By Ken Reed

In the May 23 issue of Sports Illustrated, Steve Rushin takes on all the junk that sports fans have to deal with in order to support their favorite teams — including, having to pay for the stadiums and arenas their teams play in.

“Just because Holder paid for this ticket, a handling surcharge, a PSL and, indirectly, the stadium itself, that does not give Holder the right to act like he owns the damn place,” writes Rushin.

Great line. That sentence is one of Rushin’s best but he has others that humorously, but powerfully, point out what fans have to deal with in the profit-at-all-costs world of pro sports owners and Power Five conference college administrators.

“By attending Sports, Holder accepts that he will be the primary target of a three-hour barrage of ads and sponsored segments so unrelentingly remorseless that Holder will be better off just buying a Kia Sorento already,” jabs Rushin.

Rushin does note that there are some positives to Sports fandom.

“… Holder may present this ticket at participating Carnival Cruise ports of call for $1 off a Caribbean vacation whenever Holder’s team scores 100. (In baseball only.)”

The headline on Rushin’s column is “The Fine Print.” That’s apt. There are a lot of strings attached when a person heads down the path of being a fan of a pro sports franchise or big-time college sports program.

At the pro and Power Five college levels, sport isn’t a cherished cultural practice governed by caretakers looking to do what’s best for the game, its athletes and fans. Pro sports and big-time college sports are run by greedy entertainment barons looking to yank every last dime out of your pocket.

All other considerations be damned.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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