Monday, July 23, 2007

What the Hell happened to sports?

Sports is supposed to be that one diversion from the daily grind, whether that be work or school or your girlfriend or whatever, that everyone can just enjoy. So when did that line that seemed to separate the horrendous nature of work or school get crossed and start to intersect with the carefree joy of sports. The peaceful days of sports are all but done. Think about it...maybe the most popular football player in the NFL has been indicted on dogfighting charges and the entire nation is outraged, Barry Bonds is about to break the home run record, but the bigger story seems to be how he probably cheated to get there, an NBA ref just got caught fixing games for the mob, and hell, even the Tour de France is a shell of its former self with all the doping allegations being thrown around.

But here's my question with all this. Who cares? Sports are supposed to be fun and entertaining. Why are we worrying about what Mike Vick does off the field? You and me aren't friends with him, so whatever. And in Vick's case, the public is being extremely conceited in just writing this guy off as guilty. Yes, the evidence points to him being involved somehow in this dogfighting ring, but who the hell are we to judge until a jury actually convicts the man? This nonsense about keeping him out of training camp and suspending him before due process is given boggles my mind. He may have done somthing wrong, but the bottom line is that the judicial system is there for a reason. Imagine if this were one of your friends or relatives, are you simply going to take away how they make a living before they've actually been proven guilty? I read today that Roger Goodell and Arthur Blank might force Vick to take a leave of absense this season even before the trial begins. It all just seems ridiculous to me.

You tell em, Mike

Yes, Mike Vick probably did something horrendous in supporting these dogfighting rings. But in my opinion, I'm gonna assume that Vick is probably not the biggest culprit in all this. I'm sure he bet on fights and may have even owned a dog or two that got mangled, but he's really just taking the fall for all the joe schmo dogfighting people because he's famous. Don't miscontrue this though, if the allegations are true, Vick should serve whatever punishment the court deems acceptable. But until then, it's not our place to pass judgment on this guy. Just take him for what he is: a dynamic quarterback and leave it at that. That's what sports is all about. You cheer and root for these guys that play for a certain team and you probably don't know a single soul on the team personally. But you still cheer for them because he/she is on your team. There's no need to take what happens off the field so personally because in the end, your connection with Mike Vick stops once he steps off the gridiron. After that, he's just another guy living life and if he happens to have committed a crime, well then, he deserves whatever punishment the courts determine.

But back to my broad point about sports...whether it's Vick or Bonds or this ref Tim Donaghy...just relax and don't take things so seriously. Sports are supposed to be carefree, a diversion from the monotony that seems to dominate people's lives. Yeah Bonds probably took steroids during his best seasons, but it's not like the steroids gave him that silky smooth swing. Just enjoy the beauty of a homerun as it travels majestically through the air. Think about how hard it is to turn on a 95 mph fastball and hit it over 400 feet. It's sports, so as long as you enjoy it, there really aren't any drastic consequences.

Same thing goes for Tim Donaghy. Yes, the integrity of the NBA has been called into question. But what's really different about the sport of basketball now that we know this? People have suspected NBA refs were fixing games for years. Shaq has called out refs in the past, Barkley has called out refs in the past, and not to mention the countless coaches who have been giving shit to refs for years and years. If anything, finding out Donaghy had been fixing games is only going to make things better. What ref in their right mind would try and fix a game next season given the amount of scrutiny that will be on them for the foreseeable future?

Next time you turn on Sportscenter or whatever sports-related show, take into consideration exactly what is "news" in sports. Enjoy the fun and the excitement of sports, rather than focusing on a couple bad apples who "ruin" it for everyone else. But in reality, if we all just lightened up a bit and returned to to the essence of what sports is all about, none of this nonsense would really matter anyways.

John Force of NHRA Drag Racing. Watch any interview by the man and tell me you didn't laugh. I will be shocked. Laughing at absurd human beings like John Force is the essence of sports if you were wondering about this post.

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