August 19, 2001 - Vancouver, BC

Survey: most athletes now prefer “going home” to “going big”

Kitsilano — An Angus Reid survey of Canadian team athletes indicates that, given the option, a slim majority would prefer to go home rather than go big.

This represents a major shift in athletic opinion. Past surveys have indicated a clear preference for going big, and going home has often finished a distant third third to "going to the movies" or "going bananas."

The change became clear late yesterday at a game of the Penticton Whoppers, a Bantam-league softball team. With the team behind by four runs at the top of the seventh inning, coach Judy Redekop told her team they needed to stage a dramatic rally. "It's time to go big or go home," she concluded.

The team immediately held a vote, in which "go big" received only two votes — neither of them from Redekop's daughter Sandra, the team's shortstop.

"Twenty minutes later, I was in my room with Brittney on my boom box, IM-ing my friend Gillian in Revelstoke," Sandra said. She admits that a year ago, she might have opted to go big, "but today was a pretty hot day and I was bagged."

Sociologists credit the change in athletes' attitudes to the growing attractiveness of going home — particularly as broadband Internet access becomes more widespread.

"It's not that there's anything wrong with going big. To any athlete, that still retains the appeal inherent in every hackneyed expression," says Prof. Gur Malik of the University of British Columbia's Sports Cliche Research Institute. "It's more that home is such a tempting place to be."

Malik and his research team believe the survey's findings represent the same kind of watershed that marked the demise of "one hundred and ten per cent" and the now completely discredited notion that it's how you play the game.