Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle

Living vicariously

Earlier this year, Barack Obama got into trouble for a speech in which he said that a fixation on "religion" and "guns" in rural America was a natural result of the economic problems rural America is currently suffering. Now, earlier this year I spent 100 days riding a bicycle across the country, almost entirely through rural America, which probably means I've spent more time in contemporary rural America than either presidential candidate. And, I can personally attest that the passion rural America lavishes on either religion or guns completely pales against the passion rural America lavishes on high school sports.

Seriously, for many communities it's the town's only live entertainment, and the local newspapers talk about little else.

But in the 21st century, "wholesome fixation" is just another way to say "unrealized profit," so I predict the following: that we'll soon see the day when a class of high school athletes decides to privatize. In other words, the star athletes at the local high school all quit the high school team and instead play only in for-profit games against their rival school, whose star athletes would make the same agreement. Then, the admission fees for the games, which would be held on private property, go to the players and help them pay their way through college.

If you think this sounds crazy, then keep in mind that it wasn't so many years ago when competing in video game tournaments couldn't pay a living wage, when behaving badly on reality TV wasn't instantly monetizeable, and when you couldn't get rich selling virtual real estate in the online environment Second Life.

You heard it here first.
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