Goose in danger

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One of Aesop’s most familiar fables is the one about the goose that laid the golden egg.

A couple owned a goose that, daily, laid a golden egg. They grew rich, but a daily egg wasn’t good enough. Impatiently, they decided to cut the goose open and get all the eggs inside. Of course, the inside of the goose was just like any other goose and there were no golden eggs and, alas, there was no more goose

The situations around the National Football League and other professional sports might not fit perfectly in this analogy, but they’re not too far away. Owners who make billions of dollars and players who make millions are in the midst of cutting their goose open.     

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Guess who suffers the most. As usual, the common man and woman, who have been buying the corn to feed the goose.

According to a website that I perused, the average ticket price this year is $172, with the super-attractive games more and the ordinary games a little less. If a daddy wants to take his son or daughter, or maybe the whole family, tickets alone might be over $500.

After fighting the traffic, paying for parking and buying a souvenir, plus some food, a day at an NFL game might cost close to $750-1000 if the entire family is included. Multiply that one family by thousands and that’s a pretty good-sized golden egg for the owners and the players to share.

If the experience brings unique enjoyment and takes the mind off the stress and strain of our weekday lives and jobs, it might be worth it. For those who can’t afford to actually attend a game, there is always the joy of watching on television.

That’s the way many Americans have spent their Sunday afternoons for decades. Professional sports brings out a sort of “fanaticism” in many of us. That’s why we are known as fans. All we ask is that our teams play well and understand that they bring us some good times in a tough world. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

“Not so fast kemo-sabe.”

I’m not sure what is happening to our country. Those games that gifted athletes play and we enjoy have turned into something else. It seems that everything we do these days has to be viewed through the lens of politics. We can’t even go to football games anymore without controversy.

We live in a country where freedom is a hallmark. Athletes are no different than anyone else when it comes to their right to speak out. They have a unique platform where, as they play their game, millions of people are watching. They have great influence in the actions they take.

The president has the greatest bully pulpit of them all. Everything he says or does is covered by reporters and is broadcast across the nation.

Every team in the National Football League has its games televised on some network and billions of dollars are generated every week. Many are getting richer by the week.

The common person in this country will never run for touchdowns on national television. He or she will never live in palatial estates. The fan who sits in the uncomfortable seats of our stadiums sacrifices hard-earned money to enjoy an afternoon yelling for their team.

It’s a crying shame, and I do mean a crying shame, that their teams are making a travesty of their loyalty and disrespecting one of their greatest joys. These fans are happy to win and heartbroken when they lose. Too bad their team doesn’t care about them. So long golden goose!