Anytime I read a discussion or blog post regarding anything that has the slightest bit to do with making this sport more legitimate in the eyes of the general public, eventually the same topic arises. I hear things like "Man, if we could just build up this sport's popularity, then there'd be some real cash in it.", or "If we could get a few big names/sponsors to step up and endorse the sport, we'd have a shot at some big money.". I confess. I'm torn.
I find myself in an interesting predicament here. On one hand, I'd love nothing more than for this sport to gain the recognition it deserves. There are numerous reasons this sport could and should be bigger than it is. So many, in fact, that listing them here would be counter-productive, as I will eventually attempt to make a valid point. I'm convinced that, if given the proper exposure, disc golf would take off farther than anyone thought possible. And like Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing".
Then we bring money into the equation. Now, perhaps I'm a bit biased, as I have never been a fan of money. I graciously accept that money is a part of life, and that without it, you will not survive. But facts being as they are, money changes things. It changes people. Think about it. There have been more acts of cruelty, indecency, and general stupity carried out in the persuit of money than for any other reason. I'm not writing off money as a definite "no-no" when it comes to the advancement of our sport. I'm sure that, done responsibly, a fair amount of currency would definitely put disc golf in a better place. I suppose that would be a step in the right direction. Yet, I have a few fears...
Personally, I don't want disc golf shoes endorsed by Michael Jordan (yeah, well... he's played every other sport...) that are likely to run me $150. I don't want to attend the "Pepsi Pro-Am", where I'm sure I'll have a chance to rub elbows with Cher and that guy who played Ponch on "CHiPS". I don't want to see Innova adverts on my T.V., and Ken Climo "Putt Like The Champ" infomercials. And I damn sure don't want Carl Cubbage on my Wheaties box. I like things simple, and if there's one thing I've learned in my 26 short years, it's that money makes things complicated.
So, if you want to bring the big bucks, fine. Just make sure it's done right. Make sure it stays about disc golf, and never let it be about the money.