What’s the Prize?

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  • We’re in the thick of the NBA finals, as the Los Angeles Lakers face the Orlando Magic for title of NBA champions. And whether you’re a die-hard fan of either team or are a member of the ABL Club – for Anybody but the Lakers – you’ve been watching the games or have at least wanted to know their turnout.

    When it comes to spectator sports, basketball, football – okay, even baseball – some of us really get caught up. What is that really about? Why do we care so much about a win or a loss that really has very little to do with us, unless we’ve bet money on the games?

    You can go to a sports bar and find people of all races and walks of life who would otherwise probably have nothing to say to each other talking, yelling and bonding over their favorite teams. Some fans are so serious about their team that they can’t even enjoy the games. When their team loses, it not only ruins their night, but the night of anyone else around them. The opposite of that fan is the one who knows nothing about sports, cares little about the teams, but likes to talk, tease and taunt the more serious fan.

    The kind of fan you are tells a lot about the kind of person you are. How you choose your allegiance to a team can depend on several factors. For example, I’m from Alabama, where there are no professional sports teams. I make my living as a nationally syndicated D.J., so even though I do reside in one city, I’m loyal to at least the 100-plus cities that air our show. So, I choose my teams based on whether we’re heard in the city they play for.

    For this championship series, it was easy. We’re on the air in Orlando, and we aren’t in Los Angeles. But when both teams are from a city we’re heard in, I go with the blackest team. It’s just that simple.

    It may seem irrational, but when you think about it, it isn’t it all. We all root for something or someone so strongly that we simply cannot see or hear another side. David Letterman is under fire for a joke he made about Sarah Palin’s daughter making out with Yankees player A-Rod. Republicans are heated because they say Sarah Palin’s daughter is under age, and A-Rod is a grown man, so Letterman is promoting rape. Huh? It’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard – if you’re a Democrat. But if a similar joke had been made about the daughter of a Democrat, we might argue the same point.

    Whether it’s sports or politics, we can be extremely passionate about the lives and deeds of others. That’s fine. But what do we do ourselves that we’re passionate about? How competitive are we on our jobs or at school? How much energy do we put into winning things that matter to us personally? What prize are we going for? A better marriage? A better relationship with our kids? Improving our health? Competition is a great thing, and I can’t imagine my life without it. In the radio business, we live or die by the ratings and constantly are aware of how our competition is performing. It keeps us on our game.

    We all need something or someone that drives us to go the extra mile. We should always have a prize in our sight worth striving for. What’s yours?

    The “For Real, For Real” poll asks who you compete against the most. If you’ve got some thoughts on your healthy or unhealthy competitive nature, holla at me on Facebook, Twitter or text me at OhOhOh (646464).

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