a recent supreme court decision concerning amateur sports and ever growing social media enterprise have effectively destroyed the team concept. individuals, for money or fame, are seeking to position themselves as sport’s gods or idols. the world moving forward, however, may not be as bright as these budding idols believe.
two stories addressing sports idolism that illustrate the point come from the university of wisconsin and the us olympic female hammer trials.
at wisconsin, a college quarterback is working on his name, image and likeness to brand himself and perhaps seek monetary reward. college football is a team sport. this quarterback needs a lot of people to help him grown his name, likeness and image. he needs a to put him into the game, players to block and protect him and when drops back to pass, skilled position players to catch his passed. in sum, practically the entire team needs to perform so that this individual build his name, image, and likeness.
this athlete will soon realize a problem moving forward. the “me” in team means there are other “me”s. these “me”s deserve a cut of his name, image and likeness as well. after all, they are all contributing to it. thus, this quarterback would be wise to open his wallet and start sharing his wealth with his team mates.
thus, college team sports are well on their way of becoming a nightmare. locker rooms will become toxic. self-promotion will make team accomplishment secondary.
the us female olympic hammer tryout competition was to get onto the olympic TEAM USA. the initial accounts looked like it was about getting on ME USA. the third place finisher, a self described activist athlete, acted to separate herself from her team mates. there has been no video that i have seen where she offered congratulation or support to her fellow competitors. going to the event, she had a history of expressing her individuality. hammer throwing is an individual sport and it is clear that she makes the effort to stand out. one thing she does is wear attention getting colorful lipstick.
her actions brought much attention to the event. as a result, my attention was drawn to the competitors who placed ahead of her. in doing so, i discovered that the first place finisher had a banner performance and set records. her name is deanna price. i watched the video of her record throws. she made me a fan of the event. now, i look forward to her competing for the gold. thus, the third place finisher’s attempt to bring attention may have inadvertently brought attention to her competitors. ms. price may be the one receiving the eyeballs in the future.
in sum, being an idol is complicated, fleeting, and problematic. thus, it is simply refreshing that we have one eternal god and no other.
thank god for that!
if you would like to read more blog posts, click here