How Will ‘Orwellian’ Hero Pollster Frank Luntz ‘Luntz-Up’ Sportsball?
GOP pollster Frank Luntz is the kind of hired gun political hack who can, with a straight face, say stuff like: “To be ‘Orwellian’ is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening… and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever.”
This is why we have crusty old white people worth little more than their next Social Security check and whatever that Fred Thompson reverse mortgage paid out who are pissed off about the “death tax,” which is actually a marginal transfer tax levied on the portion of estates that exceeds $5.34 million.
Well, Frank Luntz is done with all of that political stuff for a while because he wants to be a sportsball pundit.
According to the announcement, Luntz will primarily contribute to the network’s nightly flagship program “Fox Sports Live.” He’ll also get to show off his speciality as host a segment called “Sound Off,” which will feature taped focus groups covering a wide range of sports issues.
“It may surprise people, but sports are my passion, and I love the excitement and intensity on and off the field,” Luntz said in the press release. “There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate to viewers, fans and players, and I plan to bring analysis and accountability to the language of sports and those who play them.”
As if fans haven’t suffered enough. The athletic chattering class already features the likes of Mitch Albom, Rick Reilly, Skip Bayless and Mike Lupica. They make Peggy Noonan and Richard Cohen look like mental giants.
Frank Luntz once branded pro-logging legislation as the “Healthy Forests Initiative.” What havoc will he wreak by Luntzing up the language of sport? Let’s speculate wildly.
Luxury Tax: “Technically called the “Competitive Balance Tax,” the Luxury Tax is the punishment that large market teams get for spending too much money. While MLB does not have a set salary cap, the luxury tax charges teams with high payrolls a considerable amount of money, giving teams ample reason to want to keep their payrolls below that level.” At least that’s what Fangraphs tells us.
Achievement Tax: Regular sports fans don’t like the sound of fancy-pants teams like the Yankees spending money on “luxuries.” By rebranding this as the “achievement tax,” fans will understand the CBT punishes teams for having more to spend because of their ability to win on the field or ink lucrative local broadcasting deals due to their market size.
Parity: The NFL has aggressively pursued league-wide parity through the entry draft, revenue sharing, and a hard salary cap because the league believes greater competitive balance means more fans will be engaged throughout the season.
Failure Rewards Program: Why should Johnny Manziel play for Jacksonville or Cleveland just because they sucked so hard last year and have high draft picks. Teams should be rewarded for success. Manziel should have the right to sign with the AFC Champion Denver Broncos if he wants. Peyton Manning won’t be around for much longer and that team is really good. Cleveland is a joke. Guys like Manziel shouldn’t be punished because the NFL rewards failure.
Personal Seat License: There is no more hated concept in sports fandom. Do you want to pay your favorite team thousands of dollars for tickets to every game next year? Yeah, but first you have to pay your favorite sports team thousands of dollars for the right to buy those tickets.
Venue Crowd Funding: These assessments are just a way for fans to take advantage of the innovative social/share economy to help fund their teams. It’s like Kickstarter for football stadiums. For just $2500, not only will you have the right to buy a ticket at Paul Brown Stadium, but you’ll also receive a personal thank-you email from team owner Mike Brown!
Bandwagoning: A pejorative term for fans that only cheer for teams after they start winning.
Arbitraging: Following a team involves some real costs. It’s not just tickets and gear and cable/satellite plan upgrades, but also the time spent watching games and listening to sports radio. The L.A. Clippers or Detroit Lions will never provide a return on that investment. Arbitraging fans know it’s better to save their enthusiasm for good teams. Also, they’ll know to drop the Thunder like groupie with herpes after Kevin Durant leaves Oklahoma City.
Red Sox: The name of the American League franchise based in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Red Sock Team: Just like Republicans like to refer to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party, Yankees fans will no doubt enjoy calling the defending World Series champions “The Red Sock Team” to compensate for cheering for an expensive group of over-the-hill veterans.