As I sit on the front porch of my house listening to the cheers of the high school football stadium that rests less then a hundred yards from my home, I cannot help but to feel a sense of nostalgia and longing for those blissful, care-free days. Sitting in the stands with my friends, laughing and smiling while we cheer on our other friends as they smash the opponent all over the gridiron while simultaneously making plans for the post-game party. It didn’t matter if we had won or lost, everyone was at those parties letting the pseudo-worries of high school melt away as we stared wide-eyed into future endeavors such as college, careers and inevitable success.
In the economic climate we find ourselves in now, it is easy to look back at what was and feel a sense of longing. With corporate lay-offs on the rise, the unpredictability of a roller coaster stock market, and unemployment rates the highest they have been in 25 years, our generation is feeling the toll of an uncertain future that can certainly be defined as Depression-esque. Add those happy thoughts to the already cut-throat nature of the Sport Business Industry and us 20-somethings find ourselves in quite the unenviable predicament.
But as Hyman Roth so eloquently stated in the immortal Godfather II: “This is the business we’ve chosen…”
And as us “newbees” of the business duck and weave our way to the top, the grizzled veterans are also making preparations to combat this crisis as well as forge ahead to accustom themselves with the upcoming administration’s new policies.
It will take sometime to fully understand and appreciate the effect President-elect Obama’s mandates will have on the sporting industry, but we can certainly speculate. As Lester Munson of ESPN reported, Obama’s tax increase will have a significant effect on team owners and players, slow the sale of professional teams and increase the power of the player unions. The latter is a no-brainer since democrats are traditionally pro-union, but with the impending tax increase, will owners have to start paying their athletes more? And if so, will they then go as far as to raise ticket and concession prices to cope with the rising expenses? One thing is for sure, as we businessmen try to gauge the effect this administration will have on our future, our jobs and our wallets, it is the most important part of the sporting industry that is going to be lampooned the most…the fans.
But hey, I am not a pessimist. I truly believe that if you work hard enough you will be able to achieve anything you would like. Even in the hardest of times, that is the creed that America is founded upon. A common ground is always found between politics and sports, that is the beauty of it. And it is that promise of a new day that gives myself, and hopefully all you aspiring sports professionals, the hope to not give up that dream.
But like I said before, it is certainly easy to look back with longing…