Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Wealthy Benefactor

I had a dream I won the lottery. The following afternoon I went to my corner gas station and bought a ticket. I didn't win.

It's a shame, because I had already spent the $50 million I was set to win a few times over, and holding the losing ticket, was instead forced to think of all the could-have-beens. But it led me down a interesting train of thought. How would the Ultimate community have responded to my grandiose plans for the sport with the money I almost won?

Would we welcome them with open arms and be grateful for the fact they're pumping money in the sport, however they chose? Or would we, as I suspect, demand not only accountability but also an active hand in the cookie jar they'd provide for us?

It seems that while the phrase "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" survives the times people are always ready with a hand out for a helping when it's time to split the prize. How many would be angry if the only beneficiaries of the person's generosity would be the participants of the club championships, say, all-expenses paid trip to the tourney? How many would judge them critically if they offered cash prizes to the winners of the open division only?

I did not win the lottery - this time. But I'm close. As I type this I am using a complex algorithm taking into account all past numbers drawn and the positioning of the stars to put out next week's winning numbers. I think when I do win, to appease the masses, along with several of my own more selfish ventures (pampered living for all Hodags and Bravo, among other ideas) I will set aside a trust similar in scope to the current UPA innovation grants, but with a shitload more funding. That way the voice of the people can be heard through the shouting of a vocal few who will probably still be pissed the money is not being spent they way they'd like.

Oh, and also Kyle Weisbrod would have a dozen eunochs to do his bidding so that Juniors ultimate continues and accelerates its explosive growth. Nothing would make me happier for the sport than a future in which I wouldn't be able to contribute at its highest levels.

When you become a millionaire, if you share my passion for this sport, what will you do with the money?


Seamus said...

This isn't a direct response to your question, since it's not what I'd do if I became a billionaire, but a new one. Sorry.

Namely: what would happen if someone tried to buy a championship? Say, Steinbrenner ditched his trophy wife and married some Lady Godiva star, then offered Idris, Hector, Lugsdin, Grant, Chase, Frank Huguenard, and a reanimated Henry Callahan a salary and swank mansions, to be coached by Shannon O'Malley and PR'd by Scobel.

RSD would explode.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what sockeye did with the promise of backrubs and blowjobs?

parinella said...

I remember asking an older teammate a few years ago if, when he sold off his accumlating real estate, he'd be interested in being a sugardaddy for ultimate, like you suggest. He said something to the effect of "why would I want to pay the way for a bunch of spoiled upper middle class private school white kids?" Ultimate's demographic is predominantly one that doesn't really _need_ a lot of charity. College kids complain that their schools aren't kicking in enough for them to take five plane trips to tournaments.

So, on the one hand, it would be really nice to help out a group that you identify strongly with and have devoted a lot of your life to, but otoh, there are a lot more needy targets. Some of those targets are indeed within the ultimate community, but I would expect that someone giving the cash would want to do it on the elite (and likely the elite male) level.

Perhaps what would happen instead of charity would be a richer and more readable version of Toad. (This would be more likely if the guy _earned_ his money instead of hitting the lottery or inheriting it.) He'd be an entrepreneur, and while not necessarily expecting to recoup his money, would think there was a good chance that he could create something big.

So, let's pretend that this benefactor goes to each of the top 8 teams and offers a contract with guaranteed expenses and money (not pro athlete money level, but enough that everyone on the team would be able to afford to go to Worlds this year) if they commit to a fall series. What would happen?

David Lee Paraguay said...

Jackson, WY is about 8 hours from Denver. This gave us a long time to discuss this issue.

Our answer was an ultimate complex. As big as the Potlatch fields. Perfect grass and irrigation like Pleasantview. 15 yards between all fields. Shade on all sidelines. A large clubhouse with locker rooms, a big bar, and a big patio on all sides for viewing. A pool and a pond. "The pond would be good for you." Ample room for camping. And of course, a stadium field, maybe even two. A permanent site for all nationals. We might even rent it out to soccer, lax, etc., when its not being used for ultimate.

This could probably get off the ground for few mil and some loans.

Anonymous said...

hh, you are full of shit. if you had one million dollars, you'd do just as lawrence from office space said...

Anonymous said...

I had a similar interesting incident. My team is all incredibly young most just graduated from school but some still in school. How we got a bid to worlds I have no idea much less were able to pay for nationals? I got an awesome job a couple months before nationals paying a considerable salary. The job also offers a charity matching plan where they will match up to 5 grand of donations to any charity. If I could donate 5 grand to my team would I especially if my company matched that 5 grand? The irony is I always said to myself if I ever got enough money to give to charity I would give to the poor ...

james said...

Pay for ultimate coaches at middle and high schools all around north america.

Buy a team of 20 favorite teammates to tour high schools, offer clinics, and play local teams if they wanted a game. Basecamp would be the ultimate facility previously mentioned, but in floating city/training camp form.

Rob at UV would find a fat check to buy a production facility fully staffed and mobile.

Don Seiler said...

Kudos on the Lawrence reference.

I'd have to put the coin towards Ultimate start-ups in Ultimate-deficient areas, like my town. I'm gearing up for a major recruiting and awareness campaign just to get bodies out there for pick-ups. I can't even think about a club or a league or traveling anywhere. I'm talking ground zero.

My costs alone really aren't too bad, maybe $50 for the whole year to pay for gas to drive around to the schools dropping off flyers and maybe paying Kinkos for copies and stuff. But there must be tons of smallish cities like mine (pop. 35,000) and I'm sure they could use the cash and direction.

Anonymous said...

not me. if i had a million dollars, i'd do nothing. just sit around all day long... nothing...

seriously, uh, no one wants to say community outreach? your charity frisbee team...? (but.. but... we carpooled to practice!)