Tonawanda News


October 25, 2013

Patron of the arts, in a Bills shirt


Tonawanda News — Some, the fortunate ones, can appreciate them both, appreciate them all. Personally, I blame a liberal arts education and a lifetime subscription to Sports Illustrated. It would shock some people to know many members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and many more in its audiences, take the Bills and Sabres a little too seriously. To put it bluntly, vice versa.

This is life, not a dress rehearsal (or pre-season, if that makes you more comfortable), so appreciate the hell out of all of it, I say, and that brings me to a point that has guided me admirably through life: sport, as it is convened and presented in the 21st century, is a performing art, so start treating it that way.

You’ve got music in its many forms. You’ve got dance, theater, film, a few minor league examples like puppet shows and magic, and you’ve got sport. The comparisons go on and on.

While you tend to keep score in sport (less so in the others, unless you consider box office receipts), what the patron remembers is the movement, the action, the breathtaking one-thing-or-another that keeps him or her returning. Those lucky to be old enough remember Julius Erving, dunking after leaping from the free throw line, don’t recall the game’s final score, only the endlessly airborne Dr. J driving the ball through the hoop. (Non-followers, be aware I describe an artistic defiance of physics and a seemingly limitless example of “hang time,” time spent in the air before returning to the hardwood floor.)

Sport. The performing arts. Start young. Practice, practice, practice. Martinets for coaches. Bad breaks, equipment failures. Interminable time on the road. Autographs, groupies, obligations. Agents and big contracts. No contracts, the phone’s not ringing.

Whatever you use for equipment, you need more, and better. You can rich and famous doing this, or ruined and bitter. Photo shoots that seem to have no connection to your endeavor raise brand awareness, raise your awareness. 

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