Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Question Professional Sports Dreads The Public Asking

That question being:

How much of a performance hit would, say, the NFL take if it insisted on at least 50th percentile moral character from all its athletes, coaches, and other representatives?

My guess is not much of one, and probably not one that most sports fans would even notice.  Imagine a league wherein guys like Tim Tebow aren't really insane outliers.

As Tebow himself has pointed out, all high-profile professional athletes are role models, even those who claim not to be---just often they aren't very good ones.  From a reactionary point of view, they are very high status---apex alphas in the language in several related blogospheres.  Changing the behavior that they exhibit (and more importantly, the behavior that they APPEAR to exhibit and are expected to exhibit) has the potential to have a massively outsized impact on the culture as a whole.

Thus the fear of Tebow.  He awakens a sense of what might be possible should the public demand it.  There are enough inefficiencies in 'caste football' that you could probably put together a zero-felony team without giving up much chance at the playoffs at all.


Aretae said...

Given that the NFL is a near-monopoly, it would probably muddle along just fine. If any one team did it, they'd be screwed. Except insofar as you can get away with team-winning over individual excellence.

However, I think the current state of affairs (in Football, as in Life) is such that it is to every individual stakeholder's advantage to allow prima-donnas to misbehave. And that tendency will be reinforced at whatever strength winning is valued.

Anonymous said...

The only real fear is competitor leagues. It only takes a few big stars to make a new league "legitimate".

I agree they could probably do something, but I'm unsure how much. I think this would work better in the NFL versus say the NBA.