Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Cult of the GM

Neal Pollock has a spot-on piece in Slate this morning regarding the "Cult of the General Manager" and the strange interest in the "business" side of sports.
As deathly dull as a general manager's machinations may be, there's obviously an audience for it. I think that's warped. Yes, athletes are overpaid, pampered assholes, but their jobs are still inherently fun and interesting. Heroes don't analyze spreadsheets. Really, who would you rather be, Tom Brady or the guy who signed Tom Brady to a long-term deal? This may be the age of the general manager. But the quarterback still has more fun.
I would take this idea a step further and include the bizarre place that recruiting has taken in the minds of many college sports fans. While I understand the importance of bringing talent in, it absolutely baffles me that anyone would take an active interest in the process. Talk about making sausage. Aside from the poor souls whose fortunes are in the hands of 17 year-olds (and 16-year olds, and 15-year olds, etc.), why would anyone want to pay the slightest bit of attention to the process by which such decisions are made?

I'm pretty sure it's enough for me to know who's on the team when practice starts. Then I'll start paying attention.


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