I realize we live in a time in which words don’t matter and truth isn’t demanded.
But having lived in an era when that wasn’t the case, I still wince when I hear or see things stated as facts that may not necessarily be so.
The Iowa athletics department has begun selling something called the Fight For Iowa Pass. It’s a mobile season ticket to all seven home football games for $249.99, with different seats each game.
That sounds innovative. Five hundred such passes will be sold, and presumably, a good time will be had by all.
No, what I’m curious about is a couple of the statements listed on a Hawkeyesports.com page heralding UI athletics’ new “Fight For Iowa” comprehensive brand initiative. “Fight For Iowa,” it appears, is something the school’s athletics program isn’t going to let us forget.
The first statement I quibble with is this: “We unite as a team and outwork everyone.”
The uniting as a team seems plausible enough. That’s a pretty important concept in team sports, having team members united and whatnot. But how do we know the Hawkeyes are outworking everyone?
The NCAA has a rule that countable athletically relatable activities for student-athletes may not exceed 20 hours per week, with a maximum of four hours per day. What is it the Hawkeyes are doing in those 20 hours that outworks everyone else in their 20 hours?
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In football, for instance, are the Hawkeyes running twice as many plays per minute in practice as all other teams? Are they lifting weights and watching game film simultaneously?
Or are all the other teams in America simply not getting the most out of their time? Hey, New Mexico State, cut that hydration break from 45 seconds down to 30. Work harder! Drink faster!
The second statement Iowa makes that I wonder about: “The Iowa Hawkeyes are the hardest working teams in America.”
Again, how is that quantified? It’s like saying you have the best fans in the country. It’s easy to say, tougher to verify.
Did Clemson win last year’s national championship without working as hard as the Iowa team that went 8-5? Would you want to be the one to explain to Clemson’s players that they don’t work as hard as the Hawkeyes?
This may make me a heretic in some circles, but I would rather spent money watching quality entertainment than hard labor.
Rare is the time I drive to a construction site and hang around for hours to observe the toil of others. If I see parents gathering groceries while also struggling to keep his or her young children from running wild in a supermarket, that strikes me as hard work. Which means I’m changing aisles as fast as possible instead of watching with fascination.
I view movies and television programs I think are enjoyable. I will not view behind-the-scenes documentaries of how they were made. Any show with a title starting with “The Making Of” is too much work to watch.
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Iowa’s mobile ticket pass sounds like an interesting concept. I enjoy different concepts. I liked watching ESPN’s multiple platforms during the College Football Playoff title game. Last January, I mostly stayed with the “ESPN Voices” platform featuring Bill Walton arguing and laughing with Michelle Beadle, Jay Bilas and others instead of “Coaches Film Room” with six college coaches giving their analysis of the game.
Walton celebrates talent, performance, artistry and silliness, bless his heart.
One of the reasons we work is so we can hopefully escape work in our free time. You want me to spend money to watch sports, you better be selling me fun instead of grunting and groaning.