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My Takw

Old sports

Mark McGee
Posted 6/11/22

I don’t want to sound like an old man yelling at kids for walking across his lawn, but I have become nostalgic for the old way sports events used to be presented.  

Watching the Stanley …

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My Takw

Old sports

Posted

I don’t want to sound like an old man yelling at kids for walking across his lawn, but I have become nostalgic for the old way sports events used to be presented.  

Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs and Major League baseball games the past couple of weeks has prompted me to say enough is enough.  

As a sportswriter for so many years, the notion of cheering was foreign to me. One of the main rules of being a sports reporter is there is no cheering in the press box, on the sidelines or at the press table during games.  

But I attend more games as a fan now than I do as a reporter. Even if I was moved to cheer a play or a player I don’t want to be told when to do it or how loud I should be.  

Cheerleaders used to be the sole way crowds were whipped into a vocal frenzy, but now cheers are also blasted over sound systems with video showing how loud the cheers are.  

Music at hockey and baseball games should be presented solely by an organist.  

I don’t need music at halftime of a football game or between periods at a hockey game. I would prefer to use that lull in the action to talk about the game with the people around me or to simply talk…period. Teams feel the need to entertain fans.  

The games simply aren’t enough anymore. People leaving stadiums or arenas may talk about the overall experience more than a particularly outstanding play or player.  

I miss plain white dasher boards at hockey games. It is okay for a scoreboard to be sponsored but I don’t need the videos touting various products or services. I don’t need to be bombarded by commercial messages when I sit in an audience for a game. I see more than enough ads on television.  

With player salaries going ever higher and higher the need to generate revenue in all possible ways is great for top level pro teams especially.  

But college teams have joined the sponsorship fray as well. I don’t need a touchdown, first down, home run, strikeout goal or power play sponsored by a company. I believe including ads on jerseys and helmets is unnecessary. Will jerseys and helmets eventually become billboards cheapening team logos and team colors?  

The names of stadium and arenas change today based on who wants to pay the most for naming rights. I maintain Fenway Park, Wrigley Field (okay it has long been named for the chewing gum magnate), Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, Soldier Field and Madison Square Garden sound so much better than a stadium or arena with a corporate name.  

They speak of tradition, not money. I guess I am looking for simpler times to return. I know that is an impossible dream, but you can’t blame me for wishing.  

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