In a major upset and disappointment to marketers across the nation, the National Basketball Association schedule did not feature the Golden State Warriors playing every single day.
Rather, the league allotted them only the traditional 82 games, just like all the other schmoes, and in the usual formats – 41 at home, 52 against teams in the Western Conference, 16 against their fellow travelers in the Pacific Division, and the average number of back-to-backs.
Indeed, it was an announcement about nothing much at all, except for season ticket holder groups who need to split up the inventory.
But given the new reality – that Golden State is the center of the universe and everybody else has been relegated, Pluto-style, to dwarf planet status, it is a wonder the NBA didn’t make the Warriors play every night. One-hundred-seventy-seven consecutive nights, one hellish back-to-back on a tape loop, including through the All-Star Break. After all, inventory is inventory.
(We will now take a moment to let it it sink in to you all that this is all sarcasm, because we live in a world where all the jokes must be explained before the punch line arrives).
The league also didn’t make them play on Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Easter or Super Bowl Sunday, meaning that they missed our four most religious holidays (and yes, Thanksgiving is religious as hell in a culture where gluttony is three of the 10 commandments). This is devotion to the fairness of the competition gone mad.
You have to know there are people in the league office who wondered aloud why the Warriors only get to play the same number of games as Phoenix or Brooklyn or Orland or the New York Knicks. You have to know advertisers wanted more Stephen Curry/Kevin Durant/Draymond Green/Klay Thompson sales opportunities.
But no, all they get is the standard schedule, with the trip to New Orleans in the first week, the Christmas special against the smoldering innards of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 30-some-odd national games. In short, imagination has failed the league here.
And while playing every day forever would likely break the carousel for good, that is hardly the league’s concern. Adam Silver saw the disaster that came in the postseason, when the Warriors played only one game more than the minimum, and how the television networks shrieked in outrage. This should have been a lesson to them.
But they’ll learn, maybe next year. The new economy is all about whipping the golden calf until a new golden calf comes along. And while players are disposable, marketing departments aren’t. Ask anyone on the business side.
And that's not sarcasm.