Coaching Markets

In America, a fall Saturday often means watching some college football or possibly heading off to tailgate at the alma mater. Sunday is for the NFL, which remains the top television draw, despite its problems. For much of the country, Friday night is for the local high school games. Some parts of the country play their high school games on Saturday morning, but for most it is Friday night. In Texas, high school football is a two billion dollar business. Americans love their sports, especially football.

Currently, the two best coaches in the game are Nick Saban, who coaches the Alabama Crimson Tide and Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The fact that the ancestors of both men are from Illyria is an interesting fact. Not only are both the best of their era, it is possible they are the best ever. Both men have a similar style of managing their programs and both are known for being something less than charming with the media. The shadow of Diocletian is very long.

Anyway, the thing that stands out about Saban and Belichick is they are smart men, who are excellent organizers. They are gifted at working within the constraints of the game and the constraints of their situations. They are not married to a style of play, instead adapting to the talent on-hand and the state of the game. They are known for getting the most from each player, often creating a niche for the player that did not exist. They also adapt to their staffs, shuffling people in and out of their organizations.

The thing is, what makes both men remarkable is that they are exceptions. Coaching football is a very lucrative profession in current year America. Bill Belichick is thought to make close to $15 million per year. Nick Saban makes $9 million per year. Both men are probably worth over $100 million at this point. In the case of Belichick, he could be worth a quarter billion or more, as he surely has been given investment opportunities unavailable to most people. Sports teams are owned by oligarchs.

Now, for two of the greatest of all time, that is probably justifiable, but further down the talent scale, the money is still very good. All over the NFL, there are head coaches making millions per year for being very bad at their jobs. There are lots of assistants making big money for being bad at their jobs. Many assistants, are often known to lack the talent to ever be a head coach, while others are simply happy to be a mediocre NFL coach making a very good living in the game.

At the college level, the cost of mediocrity is most obvious. Many of the college head coaches are dumb people, even by the standards of sport. Will Muschamp coaches the University of South Carolina football team. He makes over $5 million per year. He is not very good at coaching football. He got fired from his last high paying gig and he will be fired from this one. He’s not alone. The game is littered with guys who are not all that bright, but somehow rise to the top of the profession.

If libertarians were right about anything, this would not be the case. There is very little government interference in the coaching business. These are contract employees, so they can be fired at will. Moreover, the colleges seem to be immune from charges of discrimination like private business. Blacks are wildly under-represented in the coaching business. There are few Jews in the management side. Women are just about non-existent in the game. Sport is free to be a free market for coaches.

In theory, the lucrative salaries and the lifestyle should be a magnet for smart young people in America. Every year, thousands of young people head to Hollywood and New York hoping to be a star. They want to be famous. You would think something similar would happen with coaching, where the money is great and you don’t have to have sex with guys like Harvey Weinstein as a condition of employment. Smart young people should be flocking to sports coaching trying to make it big.

Of course, something similar should be true of politics. Congressman and Senators are not pulling down football coach money, but they live a great lifestyle. They also get perks like the right to trade on their insider knowledge. Paul Ryan, for example, went to Washington penniless and retired with a net worth of $6 million. He landed in a seven figure job bribing his fellow colleagues. That should draw hundreds of candidates into every race, but politics is largely a closed shop, despite being democratic.

There’s not point here, other than that to point out that “natural markets” don’t exist, even in the absence of government. There’s almost no government role in the football coaching business, but it is a closed world controlled by relationships and insider information among the coaches. The same is true of politics. In theory, anyone can run for Congress. In reality, they allow in only those they want in. The Senate is the world’s most exclusive club, followed by the House and the football coaching fraternity.


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A Rambling Post About Sportsball

If you have ever followed sportsball, the one thing you have surely noticed is that some franchises never win, while others win a lot. In America, the New York Yankees are the example of perennial winners. In English soccer, Manchester United is the club that is the example of consistent excellence. The opposite is true as well. In America, the organization best known for futility is the Cleveland Browns. It’s not just that they never win anything. They find hilarious ways to lose and embarrass themselves.

The question is why? In the case of baseball, market size has always been assumed to be the main driver. With unlimited budgets for payroll and player development, the teams with deep pockets could dominate. The Yankees operate in New York. The Dodgers are in Los Angeles. Over the years, the correlation between winning and market size has been strong enough for most people to assume that’s the reason. Of course, the Mets and Cubs stand out as stark exceptions, so there is more to it.

In other sports, like English soccer, the market share answer does not apply. Manchester is the thirst largest metropolitan area, behind Birmingham and London, but it is a fifth the size of London and much poorer. The dominance of Manchester is a lot like the success of the Green Bay Packers in American football. Not quite to that extreme, but Man U has had much more success than the Packers. While having a big market helps in all sports, the rules and some other factors often neutralize the advantage.

One area where this “something” else is easier to notice is in how teams hire their front office people. The reason the Cleveland Browns, for example, lose all the time is they hire stupid people to run their club. The New England Patriots, in contrast, hired a cerebral coach, paid him well and staffed their front office with smart people. They also make sure the culture of the organizations rewards the smart and punishes the stupid. When these people leave for better jobs, they often fail in their new organizations.

While it seems obvious, the reason franchises have sustained success or failure is due mostly to their organizational IQ. This is most obvious in baseball. The Oakland A’s are credited with being the first team to employ statistics in player evaluation. Moneyball, as it is called, seeks to find the best value in the market for talent, but also the most useful players in the market. The stat-geeks have re-evaluated the stats in baseball and created new metrics to measure a player’s contribution to winning games.

What the Oakland A’s learned is they could get players that were 90% as good as the big stars, for 30% of the investment. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is a useful way of thinking of it. They understood that a player who walks a lot is more valuable than a guy who strikes out a lot, but also hits for a high average. The former is on-base more often, so he contributes more runs than the latter. Hitting home runs is a good way to get a big contract and sell tickets, but getting on base is what counts most.

Now, all of the big clubs have armies of stat-geeks doing the moneyball thing. The Boston Red Sox have the godfather of stat geeks, Bill James, on their payroll. The use of stats has become so pervasive, it is changing the game. Managers no longer make decisions during games. Instead, they consult probability charts and select from the options the front office created before the game. It’s an odd form of computer chess. Instead of humans controlling the robot pieces, it’s the robots controlling the human pieces.

The fact is, winning is about avoiding error. Since the Greeks this has been understood, so why is this not a universal part of all sport? The owner of the Cleveland Browns is probably a smart guy. He’s rich enough to own a sportsball team, so he may not be a genius, but he is pretty smart. Why does he not hire a team of behavior scientists to study winning and create personality models for the various jobs within the organization? He could hire people to model how the Patriots run their organization.

It does not have to be a sci-fi version of this stuff to work. The team of analysts could come up with the five facts common to all failed coaches in the Browns organization and then compare that to the least successful coaches in the game. Odds are, they will find some commonalities. Knowing what does not work, they could simply avoid hiring coaches with any of those qualities. That would not guarantee success, but maybe it eliminates embarrassing, catastrophic failure. Better is better.

Sports organizations are systems, so the tools used in system analysis should apply to sports teams, corporations, political movements and so forth. American business employs continuous improvement techniques to fine tune daily operations. Some are more committed than others and some things work better than others, but fixing small things tends to have the greatest impact on performance. This is true in most systems. Fixing a simple error in a line of code can greatly increase system performance.

Despite this well-known reality, human organizations are the least likely to embrace empirical techniques. Politics is the most obvious. If the parties simply required an IQ test for party membership, they would save themselves a lot of trouble. Sports franchises tinker around with this stuff, but they have never embraced it. Even big corporations seem to drift from a focus on incremental improvement in various types of magic. Google is now a cult of sorts, which is how they make blunders like this one.

The point of this post, if there is one, is that there is something that prevents otherwise smart people, like sportsball owners, from using well known techniques to improve their organizations. The result is a repetition of unforced errors. Sportsball owners are hyper-competitive, yet they are often allergic to considering concepts and tactics that work in other organizations. It is only after an innovator proves it can work that we see the rest jump on board and start aping what worked for them.

An even stranger thing about sportsball teams is that this institutional blundering attracts owners prone to the same sort of blundering. These bad franchises come up for sale and the new owners turn out to be as accident prone as the previous ones. In fact whole cities seem to attract losers in this area. Again, Cleveland is a great example. All of their sportsball teams are terrible and the owners are some of the worst in sport. Maybe there really is something in the water there that causes this.

Anyway, it is something reformers and rebels should probably consider when plotting how to attack the Death Star of modern culture. Maybe that silly plot device from Star Wars has a grain of truth to it. The bad guys left the back door to the Death Star open, because in the end, they were the Cleveland Browns of space villains. Perhaps all villains leave a window open at some point. Maybe size makes organizations stupid and then exploitable to those with subversion on their mind.

Thoughts On Sportsball

The Federal government won convictions on three of its cases against the sneaker pimps working behalf of the apparel company Adidas. The case is a strange one in that the FBI invested a lot of time into surveying and wiretapping some famous basketball coaches, as well as some senior company executives. Yet, they have narrowed their focus to some small fish and two executives. It’s one of those cases that probably reveals things about our age for what is not happening, than for what is actually happening in the courtroom.

For those unfamiliar with American college basketball, here’s some background.

Men’s college basketball is probably the most corrupt sport in America. It used to be that boxing was the dirtiest sport, but interest in it has collapsed to the point where it is probably no longer worth the trouble for the criminally inclined. Basketball, on the other hand, is a big money sport with lots of public interest. Like boxing, the talent tends to be unsophisticated and dull-witted, so they are easy to corrupt. There’s also a culture in the sport that tolerates hustlers and conmen. In fact, they are often celebrated.

Strangely, the corruption is not driven by the money coming in the front door, from ticket sales and player contracts. The corruption is driven by the money that comes through the back door, in the form of sneaker agents, apparel companies and the youth development leagues. The business model for sneaker companies is simple. They want black kids buying their sneakers. Since Americans worship black people and youth culture, whatever black kids like, gets bought by Americans and then the people of the provinces.

To that end, the sneaker companies are always looking to sign young basketball stars to represent their brand. They also want college programs, where many of the stars start to become famous, wearing their shoes. The result is the sneaker companies operate complex webs of street agents who bribe kids and their families to sign off-the-books contracts, so they can be guided to the college programs on the payroll of the sneaker company paying the street agent. It’s institutional bribery that has been normalized.

With that as background, it is a mystery as to why the Feds decided to go after these guys, when they have been turning a blind eye to it for decades. The corruption in college basketball is so well known that some of the notorious street agents, who bribe players on behalf of sneaker companies have become institutions. The agent for LeBron James has become very rich just because he got lucky and signed the biggest star in the sport when he was in high school. There are lots of guys hoping to win that lottery.

In other words, the Feds could have been arresting people for decades, but they didn’t and then all of a sudden they went after Adidas. Now, maybe that is just bureaucratic inertia, but what makes this strange is the limited scope thus far. The company executives involved were handing out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Given the nature of the sport, that means they probably had a budget of millions to use to bribe players and coaches. That money did not fall from the sky. It came from the company.

Everyone familiar with corporate accounting knows there is no account for bribery in the G&A expenses. Adidas is a publicly traded company, which means they have to follow strict accounting standards. That means there are people in their finance department who have been involved in fraud for a long time. It certainly means C-level managers were aware of the activities and approved it. The FBI could easily take down the whole company if they started to dig around in the books. They certainly have probable cause.

Then there is the strange fact that there have been no plea discussions. The people have not been offered a plea deal and no one has offered to talk. Again, the Adidas executives were not operating alone. They have bigger fish to trade for their freedom. The assistant coaches that have been charged can easily hand over their bosses, who are all famous people. The Feds love putting famous people in jail, because it gets them on TV, but in this case the Feds are strangely uninterested in leveraging what they have to get big fish.

Now, like most people reading this, I have limited interest in basketball. What’s intrigued me about this case is all of the dogs not barking. I can accept that the Feds just ignored the issue for years, because their political bosses put things like terrorism and the drug war as top priorities. Still, the Feds have time to hassle citizens for all sorts of stupid and petty things. It’s not like they are actually doing anything about drug crime and terrorism, other than putting on a show for the public. They could have been on this years ago.

Putting that aside, the real mystery is why they have not bothered to expand this case to the most obvious places. If we’re going to assume that the Feds are lazy so they go after low hanging fruit, then why are they not picking these big juicy plumbs that are right in front of them? Similarly, if sloth is the reason behind their lack of action for decades, why did they bother going to trial, when they could have offered these guys a deal? It’s one of those times where the answer to one question contradicts the answer to something else.

The reason this intrigues me is I think it reveals something about the entire system that most people just suspect. That is, the level of incompetence is much worse that even the harshest critics assert. We’ve seen glimpses of this in the FBI scandal. These people are supposed to be the elite, yet they bungled the simplest of tasks. That means down the line, the quality of personnel is even lower. The reason this sneaker case does not make a lot of sense is because the people running it just time-serving hacks.

Another angle to this is that this case reveals the cultural rot of the American empire. The appeal of professional sport is to see men compete in mock battles on a level playing field, abiding by transparent rules. The governing bodies are supposed to make sure the field remains level and the rules transparent. That’s sportsmanship. The state is supposed to step in clean up the business if the governing body is corrupt or simply needs help policing their sport. It’s why casinos have a strong relationship with law enforcement.

Yet, we have a sport that is flagrantly and openly corrupt and no one says anything about it or tries to do anything about it. As we see with this Adidas case, it would be very easy to pop dozens of coaches and even more sneaker company executives. A handful of high profile people going to prison is the sort of thing that reminds everyone else of the need to maintain high standards. As the Chinese say, sometimes you kill some chickens to scare the monkeys. Imprison a few sneaker executive to keep the rest of them motivated.

One final thought, as I have gone on too long about this. The political class is now moaning about the fact that the public has lost faith in institutions. They never think that maybe their unwillingness to enforce the people’s laws could be the reason. They never mention the flagrant disregard for the spirit of the law throughout the elite. Most Americans are sports fans and every day they are reminded that the Cloud People have no respect for the rules. Eventually, the message does sink in and the Dirt People follow suit.

The Death of Sportsball

Twenty years ago, I looked forward to the start of college football season. If I was not going to a game, I’d make sure watch one of the big games featured over the opening weekend. My friends were all into tailgating at NFL games, so I would go to a few of those throughout the fall. One of the things we would do every year is pick a game somewhere in the country and meet there for a reunion. Granted, the game was not central, but the reunions were planned around a sportsball event, either baseball or football.

It has been at least half a dozen years since we did a sportsball road trip. I’m struggling to think back to the last football game I attended. I still go to opening day of the local baseball team here in Lagos, but that’s because I get free tickets and it is a nice excuse to skip work and enjoy the spring weather. The local baseball team means nothing to me. Over the weekend, I tuned in for one of the college football games, Appalachian State versus Penn State, but only because a friend was watching. He went to one of the schools.

Tastes change, of course, and sportsball fandom is more of a young man’s game than an old man’s past time. Becoming an internationally renowned crime thinker has changed my view on things as well. I spend much more time around crime thinkers in real space as well as the virtual world. Even around my old friends though, sportsball has lost ground to other subjects. Again, age plays a role, but some of the guys have made it a point to drop sportsball from their list of interests. Something has changed in the culture.

The NFL has seen its TV ratings decline over the last two years. People want to believe it is all related to the anti-white behavior of the blacks, but the decline began before the monkey shines. Part of the problem is the product. As the ownership has become more transient, the game has become more short term in its design. Players move around, teams are never the same from year to year, coaches come and go and the quality of play resembles an intramural game on the college quad. The quality of play is very low now.

There’s another aspect that reflects the new ownership. They try to squeeze two dimes from every nickel. This is becoming true of all sportsball events. The games are more marketing than game. Everything that can be monetized in some way is exploited to the point where the presentation is grubby and offensive. Watching a game at home is like being stuck in a room full of carnival barkers. There is something unseemly about billionaires trying to squeeze their middle-class customers out of their last dime.

Of course, to watch a game means subjecting yourself to the endless proselytizing in favor of degeneracy. There are the commercials for various sexual diseases. Then you have the fact that every commercial must now celebrate miscegenation. I saw a spot for the NFL featuring a Mexican single mother who cuts short her daughter’s lemonade stand so they can watch a football game. It makes me wonder if the owners of these teams have ever gone to one of their games. There are no low-riders at NFL tailgates guys.

It’s not just the NFL. I stopped following the basketball a long time ago, primarily because the culture of the sport. I don’t just mean the antics of the players. The NBA has always been a human flea circus. You watch bizarrely shaped humans perform like circus animals in the context of a game. That’s even how they sell it. What gave me the creeps is the feeling at the arena. Go to a basketball game and you sense the guy running it has his car running in the parking lot, just in case the the gate that night is too low to pay the bills.

My temptation is to assume it is me and the sportsball leagues are doing the same as always, but the evidence suggests otherwise. It is not just college football games experiencing a steep decline in attendance. All live sports are seeing it. Last year, a Twitter account popped up featuring pics of empty NFL stadiums during the game. Most of the featured teams were perennial losers, but not all of them. Even mighty NASCAR has seen a slide in their live gate and they obviously can’t blame blacks for their problems.

The Atlantic article I linked above wants to blame the changing landscape of television for the ratings decline, in addition to other factors. That’s tempting until you think about how we got to the TV sports world. When I was a kid, sports on TV was rare. Baseball had a “game of the week” on the weekend. The NFL had two television games on Sunday. Only famous college football teams were on TV regularly. At the same time, live attendance was low. Fenway Park was famously empty for the last game of Ted Williams.

If you look at the rise in attendance, it started in the 1980’s just as the cable television model spread around the country. What most likely drove live attendance was the creation of state of the art venues, beginning with Camden Yards in Baltimore. Like the proliferation of giant bookstores, the spread of luxury venues was driven by credit money.  Supply sometimes does create demand and that is what happened in sports. The flow of TV money also helped, as the cable model gave sports teams billions in new revenue.

It all seems to be unraveling now. The sports teams are still making loads of cash, but the reason they are resorting to every underhanded trick in the book to squeeze their customers is their customer base is shrinking. At some point, the math will catch up to them and the bust out comes to an end. Since the business model of every professional sports league is based o a growing revenue stream, even a flattening of growth is very dangerous for them. As a result, they will get even more avaricious in their greed.

None of this is new material, but what gets little attention is why is it we seem to be in a down cycle for big public entertainment. Taken in total, starting roughly in the 1970’s, sports and entertainment started on a long upward swing that seems to have peaked in the last decade. That’s roughly a generation, give or take. That means one answer for it is demographics. The 1980’s through now has been peak Baby Boomer. Everyone with something to sell targeted that cohort for decades and now that cohort is moving on.

Of course, the sports boom also coincides with two other things. One is the collapse of local, community based entertainment. You just don’t see youth leagues and community activities like you did in the 1970’s. There’s also the invasion of tens of millions of foreigners from over the horizon. You local community loses its attraction when so many of the people in the community are strangers with weird habits. Maybe going to sporting events and having watch parties was a temporary reaction to the collapse of the local.

Anyone can have their own theory, but what you can’t argue is the issue is purely economics. That’s the BoomerCon response to these things. “It’s too expensive” does not make a lot of sense when it was not too expensive last week. The great spike in ticket prices, for example, occurred well over a decade ago. Watching games on the TV you already own is no more costly than not watching the games. There’s something else happening and it is most likely tied to the cultural changes driven by demographics.

Repost: Why I Hate Soccer

Note: This is a rewrite of a popular post from four years ago, the last time I had a reason to think about international kick-ball. I’ve expanded on the topic a bit and updated the references to make it more timely. This will be the last soccer post for four years.

Way back in the olden thymes, when the World Cup was held in the United States, I went to the games played in Foxboro. I happen to be at the airport when the Greek team arrived, so I got to see them buying Marlboros at the gift shop. Seeing a bunch of swarthy guys chain smoking outside the terminal is my main memory of international soccer. That and how all of them were glaring at every piece of tail in sight. It was as if they just got out of prison. Little dogs and little men have no control of their sex drive.

That said, it was a good time in Boston during the World Cup and I had fun at the games I attended. Soccer is boring, dull and tedious on television. The fake injuries are so absurd and embarrassing it is hard to tolerate. In person, the game is much better. When Raul collapses in a heap, acting like he took a cannonball to the knee, the crowd roars in unison, thus making it more like a stage play than a sporting event. You lose that interplay on TV, so it comes off as absurd. That and the Greek fans I was with knew how to jeer.

Watching soccer live is also better than TV, because you get to see the players that are not involved in the play. They are often chatting with one another like they are old friends bumping into one another on a stroll. On TV, the camera follows the ball and the players all look busy. Live, you also get a better sense of what’s really happening. The strategy comes into focus sooner than on TV. Since most of the games are fixed, it all makes more sense when you get to see all of the action and not just the group around the ball.

World Cup soccer and Olympic soccer are fun because so much is at stake. The Little League World Series gets big TV ratings in the U.S. for the same reason. People don’t watch little kids play baseball, unless it’s their kids. Put the same kids in an international tournament and suddenly the nation gets interested. There’s also the fact that the World Cup features the best players in the world. The fact is, Lionel Mesi or Neymar kicking a ball around will always seem more thrilling than two unknown guys.

Now, what has always turned me off about soccer is the cultural angle. When I was a boy, our betters in America were trying to force soccer and the metric system on us. The people doing it were all loathsome snobs. Worse yet, all of them were the children of working class people who should have known better. But, their parents sent them off to the state college and they came back thinking they were sophisticated citizens of the world, so they loved soccer. Yep, soccer was a Boomer fetish.

Even all these year on, I still think of those smug assholes of my youth, whenever soccer comes to my attention. I associate it with the ridiculous poseurs who turn up in every Progressive cultural fad. I’ve probably heard “it is the most popular sport in the world” a million times in my life. That is the sort of thing stupid people say when they want to sound sophisticated. In most of the world, soccer is the sport of the poor and lower classes. That means our bourgeois bohemians are aping the mores of chavs. Good job phonies!

A recent development, one that I find most irritating, is the fake passion of cosmopolitan men for Premiere League teams in Britain. They saw videos of Euro-guy with his hands on his head in agony over a soccer match and now they are pretending to have had a lifelong passion for a soccer club in England. I have a friend who used to call soccer “fag ball” until about a decade ago. He became a vegan and started following soccer. He wears a Man U jersey. He says “footie” now. He went bald and his wife is fat. That’s justice.

It is all a pose, of course. What’s odious about the poseur is he turns his self-loathing into your problem. The poseur apes the styles and attitude of others because he hates himself and cannot stand the sight of himself. His comical pretensions force everyone else to play along, in order to be polite. Everyone knows the poseur is full of crap, but the guy who says what everyone thinks, risks being castigated for being rude. These people turn our morality on its head, by making our virtues into vices. They deserve to be hated.

One other thing that turns me off is the “you don’t understand the complexity of the sport” line from people who probably don’t understand the sport at all. Soccer’s appeal is based on its simplicity. Real fans know this, but poseurs prattle on about the complexity in order to shift the focus from their misplaced and irrational love for a foreign sport, onto the skepticism of their critics. In other words, they don’t really like soccer, they just want to signal their membership in a group they believe is superior. It is Star Bellied Sneetch-ism.

Another thing about soccer is the coverage in the American sporting press. The same people who normalized porn, have tried to use soccer in their war on whites. They have endlessly promoted soccer, despite the fact Americans have limited interest. Whenever there is a big match in Europe, we get coverage of how the foreign fans reacted to the result. A standing head in the sporting press is “Watch Fans React To…” and then the thing that happened in a soccer match. It’s an effort to weaponize the bandwagon effect.

Of course, now that European teams look more like refugee camps than European, the anti-whites love soccer even more. They use the browning of the traditional World Cup powers as “proof” that the great replacement is going to be wonderful. You can almost hear them saying, “See how much better sports will be when the whites are replaced with the non-whites?” Like so much about society, soccer has become another weapon wielded by the anti-whites in the race war. It is a reminder of what they plan for us.

Anyway, that’s my problem with soccer.

The Death of Sportsball

Down at the Hater’s Ball, we were joking around at the banquet about the things you stop enjoying when you become race aware. Pop culture is an obvious one, given the absurd levels of anti-white vitriol we see on TV and in movies. I mentioned that sports stop being fun, as you spend all your time noticing the propaganda and lose track of the games. I’m not the first guy to notice this. At Mencken last year, I was hanging out with a couple of people who despised sportsball because of the endless racial agitation in it.

Back in Lagos, I’m enjoying my free evenings by watching some television and catching up on some movies. I happened to catch about five minutes of a basketball game. It was Cleveland versus Toronto. The announcers were carrying on like LeBron James had just cured cancer, whenever he put the ball in the hoop. Some famous black guy was on the sidelines doing back flips for some reason. It was like watching a bizarre African circus, but the stands were packed with whites. I lasted about five minutes and turned it off.

The NBA has always been an odd business. The people who own the teams are the types who do business from card tables and folding chairs. They keep a bug-out bag ready and leave their car idling in the parking lot, just in case. The owners are all Jewish. The players are all black. The fans are all white. The NBA is pretty much a long running advertisement for upside down world, where blacks are the elite and whites are at the bottom. It is, in many respects, a metaphor for where we are as a society in the current age.

Anyway, it got me wondering how these sportsball leagues remain in business, despite their hostility toward their customers. Going to sporting events is a civic nationalist sort of thing, if you think about it. It is the last place we have where people from the community can meet in public and enjoy something together. The downtown shopping area is dead. Malls are dying off. The movie theater has been replaced by the home theater system. A sportsball game is one of the last public gathering places we have now.

As with so much of our society, the sportsball model assumes the sorts of social arrangements that come with an 80% white society, where people trust one another and take pride in their place. You have an emotional attachment to the local teams, because they represent local pride, even if the players are mercenaries. In a world where all relationships are transactional and one place is as good as another, what’s the point of following the local team? That seems to be showing up in surveys like this about the NBA.

Another tell that sportsball is headed for a bad time is what is happening with college sports. There, fan loyalty has the added hook of attendance. Alabama football not only plays on state loyalty, they have tens of thousands of graduates who can show their pride by supporting the football team. That means donations. Talk to the people who fund raise for athletic departments and they will tell you that the younger graduates are far less willing to give than previous generations. The “culture of giving” is not there with millennials.

It’s not just the changing demographics of America, it is the berserk impulse by the people running the sportsball leagues to destroy what makes sports appealing. Here’s a story about how NASCAR is trying to grovel at the alter of multiculturalism. I can guarantee you that not a single racing fan in the South has said to his buddy, “You know what would make NASCAR perfect? More blacks.” Sports used to be an escape and a celebration. Today, even NASCAR is a sermon and warning. How is that sustainable?

The funny thing is the sportsball leagues appear to understand that their model depends on fooling whitey about their intentions. I went to opening day for the Lagos baseball team and the pre-game ceremonies would have made Leni Riefenstahl blush. I enjoy some flag waving still, but I was offended by the volume and intensity of it. There were calls to hero worship the military, the cops, some civic group they trotted out. I went to see a baseball game and instead I got a Orwellian rally to celebrate the great leader and his works.

The reason they lay it on so thick is they feel they have to. They say flag waving is the last refuge of a scoundrel, so a sport worried about its appeal will resort to claiming it is your patriotic duty to love baseball. Looking around at the crowd that day, I saw very few non-white faces. It was all white families and white business people skipping out from work. Baltimore is a 70% black city that has to import its sports fans. When America is 70% non-white, from where will they import their fans then? Will it matter?

Given what’s happened with the NFL ratings the last few years and the drop in live attendance for all sports, sportsball is in for a rough time. Professional sportsball is not the same business as selling cheap junk from China. For sportsball to work, there has to be an emotional bond between customer and team. That means the fan has to trust the owners of the team are on their side. In our deracinated, low-trust society, that can’t happen. Therefore, it is hard to see how the sportsball model holds up much longer.

Lessons From Racing

When I was a little boy, Jackie Stewart, the great F1 driver, was a household name, despite the fact Formula One is mostly a European thing. I no longer recall the brand, but a toy maker used Stewart to sell a slot car toy set. As a kid, that seemed like the greatest toy imaginable. Open wheel racing was a big deal in the 70’s. It is fair to say it was the golden age of open wheel racing. My family was not into racing, but we watched the Indy 500 every year and some of the F1 races that would be broadcast in America.

There is a great documentary on Formula One  that covers the rise of the sport after the World War II, especially the outlandish danger that was a feature of the it well into the 1980’s. Even if you have no interest in racing, it is worth watching. The men who raced in the 60’s and 70’s were incredible personalities and incredibly brave. The film is primarily about how the sport evolved from a deadly spectacle into a safe spectator sport. It mostly uses vintage footage that really brings the feel of the age home to you.

The point of the show is that the sport of racing, not just at the highest levels, but at all levels, was outlandishly dangerous and unnecessarily so. The track owners could have installed safety items like barriers and emergency medical services, but they saw no profit in it. The team owners were only concerned with winning races, so they put no effort into make the cars safe, beyond what would aid the drivers in finishing races. The racers, chasing glory, developed a cavalier culture and proudly accepted the dangers.

This turned out to be an increasingly lethal combination. Even though it was never said, the track owners knew the paying public was attracted to the sport, in large part, because of the wrecks. The car builders did not want to see wrecks, but it was to their advantage to make the cars as fast and light as possible, which meant eschewing safety features like fire suppression systems. The drivers, like all dare devils, had an incentive to take risks, as this is what made their reputations. The result was increasing carnage.

It reached the point where fatalities were so common, the drivers began to organize in order to force the car builders and track owners to improve safety. That’s where Jackie Stewart came into the mix. He was the most famous driver of his day and he took the lead in organizing the drivers and demanding safety measures. The real advance in safety came when Bernie Ecclestone gained control of the TV rights. He was one of the first to realize that TV was going to be the lifeblood of sport. Control TV and you control the sport.

It is a good lesson that is applicable to all aspects of society. At some point, someone has to be in charge and have the final word. The claim that different interests will organically work as a system of checks and balances is true only in theory. In reality, it takes a strong leader to marshal the competing interests toward a common goal. This is where the arguments against great man theory of history fail. There may be multi-generational forces at work, but it is the great man who is the inflection point of history.

It has not been all wine a roses for Formula One racing since Ecclestone seized control of the sport. Having one man run things means, inevitably, his interests come to dominate, to the detriment of the whole. What made car racing attractive to adventurous young men was they could test their wits and courage against others. The homogenizing effects of F1’s corporate governance is slowly killing that spirit. So much so that the greatest name in racing is threatening to quit, unless there are changes to how Formula One is governed.

This cookie cutter approach, that comes with rule by middle manager, is what is killing NASCAR. Television viewership for stock car racing in America is in decline and the tracks are seeing lots of empty seats. The labyrinth of rules governing the building of cars has removed one of the cool aspects. That is, redneck ingenuity at finding loopholes in the rules and clever new ways to go fast. Now, the cars all look the same, the drivers look the same and the familiar PC bullshit is being injected into the sport.

This is another lesson that is applicable to our age. Human beings are designed to be curious about the world. Men in particular are by nature inclined to test the limits, challenge the rules of life. By directing all energies toward safety, predictability and profitability, racing is managing only to make itself boring. Most young people today could not name a single race car driver. Forty years ago, when I was a boy, even red neck Americans knew the big names in Formula One. Those were men who you could admire.

Committees are made up of people who naturally fear the world. They desire to put every animal in a cage, have ever blade of grass the same height and make sure tomorrow is exactly the same as yesterday. That’s what has happened to racing. it used to be ruled by quarrelsome men led by an alpha male. Now it is run by bureaucrats, disappointed that they never became postal clerks. Of course, there are scads of women showing up to preach the gospel of multicultural lunacy. That never ends well.

What’s Wrong With The NFL

Pretty much the only reason I ever owned a television or had a cable subscription was so I could watch sports. Growing up, we only have a few channels and they were often so fuzzy you could not watch them. Television was just not a central part of my life as a kid, so I never developed the habit. I grew up on sports, so as I got older I did what everyone else did and got cable and a television. In truth, I bought my first TV after a girl I was dating said she would not come over to my place if I did not have a television.

Over the years, the only thing I bothered watching with any regularity was sports. Even as the cable companies kept jacking up the rates, I liked sports enough to keep paying the rate. In fairness, the number of games kept rising and the quality of the television got better, as the prices went up. When I was a kid we got one NFL game on Sunday. If I want to watch every NFL game on a Sunday, I can do it now. The same is true of college and other sports. It really is an amazing change just in my lifetime.

I no longer have a cable subscription. I’ll watch movies off Amazon or off the Kodi, but that’s the stuff I can get free. I stopped watching the NFL a few years ago, even when I still had cable. I’m not sure what happened. The games just got boring to me. I’ll still watch a college football game, but I’m not arranging my schedule around it. Basketball stopped interesting me in the 90’s, mostly because I’m white. The only sport I will watch is baseball and I primarily follow it over the internet and through the box score.

It’s popular to say that the NFL is struggling due to the player protests. There’s certainly something to that, but it feels more like the final straw than the prime reason. I have friends who were regular fans, going to games and watching on TV, but now they don’t follow the NFL at all. At the same time, they cut the cord and started disengaging from sports media too. That’s not just the protests. There’s something else going on in the culture that is causing people to rethink their interest in professional sports.

A few years ago, it was received wisdom that the NFL, and to a lesser extend college football, was the tent pole holding up the cable business. Americans were football crazy and they would pay the price to have their weekend games. Now, ESPN dropping the NFL is no longer a crazy idea. They are getting killed by cord cutting, but they are also paying huge money for professional sports. They are preparing for another round of layoffs. There is a limit to cost cutting. Anyone involved in downsizing knows it is just a way to buy time.

The question no one seems to ask is why has the NFL lost its appeal? Again, the decline has been going on for a few years. Ratings were dropping before the players decided to demonstrate their hatred for white people. If we could get an honest accounting of ticket sales, my bet is those have been in decline as well. People in the secondary market say prices have been dropping for years, which is a good indication that retail sales were sliding too. For some reason, normies in America are losing interest in football.

One possible explanation is that supply created a bubble of demand. We tend to think of economic bubbles as demand driven, but take a look at the bookstore business. There was a time when the bookstore was the small shop selling bestsellers at the mall or a shop in the bohemian section of town. Then all of a sudden, every town had a massive warehouse selling books. Of course, Amazon came along too. Book sales went up until people remembered they did not like reading that much. Poof. Bookstores went away.

Maybe something similar is happening with sports. In the 70’s, it was rare for a sporting event to sell out. Big games were a hard ticket, but even some title games failed to sell out. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the NBA playoffs were on tape delay. The famous US hockey win over the Soviets was not broadcast live. In the 80’s, new arenas and the roll out of cable made everyone a sports fan. Then the girls got into it and being a sports nut became the way people related to one another in the public.

It could be that after a generation of sports mania, people are remembering that watching live sports is not all that much fun. Just as the culture changed with the new flood of sports television and high end sports arenas, the culture is changing again as the novelty of those things wear off and people rediscover other entertainments. We tend to think of fads lasting a week or maybe a summer, but maybe some things run their course over a generation. Maybe as the Boomers fade, their cultural items are fading too.

If you think about it, Boomers have driven other sports fads that have come and gone. In my youth, tennis was a big deal. Boomers were young enough to play tennis, so they watched tennis too. Then the boomers got old and moved onto golf. Tennis collapsed and golf took off. Now, Boomers are getting too old for golf, so it has fallen into decline. Maybe that’s what is happening with professional sports like the NFL. The demographic cohort that blew the sports bubble is expiring and the bubble is collapsing.

It’s not an elegant answer, but there is no obvious reason why football has a stink on it all of a sudden. The games have been over-hyped circuses for a long time. They actually made some changes to quicken the pace and shorten the games. The cost of attendance is ridiculous, but you never hear that as an explanation for the sudden decline. Even so, that would not explain the free fall in TV ratings. Whatever the cause, it is part of a much longer trend and not the result of one thing, like the player protests.

The Personal is Political

The defining characterization of second-wave feminism, according to feminists, is that the “personal is political.” The phrase comes from an essay by feminist Carol Hanisch with the title “The Personal is Political.” Hilariously, she claimed the phrase was something all women knew and said, but was a secret until the late 1960’s. The most likely reason for her refusal to claim ownership is that she stole the idea from someone else, but feminists have always been nutty, so there’s no way to know.

The argument is that personal experience is intertwined with larger social and political structures. One’s personal choices reveal one’s politics. Consequently, one should make personal choices that are consistent with one’s politics. Put another way, your life is your politics, so therefore politics defines your life. This was a roundabout way of attacking normal family life and traditional female roles, but it did not stop there. Defining people by their politics, and only their politics, meant that there is no escape from politics.

The irony of this is that this is perfectly consistent with how men have always understood women. Women compete with one another to establish their status in relation to men. That means for women, it is an endless competition. Therefore, politics is all consuming. Men, on the other hand, establish their status among one another. Once the pecking order is set, that’s the end of the competition. Politics is for when it is time to reset the pecking order. Otherwise, men define themselves by their role in society and their deeds.

As our society has become feminized, everything is drenched in politics. You see it with the NFL protest debacle. Men watch sports to enjoy seeing men compete with one another in ritualized combat. Men don’t care about what the combatants think about anything, including the combat. Interviews with coaches are to be focused on the strategy of the game, not the guy’s feelings about life. Player interviews are only interesting because most players are black now, so they say wacky and stupid things.

Of course, the zeal of NFL owners to include the girls is due to the understanding that their sport is never going to be popular with girls or sissies. Like boxing, it takes guts to play football. Anyone who played the game knows the risks, as they saw teammates carted off with broken bones or on backboards. Girls don’t like seeing that and they really don’t want their children doing it. The pinking of sports like football is an effort to distract the girls from the reality of the game so they don’t shut it down.

In a feminine society like ours, it is just a matter of time before masculine things like sports are either made girlish or relegated to the fringe. Boxing, for example, still exists, but only as a fringe sport done by foreigners. UFC has managed to gain an audience, but again, it is as a renegade activity, done underground and on pay-per-view. White mothers will never be taking their sons to UFC camp. They can tolerate martial arts, just as long as it is white boys in bathrobes, safely pretending to be Jackie Chan.

This is why football is so much trouble. Peak professional football was probably a dozen years ago. It was around then that white mothers, especially divorced middle-class mothers, started turning against youth football. They did not want their little baby being run over by black kids. That’s why the concussion hysteria gained traction. It’s a ready made excuse for pulling the white kids out of football, that lets white women pretend it is not racism driving their decision. After all, they loved Will Smith in the concussion movie!

It’s why the NFL’s decision to let their blacks kneel during the anthem is going to be a disaster for them. The owners signed off on it thinking it added drama and would therefore draw in girls, because girls and girly-men like drama. Instead, those kneeling black players are a stark reminder to white women that the sport of football is for violent black men, not nice suburban white boys. Youth participation in football is collapsing and this will only serve to accelerate it. The NFL has now made football anti-white and un-American.

The root cause is not the inherent danger of playing sports like football. The root is the same as it is for everything in the current crisis. The feminization of the West is turning politics into a never ending soap opera for no purpose than the perpetuation of petty gripes among the participants. Nothing gets done, because girls don’t care about deeds. They care about attention. Swedish women have turned their country into rape land, in order to get the attention of their men, who have been feminized to the point of no return.

Aristophanes wrote The Assemblywomen in 391 BC. it is a comedic play about what would happen if women assumed control. The women immediately ban private wealth and enforce sexual equality for the unattractive. It reads like an inter-sectional co-convening of the feminist study department at any university. The play was intended to use humor to criticize the Athenian ruling class. It relied on the basic understanding of the female mind and on the widely held understanding that you can never put women in charge.

For thousands of year, people understood the different roles of the sexes. Human societies, for good and ill, were organized on this understanding. Then all of a sudden, the West went crazy. Men stopped playing their role and instead handed off authority to the women. The women have set about politicizing everything and feminizing everything, including the men. They are now forcing their boys to dress as girls and pretend to be women. Everything is political, even the biology of their children

This will not end well.

Combat Sports

Like a lot of people, I watched the big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor on Saturday night. The claim is it made six gorillion dollars and a bazillion people watched it. As is always the case these days, the numbers are all lies and the real numbers are vastly lower than claimed. The live gate was about what you see from a typical fight, but the PPV was probably much higher than typical. UFC fans are conditioned to view their sport through television and on-line, rather than live.

Despite the fakery, it was a big deal and even casual fans found a way to watch it. The dirty little secret of modern life is that watching these things via a pirate stream is getting easier and more difficult to police. As we saw with the music business, the video rackets are nearing that point where the cost of policing the underground feeds will exceed the value of their product. There are simply too many ways to get around the paywalls and blocking mechanisms. This fight was probably the last big pay-per-view fight will see.

That’s always the problem with artificial scarcity. It works for a while as the laws of supply and demand are universal. Make something scarce, relative to demand, and the prices rise. There is another universal law of economics though. Anything that has value will be stolen or faked. That means attempts to create artificial scarcity will be met with equal efforts to get around those barriers. That’s what happened to the music business and now music is just about free. That’s what is happening with pay television.

Still, the fight proved something that our betters have been telling us was no longer true and than is men still like being men. Fights are never and can never be pink hat affairs, where the girls show up and pretend to be fans. Boxing and MMA are male sports aimed explicitly at men. This fight was a contest between a bigger, younger man versus the older, but vastly more skilled smaller man. Men enjoy seeing that sort of thing. We like competition, but we like comparisons and contrasts in our competition.

During the broadcast, it became clear that the on-air people were instructed to use the phrase “combat sport” rather than the more common phrases. My hunch is the promoters saw the numbers for this thing and see a chance to bring fighting back as a popular sport again. Boxing killed itself with corruption and the UFC has a bum problem, but there is a market for good fights and the UFC is great at selling their product to young males. The contrast is styles between McGregor and Mayweather made it a great show.

If they fused the two sports, dropping the wrestling and tackling stuff entirely, there is a good chance they can create fun shows like this on a regular basis. Imagine if McGregor was allowed to kick and rabbit punch. It probably would not have changed the outcome, but it it would have made it a bit more fair. Change the ring to make the ropes more sturdy, like the cage in UFC, and the boxer has to change his strategy. There is a middle ground where you can create fun and interesting contests that men will pay to see.

The other thing the UFC can teach boxing is how to develop its talent. Boxing was destroyed by the crack epidemic. The urban gyms that worked as feeder systems for boxing were wiped out by the crack wars. The young guys looking for a way out of the ghetto were drawn into the big money of the drug game. Those still looking to go straight were too afraid to go into the rough areas where boxing gyms tend to be located. As a result, the flow of young talent in the US evaporated and so did the fan base.

That’s the thing about MMA, which boxing can adopt. Go around the country and the mixed martial arts gyms are now where the old martial arts places were located. That’s in suburban shopping centers. Middle-class white women are fine letting their boys go to these places as it feels safe and their snowflake is not getting bullied by urban blacks or robbed in the parking lot. Boxing can be sold to the white middle-class again, but in has to be sold on their turf. White people with kids no longer live in cities.

That’s not to say boxing can ever make a comeback, at least to the status it once enjoyed. That world is gone. We live in the age of niche sports. Even mighty football (American) is feeling the pinch. There will always be a market for men fighting one another under agreed upon rules. Boxing and MMA are just that. If the end result is some fusion of the two that is both white-ish and suburban, that’s not a terrible result. Healthy cultures have ways for men to compete, as well as watch and encourage other men to compete.

As to the fight itself, it was a fun show. As I pointed out prior to the fight, boxers are vastly better conditioned than MMA guys. McGregor was sucking wind in the third round and by the sixth he was clearly gassed. Mayweather is a great boxer and he knew exactly how to take apart McGregor. That said, the Irishman had a great plan and executed it well. He showed tremendous heart. He was just beaten by the better boxer, like everyone else Mayweather has faced. Both acquitted themselves well. It was a great show.