Proposal: A Mutiny on the Clipper Ship

Arrgh, me hardies! I be proposin’ a mutiny on the Clipper Ship!

With the dread dog days nearin’, ‘tis time, I say, to relieve Captain Steve o’ his duties, and take this vessel into waters uncharted!

“This is but a pipedream!” ye says, and aye, ye might be right! But hear me out, ‘fore ye be castin’ me carcass o’er the rail!

Let us go on an exploring expedition, seeking not gold and jools, but the treasure of understandin’.

Let us explore, together mates, the nature of loyalty and duty in professional sports.

Many who fly the purple and gold pennants are upset when they see the red, white and blue of our crew, claiming to represent the same city. Sure, they both claim the name ‘Los Angeles,’ but does that mean citizens of LA are bound to give their love and support to the crews? And what do the crews owe to Los Angeles, and its citizens, and their fans? And if, say, the Clippers sailed to Anaheim, but kept the name, “Los Angeles” painted on the stern, should it affect anybody’s love, or hate, for our tricolor?

Owes the ship’s master the fans a winning team now, or in the future? Or be entertainment more important? How might an owner define a prosperous voyage – by record, by championship, by revenues, by profits, by return-on-investment, by increased value of assets? And, should ye believe he should look to benefit anybody but himself, why hold ye so? And be that very perspective one of the reasons ye’ll ne'er be in the position to own a professional sports franchise?

What does the owner owe to players? They are paid handsomely, have lavish amenities, and are often idolized by fans. Are they owed a competitive team? A happy team? A famous team? Do they owe their utmost effort to make that happen? If that includes sacrificing some money to enhance their crew, should they do that? Or are they to be neither more, nor less, profit-oriented than the owner?

What do players owe to fans? Their utmost effort? Candor in interviews? Sacrifice for the team good? Charity works that aren’t primarily photo-ops? Being part of the community, year-round? Autographs at any time?

And fans, mates, what do you owe to the owner, the players, the team (they being separate, or so I'm thinkin'). Loyalty, no matter what? And what do they owe you? Should your season tickets appreciate every year? Should your memorabilia increase in value, too? Should they all work together to make wearing the Clipper tricolor a reason for (vicarious) pride, as opposed to mockery, or grudging respect for being stalwart?

Other questions might arise as we sail these shoals and reefs. Should we prosper in this expedition, Captain Steve can take all the reflectin’ and ruminatin’ and make it the core of his Thesis, maybe even serialize it to SI.

So, there ye be, maties. Are ye with me, or agin’ me?

Should you elect to sign on, ye’ll not be obliged to carry on with seaman’s talk.

I believe Ensign Spellcheck just abandoned ship.

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