Or so NBC, the NFL, and the NBA would have you think.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I doubt that the recent trend of throwing random Spanish words and phrases into sports telecasts and onto team jerseys a few times each year is going to do much to attract Hispanic/Latino viewers. Some recent examples have included the New York Mets referring to themselves as, and wearing jerseys that said “Los Mets” for one day, “Futbol Americano” being painted on to the field at a recent Miami Dolphins game, or NBC showing the team locations in Spanish, but keeping the names in English before and after each commercial break. I don’t think any Spanish speaking resident of the USA is really going to feel validated by such a needless and empty gesture, nor would they get any more interest in the sport. If anything, they probably just wonder why NBC bothered to call the Dolphins as “Dolphins de Miami” instead of “Los Delfines de Miami”, which would be the correct Spanish phrasing. I suppose this is what happens when one high speed locomotive carrying inane political correctness and pseudo stealth racism hits another high speed locomotive carrying laziness.
Another thing that makes this so very unnecessary is the fact that most sports games are simulcast in Spanish. If Latinos aren’t watching the game, it’s usually not because of a language barrier. For argument’s sake, let’s forget about the simulcasts for a moment. Imagine a boardroom meeting where Latino viewership of the NFL is being discussed. As sad as it is, the conversation had to have gone something like this:
Board Chariman: “The Hispanic population in the United States is rising faster than any other demographic group. For some reason, the ratio of Hispanics watching the NFL is far below proportional to the percentage of population that they comprise. What could be going on?”
Dumbass #1: “Well, maybe they don’t understand what’s happening in the games”
Dumbass #2: “Maybe it’s a language problem”
Dumbass #3: “Maybe they think the NFL doesn’t care about them”
Board Chairman: “Right, but what can we do about it?”
Dumbass #4: (snaps fingers) “I’ve got it! Once every year, let’s have
‘Futbol Americano’ painted on the field and get the TV networks to show the team names in Spanish during their bumpers!”
Chairman: “Genius! That way not only will they know what sport they’re watching, but they’ll also know what teams are playing! Holy shit, we’re going to make Latinos love football even more than tacos!”
Dumbass #4: “Hey that’s kind of racist.”
Chairman:“Ok, we’ll make them love football even more than los tacos.”
Dumbass #4: “Much better! Now that’s tolerance!”
This whole thing makes me want to blast myself into space so I can escape the idiocy that is fast taking over the human race. Of course this isn’t just limited to football. Basketball and baseball are doing the same thing. Who doesn’t remember the Phoneix Suns calling themselves “Los Suns” for the last few games of the 09-10 NBA season in an effort to show the Mexican community they didn’t believe in Arizona’s proposed crackdown on illegal immigration? Regardless of how anyone might feel about the laws themselves, I can say with fairly strong degree of certainty that nobody cares about the ineffectual opinions that the management of a basketball franchise has on the matter. Especially when said basketball team is the one that has been in the league for the longest amount of time without winning a championship (42 years).
I guess the executives in the NFL, NBA, and MLB feel that just adding the Spanish word for “the” before a team name a few times a year and tossing in the Spanish name for a city every now and then will be all it takes to attract a demographic that doesn’t seem to be interested in what they’re putting out. Imagine you’ve just moved to Mexico, where soccer is a hugely popular sport and is widely covered by the media. If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have a huge interest in professional soccer. Now suppose that the team nearest to where you live is called “Los Toros” (The Bulls). Do you think that if for one night a year they called themselves “The Toros” and had the word “Soccer” painted on the field it would suddenly make you a huge fan of the sport? If you do, please punch yourself in the genitals.
Now I’m a reasonable man. I know I’m not always right about everything. Maybe this there is something to this movement after all. For the rest of tonight and all of tomorrow, I’m going to try to show my support for Hispanics by calling my site PreserveLos80s. If it doesn’t result in at least 500 hits and comments from Latinos, I will be horribly shocked and bitterly disappointed.