Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Medal count is at a whopping...three. Way to go Canada.

One of each colour...yippee. As usual, our overhyped athletes choke.

It's unfortunate that no one realizes how little the Olympics matter until they're over. All that money that goes to amateur athletes, amateur athletes. Whereas our tax dollars are (supposed to, at least) benefit all of us.

Just because I'm a sports fan doesn't mean I can't identify what a solid investment is. Athletes bitch and whine about how little support they receive...well, rarely do they deliver on the expected medal haul, so that shouldn't be a surprise.

The bottom line is if a Canadian athlete wins a gold medal in moguls, or a silver in skiing, or a bronze in speed skating, it doesn't affect me at all. Nationalism or patriotism aside, it's just a poor investment.

Now you might say, hold on a that logic, if the Blue Jays win the World Series this year, that shouldn't affect me either. You'd be wrong. There's incentive for me to spend money to help the Jays. First off, I get to actually watch them play...not many people can afford to travel to Torino or whereever to follow the athletes. It also stimulates the city's economy, during a time of the year when no other major sports are going on. And maybe most importantly, money spent at the ballpark increases their revenues, which in turn results in a better on field product.

At this point, you're probably furious. If you spend more money on Olympic athletes, wouldn't that result in a better product from them? Not necessarily, and that's the key difference between amateur and professional athletes.

Generally, if you spend millions of dollars on a professional athlete, you pretty much know what you're going to get: at the very least, a serviceable player that can help your team win a game. But with an amateur athlete, you're expecting nothing less than a medal, fairly or unfairly. And because of the level of competition, that's highly unlikely, no matter how skilled the ahtlete may or may not be. How many of our athletes were "projected" to have won a medal by now? Certainly more than three. And why spend money on an athlete with absolutely no chance of winning a medal? So that he or she can have a personal best? Big whoop. There's no incentive there. At the end of the day, it's all about winning, and if you aren't going to win, you ain't getting squat.

Call me unpatriotic if you want, but know this: when I buy Blue Jays tickets, I know that my money is going towards making the team better in some capacity. If I buy a lottery ticket with the proceeds going to Canadian amateur athletes, I may get absolutely nothing in return.

And that's the definition of a bad investment.

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