I’m amazed at how many statistics some people can quote about a team, the individual players, their seasons, their chances, the odds of winning a game, and even who the players are dating.
If you are going to spend a specific amount of time each day, reading the sports pages you had better be getting something out of it.
Sport is a great form of exercise and it’s invigorating. Watching a team that you align with win the big game is spirit lifting, but does it fatten your wallet?
If you like the sports page, you should discover the business section of the paper.
The sports section and the business section are the same, only different.
In Bangkok, where I live, there are t-shirts that read; “Same Same, but Different.”
Spotting one of those shirts over the weekend gave me the idea for this article and put my brain in motion. Since I’ve spent a large portion of my life in the financial world, I knew I could draw some comparisons between the sports section and the business section of a newspaper.
I’ll be upfront with you; I have never been a sports section junkie. My father read it religiously everyday of his life.
I had an interest in sports and played baseball in the summers and basketball in the school years, with some hockey, tennis, and football thrown in, but never cared about who hit the most home runs or how many year contract a player was signing.
If you’re not making the amount of money that you would like to be making, I suggest shifting from the sports section to the business section.
If you think the business section is too technical or too difficult to understand, think about how long it took you to figure out a players E.R.A., handicap, or referee’s signals.
If you have the brains to understand the rules of the sports, the scoring, player positions, and competitive advantages, you have what it takes to rip through the business section and find an idea, strategy, or opportunity to make money.
Attention getting photos are common in both sections, along with headlines that make you take a second look.
Opinions are a dime a dozen and there’s a sprinkling in both sports and business, everyone wants to know what will happen next. Predictions, odds, forecasts, and analysis go into both the world of sports and the world of business.
There are always standouts. Tiger Woods will get coverage because he’s the best at golf and Warren Buffet will get lots of print because he’ (at the time of this writing) the richest man in the world. He changes places with Bill Gates and Carlos Slim occasionally.
The big game is lost because a key player makes mistake and a company goes down the drain, because a key member makes the wrong commitment or passes on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Of course, there are disputes with officials, lawsuits, and lots of stress to perform. Members of both the sports section and the business section occasionally weed out the week players and those that have skirted the law for any number of reasons. Some players from both “leagues” do jail time and some do hard time.
The standings are important, because there’s something special about being number one. Being acknowledged as the best in your field is highly rewarded. The Detroit Pistons are usually in contention for the top spot and Toyota is in a tussle with General Motors for the top rung.
Celebrity is all part of both “games.” Knowing who Tom Brady is dating is right up there with wanting to know who the “Oracle of Omaha” wants to do a deal with.
Like a Hollywood hot sheet, scandal, tragedy, and criminal charges are front page items in both sections.
International competition makes the camaraderie even more intense. As the World Cup gathers momentum and fans; China strives to be a dominant global manufacturer.
The standings show how a team is doing for the season, but on Wall Street, they have their own seasons, either calendar or fiscal year and just like football, the game is divided into quarters for a better indication of what has to be adjusted in order to come out on top.
Rumors abound in both “worlds.” Is one of the main ingredients of a team or company jumping ship to a competitor?
Information leaks out from the base camps and the frenzy begins and the predictions, forecasts, and commentary are given fresh fuel to fill another column on another day.
Power struggles are always worth reading about and discussions about who has the most experience and stamina to do the job, but in both sections there are stories of upsets.
Day after day we are subject to facts, figures, and forecasts that we really don’t care about. Useless information is plentiful. Staggering statistics and numbers that very few readers understand are given ink in both “worlds.”
Both are guilty of giving time and attention to items that no one really cares about, but they do it all the time.
It’s the scenarios, the “what if” factor that I like. Everybody thinks they know what’s going to happen next and will lay their money down to prove it. When the gurus are wrong, they’re quick to come up with some double-talk excuse as to why it didn’t follow the predicted logic.
“What if” they trade their quarterback? “What if” they can’t get their raw materials cost down?
Sports betting is popular and buying stock on news of a breakthrough is sort of a bet, but I’ll bet that you never really stopped to think that the sports section of the newspaper and the business section of the newspaper are more similar than they are different.
If you’re investing some of your time everyday to reading the sports section of the newspaper, shift to the business section with the same passion and you’ll discover all the things that keep you tuned into sports will keep you tuned into business.
The sports page will give you things to think about, talk about, and follow, while the business section will give you things to learn about, think about, investigate, follow, and fatten your wallet with. “Same Same, but Different.”