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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Chit Chat

Subject: Bad Idea #337 rss

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Pablito A
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Never ask the following question at a Back to School Night.

“Why does the school district financially support the football program while theater, instrumental music, and choir are funded by parents, student fundraising and private donations?”

The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.
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Johnny O aka Johnny Soul
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Bad Answer #337B

More students who play football in school go on to play as adults. Whereas student actors and musicians usually quit acting and playing instruments immediately upon graduation. Choir members often continue singing into adulthood but usually solo and in private locations such as showers or cars. Some may continue singing to smaller audiences. By smaller, I mean to physically smaller people such as children or babies who, by nature, are also less critical.
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Pablito A
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scribidinus wrote:
Bad Answer #337B

More students who play football in school go on to play as adults. Whereas student actors and musicians usually quit acting and playing instruments immediately upon graduation. Choir members often continue singing into adulthood but usually solo and in private locations such as showers or cars. Some may continue singing to smaller audiences. By smaller, I mean to physically smaller people such as children or babies who, by nature, are also less critical.


I'm not trying to be a jerk but...

I don't think that this is necessarily true.

Besides, it still doesn't explain why they can't fund their own extracurricular activities. Why should tax dollars go to pay for football and not music?

I don't get it.
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David Fair
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Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…


That's a huge crock of BS. There is no way you can tell me that playing a socially acceptable game, nay, a socially revered game, like football, takes more dedication than doing one of the more socially outcast activities like learning to play the clarinet while wearing an itchy uniform and marching in formation does.

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Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
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Dude. Go to the school board meeting every month and ask that question during public comments every single meeting.

They will tell you public comments is not a forum for you to ask them questions. Don't let them brow beat you into not testifying. Ask the question and stand your ground. If they are hostile, and they may be after a few meetings, they have procedure on their side, you have right on your side.
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David Jones
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Of course things will vary from school to school and region to region, but football recuperates a lot of its money in ticket sales and concessions. It almost certainly has a better rate of return than the theater department does putting on a play. In some states, HS football actually generates revenue. I'm not saying that's they way the world should be, but there is at least some logic to funding football. Perhaps the saddest part of this anecdote is that the "educators" at your school couldn't give you the correct answer.
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It's because high school football will generate more concussions and brain damage.
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Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
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davypi wrote:
Of course things will vary from school to school and region to region, but football recuperates a lot of its money in ticket sales and concessions. It almost certainly has a better rate of return than the theater department does putting on a play. In some states, HS football actually generates revenue. I'm not saying that's they way the world should be, but there is at least some logic to funding football. Perhaps the saddest part of this anecdote is that the "educators" at your school couldn't give you the correct answer.


I don't believe it, but I will give it to you. Might be a few huge high schools in an area with with numerous big schools (thus keeping travel costs abnormally low) that show a profit, but even that is probably only by cooking the books.

But I'll give it to you.

The marching band, the cheerleaders, and other groups associated with the whole "football game production" are losing money, and they are an important part of that production.

I got more. I'll go on if needed.

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Brian Bankler
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Koldfoot wrote:

I don't believe it, but I will give it to you. Might be a few huge high schools in an area with with numerous big schools (thus keeping travel costs abnormally low) that show a profit, but even that is probably only by cooking the books.

But I'll give it to you.

The marching band, the cheerleaders, and other groups associated with the whole "football game production" are losing money, and they are an important part of that production.

I got more. I'll go on if needed.



Yes, but since the Marching bands costs (etc) are subsidised by the parents, why should you count it as a cost.

Personally -- as someone in a Texas Metropolitan Area, I can firmly believe that HS Football makes money. I mean, not when you count 63 Million dollar stadiums, but if you are only counting equipment costs. Yeah, sure.

And I do suspect they are cooking the books, but I suspect that about everyone.
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Dennis Ku
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Football equipment costs a lot of money. Are high schools really generating that much income from the game?

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Erik Henry
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Get off my lawn wrote:
scribidinus wrote:
Bad Answer #337B

More students who play football in school go on to play as adults. Whereas student actors and musicians usually quit acting and playing instruments immediately upon graduation. Choir members often continue singing into adulthood but usually solo and in private locations such as showers or cars. Some may continue singing to smaller audiences. By smaller, I mean to physically smaller people such as children or babies who, by nature, are also less critical.


I'm not trying to be a jerk but...

I don't think that this is necessarily true.

Besides, it still doesn't explain why they can't fund their own extracurricular activities. Why should tax dollars go to pay for football and not music?

I don't get it.

He did label it as "Bad Answer"...
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David Jones
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Koldfoot wrote:
davypi wrote:
Of course things will vary from school to school and region to region, but football recuperates a lot of its money in ticket sales and concessions.


I don't believe it, but I will give it to you. Might be a few huge high schools in an area with with numerous big schools (thus keeping travel costs abnormally low) that show a profit, but even that is probably only by cooking the books.


When I was a student in high school I had access to both the costs and revenue of the concession stands and I know we brought in about $500 profit per game (in 1990 dollars). My high school team sucked and we would only fill about 1/5th of the stadium, but I know most other schools in my district would fill well over half of their seats. So double that value for a school that has decent game attendance and double it again to adjust for inflation. Add ticket sales on top of that. So you're bringing in at least $2,500 per game which is enough to pay for five uniforms. Additionally, a well maintained football field in metropolitan area can be rented out for league football as well as soccer usage, so there are ways to offset maintenance costs. Another poster mentioned Texas football and, having lived there, I can tell you that Texans live for football. Even small farm towns can pack their stadiums, some high schools have sponsors and even private donators. And again, I'm not saying think this is the way things should be, but in the part of the world, I know thats the way it is.

Does it pay for itself? Probably not when you consider other costs beyond safety equipment, but there is some return there even if you don't hit black. Contrast that to the cost of music instruments and then ask yourself how many symphonies does your school perform per year.

Again it varies, I can't say what is going on in your area. But to be fair you can make similar argument for the arts. There are some high schools that have excellent theater and music departments and are able to bring in good money by putting on several plays/musicals per year. It depends what kind of culture and community support surrounds that school.
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Andy Andersen
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John Holder
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wifwendell wrote:
It's because high school football will generate more concussions and brain damage.


And those with that brain damage ended up on the school board.

QED. zombie
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John Breckenridge
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Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.

The football players put on one or two shows a week for three months. The choir puts on maybe three shows a year.
The theater group puts on one show.
 
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Pablito A
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jbrecken wrote:
Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.

The football players put on one or two shows a week for three months. The choir puts on maybe three shows a year.
The theater group puts on one show.


Hmmmmmm...

If we're basing financial support on the number of "performances" then the school district should be buying nearly every teenaged boy a dozen pairs of athletic socks.
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Matt Brown
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futhee wrote:
Football equipment costs a lot of money. Are high schools really generating that much income from the game?



Depends on the size of the school. I think a small school could get 200+ people in the stands. At $5 per ticket and any possible concession stand type of stuff I would think 4-5 games will bring in a nice amount of money. Add in higher class schools who can get in 1K for attendance and yeah, they are making a rather good amount of money.

FYI, my high school football team was all sorts of terrible. I ran cross country, and we were told the only way the school would keep our team around would be if we kept winning medals. Needless to say we won district and under performed and still got 6th in the state. As someone who worked on the year book, I made sure we were listed ahead of the football team. I even fought for it based on actual success of the teams.
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John Breckenridge
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Get off my lawn wrote:
jbrecken wrote:
Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.

The football players put on one or two shows a week for three months. The choir puts on maybe three shows a year.
The theater group puts on one show.


Hmmmmmm...

If we're basing financial support on the number of "performances" then the school district should be buying nearly every teenaged boy a dozen pairs of athletic socks.


I was just trying to explain the rationale which concludes that football takes more dedication.
 
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Tanner Griffin
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jbrecken wrote:
Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.

The football players put on one or two shows a week for three months. The choir puts on maybe three shows a year.
The theater group puts on one show.


At least where I'm from, that show runs every night for 2 weeks (except Sunday), and a matinee on Saturday. 12 shows, 12 games. But the play is rehearsing 3-4 times a week from August to March.

My high school had a ton of focus on the play, though. Is this the way it was for everyone else?
 
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Michael Berg
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The costs of Football are crazy, and you'll never get a straight answer as to whether they are profitable or not. It also really depends on what state and county you live in.

- Equipment: sometimes provided/covered by the parents
- Field upkeep: Sometimes included as a football expense, sometimes considered a general expense as the stadium is "multi-use"
- Coach salaries: Sometimes they are teachers with a small bonus for coaching, sometimes they are payed six figures and have no other responsibilities
- Transportation costs: Usually covered by team costs, but sometimes lumped in with general bus/transportation contracts
- Medical insurance/expenses: Cost included in contract with insurance company, cost not always broken out by sport

Some places the team really does break even, or even pulls in revenue. Sometimes the teams have private donors that earmark their funds for the team. If you want them to cover other activities evenly with football, you really need to dig in and research the numbers yourself. And please do! As a former band geek, I'd love to see more funds go the way of the arts.

Get off my lawn wrote:
The answer was that football takes a higher degree of dedication on the part of the players and their families than those other activities do…

I’m probably stupid but I don’t see how that works.


That dedication line is complete BS - or at least, a lot of the time it is. Our band practiced just as much as the football team. Was that answer from a board member/some such? I'd publicize it, maybe contact the local paper and ask for them to turn on the spotlight.
 
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CasualSax wrote:
The costs of Football are crazy, and you'll never get a straight answer as to whether they are profitable or not. It also really depends on what state and county you live in.

- Equipment: sometimes provided/covered by the parents
- Field upkeep: Sometimes included as a football expense, sometimes considered a general expense as the stadium is "multi-use"
- Coach salaries: Sometimes they are teachers with a small bonus for coaching, sometimes they are payed six figures and have no other responsibilities
- Transportation costs: Usually covered by team costs, but sometimes lumped in with general bus/transportation contracts
- Medical insurance/expenses: Cost included in contract with insurance company, cost not always broken out by sport

Don't forget an important one (at least for me, since it impacts me):
- Paying for the game officials

In Colorado, for Varsity games we get about $60/game (which, from what I understand, is one of the lowest in the country). Five officials, so that's $300 per game. Since each team typically has about 4-5 home games, that's $1200-$1500 for that particular cost each year.

Granted, I'm not sure exactly where that comes from, though.

In terms of revenue, though, I know a lot of schools out here have participation fees for the players that does help offset the costs of equipment, etc.


Basketball has a pretty decent return, though, as there are far less equipment costs, and more home games. But capacity for basketball isn't as high, usually, so they may not make as much revenue from that.


All-in-all, I'm not a fan of cutting the arts in favor of sports, but I'd personally be equally opposed to completely cutting sports in favor of arts. I think both have their place, geared at different types of students, and I think sports (at least when coached well) are a good outlet.
 
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Val Ofiesh
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Koldfoot wrote:
Dude. Go to the school board meeting every month and ask that question during public comments every single meeting.

They will tell you public comments is not a forum for you to ask them questions. Don't let them brow beat you into not testifying. Ask the question and stand your ground. If they are hostile, and they may be after a few meetings, they have procedure on their side, you have right on your side.


You have to get on a list to speak or ask questions at the open board meeting. In our district that is simply a call to the board's secretary, and order is determined based on call in order.

It's really annoying to the board if a group of people all sign up and repeatedly address the same issue, but this makes more of an impact. I suggest you ask for a specific change in funding or support to a specific issue (such as instruments, band uniforms, or a budget for advertising the school play).

Good luck.
 
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