Are professional sports affecting your love life, or am I the only one? Last Sunday I saw a good movie advertised and suggested to my husband that we go on a cosy date to take in the matinée. Like Pavlov’s dog, my taste buds were already drooling at the thought of warm, buttery popcorn and an icy Diet Coke.
He looked at me like I was from another planet. Alarm bells went off and it was all he could do to contain his shock that I would even suggest such a thing. Sunday afternoons are dedicated to football. Everyone knows that—except me, obviously!
I’ll never get football. My understanding of and appreciation for a tight end is definitely not the same as my husband’s. I view football as a massive, boring exercise in run-and-fall-down, stop, then do it all again. Yawn!
How anyone manages to stay awake during an entire football or baseball game is a mystery to me. In fact, proving my point, hubby rarely manages to stay awake during an entire game. Watching pitchers compulsively and continually adjusting the peaks of their hats and the rest of the players lovingly adjusting their balls strikes me as peculiar. And, what’s with them grabbing each other’s bums all the time?
At least I have a working knowledge of hockey having been forced to watch it as a teenager every Saturday night in the early sixties. Hockey Night In Canada on CBC narrated by Foster and Bill Hewitt or Danny Gallivan was the only channel we could get on our black-and-white television back then. There were only six teams. Each one was distinctive and it was easy to follow. Almost fun. And, hockey is fast which football, baseball, and golf most certainly are not.
What truly appalls me is the money these professional athletes make for a part-time job that requires they only show up for work a few months of the year. In fact, it is my firm belief those those obscenely large paycheques are the sole reason the Blue Jays and the Leafs are such consistently losing teams. There is no incentive to win. They get paid either way.
If you were guaranteed an annual paycheque of several million dollars regardless of whether you touch-downed your balls, or scored runs or goals, why would you put forth any kind of exceptional effort? We’re all familiar with the term quiet quitting. It’s another version of work-to-rule and that is how the Leafs and Blue Jays operate. The players really don’t care about whether they win or lose because either way they’re still going to receive those regular fat paycheque deposits into their bank accounts. Why put forth any extra effort? And, shamefully, these multi-billion dollar businesses do not even pay their cheerleaders. Women don’t count.
That is the sum total of the problem with Toronto’s sports teams. They’re spoiled and complacent. I would be too if I were in their Louboutins. Why bust their butts risking a groin pull or a broken fingernail? Whether they score goals or not, they’ll still be able to afford a Maserati to run the kids back to Bishop Strachan on Sunday nights or keep the family compound on Lake Muskoka.
My solution to the problem is to put the players on piecework. They would only get paid by the goal, run, or touchdown. Defencemen would get compensated for how many opposing team members they chase back over the blue line or away from their own end. Goalies would be paid by the number of saves they make. I suggest a certain dollar amount be allotted for each goal scored, and a lesser amount for an assist. Touchdowns or home runs would be worth a lot more than a long pass, and penalties would result in a deduction from their paycheque.
I would like to suggest we boomer gals take the same approach to our daily lives. The reward for housework is not necessarily commensurate with the effort required so perhaps we should slack off a bit more—unless we’re compulsive, which I am not. Who cares if there are dust bunnies under the couch? My friends sure don’t get down on their hands and knees and inspect so why should I worry? As long as I manage to make the bed every day and keep on top of the laundry I’m happy. A dirty kitchen floor does make me crazy though so I try to swish the mop around a couple of times a week. In my opinion, that is good enough.
Good enough! That’s the modus operandi for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays. Until they take my advice and start getting paid for actually delivering goals and runs, then they will never get any better, much less win. Pay for performance. Take my word for it; I’m the expert on mediocrity and my high school exam marks will confirm this.
For now, I’m just coasting along enjoying not putting forth much effort. I can always rely on my girlfriends for movie matinées. It’s called retirement and I’ve waited my entire life for my true vocation. I’m a pro. If only they would pay me accordingly. Is it because I am a woman?