayhawks. His sister Poppy was an avid fan of the Kansas School for the Deaf’s volleyball team, mainly because her mother played for the team and it feels like the only connection she has to the mother she doesn’t remember.

Under the Circumstances

With the exception of Cruz Azul, it’s unlikely any of these sport teams still exist. There’s something about the apocalypse that just prevents frivolous activities like sports from taking center stage. I suspect, as the country heals, sporting events will return, but they may not be the media events they were before the events of this series.

Other Series

Daermad Cycle is a Celtic fantasy set in a medieval society. I can’t envision what sort of sports they’d follow. The Dwarves versus the Elves — battle axes against bows. Funny image.

What If Wasn’t is set in modern times, but Peter has expressed no interest in team spectator sports. He’s an individual sports kind of guy – mountain biking, tennis, swimming, rock-climbing — his body against whatever looks exciting. Ben does enjoy watching baseball in the stadium (Go, Ducks!) and he will watch football with his family or friends when in season. Trevor is a dancer who is also a hockey fan, but he’s really too centered on pushing his body to the next level as a dancer (and then getting drunk afterward) to follow any sports teams. He just likes watching the games, preferable in the stadium. When I thought about it, I realized that most of the girls in this series are dancers, which is a team participation sport (don’t let the grace fool you), but I don’t think of any of them care about sports you can watch on television at all. I can imagine Alyse challenging the captain of the football team to a contest to see who can stand on demipoint longer. My daughter did that in high school. Bri won by over five minutes and she only stopped then because she was boring her audience and had made her point about the strength and fitness of dancers compared to football players.

This Author….

I don’t really follow sports teams myself. I grew up in Alaska where high school football exists, but Homecoming Game is always played in hypothermic conditions. So, I never really developed that rah-rah spirit. We went to a lot of basketball games when I was in school because they were indoors. I do enjoy the local teams I can see in the stadium — the Goldpanners baseball team were National League heavy-hitters when I was young, spawning grounds for Tom Seaver, Oddibe McDowell, Craig Nettles, Barry Bonds, James Winfield, Dan Pastorini and the Boone brothers (and about a dozen more). And, hockey — well, you can be on the ice six months a year here without a refrigeration unit. My cousins played and I was the backup to the hockey reporter when I was a college reporter. I covered a few games. The local newspaper always expressed surprise that a girl actually knew hockey. Women were rarely sports reporters back then and I never played. My knees and ice skates — not a good match-up.

I am vaguely aware of how the New England Patriots are doing because that’s my husband’s team (although he still really likes Tom Brady, so how we’re vaguely aware of how the Tampa Bay Bucs are doing). Most Alaskans root for the teams from wherever they are originally from and about 50% of our population is from somewhere else. If you were raised here, you’re expected to root for the Seattle teams, but neither my father or stepdad cared for sports other than Gold Panners baseball, so I only root for the Seahawks when they’re playing against New England — because my husband insists. Yes, I do know what’s going on on the field, but I really just don’t care other than for the particular game I am watching at the time. I do follow the Nanooks hockey team from University of Alaska-Fairbanks, but I’m not a very engaged fan. “Oh, they’re up in wins. That’s great. And against some tough competition? That’s better. Now, for something important — like how deeply in debt Congress is putting me.” I go to the Nanooks games maybe twice a winter and the professional team just never gets my notice. And I don’t like to watch hockey on television, so I’m not even sure I know any teams’ names.

That might explain why I don’t focus a lot on team sports in my writing. I’m not all that interested in my own life, so my characters are only marginally interested teams in theirs. My characters are almost all individual personal sports types because that’s who I am. Plus, it’s the apocalypse. They have more important things on their minds. If someone would create a team sport for generating electricity, they’d probably cheer for that.

Posted October 18, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Yes, Stephen Curry Really Is Worth $201 Million | Matthew Doarnberger   Leave a comment

Image result for image of steph curryThe aftermath of an entertainer, especially an athlete, receiving an enormous contract worth more than average Americans will see in their entire lifetimes often causes some pretty opinionated responses. Thus, it was no surprise that this was the case when Golden State Warrior’s point guard Stephen Curry received a new contract for five years totaling $201 million.

Source: Yes, Stephen Curry Really Is Worth $201 Million | Matthew Doarnberger

This is currently the richest deal in NBA history. To earn this type of payday, Curry has won two MVP’s and two NBA Championships over his past three seasons.

Beyond the Bare Necessities

As it turns out, the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler is not so thrilled about Curry’s new deal. A recent article of his is entitled “Is Steph Curry really worth $201 million? Is anybody?” Fowler makes a number of statements in the piece disapproving of the contract. Let’s take a look at these claims in order to debunk the totality of his argument.

Let’s start with this: No human being on the planet needs to be making a guaranteed $201 million over five years, including Steph Curry.

Of course, “needs” is a relative term. If the true necessities of life can be reduced to food, water, clothing, and shelter, then anything outside of basic subsistence is something that an individual does not “need.”

Someone living an impoverished life would view Fowler’s comfortable, middle-class life the same way that he views the life lived by Curry.

Although I don’t profess to know how much Scott Fowler is paid by the Charlotte Observer for his services, I’m quite certain that he makes enough to afford things that he doesn’t necessarily “need” for his survival. Therefore, someone living an impoverished life in a third world nation would view his comfortable, middle-class life in America the same way that he views the life lived by Curry.

So if Fowler can legitimately criticize Curry’s contract on the grounds that it enables him to make much more than he “needs,” then it would also be legitimate for a third world resident to criticize the amount that Fowler is paid given that he is comparatively compensated as a sports journalist to a degree that also enables him to live far above an individual living at the subsistence level in an underdeveloped country.

Fortunately for Fowler, those who make so much less than he does do not have the means to go online and criticize him for his comparatively lavish salary.

Athletes Are the Ones Filling Stadiums

When some public school teachers are fortunate to make $40,000 a year, no athlete needs to average $40 million (which, at that rate, would fund 1,000 school teachers a year).

What Fowler has done here amounts to choosing a popular, presumably underpaid profession that garners sympathy from the public and highlights the massive gap between their salaries and the salary he is demonizing. A closer look at both teachers and star athletes in popular, American sports shows why this gap appropriately exists.If Curry receives a gargantuan contract for his abilities, that doesn’t mean that teachers have less as a result.

After all, the number of people willing to spend money on tickets to watch a teacher perform his/her job would not be enough to fill a sports stadium. In addition, there isn’t a market for televised teaching to the point that advertisers are willing to spend money to put commercials on during a televised teaching session.

Since the athletes are the ones that people are paying to see and advertisers are willing to spend money in order to advertise to those who watch via television, it makes sense that those athletes should be compensated for the revenue that they bring in. In fact, due to the NBA “max salary” format and the league’s salary cap, one could argue that the game’s best players are actually underpaid.

This criticism gets even more absurd when considering that the owner of NBA teams (in Curry’s case it’s Joe Lacob) is worth more than any of the team’s players. If NBA stars like Curry weren’t able to make this much money, then their wealthier owners would get to keep more of it.

In addition, money isn’t zero-sum. Simply because Curry receives a gargantuan contract for his abilities, that doesn’t mean that teachers or other professions have less as a result. In fact, given the amount of taxes that Curry will pay on his new salary, he will be sending more money to the local educational system (not that there is any connection whatsoever between spending on education and student performance).

Just Compensation

Lastly, let’s not succumb to the myth that the state can simply “take” from someone who makes an “unfair” salary and just give it to someone that society feels deserves it. We’ve seen this through anti-poverty programs where it takes the government many times more dollars to actually spend on those programs than what actually reaches the intended target.

NBA players are compensated for the audiences they attract and the value that they create.

So it then looks highly unlikely that this same government could seize a huge portion of Curry’s income and seamlessly distribute it among teachers (despite The Ringer’s Michael Baumann claiming that we would be better off if we did this). Sorry, but the track record of the state strongly suggests otherwise.

So don’t be upset at Curry, Lacob, the NBA or anyone else for this situation. NBA players are justly compensated for the audiences they attract and the value that they create. Teachers are not undervalued or underpaid as a result of large athlete contracts. The quicker we realize all of this, the quicker we can stop this misguided blame for society’s ills.

Reprinted from Libertarian Sports Fan.

Posted August 10, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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