Stop the roller coaster

A few years ago my wife and I were on an amusement park ride, shaped like a big boat, that swung back and forth, higher and higher, before going through a full loop. As the boat paused at the top of its arc, my wife, hanging upside down, said to me in a pitiful moan, “Make it stop.”

I flashed back to that moment last week on news of layoffs at yet another sports-related business. At our recent Sports Sponsorship Symposium, industry leaders confidently repeated the line that “sports is recession-proof.” That belief is being tested like never before.

I find myself rooting these days for much more than just a Cowboys championship. I am cheering for NBC to fill its Super Bowl ad roster, for the BCS to get a hefty increase in rights fees, and for hockey and basketball arenas to fill up. I am cheering for fans to buy magazines and video games and $8 beers. I am cheering for new stadiums and new credit lines.

Not long ago, I thought nothing could be more tiring than the presidential campaign. I stand corrected. This economy is wearing me down. Please, make it stop.

Ross Nethery ( is managing editor of SportsBusiness Journal.

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