What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
I admit I’ve been fighting this battle for decades now. But I also know it’s a losing battle. As the business of sport has swelled to gargantuan proportions, it has to pay the bills somehow.
I don’t watch NASCAR, so I really don’t give a shit about the fact their cars and racing suit look like a patchwork quilt your grandmother would make, if she made it out of corporate logos. English soccer teams have had sponsors on their kits for yeas now, and I’m fine with that.
But for some reason, I have resisted the commercialization of American sports, but I’ve let myself live with certain concession to the commercial gods. I know the legnedary Vin Scully perfected the art of the in-game plug before I was even born (“Let’s take time out from that triple play to talk about Farmer John’s pure pork sausage”). I don’t like stadiums having corporate naming rights, but I live with it since that money helps build and maintain some really great facilities. I made myself at peace with the Nike logo on football jerseys because they kept it low-key. Hell, I even thought the “AT&T Call To The Bullpen” was kind of clever.
But, what is happening at George Mason University is where I’m drawing the line. I cannot accept the selling of actual game events. Now at Mason, everytime a Patriot cager hits a three-point shot, the arena announcer is contractually obligated to say “a Jim McCay Chevrolet three.”
But wait, there’s more…from the George Mason Athletics website:
Jim McKay Chevrolet 3-point T-shirt Toss
After every George Mason 3-point basket, three George Mason Basketball – Jim McKay Chevrolet t-shirts will be launched into the crowd, courtesy of Jim McKay Chevrolet. Additionally, you can keep track of the Patriots 3-point baskets by checking the McKay Chevrolet Shootin’ Threes banner on the railing below section 122.
Honestly, this hurts even more because I have a Mason connection. George Mason University is one of the fine institutions of higher learning that had the temerity to either kick me out or give me a diploma to get me the hell off their campus (I may still not be at liberty to disclose which due to some legal complications). Regardless, the point is to this day, I still have a soft spot for that 2006 G-Mas team which made that miracle run to the Final Four. That’s why it pains me that Mason has crossed this line.
But this isn’t about me turning this into a “Where are they now?” for Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn, and Folarin Campbell. This is about the continuing commercialization of sports, and the fact that George Mason represents the line I will not accept crossing. To that end, I know I’m waging a Quixotic campaign; this is going to continue no matter how many silly rants against it I publish. What this comes down to is that I refuse to let myself ask what’s next, because there are simply too many completely horrifying possibilities.