SI Vault
 
A Matter of Dollars and Nonsense
Rick Reilly
November 20, 1995
Here's what would happen if other businesses bought into pro sports' brand of economics
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 20, 1995

A Matter Of Dollars And Nonsense

Here's what would happen if other businesses bought into pro sports' brand of economics

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4

"But this is ridiculous," I said. "I've been coming in here once a week since 1975. Doesn't that count for anything?"

"Oh, yes, true friend," Achmed said, "but I must be able to compete."

"Compete?"

"I am afraid so. A big chain, The Falafel Waffle, has moved in down the street. It has twice as many tables as I have. Its river of resources runs deep. It is even attempting to hire away my best busboy, Faheed. I have already had to double his salary, and still he may go."

Just then Faheed brought me my lunch. It was a lukewarm hot dog in a stale bun and a 12-ounce soft drink. He threw it down on the dirty table with disdain. He was on his cellular.

"This isn't what I ordered," I said to Achmed.

"True, true," he said. "But this is the way I maximize my profits. This I learn from your NBA. Did you know that a 12-ounce soft drink at a Golden State Warrior game is $2.25? A plain hot dog at your famed Madison Square Garden is $3? The average night at an NBA game for a family of four now costs almost $200? Did you know that the top ticket for your worst football game, the Super Bowl, went up another $50 this year, to $350? And yet attendance at these spectacles does not recede. From this I have learned that the American people, they will support any habitual activity as though it were a jihad."

I told Achmed that this wasn't the way to compete.

"Oh, so very true, valued customer of mine," he said. "That is why I am afraid I must move my restaurant away from here. I do this because the town council has refused to build for me a restaurant five times the size of The Falafel Waffle."

"Wait a minute," I said, getting agitated. "Why should the public build you a restaurant? You're a private enterprise!"

Continue Story
1 2 3 4