Mediocrity Makes Money
Sunday December 18th, 2011 - Milwaukee, WI
What an ideal day to not watch the Green Bay Packers game. They had to lose at some point, and today was it. I was busy doing other things and didn’t watch the game, and my life is better for it. Hearing about it was painful enough. I’m glad I didn’t have to see it.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve had to feel the sting that comes with defeat, and I feel the dark side of my addiction returning. This last year has been a freely flowing supply of high quality heroin, and it’s been the purest and longest lasting buzz imaginable. It ended today, but I can’t complain. Few other sports teams in history have had a streak like that.
This was a run for the ages, and it doesn’t have to be over yet. They’re still the top team in the league and the favorite to win the Super Bowl again, even though that doesn’t mean they will. It’s been a fun ride, but this was a definite speed bump. They played like bums.
I wonder how that happens after such a solid year? Is it biorhythms, dumb luck or some mysterious unseen force that plays an equalizer role? It was an unpredictable scenario all around the league this week, and the Packers weren’t the only odds breaker. Indianapolis Colts fans had reason to keep a gun out of their mouths as their team finally won a game.
This has to be exactly how the NFL wants it - no undefeated teams but no winless ones either. By the time it’s all done, 20 or more of the 32 teams will be hovering somewhere between 9-7, 8-8 or 7-9. All the fans in those cities will have hope until the bitter end, so they’ll keep watching the games. It’s probably great for business, but bad for greatness.
Mediocrity ruins the quest for excellence, but it’s everywhere. Life itself isn’t fair, and never has been. In the jungle, the slow ones get eaten. Period. They don’t put weights on the cheetahs so they run slower and give the limping gazelles a head start. It is what it is.
Baseball fans hate the Yankees for one reason - they WIN, or at least they have through history. Have they bought the best players? Many times, yes. But they’re in a huge market and can afford to do that. What’s supposed to happen, six million people migrate to Seattle?
It spreads way beyond sports too. Are McDonald’s hamburgers the best? Not even close to the middle of the pack, but they sell the most. Is Britney Spears the best singer? Again, you’d have to be tone deaf and delusional to think she can sing at all. It’s more than that.
I think it boils down to the fact that the masses really are asses, and the people in charge just want our money. Does the NFL care that the Packers are undefeated or the Colts were winless? Not especially. The Colts had their run recently, and those people will stay loyal.
Now the fans in Kansas City feel justified for their crummy season because their bunch of rummies beat the reigning Super Bowl champs. All the NFL cares about is that the fans of all the teams keep watching games and buying jerseys. McDonald’s buys commercials to keep us going there and buying their crap. They want us all addicted, and it’s working.