Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 28, 2004
BASEBALL: We Don't Really Care

More cleaning out the archives of things I'd meant to post . . . Greg Skidmore at Sports Law Blog argues that the steroid scandal and the Kobe Bryant scandal are just the latest examples of things people talk about but that, in the end, fans will ignore when it's time to pony up for tickets:

[F]ans care much less about what players do on their own time and much more about what they do on the field. Major League Baseball lost its greatest number of fans, not because of any off-the-field scandal, after the strike in 1994, which took players off the field and cancelled the World Series. Fans have often responded to criminal allegations with cheers and not boos. The sports world has recently witnessed this phenomenon in the context of Kobe Bryant, who has been resoundly cheered in many arenas. Ray Lewis was charged with manslaughter, but Ravens fans continue to buy his jersey by the hundreds. Numerous professional athletes have been suspended for drug abuse, sanctioned for domestic battery and charged with driving under the influence. Does this matter? Not so long as the player continues to hit home runs, hit buzzer beaters and rush for 100 yards a game.

I don't think it's just sports fans, either; this is equally true of Martha Stewart, who people want to see stay out of prison more because she does good things for them than because they care about her. It's also why Marv Albert was welcomed back by Knicks fans. Forgiven? Not so much as we just wanted to hear him do the games again.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:33 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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