Salary Caps Are the Epitome of Capitalism

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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30 Responses

  1. “Contrast this with the most exciting sports moment last week, which came not at the World Cup, but at Wimbledon, when American John Isner won in a fifth-set victory that went 70-68.”

    I am pretty sure that Thiessen is mistaking “bizarre” for “exciting.” Or maybe he just gets totally absorbed in watching pros who can’t return their opponents’ serves.

    Though I enjoyed this post, I also hope we don’t have to spend any more time trying to classify sports politically.Report

  2. Avatar Matt Kuznicki says:

    The restaurant where I work, usually calm, even during the Superbowl, exploded when Donovan put that in the net. People I didn’t even know gave me hugs and high fives. It was on lips of every table i visited that day.

    I don’t know a single person has been following Wimbledon.Report

  3. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    Yeah, it was a less than impressive column. Honestly I’d never heard of takraw, but who hasn’t heard of hacky sack, aka footbag?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki,

      At least it didn’t defend torture. Stupid has to be a few notches above reprehensible.

      And the hands aren’t used much in running or jumping events, either (pole-vaulting aside).Report

    • Avatar Ken in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki,

      Thiessen’s wrong in another way. The goalie is allowed to hold the ball in soccer.

      If he tried to get around that by claiming that most players are banned from gripping the ball most of the time, then add volleyball to the list. Along with swimming, diving, many gymnastics events, and ice skating, in all of which there isn’t even anything to grip.Report

  4. This piece is worth discussing because it reflects two tendencies of the conservative mind today. The first is the apparent conviction that the only way to express love for one’s country is to insist it is unlike any other in every detail. The second is the tendency to frame every issue as a winner-take-all cultural battle between fundamentally opposed worldviews.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    The youth-participation-trophy-as-downfall-of-Western-Civilization meme is one of those George Will-inspired ideas that just will not die the quick and painless death it deserves. Not o ruffle too many feathers, but the fact that it comes generally from the right and is clearly concerned with the problem of maintaining a minimum acceptable level of pain in the lives of children does tend to reinforce a certain Yglesian critique of modern Conservatism…;)Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Michael Drew says:

      @Michael Drew,

      It was quite funny in “Meet the Fokkers”, though.

      Dustin Hoffman: And here are some of the prizes my son won when he was young.

      Robert DeNiro (sarcastically): I didn’t know they gave trophies for 7th place.

      Hoffman (perfectly sincere): Sure, they give trophies down to 10th place.Report

  6. Avatar Barry says:

    Mark: “Seriously – if you don’t like a sport, just don’t watch it. Is it really necessary to turn every single thing in the world into some sort of a political litmus test? ”

    What was Thiessen’s last job? Acording to Wikipedia, “Marc A. Thiessen (born 1967) is an American author, columnist and political commentator, who served as a speechwriter for United States President George W. Bush (2004–2009) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (2001–2004). ”

    So he was speechwriter to the worst SecDef in a few decades, and then to the worst president since Nixon. I’d say that expecting anything worth anything from him was expecting too much.Report

  7. Avatar Steve says:

    Thiessen has obviously never been to a Philadelphia Eagels or Flyers game! Talk about hooligans. How many Euro stadiums have jails and courts?Report

  8. Avatar Andy says:

    Of, for Christ’s sake!

    Let’s take NHL. It’s effectively a cartel. Balsillie tried to buy a few teams; he gets bummed by another owners. No matter how hard you try, other guys will have a say in whether they wanna play with you; maybe, you’re just too good and you’ll effectively threaten their monopoly. There are drafts and draft picks, that are traded. There are salary caps.

    Take European soccer: there’s a market for players. Literally any team can win major European cups; this year, for example, Russia will send a team from Novosibirsk to play in Europe League that’s not even a member of premier division (they won the cup). There are competing clubs in the same city (a rarity in US).

    I think this example shows the true face of US Conservative party as it exists today: it’s not about maintaining competition in the market. It’s about the right of monopolies to run the market how they see fit without anyone being able to do anything about it. Sports leagues in the US are the perfect example; if hockey was capitalist, there’d be no team in Phoenix and a few more in Canada.Report

  9. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    “. . . this remarkably idiotic attempt by Marc Thiessen to paint soccer as ‘socialist'”

    In Thiessen’s defense, he is genuinely an idiot.Report

  10. Avatar RallyMonkey says:

    You missed 3 obvious opportunities to display Thiessen’s idiocy.

    1) In soccer the poorly performing teams get demoted to a lower league. There are no perpetual bottom feeders, like the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    2) In soccer, there are no franchises granted exclusive territories. “Here Yankees & Mets, the tri-state area is yours to divide. Nope, no one else can set up shop in your area. You’re like a cable system.” There are 5 teams in London in the top level of English soccer. Others in lower leagues are welcome to fight their way to the top. The league isn’t going to say “oooh, we don’t want our existing London teams to have to compete.”

    Lastly, and most bizarrely idioticly, Thiessen writes that “opposable thumbs are the tools that seperate man from beast.” Ummm, Mr. Thiessen – all primates have opposable thumbs. Apparently, dude’s never been to the zoo. Or seen Planet of the Apes. Unbelievable.Report

  11. Avatar Neil Andrew says:

    On point 4, I am British and played competitive footie, or ‘soccer’, from the age of about 7 or 8 for junior and senior school teams, cub scouts and sea scouts teams, indoor 5-a-side and 11-man field soccer, and the notion that scores are not kept at youth-level games is absolutely ludicrous. Did he pick that out of thin air or is he simply extrapolating a one-size-fits-all pattern from an obscure, 7 year old news article from some random European tabloid?Report

  12. Avatar Alex says:

    So he was speechwriter to the worst SecDef in a few decades, and then to the worst president since Nixon.

    Nixon may have been evil, but at least he wasn’t an incompetent ignoramus. I was pining for Nixon — at least he was good at realpolitik.

    Have to go a lot farther back than that to find one worse than W.Report

  13. Avatar Andy says:

    In addition, I’m yet to see a major soccer league instruct its players to boycott the World Cup, like NHL routinely does.Report

  14. Avatar stuhlmann says:

    Professional soccer is much more capitalistic and success oriented than most American sports. If a team does badly in the Premier League, it gets knocked down into one of the minor leagues. If a minor league team does well, it can advance to the Premier. In the US, the teams in any major league have a “right” to play in that league, no matter how badly they play. Soccer doesn’t coddle loosing teams.Report