Thursday, December 13, 2007


Michael Vick.
Marion Jones.
Barry Bonds.
The 60-80 players rumoured to be named in today's Mitchell Report, on steroids in baseball, including Roger Clemens..

Sigh. This is awful. I have so many questions (far more than I do answers) about the general blanket of misbehaviour, criminality, lack of morality, ethics, character in professional sports. And I know that people in other professions do bad things too. Doctors do bad things. Lawyers do bad things. University administrators do bad things. And I know that there are athletes out there that do great things. So it's not fair to make sweeping generalizations. But why does it feel like there are so many more athletes out there doing bad things than there are good?

And as a sports fan, what do I do about it?

I love sports. Baseball is the clear favourite, but there are very few that I don't have some appreciation for. I love hockey; I enjoy watching football (both CFL and NFL); I don't watch much basketball but I keep an eye on the highlights and on the progress of the Raptors; I think that soccer is a beautiful sport with incredible global importance; I enjoy watching tennis and golf (and am learning to play the latter); I can watch the Olympics forever; I even keep an eye on racing, stock car and open-wheel.

And I want to keep doing all of that. I can't bring myself to be one of those people that turns their back on the sports they love, just because players (and coaches) are behaving badly. To me, the solution is to be a better, more active fan, not a less active one. Go to more games. Cheer louder for the athletes who are playing hard. Boo louder for the athletes who aren't. Go to minor-league games, if you can't stand the pro leagues. Support ethics and good-sportsmanship in young athletes. For God's sake, don't shout nasty things at your kids' coaches and don't punch other kids' parents. Instill in your children a sense of pride in honest accomplishment and a sense of satisfaction in positive attitudes.

If you love the game, support the game.

The game is beautiful.

Even when the participants are not.


Crimson Rambler said...

NOT Rocket Roger! Say it ain't SO! BTW you entirely rock (IMHO)

Wyldth1ng said...

I think all the rerords of these players should be stripped and any affilation with the team or league be banned to them.

Consequences, have to have them.

I am Chorus said...

I don't disagree that there should be consequences, though I think there will need to be more definitive proof before consequences can be meted out. And I agree with Senator Mitchell that the emphasis should be on moving forward, not on trying to catch up to past offences.