Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's In It For Me?

Football? Yeah, I think they're going to play another game or so, but the Cowboys have already cleaned out their lockers and headed home...or to Cabo San Lucas or wherever. I'm sure I'll watch the Super Bowl, although in some years the commercials are better than the game.

But the game I most certainly won't be watching will be the Pro Bowl, from Hawaii. This started out to be a chance for fans to see their favorite players, the cream of the crop, playing against each other. The trip to Hawaii was a reward for the players for their excellence in the sport. But a couple of problems quickly developed. First, the only way any of us (even those who live in Hawaii) are going to see it is on TV. I've been fortunate enough to be in Hawaii at the time of the Pro Bowl on two occasions. (I actually played beach volleyball with Franco Harris and some other players one year). But when I tried to get tickets to the game, after the laughter subsided it was made manifestly clear to me that the tickets are allocated to the various football teams and--more important--the corporate sponsors, the ones who put up the big bucks every year for TV spots and so forth. The few that are left are often snatched up by scalpers.

In the second place, the players chosen for All-Pro honors may or may not be there in Honolulu. A good number of them decide that they'd rather do something else instead of play in the game that the fans and their fellow players voted them into. Compare the list that came out several weeks ago with the roster of players who actually play in the game and see how many have dropped out. Some of the absentees have valid reasons, but many of them are no shows because of the attitude that's overshadowing professional sports and the American scene in general: what's in it for me?

I know that a lot of you who read this are writers. For those of us who write in the genre of Christian fiction and non-fiction, we do what we do because we feel it represents a mission, a method of service. Oh, if we're offered a contract we'd like for it to reward us for our efforts, but our motive goes way beyond the "what's in it for me?" thing. And for that, I'm grateful.

Come back mid-week for an interview with Brandt Dodson, one of the bright new stars on the suspense fiction scene.


Anne Mateer said...

Yes, football goes on, but my heart isn't in it. I was actually at the game last week, my first one in fifteen years. It was so depressing!

Volleyball with Franco Harris? My father-in-law and my youngest son would like that is so cool! (They are big Steeler fans.)

And I'm with you--I'm glad Christian writers, even the "celebrity" ones, realize it is about more than just themselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm drooling over that picture . . .

For those of us whose teams have "cleaned out their lockers", we're pouting but will no doubt watch the fabled game and at least some of the Pro Bowl since our team's reps will be there--that is, the ones who aren't undergoing surgeries.