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Tanking: Losing Games To Improve Draft Positions

1918 words - 8 pages


America spends more money on sports than any other country in the world. No other countries in the world have a bigger National Football Association (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), or National Hockey League (NHL). Not to mention that we as a nation spend more on collegiate, and high school sports. Fans love when their respective team drafts a new superstar, or make a blockbuster trade to bring in talent. However on the down side in recent years fans have also had to deal with lost cause seasons in order to make these trades, or draft these players. In today’s world teams are all about building their team for the future, even if that means losing a few games. While teams focus on the future they don’t take into account how fans feel, or current players. Winning always feels good, as losing always feels bad. Tanking is the name of the “strategy” that has been increasingly noticed in recent years. “The issue of teams' intentionally losing games for the sake of improving their draft position has been around for decades, or ever since Bill Fitch pulled off the Hakeem Olajuwon gambit back in 1984” (D’alessandro). When teams lose games to raise their draft stock in order to get good players for the future. Should teams be aloud to do this? Tanking not only has an impact on fans, but the players, and coaches need to find something to play for as well. With tanking occurring in many sport leagues moral, wins, and fan base all goes down in exchange for a possible rise in the future.
Lets look into the psychology of being a sports fan shall we? A loyal fan likes to represent his/her team in the best possible way. Loyal fans cannot stay away from the game. They will support their respected team during the worst and best of times. When teams lose games, especially close games, the loss is on a personal level with the fan, and can damage physical and emotional parts of the body. In 2012, Colleen Bee conducted a study where she took 133 people and had them watch a sports game where the outcome was suspenseful. Dr.Bee made a connection between the heart and the brain: “between emotions and cardiac health, some of the most invested fans may literally live and die how their team fares” (Chen). According to Dr. Lee he closer the game, the more the connection between heart, and brain. With this being said the worse a team is, the more games will result in nail-biting wins, or loses. For example, let’s take a team this year that has been claimed to be “tanking” this season. The Boston Celtics have traded away star players Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and all star point guard Rajon Rondo is out with a torn ACL. With a loaded draft class coming into the NBA next year losing seems like a good idea for the Celtics. Lets take a look at the games played by the Celtics this season. A stretch of ten games in November the Celtics record is 4-6 with three losses by more than ten points. However, the other seven games...

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