As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I am a big sports fan. There aren’t many sports that don’t pique my interest when I have the opportunity to watch them. Hockey would be a notable exception as would soccer unless, of course, one of my sons is playing.
There are some things that are emerging in the wide, wide world of sports, however, that I find disturbing and down-right irritating. If you will allow me to vent, I will afford you the same courtesy in the comments.
1. I can’t stand the term “swagger“. Teams and athletes feel like they must have “swagger” (whatever that is) to be effective in their contests. Usually this amounts to nothing more than an overabundance of charisma, taunting and intimidation of the opponent. Just play the game. If I want to watch grown men act like children, I’ll watch the presidential debates.
2. Contract renegotiation. Player A signs a contract for six years for an ungodly amount of money, becoming the highest-paid player in the league at his position. In the following off-season, players B and C sign contracts for larger amounts of money. Player A now sulks, complains and lollygags until his team renegotiates his contract to once again make him the highest-paid under-achiever in the league. I would say to these people, “Get a life. You make more in one game than Joe the Plumber makes in a year. Play the game and hope McCain gets elected so you can keep the fruits of your whining.”
3. Contract year. We now have the scenario repeated over and over through all professional leagues where a player suddenly steps his level of play way up because his current contract is about to expire and he is preparing to enter the lucrative waters of free-agency. Whatever happened to giving it your best shot every play of every game? Pete Rose may not be a paragon of virtue, but it is a travesty to deny “Charlie Hustle” access to the Hall of Fame while these slackers march toward the realm of legends. We’ve come a long way from the Babe’s incredulous statement, “You mean you’re going to pay me to play baseball?”
4. This one always cracks me up. A running back breaks free for a twenty yard run or a wide receiver catches a pass for a big gain. A safety will bring them down hard and then jump up and start beating his chest. Are you kidding me? The guy just schooled you and your team for big yards! Tackle him for a loss and then you have reason to celebrate. Better yet, just tackle him and then walk back to your huddle and act like you’ve done the job that is expected of you.
5. Then you have goings-on like the Baltimore Ravens putting bounties on opposing team’s players. I realize this has been going on for some time, but what Mr. Suggs and company need to realize is that the NFL is not the mafia, it is a GAME! Players who engage in such practices should be banned from the sport for life. These activities should be ranked right up (down) there with drug and steroid abuse.
Thanks for letting me get these things off my chest. I feel much better now. Please feel free to share your thoughts.