Friday Morning Follies

Posted: June 15, 2012 in sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

The 21st Century hasn’t been kind to our sports superstars.

Heroes falling from grace is about as old as sports itself. You can go back to Shoeless Joe Jackson and forward ahead to such icons as Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson and Denny McClain. But since the turn of this century the list of superstars – I’m talking about all-time greats – who have tumbled from the pinnacle to the outhouse has happened at an alarming rate.

I was reminded of this with the end of the Roger Clemens trial for perjury. Regardless of the jury’s verdict, Clemens, considered by some as the greatest righthander in baseball history, will be viewed with disgust and shame. The century began with perhaps baseball’s greatest ever all-around player, Barry Bonds, making the same fall. Both men are now labeled as cheaters.

Then came Tiger Woods, maybe the best golfer ever, being exposed as womanizing sex addict who lived a life of lies. And the biggest fall, Penn State’s Joe Paterno, the winningest major college football coach ever and the epitome of integrity, who turned a blind eye to years of alleged sexual child abuse by a trusted colleague.

Who’s next?

And there’s the boxing mess . . .

Anyone surprised by the latest boxing controversy has been living on another planet. When has boxing been an honest sport? That’s not to say all fights have been fixed in some way, but there have been crooked promoters and fighters taking dives around as long as the sport itself.

The real mystery is how the sport has survived and thrived to some degree this long. The only conceivable answer is man’s thirst to watch one man beat the hell out of another man and bet on who will win.

Certainly boxing isn’t has popular as it once was, but it still suckers millions of people into paying big money to watch. Latest example was last weekend’s fight in which someone named Timothy Bradley was given a split decision over one of the few name fighters remaining, Manny Pacquiao.

It’s impossible to totally clean up the sport, but one obvious step is to have judges publicly post round-by-round results. The best solution, o f course, is to ignore the sport altogether and let it die.



  1. Wyman says:

    Should we ignore pro football and pro basketball too? Maybe those are fixed too or at least not a 100% on the up and up. Shouldn’t the coaches, players, and anyone else involved in the Saints mess in New Orleans be banned for life to give a strong hint to future coaches and players what awaits them, if and when, paid to maim is the name of the game?

    Also, is NFL parity something to be proud of? If they ever achieve it, with the current schedule every team would end 8-8, with the luck of the score and maybe other minor events deciding who is in the playoffs, which would likely lead to one of the dullest Super Bowls in NFL history. Is that really what fans want? Oh, let’s not forget those amateur Refs. Is there any other sport, who feels it is professional to have amateur Refs calling games. Need we even get into the NFL protecting the QB? So far, the NFL is not fake, or is it?

    The NBA seems to be a strange game where until the playoffs and often not until the Finals, defense is barely a part of the game. And even with the new two-steps is not traveling change in the rules, don’t guys still travel regularly. Then there is palming the ball. Did I say no defense. And David Stern, there was not a better way to do the drawing to determine the team getting the # 1 pick in the NBA draft than the method you used to determine the NBA owned and just sold team would get it? Sure, it might have been on the up and up, but we are left to take your word for it. Honest Refs, no more Refs are being paid to blow calls or make certain calls?

    I don’t follow these sports like I once did but I no longer try to fool myself into believing any sport is a 100% on the up and up. You see stuff at times, where you say to yourself, that’s just not right. You think something is going on that shouldn’t be. One day, I think it will be revealed that NFL games have either been thrown of fixed in some way. This is probably already true for the NBA. I have seen college games on TV where I thought the game was fixed or point shaving was involved. If so, would it disappear at the NBA level? I think not. But I am saying all this, so I can remind myself when that day comes, that I did voice such an opinion at one time. However much I still like sports. Sports has a feeling of something behind me; a part of the past I can’t quite let go of, but which I know is over for me.

  2. says:

    You can play golf…It doesn’t take “bulk”, just well-bred courtesy, patience and skill…
    Maybe, “Sports” isn’t quite over for you after all.

    You are welcome to join me, Wyman, anytime. Golf is not about anyone but you and your own being. No team concept involved and no more physically challenging than rolling a bowling ball at ten pins.
    Of course, it does require some ingenuity and strategic planning along the way but, most of all, you must remember to hydrate when the temp is in the 90’s, which is most of the time here in Jax.

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