Friday, August 17, 2007

Ramblings for the Evening: Sports Edition (8/17/2007)

A Ramblings that's themed? You should be so lucky.

Pundits everywhere are calling this, "the darkest year of sports...ever. Let's see if they are right.

So, without further Adu (Soccer joke): BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!
O.J. and "The Assassins":
Now, I'm not going to sit here and defend O.J. Simpson, but let me see if I remember this correctly: Wasn't O.J. found innocent?
I just don't get it. How can a person who is found innocent of murder be liable for those deaths?

O.J is currently paying a little over thirty-three million dollars to the families of the victims. Fine, I have no problem with that. However, what I do have a problem with is the new attack on him. Again, I am not a big fan, but O.J. is part of a new video game called All Pro Football 2K8. In this game, he can be a running back on a team called, "The New York Assassins", and the teams mascot is...wielding a knife. How shocking!

Come on, folks. It's not like O.J. went to the makers and said, "Wow, I love it." He's part of the retired NFLPA, so he was just part of the license that was bought. The fact that the family wants MORE money from this tells me that it has less to do with the loss of their loved ones and more to do with wanting more money.

Look, Todd Bertuzzi broke Steve Moore's neck on the ice and is still in hockey video games. Michael Vick (more on him later) is still in Madden football games, and the Falcons (his team) is a popular pick among players. Their money wasn't taken from them.

I can't believe people want the game pulled from store shelves because of this. All because you can put him on a team (though he doesn't start there) with this mascot.

What's next? People in New Orleans sue The University of Miami or the hockey team in Carolina for using the name "Hurricanes"? Can Native Americans sue the Dallas Cowboys for emotional damage?

Yes, I have heard that O.J. is not a nice guy and will do almost anything for a buck (see his upcoming book), but this is ridiculous. There are sports stories that mean more.


Mr. Vick Goes to Prison...Maybe:

Michael Vick. Everyone knows the story by now. He was indicted on charges from dog fighting. Let's make some things clear here:
For the public, the dog aspect is the most important. The men who decided to give information on him ("Snitch Bitches" as I heard them called today) said that he did in fact kill a few dogs either by hanging or drowning. That's what everyone has latched on to and why they are so angry.

Now I feel that hurting dogs is a terrible thing, but the fact that this is more important than dying humans is ridiculous to me. Not the point, however, let's move on....

The government is pushing for the gambling charges more than the charges related to cruelty to animals. Why? Because gambling is considered worse (sorry PETA, but the government is angrier when money is taken away).

What I find depressing, however, is how the case has been turned into a racial war. African-Americans have a point: we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but most of us believe the other way. Yes, the two men (one with the ironic name of "Peace") copped pleas and said he's guilty, so that will hurt Vick, but as I mentioned before these men are now being looked down upon for the sole reason that they squawked to the government.

There was an article in ESPN the Magazine that I passed on to Willy Smythe (see link on right) about the whole Vick case. William is a little more zealous than I am when it comes to the case. He read the article and was quite pissed. I read the article and was saddened. At one point the author asks why clubs are unfair and make African-Americans pay more at the clubs. I can easily answer this: Insurance. It's been that way in New York for years. It's extremely rare that a bunch of white or Hispanic or Asian folks shoot up a club. In Minneapolis, it was African-American. The club shooting in Baltimore...was African-American. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm racist, because that's not the point. Yes, it's horrible that a club would charge black folk more money, but it's about protecting an investment. If violence breaks out and a club is shut down, that means no money flows in and the club will close permanently.

Yes, Atlanta has a horrible past with racism, civil rights, and more, but a football player under investigation is not the same thing as Martin Luther King getting shot. I may be a white guy, but I am offended by the comparison. Michael Vick is an athlete. King was a visionary. Vick, according to his friends or co-defendants, committed a crime. King worked to create equality. They are nowhere near the same
Barry Breaks Big Record...:
And yet I don't care.
I stayed up late to watch Barry Bonds break the home run record. As he swung the bat and the ball flew to center field, I watched the crowd explode in joy as they knew he had broken the record.

I, however, felt nothing. I felt no joy, and I felt no anger. That saddens me.

The home run record is considered the greatest record in all of sports. It was supposed to be the one that almost no one could touch. When Henry "Hank" Aaron was getting close to breaking Babe Ruth's record, he was sent death threats. Bonds didn't have that kind of pain to deal with this time. He only had media scrutiny as to whether or not he cheated. That's not as bad.

I should have been excited about the crack of the bat for that home run, but I wasn't. I am tired of Bonds. I'm sick of reading or hearing about his possible cheating. I'm sick of hearing about a possible asterisk in the record books.

This is my honest feeling about it: If Bonds took steroids before they were illegal, then he did nothing wrong. Sure, he got ahead of the game, but it was legal. Pro Wrestling says that Steroids are bad. The NFL Says this as well. MLB did not say this until recently. That means Bonds was fine to do so.

The only downside is that I just don't care that he broke the record. I feel nothing.

And finally:
Family First?:
I love my parents. They did a great deal for me growing up. They taught me important lessons, they showed me how different aspects of life work, and they exposed me to life's ups and downs. When I graduated from college, my parents told me they were proud of me...then we all went to work. At no point in my life (so far) have my parents expected me to repay the favor and start taking care of them. They have not asked me to pay their bills, they have not asked me to buy them a house, and they have not told me that I owe them. My wife's parents have not said this either.

So why is it that so many college athletes are expected to go pro and immediately take care of their parents? Let me give you an example:
Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers. The scouts didn't talk to him, they talked to his mother. When he was drafted, they asked him the typical question, "What will you do after you sign your 1st contract?"
His answer? "I'm going to buy my mother a house, and I'm going to take care of her."
This sounds sweet, and it would be...if his mother hadn't said the same thing when interviewed earlier.
Another player, a college football star, gave away the answer about whether or not he was going pro. Actually, his mother did. She felt that he had to go pro for the good of the family.
What is wrong with these parents? Sure, you sacrificed for your kid. Good for you. That doesn't mean that you force your kid out of college before he or she is ready because you want to stop working. These kids need something else just in case professional sports is not really in their future. By forcing them out, you do them a disservice.
Let them make the decision. Don't run their lives.
If my son becomes a world class athlete, I will not force him out of college so I can stop working. That's not fair to him. That just adds pressure that's unneeded. Until I die, I plan on helping my son out, and I never expect him to turn around and help me out.
So parents...leave them kids alone.
Of course what do I know? I'm sick of hearing the Red Sox Nation bitch about the Yankees...when they spend almost as much money. I could be wrong.


Arthur Willoughby said...

Regarding O.J. being innocent yet still persecuted, I believe the precedent was set in the Rodney King trial. They were found not guilty in criminal court, therefore a civil trial was held...not double-jeopardy, of course (wink wink).

Vick: Leab, no one is saying that dog deaths are more "important" than human deaths. The fact is every person has their cause. If we all became impassioned by the same things, it would be a boring world.

What has people like me enraged, I think, is that this guy had/has it all and is still an utterly despicable human being. Like O.J. All the money in the world, all the fame, yet in a jealous rage he nearly decapitated his ex-wife.

Yeah, he did it.

Ironic said...

People are saying the dogs are more important. There was an article here in NY about how a dog's death is despicable because it has no choice, but humans do have a choice. As we are the top of the food chain, we should be, "respectable."
There are those that feel that way.
Of course NY is also in a frenzy over a new shoe store.
The human race is doomed.

Arthur Willoughby said...

Well, at the risk of being removed from your Christmas card list, the line from the article in NY mirrors one I wrote myself fairly recently.

Call me an extremist, but I do value animal life more than I do the lives of humans who have essentially become animals. I have more compassion for Vick's dogs than I do for him. If/when he dies an agonizing death at the hands of an incarcerated PETA member, I won't shed a tear.

Ironic said...

But is a dog's life worth more than the life of a child?
Is a cat's life worth more than a cancer patient's?

That's what I mean.
There are good people and bad people...there are good animals and bad animals.
Or is it all a matter of perspective?

Arthur Willoughby said...

What am I missing? Why are you comparing dogs and cats to kids and cancer patients?

Ironic said...

I've been reading op-ed pieces from around the country, and there are those who feel that the life of an animal is worth more than anything.
One piece had a woman talking about how the death of a child just means the world's population gets smaller, but the death of a dog means that a world is shattered.
That's what I am talking about, chief.

Evan Lee said...

this reminds me of a quote I heard recently...

I do some (very) part time work at a local shelter here in the ATL..The shelter employs a wise old African American man named Cliff...Cliff is basically the 'super' for the crumbling structure...

'Bout a month ago an angry black man came into the shelter while I was there wearing a #7 jersey demanding to 'talk to our Pr department!'

We dont have one..But an article had just come out by Chris Mortensen saying 'Vick will not be indicted', and this guy was clutching a copy of it. He kept asking, over and over again ' you people think a dogs life is worth more then a mans!'...

No amount of reasoning was gonna work with this guy. Cliff took this guy to the side, and asked him 'see those puppies over there?Do you see any that need killin'?'

I almost shat myself. The guy turned around and split.