Greed before sport: Olympic hockey

For today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show we discussed the Olympics- and our feelings about the possibility of not having N.H.L. players in the international games. It seems that Gary Bettman, NHL commish, thinks that the Olympics aren’t good for the NHL- even though viewership of the Canada/USA game on Sunday had better ratings than game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup (note, I would have been watching if it were available on broadcast).

Here’s just a bit out of the New York Times today:

Bettman, the N.H.L. commissioner, has suggested that shutting down for 15 days may be more costly to the league than the benefits it derives from having its stars showcased internationally. The league gets no revenue from Olympic telecasts, but the high viewership numbers suggest that the N.H.L. is getting more exposure from the Olympics than Bettman or anyone else expected.

via Inside the Rings – N.H.L.’s Doubts About 2014 Games Are Challenged – NYTimes.com.

Bettman thinks of the players in the league as slaves- which is what happens when you have a virtual monopoly. Look at the NCAA- same thing.

Without the fans, you have nothing – and the fans and the players still think there is something cool about national bragging rights on a global scale.

Which brings me to sports, right here in Dayton. I believe we have some core sports competencies that aren’t being exploited. This area has a history of creating some serious talent- football, basketball, track and field- while not doing as well in baseball, soccer or hockey. It’s one of the core strengths in the community- and one that is underappreciated and overlooked.

Imagine if we had regional, coordinated training programs, allowing the best players to play for the region on a much larger competitive circuit. When Commissioner Dan Foley started his sports authority process- I was hoping we’d see program coordination- instead, all we got was a pitch for convention and sports tourism business.

One of the things healthy communities do is create opportunities for all to get involved in sports as participants. Kettering has done an outstanding job of providing facilities for residents and should be considered the benchmark community. It’s time all of the region raised the bar.

Here’s our ramble for the day- enjoy:

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