Sunday, March 2, 2008

Exchange Rate

Note, with interest, this piece in the NY Times this week -- and for non-clickers or people who don't want to give up their info to the Gray Lady, the gist is that Russian stars from the world of hockey are going home to a resurgent pro Russian league. It's flush with petro dollars, of course, but still not quite up to NHL salary levels... but give it time, folks. If oil goes from it's current $100 a barrel to $120 and $150, there's no reason why a league like this can't step up the money enough to not only keep and bring back folks who are from that part of the world, but also to attract others.

And it won't be just because athletes are money-grubbing so-and-sos that don't care about the fas, but that they have limited windows of opportunity to make a buck. They're also already prepared to sacrifice living where they'd choose thanks to the draft and player movement, and that's another trend that fans in this country have been taking advantage of for a while. What's the difference in playing in Kiev for a basketball player from Miami, as opposed to playing in Minnesota, other than the length of the plane ride?

Six weeks ago for the Carnival, I wrote a list of the white elephants in the room of sports. Scattered amidst the steroid and media complaints was this...

4. A continued devaluation of the American dollar will make the acquisition and display of top-tier talent in baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, golf and tennis much less common
Other than being off on the cause and a little shocked by the speed, here it is. Because globalism isn't just something that can take away manufacturing jobs from one nation and move it to another... it's also something that can make a Canadian or American hockey player today, or a basketball player in a few years, decide that they'd rather take the cash than stay in their home country, even if it pisses some people off in their home country.

You know, like what has been happening to the benefit of North American audiences for the past 20 years.

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