Happy Super Bowl Sunday everybody! Are you excited? Going to a Super Bowl party? Got any money riding on the outcome? Before you start your festivities I’d like you to read a blurb from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Take a gander and lets look at some of the implications it has for our profession.
Let me tell you some of my thoughts. Linky here to the article.
First off, the news to me isn’t that pro athletes are getting needled. I remember reading in USA Today way back in ’85 of the second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles getting poked. If you are attuned to such things and you live in a town with pro athletes you hear that some of them are getting acupuncture. Hell, even I needled a pro bike racer in ’94, the day before his race- and his teammates who saw me doing it didn’t think it unusual at all. No, Acupuncture penetrated the pro athlete community at a very early date.
What I find more interesting about the article though is Peter King writing about it and how he writes about it. King is your basic middle-aged guy. Overweight, couple girls in college, likes to write about patriotism and soldiers in Afghanistan without condemning the war, voted for Obama but you could see him voting republican in the past, lives in suburban New Jersey. Loves football. So in this section of his article, when he takes the tone of making acupuncture out to be this weird exotic thing, a tone that was normal for the press to take when they wrote about acupuncture until recently, I have to realize that still for a huge segment of the population (in this case mainly men) acupuncture is just not on the radar as a possible treatment.
Again, consider his audience- middle aged and younger men. Mostly middle class going toward working class. In many ways these guys aspire to be Peter King. And when I say “these guys” I’m thinking of oh 200+ million Americans and it includes a lot of women too. I say guys because they are the core of this particular demographic. 98% of these guys have never given acupuncture one thought before reading this article.
But then, why would they have given acupuncture any thought? If you go back to the beginning of what I’m writing, how many of you are actually psyched in any way about the Super Bowl? I’d say that 90% of us Punks roll our eyes at the mention of the words Super and Bowl. To my little brain we are seeing a disconnect between our profession and our country.
To me, if our profession is gonna get any type of traction in this country, if its gonna be taken seriously at all, we have to reach out to these folks who like the Super Bowl. Not just reach out: we have to be able to banter with them. We have to be them. Boutique Acupuncture has always shunned these folks because its so narrowly geared towards rich people. (Pro athletes fit into that profile.) Only Community Acupuncture has a chance to work with these folks. But just being a CA clinic isn’t enough. You actually have to, you know, be part of your community. Said community (walk around your neighborhood) has a lot of football fans.
What we Punks tend to gravitate to are the anti-football fans. The folks who like to do things during the Super Bowl because the movies and restaurants or hiking trails are so empty during the game. Nothing wrong with them at all. Its just that confining ourselves to just them pigeon holes us a odd ducks. Quirky. Eccentric. Not necessary. Not important.
The FPD fanboys think the way to reach the Peter King demographic is to get a Doctorate. The flaw in that logic of is that most Doctors are in the Peter King demographic and they feel most comfortable relating to others who are like-minded. If we Punks insist on staying quirky then we won’t be taken seriously and our profession won’t grow. I am not saying we need to put down our prayer beads and Buddha books. I am saying we need to relate to others around us.
Enjoy the game. Myself, I hope the Cards beat the tar out of Pissburgh.