In his standup comedy special, African American, Trevor Noah highlighted the contrast between Americans’ unbridled passion for sports and their conversely indifferent attitude towards the economy and stocks. The host of The Daily Show poked fun at the endless, trivial statistics that American sports commentators barked on about, and how starkly it contrasted with the tone of most American business channels.
Trevor Noah told the crowd:
You guys love your sports out here. I’ve never seen more focus put on sports anywhere else in the world. Americans love their sports, back to front. You analyze them, you worship them, you watch the game before the game, you watch the game after the game. You talk about what might happen in the game, you talk about what’s happening in the game, and then you talk about what happened in the game and what could have and what might have but didn’t happen in the game – it’s just the craziest thing I’ve seen in my life. It’s all about statistics. Have you seen sports in America? Non-stop, guys just come out there, there’s no time for smiles or anything, they just come out…[Noah proceeds to do an extended impression of sports commentators and their over-the-top, statistic-heavy analysis…]
And it’s just crazy. You know everything.
And then you switch over to your business channels and your economy, and you’re like, ‘What’s happening in the economy this year, Bob?’[Noah does an impression of Bob the Economist, who has an exaggeratedly-incompetent, nonchalant voice]: ‘Well, nobody knows. I mean…nobody knows. Yeah. We thought the housing market was coming up – but it wasn’t. But I mean, that’s the economy right? You never know!’[As the reporter:] ‘What about stocks?’[Bob:] ‘Well, I guess, uh, stocks, they’re up and down. I don’t really know, they’re up and down, they can go anywhere. Those are stocks, we don’t know.’
Amidst the crowd laughter, Noah offers some advice for society: “Those sports you know, you need to flip that around. [Be more focused on] the statistics and the economy, and just relax on your sports, have fun.”
While there’s always an element of exaggeration in comedy, there’s a lot of truth in it, too.
There is also a takeaway for investors here: what if you analyzed your stocks with the same passion Americans analyzed their sports?