By: Lisa Varga
Remember the scene at the very beginning of the movie Jerry Maguire, when Jerry suddenly has a moral epiphany and writes a mission statement that changed his life… Well I’m having one of those moments. Mine is about sports and charity. I have a sports show that I host and created called “Beyond The Offseason”. It’s about athletes, sports teams and coaches who are involved in charity and giving back during their off-season. It’s been an amazing ride so far and I’m blown away at how many athletes are making a difference in the world. We find out what they’re doing in the off-season and share their inspiring stories that are heartfelt and entertaining. The problem is, no one cares.
I was told that “unless you can make charity sexy” you’re going to have a hard time getting a show like Beyond The Offseason onto a major sports network or getting it proper attention. I was also told that sex related topics and drama win over charity every time. This really disappointed me. I didn’t want to believe it. So I did a test study recently to find out if this was true. In the last few weeks, I posted some photos and articles on the more racy side to see the response and as I suspected…it got lots of views, comments and attention. Especially the day the whole celebrity nude photos scandal hit the internet exposing Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. My views were at an all time high. I know this because there is a way you can track how many page views you get each day, and that particular day was off the charts. So then I tested the flip side and shared some nice, wholesome photos and uplifting articles about sports and charity to see how many people would be interested, and although it brought in some traffic, it didn’t even come close to the numbers that the scandals and gossip got. It says a lot about society and made me think about my new sports show. I don’t want to compromise my morals and heart for ratings and numbers. But then how will my show ever survive on a network? I guess I’ll just have to hope there’s still some good people left in the world who want to be inspired and care.
I had to ask myself, what is this world coming to? What’s everyone focused on? Has everyone become so self centered that they just don’t care anymore? Do they only focus on themselves? Are they more interested in naked photos of celebrities and athletes and jail time rather than what people are doing for humanity? But then I realized that with every person who loves gossip and scandal, there comes a person or group of people who love a feel good story. Those are the people I’m doing this for.
I’ve had some amazing athletes on the show so far and I have a long list of players, teams and coaches who are excited and want to be a part of what I’m doing. I believe there is an audience for a show like Beyond The Offseason and I have a mission and a purpose that I won’t give up on. The reason I created this show is because of a real life experience I had when my brother Shane was battling cancer. It inspired me to tell his story and the story of the athletes out there who were making the world a better place. My job is to tell positive stories about positive people in the world of sports and I find great joy in doing so. It’s my new mission just like Jerry Maguire had a new mission. So I’m gonna take my goldfish just like Jerry did and I’m gonna ask the question…”Who’s coming with me”. Life is about passion and relationships. It’s also about love and compassion. I won’t let what other people say stop me. I want to keep telling powerful stories that lift spirits and shine a positive light on athletes who are doing good in the world.
I’m heading to New York this week to shoot a very special episode of Beyond The Offseason. The story is touching and I think you’re going to love it.
Did you know that in Major League baseball they have something called “Strike Out Cancer Day”. It’s to help raise money and awareness for cancer charities so we can find a cure. This really hits home for me because my brother Shane is a two time cancer survivor. Events like this mean a lot to me and also to my brother. You should look it up. It’s amazing how so many athletes and teams get involved. There’s some really cool stuff going on in the sports world and It’s my job to tell you about them. Please spread the word about Beyond The Offseason and support the show when it airs. I’ll keep you updated so check back soon. Thanks for spending time with me and reading my blog.
The quote of the day… “You had me at hello”.