Why Do Team Owners Raise the Championship Trophy First?

Logo The New York TimesThe New York Times
2023-06-10 09:01:07  • 7 mins

Its a decidedly American tradition, even if it can be a buzz-kill.

What an ending. Your favorite N.B.A. team has just clinched a championship. The superstar, drenched in sweat, fulfilled his heros journey. The players are exhausted, but jubilant. Some of them are crying.

Out comes a gleaming trophy, the coveted prize that gives the grueling season its meaning, and its obvious who should lift it first: the billionaire who owns the team.

Thats the stance, anyway, of the N.B.A. and many other sports leagues in the United States, where franchise owners, rather than the players, are often the first to touch and hoist the sparkling trophies awarded in the emotional aftermaths of championship wins.

Its a tradition that dates back to the American amateur athletic associations of the 1800s and that today highlights the idiosyncrasy of U.S. leagues on the global sports stage.

It also drives a lot of people insane.

No one wants to see these guys, said Graeme Ivory, a former sports radio broadcaster for the Canadian network TSN, echoing the complaints of scores of fans who tune in to the N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. finals, Super Bowl and World Series every year. Its such a big emotional drop-off from Oh my God, we just won the trophy to Oh wait, some guy in a suit got it.

Continue read on nytimes.com

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