Airline travel today presents a confusing array of frequent flyer and credit card loyalty programs: Premier Access; Silver, Gold or Platinum Elite; etc. They allow a traveler to check bags without cost, visit airline club rooms free of charge, and board planes ahead of the rest of the herd.
The problem is that the airlines have established so many levels of elitism that the result is a confusing, meaningless mess. Which reminds me of other efforts to distinguish good, better and best, especially in youth sports.
In basketball, ice hockey, soccer, volleyball and other youth sports there are now so many programs that promote themselves as more elite than others, and so many tournaments that advertise themselves to be above others in terms of status or the presence of college recruiters, that the efforts to distinguish themselves are not at all meaningful, and almost laughable if they were not fooling and fleecing so many children and parents.
In contrast, school sports is not engaged in the never-ending addiction to add layers of competitions and levels of championships. We are just fine with league, district, regional and statewide tournaments and trophies. We do not need national-scope tournaments and all-star events.
In school sports, the titles don’t need super-sizing, and the trophies don’t need to be taller than the participants.