I am boned up on the Montreal hockey riots.

I’ll never understand it. Although I can appreciate the art of the game, it amazes me that people can get emotionally attached to an NHL hockey team or any “professional” sports team for that matter.

A “professional” hockey team is simply a corporation that spends a great deal of time developing and marketing brand identity, like the following:

NHL Corporate Branding

Usually the State will subsidize the business by granting favours by using money extorted from it’s citizens (taxes) such as agreeing to locate a site and building a stadium/arena to house their franchise. In fact, here is a short financial history of the Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome), built in Toronto, Canada:

  • Built over three years from 1986 to 1989 at a cost of $600 million dollars, paid for by three layers of government (federal, provincial, and municipal) and a host of private insiders. When it opened, it was $165 million dollars in debt.
  • By 1990, the Skydome (or the “Condome”) was bleeding debt. Some say it was estimated that it would have to operate 600 days a year to book an unknown amount of profit. Personally, I think that number was simply “to break even”.
  • By 1993, it was $400 million dollars in debt.
  • In 1994, The provincial government issued a bailout by paying off all the debt with it’s extortion money taxes collected from it’s citizens and sold it to a private insider-connected cartel for $151 million dollars.
  • In 1998, the cartel filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Another cartel (Sportsco) bought it out for $85 million in late 1998.
  • Finally, Rogers (a cable and wireless company) bought it in 2004, for $25 million dollars.
  • Note that all these numbers quoted have not been adjusted for inflation, so Rogers got it for much less. In fact $600 million dollars in 1989 converts to about $847,010,869.57 in 2004 dollars. Rogers bought the stadium for about 3% of the original cost of construction.

    The next thing the business does is hire a bunch of contractors (the players) who are good at the game. In general, the more they pay their contractors, the better the team, although the contractors are very careful to include injury clauses that ensures they will continue to paid even if they don’t work. In other words, these contractors have a vested interest to get injured, in a non-lifestyle threatening way. They break a finger, they stop playing, but still get paid. In junior teams, if a player breaks a finger, they have motivated self-interest to keep playing as they are vying for attention from the “professional” team’s scouts/recruiters.

    These contractors are “loyal” to the corporate brand for as long as their contracts are in place. After that, they will either extend their contracts or work for another “competitor”. Note that it is not competition per se. In reality, the NHL (as all big business “professional” sports are) is simply an oligopoly.

    The business markets it’s logo to the public selling tickets, merchandise, and a host of other promotional events.

      Due to State-sponsored education, people have had their critical thinking skills lobotomized. What this means is that unthinking trolls actually become emotionally attached to these businesses and their logos. These people are usually referred to as “fans”.

      Let’s put it another way. If Exxon hired a bunch of contractors to compete against Shell hired contractors in a game, would the same loyalty be harvested from the public? If cigarette companies overtly did this, would this be true here as well?

      Although I can certainly understand the “art of the game”, I would have more interest in watching amateur games as the players usually love the game and try their best.

      Sports is great diversion fodder for the masses – as per design – and gets massive coverage in the media. It is utterly and hopelessly useless stuff.

      I finished reading that article. Now I can fit in with the rest of the loyal “fans” a.k.a mental knuckle-draggers at the water cooler today. Yayy! I fit in! My first question will be, “So why are you loyal to a piece of corporate art?”. D’Oh! Ostracized again…