No, I’m not talking about the Olympics. I’m sure you’ve heard enough about that all week. I’m referring to the game of life. When the whistle blows and it’s time to choose which lineup to join for this marathon event we call adulthood, which team will you choose? Because—make no mistake about it—life’s a game, and there are sides to be drawn.

Your best bet is probably Team Business, where the movers and shakers compete in a brutal race to promote America’s commercial interests, and millions of minions like me support them. Our team is also known as the “Business World” or "Corporate America," that all-pervasive machine driving America’s Capitalist culture and providing the goods and services needed to sustain our cushy, mind-numbing way of life. We, along with Team Law & Order (see below) are the only teams whose activities are both legally-sanctioned and potentially remunerative, so you’d better think twice before writing us off.

But what if you can’t hack selling 40-80 hours per week of your time and virtually all of your energy and creativity (which, for the overwhelming majority of Team Business members, aren’t so much sold as sacrificed) for a paycheck that may or may not sustain you in material comfort? Fret not—you’ve got other options.

You can join Team Felonious, where the Criminals play their game and ply their wares. Here you’ve got your drug dealers and organized crime kingpins; your scammers and hackers; your hit men and bank robbers. There are also a fair number of Team Business defectors here, those who aren’t happy enough being millionaires in the Business World, but feel compelled to veer out of that lane into this parallel one. As a matter of fact, many Team Business members dabble (if not dwell entirely) within this hidden realm. Team Felonious can be quite lucrative, so anyone presented with the opportunity will likely be tempted to join. But before you cross that not-always-bright line, you’d better be prepared to pay the price. Even if your scruples permit membership on this high-stakes team, this game could cost you your freedom, or even your life.

But wait—there are other choices. There’s always Team Law & Order (a/k/a, the "Enforcers"), for those inclined toward leadership or defense. These folks enter the world of politics or law enforcement, where you can still find many well-paying, secure careers, if you’re willing to dedicate your life to keeping the Team Business and Team Felonious players in their respective places. And don't kid yourselves: The primary—if not sole—function of government and its military/police divisions is to protect and serve Team Business, while allowing Team Felonious to fulfill its role as Big Business’s illegitimate counterpart. I strongly suspect that many—if not most—politicians and high-ranking law enforcement officials are allowed participation in the game by fiat (and under the aegis) of Big Business and/or its corresponding Criminal elements.

If by now I've made you feel discouraged, please don’t be. You’ve still got options on Team Alternative. If you’re soft-hearted or socially conscious (and reasonably intelligent), you could become a Do-Gooder. America still needs teachers, charitable/social workers, and religious leaders (though I daresay many religious leaders are really Team Business, Felonious, or Law & Order members in disguise). Sure, you’ll sacrifice financial comfort for choosing to stay true to your heart, unless you carry out your chosen profession within the Business World, i.e., the “private sector.” And remember, there’s also room on Team Alternative for "Creative Types," provided you’re prepared for a life of poverty. That is, unless Big Business (i.e., a major record label, art gallery, movie studio, or publishing house) notices you and deems you sufficiently “commercial” to join their team, in which case you’ll have a shot at fame, fortune, and the fleeting glory that comes from being popular.

From here, I’m afraid your choices only get bleaker. If you’re not inclined toward business, don’t have the stomach for politics or law enforcement, have no mindset for education or charitable work, and don’t have any (or enough) creative talent or Team Business connections, there will always be a place for you on Team Dropout. Here, you will not receive a living wage, will be given no recognition for your skills, talents or creative proclivities (whatever they may be), and will be shunned by the mainstream. Team Dropout has the advantage of an open admissions policy, but survival as a Dropout is challenging—you can either live on the dole, or figure out how to subsist as a fringe-dweller within the “off-the-books” economy of odd, low-level and sometimes illegal jobs. (But if you’re one of the lucky few, you can hook up with someone on Team Business, Felonious, or Law & Order. Then you will magically gain a measure of respectability within those far-reaching circles.) Frighteningly, more Americans than ever have—deliberately or unwittingly—joined Team Dropout. So if you find yourself here, take comfort in knowing you are in good company.

I, for one, cannot tolerate being poor, insecure, or shunned. So if you’re like me, you’d better get comfortable living life in the fast lane of Team Business or Law & Order (assuming your conscience doesn't permit you to try out for Team Felonious). If, like me, you’re too uncomfortable living life on the edge (or are unwilling to tolerate the fickle whims of a more powerful life partner), you’d better find your place in the rat race and make your peace with it. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re clear why you are doing it and try as best you can to hang onto your soul in the process. And maybe—just maybe—in the dark hours when no one else is looking, you can shed your team jersey and play on Team Alternative for a few sweet hours. Life is all about choices, right? So let the games begin!