Athletes talk all the time about how sports are a business. And they're right. In fact, many of our sports institutions have clear equivalents in the business world.
Take a look.
Duke : Wall Street
Why they’re similar:Few institutions draw as much ire as Duke and Wall Street, which is strange, because the whiny rich white guys are usually the ones we root for.
Why they’re really similar: No two groups have experienced the wrath of being the recipients of bailouts, whether by ref or government, than these two.
Why they’re different:In the past year the President bet on Wall Street and against Duke. He was wrong about the latter, and if the slightly decaying cardboard that makes up my living room furniture is any indication, he might be wrong about the former, too.
Boston sports fans : Apple product users
Why they’re similar:The 90s weren’t very kind to Apple users or Boston Sports fans, but less than one month apart in the fall of ’01, everything changed forever, as Tom Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe and the iPod was released. And with that, a new era of douchebaggery was upon us.
Why they’re really similar:Put 2004 Johnny Damon in skinny jeans and wayfarers and boom, you have every Apple using hipster in Williamsburg today.
Why they’re different:Hipsters have a pretty extensive history of sports hating, and anyone with skinny jeans would get called a “queeah” at least 17 times within the first 4 seconds of entering Fenway.
Why they’re similar:The Yankees and Wal-Mart are almost universally loathed, and those who do like them never shut up about how great they are. And, year after year, both seem to end up at the top of the standings/earnings.
Why they’re really similar: Wal-Mart is known for giving it's employees lousy health benefits, just like how the Yankees rarely pay for their players' steroids. Also, like Derek Jeter, most people at Wal-Mart have a haircut from the early '90s.
Why they’re different: All of the cheap, imported, crap from Asia that Wal-Mart sells falls apart. But the Yankees only had that happen with Hideki Irabu. Hideki Matsui had a pretty good career.
Notre Dame: American Auto Industry
Why they’re similar: Based in the Midwest, for years both dwindling franchises have been resting on the laurels of achievements from decades ago. In fact, a good infographic to illustrate how far back American automakers are in the global race for vehicular ingenuity is Jimmy Clausen’s hairline.
Why they’re really similar:The criticism of both has been placed mainly on their continuance to rely on extra large immobile objects. In the case of the autos, gas guzzling S.U.Vs, in the case of Notre Dame, Root Beer float guzzling Charlie Weis.
Why they’re different:People who attend Notre Dame could really give two shits about auto workers.
Billy Beane: Krispy Kreme
Why they’re similar:KK’s donuts, and BB’s propensity for drafting players even if they looked like they spent too much time eating them, earned them ‘best kept secret’ status before everything blew out of proportion in the first half of last decade.
Why they’re really similar:Both Beane and Kreme were part of failed attempts to move to the New England region, as the Red Sox hired Theo Epstein after Beane back out and Krispy Kreme didn’t realize Dunkin Donuts was the NFL of New England breakfast food chains.
Why they’re different: People actually applaud Beane’s business plan.
NFL : Microsoft
Why they’re similar:The kings of the Anti Trust and monopoly lawsuit, The NFL and Microsoft have continued to thrive despite V-worded disasters (Vick and Vista) putting out what many critics feel are the most boring products imaginable.
Why they’re really similar:Come to think of it,has anyone ever seen ESPN NFL insider John Clayton and Clippy from Clip Art in the same room together?
Why they’re different:When the NFL encountered a V worded problem (Vick) they didn’t properly address the issue. When Microsoft encountered a V worded problem (Vista) they didn’t…oh, Right. Um, differences differences…I dunno, Microsoft starts with an ‘M’.
Tiger Woods: Toyota
Why they’re similar:The model of industry dominance for years, each is attempting to reconcile with the public after shocking P.R nightmares in which we found out if Tiger wasn’t able to smash everything that moved it’s because Toyota was busy smashing them into walls.
Why they’re really similar:It took just one car accident for all hell to break loose.
Why they’re different: Toyotas won’t almost definitely give you STDs. Unless you banged Tiger in one, in which case, probably get that shit checked out right quick.