Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Life in Economic Terms: One Year Equals $100... Kind Of

The Seattle Supersonics are likely moving. If you weren't aware of this, it's quite OK. It's just the NBA, after all. To go with the story,'s Page 2 is running a survey to see just what you'd give up to save your favorite pro sports team. Some of my answers actually surprised me, at least in comparison to my other answers. For example, I said I'd only be willing to pay $100 to see my team win the championship this year, but that I'd also be willing to give up a year off the end of my life to see the same event. To tell the truth, I'd probably be willing to pay more than $100 for the Falcons to win the Super Bowl, but the next step up was $500, which is a little steep for me.

The odd thing is that I wouldn't give up a year of life for just $100, despite apparently considering them equal tender when it comes to pro sporting championships. Despite this, I don't think giving up that last year of my life is really such a big deal. After all, you're giving up what is likely to be in the top five worst years of your life in exchange for at least three months' worth of bragging rights. It seems like a fair trade for me. Giving up a year of misery for three months of elation? No question.

Actually, if I were a fan of a team like the New England Patriots or Dallas Cowboys or even cared enough about baseball for the Braves to be my team, this would be a moot point. I wouldn't need to spend anything to see a championship. I'm OK with my team not winning every year or even most years, so I can see them lose a few times without being crushed. My favorite pro team, however, is the Atlanta Falcons. They've never won a championship and aren't looking to do so any time soon. I think I'd actually have to give up a year of my life for those losers to put together a Super Bowl season.

Here are a few of the other questions from the survey, my answers and analysis:

"1) What is the least amount of money it would take for you to let your favorite team move?" Answers ranged from $200 to $1 million and no price. I chose $1 million, although honestly, this is a matter of gray areas. Do I actually have any real power here? If yes, then I'm milking it for all its worth. I'd like to be able to quit working off of this transaction. If they're just being nice, I'd really settle for much less in consolation prizes for my loss.

"5) Your local government agrees to build a new sports complex to keep your favorite team in town. But spending on roads and education will be cut. Are you OK with this?" Of course I'm not OK with this. I already find it offensive that cities already more or less subsidize professional sports. I really think those roads and schools have more to do with the success (or lack thereof) of your city than the quality of your professional sports industry. I may just be a bit idealistic and naive, but how is it that I'm in the minority here?

"8) If money/career wasn't an issue, would you move with your favorite team?" Even ignoring the fact that they also left out family considerations (the reason that I'm still living on the East Coast), this is a ridiculous question. What if my team moved to the Rust Belt or to some state where the legal limit on alcohol content in beer makes most of my favorite tipples illegal? What if they moved somewhere the average summer temperature is more than 85 degrees? I may be willing to give up a year of my life for a chance to get my favorite team a championship, but I'm not willing to follow them anywhere I don't already want to go. The Falcons are moving to Portland, OR? I'm there. They're moving to Birmingham, AL, or Los Angeles? Forget it. I'll just pick a new team.


Julie said...

With Matt's jersey, we've got at least $400 in Thrashers merchandise, so I would probably be willing to pay $500 to keep them here. I'd have to spend it anyway to replace all the stuff. Or not.

Sports teams are fluid, so I think it's kinda dumb to get so attached. Your team is really only a logo. The players go where the money & contracts take them. Your team will effectively be gone in a few years anyway.

Courtney said...

You would really give up the last year of your life for a game? But what if NEXT YEAR is the last year of your life? Better start saying your goodbyes.

Mickey said...

Courtney makes a really good point. So does Julie. It's really just a logo and a name we're following.

Also, to those who came here on my recommendation: I swear he doesn't do a lot of sports posts.

JustinS said...

Mickey's making us come visit, so I thought I should comment while I was here to prove I followed his orders before he starts issuing beat-downs...

I took the same survey a few days ago and was a bit surprised at how little I apparently care about the Blazers. I'm all up in arms about the Sonics thing, and yet I wouldn't give up the last year of my life for Portland. Go figure.

Chris said...

Well, come on, the idea of giving up the last year of your life is so abstract that it pretty much holds no value. Since you don't know which year is to be your last, you wouldn't even know you had given it up.

Unless when you got to hell, the devil was all like, "Oh, you're early." Then you'd have to sit in hell's waiting room with some pop princess who had offed herself via drug overdose, plus maybe some dumbass teenager who played the choking game one time too many.

Then that would suck, wouldn't it?

Jacob said...

Chris makes a solid point (and is exactly where I'm coming from). Judging from family history and lifestyle, I'm at least making my 90s. Plus, if next year is my last year, I really don't see how going one year early makes that much difference. It's not like I could plan for it anyway.

And Mickey, I kind of thought this was more of a commentary of the value of life than it was sports.