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Sports ‘n’ Things: Professional sports still all about the money

"Purely about the money from the people that make your money from hockey."

With all the smoke, it seems like fall, and it may actually, finally, cool off and rain a bit this weekend.

Makes it seem a little less shocking that the Smokies begin semi-serious play tonight and have their first home game (exhibition) tomorrow at Cominco Arena.

Then the Nitehawks start a long pre-season run on Monday night in the Hawks’ Nest.

Check out the team sites for all the scheduling info.

•If there was still any doubt that pro sports is all, and I mean all, about your money, perhaps the Chris Carter thing will decide the issue for you. Carter, an iffy all star receiver, was used by the NFL to teach rookies the proper way to deal with playing a sport for big money.

Paraphrased, it goes like this, “Even though you are now going to be rich and famous, a lot of people are still going to think you should live under the law and civic morality just like they do. You know, that, ‘Do the Right Thing,’ crap.  Of course, they are just ignorant, because your current situation means you should be above the law and able to do whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want, without penalty.”

“Because there are such misguided people out there, you need to organize your life to avoid consequences for any behaviour regular people deem to be bad behaviour. So, you need to cultivate a crew to protect you from such consequences, and in that crew there needs to be a fall guy, the one that takes those consequences, including jail time, for you.”

“So you have that one guy you can tell, ‘You’re going to jail,’ whenever bad things result from your bad actions.”

Chris Carter is still a broadcaster and, at least until recently, that teachable moment was on the NFL’s very own web site - so we can be sure the league (and every other entity that profits from the league) is unashamed of the advice given and promoted in its name.

• Then there is the idea being floated by the NHL of turning players into billboards, the way pro soccer does it, by putting direct commercial advertising on the jerseys and other equipment worn during play.

Purely about the money from the people that make your money from hockey.

Not saying not to watch the games and enjoy the athleticism and skills on display, I will be at least some of the time. But, just be aware that, in the NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.,  as with the IOC and FIFA, nothing the operators and participants do is about you, other than your wallet, in any way.