I have worked in the non-profit and charitable sector for years. The pay ain't great but the satisfaction is really wonderful because one feels that they are making a difference. I've also worked in the for-profit sector. The motivations and rewards differ.
I have no problem in asking people to donate to a legitimate charity because its doing good work that can't be done without support.
Whenever the state of the 'Cats is discussed, some people announce that they have given up going to games and others get angry and say that tickets have to be bought to support the team. The team is treated as if it is a worthy charity.
I love the 'Cats. I understand that if tickets aren't sold that their future is dim. What I find quite sad is that we discuss them as a charity rather than as a business. If I were an employee of the team this would make me feel ashamed. I hope that - at senior management - it does.
What complicates feeling on this issue is that the 'Cats are part of a business structure - the CFL - that has local franchises and so runs the market. Most businesses must keep the customer happy or go out of business works because there is almost always another business to provide the goods or services.
In Hamilton, the 'Cats are more equivalent to the lone general store in a small town. Everyone thinks that it's important - and everyone will miss it if it goes - but if it closes there isn't much likelihood that somebody else will open another. Indeed, the presence of a Wal-Mart 10 minutes away pretty much guarantees that there won't be another little store opening. People will still get their goods- but in a different way that's divorced from the local community.
In a sense, the role of that lone store is one of being a community service - even though it's structured as a business.
That's what the 'Cats are. They provide an emotional service and sense of connectivity to the community even though they are a business.
We will NEVER find agreement on this board because the situation itself is so complicated. That's why I get frustrated when somebody announces they are 'leaving' for a while and others call them down for doing so. Can we please stop seeing people with a different perspective on this difficult issue as blithering idiots and instead see the problem for what it is.
It's structural, ladies and gentlemen. We have a business that is seen as a community service. In good times that's no problem. In bad times... that's a disaster waiting to happen.