MLB -- Steroids -- Barry Bonds again named by Balco chemist
NBA -- Gambling and dictating the outcome of games -- Tim Donaghy
NFL -- Animal Cruelty -- Michael Vick
NHL -- CLEAN AS A WHISTLE!.....maybe?
The limelight on professional sports has shifted significantly these last few months from on-the-field to off it. Unfortunately, the incidents away from the office
continue to become more and more disgusting and reprehensible. Lines are being crossed that were unthinkable and unbelievable to the vast majority. In fact, lately these obscenely absurd actions have gotten the attention of not just the fans, but of everyone in the US and around the world. These guys are paid millions of dollars to play a game...games means nothing...they are played for fun...these guys are getting PAID to have fun doing nothing! Just like Seinfeld...they are shows about nothing! A small percentage of players have been and will ever be able to say their accomplishments in professional sports was their legacy. In the game of life...sports means very little. What is so hard about getting their heads on straight? Is it really that hard to get good people surrounding you? How ignorant must you really be to put yourselves into situations such as animal cruelty and gambling on the sport your work for? Have the examples of the past -- e.g. Pete Rose -- not been enough to make you use that heavy thing sitting on your neck?
Okay...back to the issues...
The commissioners for MLB, the NBA, and the NFL are sleeping very little these days. Yes, it would appear that Mr. Bettman has the NHL running like a well-oiled machine! Salary caps and penalty shots seem to be the pressing issues at hand...but are they really sitting pretty? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. The sad reality is this...the mentioned behaviors may seem like one-of-a-kind, rogue acts...but all of this and much more is far too commonplace in professional sports. My good friend Luongo07 likes to give me a hard time about complaining about the officiating...but it is entirely possible and highly likely that there are officials in the NHL, and all other sports, just as guilty as Tim Donaghy. How many times do you see phantom calls, make-up calls, and completely ridiculous calls? Officiating is subjective...officials make mistakes...but they also make buffoons out of themselves from time to time and it is not that far of a stretch to believe it is on purpose. I mean, Tim Donaghy was one of the most accurate
refs in the NBA last year??? Surely he is not alone in this venture! As far as the steroids thing...MOST
ALL ATHLETES ARE GUILTY OF THIS! We all know it...they all know it...just admit it and move on. We are a forgiving nation...just ask Slick Willie! I realize it is sad to think that the most sacred record in baseball, and maybe all of sports, is going to fall to a cheater...but are we really prepared to completely wipe away the records over the past 20 years or so? NO! Are people going to stop attending games? Obviously not...baseball is enjoying record attendance levels in ALL cities! The only thing we can and will do is admire those athletes, and there are some, that lived their lives the right way and played the game clean. The others will always have a mental asterisk next to their names...but we will still love most of them. As for the Michael Vick debauchery...I cannot really spend all the time I would like to on the subject. It makes me sick...the whole issue is repulsive, reprehensible, disgusting, abhorrent, and revolting. I cannot imagine some of the things they did to those dogs...the poor, lonely millionaire and leader of an NFL team gets his kicks off brutally abusing and killing defenseless animals. I know he is not the first and certainly won't be the last. I know he has not even been convicted...but no matter what kind of deal he gets in the end, and just like we all know athletes have done and still do steroids...we all know he is guilty as sin. I don't care if he never laid a finger on those dogs...if he even saw one instance of cruelty, even out of the corner of his eye, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Besides, he was the brilliant one that allowed this to happen on HIS PROPERTY! On top of that, when the people who normally come to your aide in events like these -- e.g. players union, teammates, league-mates, team officials, unions, liberal media, Jesse Jackson, etc. -- are nowhere to be found...the truth
is crystal clear.
So back to the title of this piece...is the NHL truly clean? The answer is "yes" (wink-wink, cross your fingers)?! We cannot live in Neverland forever