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Posted on: May 10, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: May 10, 2010 10:36 am
 

“And Now, Here’s Today’s Sports?”

http://crosshairs.archangelsandwitt
icism.com/2010/05/10/and-now-heres-
todays-sports.aspx


As if being bombarded by the hateful and false smear campaign of the idiotic, vile race baiters in the media and politics aren’t enough, now we have the same senile leftist hyperbole smearing up our sports coverage.

Sports Illustrated columnist Jeff Pearlman recently posted an article praising Suns’ players Steve Nash and Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns owner, Robert Sarver and a few other athletes for speaking out against Arizona’s new immigration law.

 Unfortunately he didn’t stop there as he also called out a few other well-known sports’ figures that simply wanted to stay out of the controversy. Those individuals choosing to remain silent did not sit well with Pearlman who believes that the others who did speak out have a lot of “guts.”

 In fact in the typical Liberal fashion of we’re right and everybody else is wrong, Pearlman wants to know why the entire sports’ community isn’t up in arms over our new anti-illegal immigration law! I wonder does that include synchronized swimmers and the Lithuanian curling league?

Of course, when it comes to the Left, you either agree with them and say what they want you to say, or you're just part of the problem and so you will be attacked, or in Pearlman’s view you’re deemed gutless. All in all claiming who’s got “guts” and who are gutless sounds very much like a bunch of immature playground adolescents, if not down right infantile.

Now if Pearlman wants to talk about courage I suggest he start with our Border Patrol and our Police Officers who are daily on the front lines fighting this illegal invasion of not only our fine State of Arizona but our entire Country.

If Pearlman is looking for moral courage I would suggest he look harder at Arizona Governor Jan Brewer for leading this desperate charge to stop this unlawful immigration that is bankrupting our border States, and which our Federal Government has refused to address for almost fifty years!

Likewise Pearlman needs to address the valor of All the American citizens of Arizona, including Blacks and Hispanics, for their bravery and fortitude for living in such a lawless atmosphere of illegal drug smuggling, gang bangers, car jackings, murder, kidnapping, robbery, illegal trespassing, prostitution, human trafficking, and illegal immigration, which has been created by a complacent Federal government that is unwilling to uphold its own Federal laws!

But Pearlman should specifically acknowledge the courage and sacrifices of the families who have lost loved ones due to the actions of illegal immigrants, either in the line of duty or as victims of a crime. Pearlman and his like need to explain to these grief stricken Americans why our State does not have the right to protect its citizens from people who are here illegally.

Otherwise Pearlman can take his claims of such false bravado, or “guts,” made by a bunch of multi-millionaire sports’ celebrities who are constantly surrounded by bodyguards and sleep under the protection of the best home security systems money can buy and peddle his leftist nonsense just south of the Rio Grande. If he does go south I’ve got ten Bucks that says somebody will rip off his laptop, Amigo. Hopefully he will not get caught in any drug war crossfire or surprise a ‘coyote’ that is violently raping one of his under age smuggled charges.

Pearlman’s attack on Arizona and Her citizens is filed with self-righteous indignation. He is outraged that the sports community does not rise up in a unified revolt against the racist people of Arizona!

Following the Liberal bible Pearlman now paints all Arizonans as racists for passing this law. He states that this law is about “decency vs. hatred,” yet in his rage he spews hatred in almost every word.

It matters little to him, or to his fellow leftists, that Arizonians have lived peacefully in this diverse community for hundreds of years. It matters not that everyday the people of Arizona all work together, live side by side, and have together through mutual cooperation and respect of all races and ethnic groups, established one of the finest States in the Union.   

Liberals have called this new law “anti-immigration” when it is actually an anti-illegal immigration law that simply enforces an existing Federal law stating that all non-U.S. citizens must carry proof of their immigration status and provide such proof when it is requested. Until now State law enforcement officers were not permitted to ask for such proof of immigrations status, even when a crime had been committed.

Pearlman snidely remarks on how these officers will determine who will be questioned about their immigration status. Like other Liberals Pearlman wants people to think that once the law goes into effect our police officers are going to go crazy tazing anyone with so much as a hint of a tan.

“Hey Buck, does that guy have brown eyes? Get em!”

“Zzzzaaap!”

“Now see if he has his papers.”

It is a ridiculous scenario but Pearlman and the others use this stupid ploy to instill fear and suspicion into minorities who are here legally or not. In his article once again like a an adolescent schoolboy he frivolously wonders if an officers’ detainment of an individual will be decided by a “flip of a coin, jaywalking, or a trip to Taco Bell.” As if there are no real crimes being committed in the State of Arizona.

By the way folks, in other circles if a conservative, or now an Arizonian, had made that remark about Taco Bell, they would be called a racist. But here Pearlman, the irate Liberal gets a pass. You know its true.

Pearlman wants to know why the Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has not canceled next year’s All-Star game that is being held in Arizona? He is so filled with the very hate in which he accuses and condemns Arizonians that he wants to hurt us financially by blacklisting us from holding an All-Star game.

Well I’ll tell you what Pard, we’ll keep our anti-illegal immigration law to protect our citizens and our property, our sovereignty, and you can keep your All-Star game.

In the long run once we curtail the influx of illegal immigrants into our state, the money we will save by not having to fight the crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants or by incarcerating these criminals, money saved on damaged or stolen property, free welfare and health benefits, Federal mandates on special education for illegal immigrant Spanish speaking only students, the wages and taxes paid by legal employees instead of those lost to Mexico by illegal labor, along with a host of other recouped expenses caused by illegal immigration, and the money lost from not having an All-Star game will amount to a few miserable pesos. So you and Bud just play that game somewhere else, if we’re interested we’ll just watch it on TV and help with the poor viewer ratings.

According to Pearlman the Canadian Steve Nash showed he had “guts” by stating:

"I think that this is a bill that really damages our civil liberties, I think it opens up the potential for racial profiling ... racism. I think it's a bad precedent to set for our young people. I think it represents our state poorly in the eyes of the nation and the world. I think that we have a lot of great attributes here and [this law] is something that we could do without. And I hope it will change in the coming weeks."

As a Canadian making millions on a work visa, who not only lives in the United States but in Arizona to boot and then irresponsibly criticizes the very people who pay to see him play, I don’t believe Nash thinks at all, but I think somebody should check his papers!

Whether true or not beauty queens and athletes have a bad rap for not being the brightest bulbs on the porch. In his article Pearlman quotes Diamondbacks’ infielder and an LA born US citizen, Augie Ojeda:

"I don't know the details, but if I leave the park after a game and I get stopped, am I supposed to have papers with me? I don't think that's fair."

What a pathetic example of the problems that this supposed racist law is going to cause. Are we really supposed to believe that Augie Ojeda, an adult male and life long US citizen is perplexed in what to do if the police stop him on his way home? Are we supposed to believe that Augie has never had to show his drivers’ license or some other ID to a police officer, or to buy beer, or get into an R-rated movie? How about cashing a check or to even open the bank account? We all carry a government ID of some kind and we use it as proof of who we are almost every day. Pearlman’s use of this ridiculous dilemma is laughable.

In the meantime Augie, try not to further enhance that dim lighted rap on athletes.

Pearlman further said this anti-illegal immigration law was, “…one of the most racist, most xenophobic bills of the past 30 years came to pass.”  

As a college educated New Yorker Pearlman apparently likes to use really big words likexenophobic. Definition: An unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different.

You might also recall that during the last presidential campaign Obama described mid-Americans much the same way in his, “…cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

It should be pointed out that a synonym for “xenophobic” is “racists.” In other words Pearlman doesn’t just think that this law and is racist, he thinks its racists racists! If he thinks this about our law you can bet that to him Zonies are racists racists too.

Obviously Pearlman needs to take a step back, take a deep breath, and a stiff shot of Jack D., or perhaps even a few law classes.

The law that was passed in Arizona simply allows our law enforcement agencies to enforce an existing Federal law mandating that all non-U.S. citizens presently residing here must carry and provide documentation as to their legal right to be in our country. If that person is here legally he or she will have those papers. If they are not here legally they will be rightfully detained and deported. That is the Federal Law that has been on the books for years but which our Federal government has refused to enforce.

The citizens of our country have the right to protect themselves, their families and their property. When the Federal government has failed to protect its citizens then the individual States must act on our behalf. If the States also fail to protect its citizens then the citizens themselves have the right to protect themselves. Now Mr. Pearlman and your fellow Liberals, what would you rather have, State laws or vigilantism? For without lawful legal protection from our State or Federal governments that would have been the next logical step.

In their race baiting, fear mongering and hate filled rants Pearlman and his fellow Liberals are inciting civil disobedience, racism, hatred and fear, which are supposedly the very things that they claim to despise.  

Likewise, and despite his contrived indignation Pearlman never expresses any concern for the illegal immigrants themselves. There is never any concern for these people who suffer so many dangers and hardships to illegally enter our country, who continue to suffer in poverty because of their illegal status once they get here and who are the hapless victims of most of the crimes committed by their counterparts. But Pearlman is not alone in these omissions because the illegal immigrants are nothing more than political fodder for the Liberal agenda. 

Pearlman writes:

"Truth is, the new law should have people -- jocks included -- deeply concerned. It means visit Arizona at your own peril. It means certain ethnicities are welcome more than others. It means racism is alive and well in the United States of America."

If Pearlman feels this way he can stay home, we’ll get along just fine without him. Everyone else is and has been welcomed here in Arizona, IF they are here legally. Get it? Legally is the key word.

Pearlman is correct about one thing; racism is alive and well in the U.S. and that is due to people like him and other Liberal race baiters who insist on keeping it alive for their own personal gains.

Lastly Pearlman states that, “…someone needs to take a stand. Someone with guts.”

Like most Liberals Pearlman can’t see the forest for the trees, or the true heroes among the posers. While he sings the praises of those who have no real stake in the events and who will suffer none of the dire consequences of their outcome, he vilifies and insults the true courageous men and women of Arizona who have taken that stand.

Pearlman calls his little corner at SI “Pearls Of Wisdom.” He may be a good sports writer, but in opening this oyster I found no pearls or even a hint of wisdom. What I did find was just another uninformed Liberal race baiter fueling the flames of hatred.

God Bless America

Semper Fi

 
"Copyright 2010.  Michael E. Tank   All rights reserved. No part of this document may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted, or in any other manner duplicated without express written permission of the author.”
Posted on: March 15, 2010 7:31 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2010 10:32 am
 

Boycotting The 2010 NCAA Championship

Even in light of how much I enjoy college hoops and while fully admitting that I believe that March Madness is the greatest venue in sports, with the unfortunate exclusion of my Fighting Illini basketball team from the NCAA tournament, I have willfully decided that I am going to boycott this year’s tournament…

 

until it starts.

 

Your support will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you, and God Bless America!
Posted on: January 6, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2010 4:59 pm
 

The Modern NFL: The Pursuit For Imperfection

http://crosshairs.archangelsandwitt
icism.com/2010/01/06/the-modern-nfl
-the-pursuit-for-imperfection.aspx



Quick Question: As most sports writers are now telling us that an undefeated season is not as important as winning the Super Bowl, what was all of that unending hype about?

As we headed into the last week of the 2009 regular season we at last had some respite from all of that irrelevant hyperbole about how a modern NFL team just might make it through the season and the playoffs undefeated. When the Colts handed a victory to the Jets, finally in week 17 there were no more comparisons to Brady and his Patriots who almost made it, or to Griese and his '72 Dolphins who did make it.

Alas, thankfully, there is also no more talk from former Dolphins bragging about the past or venting about the differences between the then and the now. They have once again sipped the champagne.

Besides, dragging out the old Dolphins every time some team looks golden for a few weeks is a bit much when you consider that most of the young people of today who watch the NFL weren't even alive when that team won them all.

Larry Who? Mercury What?

Isn't a Shula like a kielbasa?

And what did they call that no name defense again?

Yeah, well, okay, while I may be old enough to remember those undefeated Dolphins, my sons and their friends have maybe just heard of them. But if they have then you can bet your leisure suits that most of these younger folks think Csonka and Morris wore leather helmets.

I say that this hyperbole was irrelevant because it wasn't another team that finally ended the "dream" for the Colts, but was in fact the Colts themselves who ended their pursuit of perfection and deliberately settled for imperfection. Well at least if not the Colts' players then it was the Colts' coaches, management and owner that purposely stopped this long glorious run to immortality. The pundits and fans can argue until Detroit wins a Super Bowl whether it was the smart thing to do, but it will not change the fact that in so many ways the Colts were dead wrong in choosing to end their quest for The Undefeated Season.

What really shanks my punt is that after being blitzed for most of this season by all of the hype we finally realized what we should have known all along in that neither the Colts nor the Saints were going to make it to an undefeated season! Even if the Saints had not legitimately lost on the field, that determination was ultimately never going to be left to the players and determined on the field of play but rather in the hard, cold business settings of the owner's office.

Yet we Fans had to endure all of those weeks on end about how great it was, how great these teams were and about all the imaginary scenarios of possibly getting two undefeated teams into the Super Bowl. Bah! We were suckered, fooled, sacked in our own living room end zones, because this was never going to be about going undefeated. We forgot that this is the NFL Today, its professional sports, it's all about business and has nothing to do with glory or history or the Fans because it's all about the Money. We've seen it too many times in the past when a team tanks a game to rest players since they have clinched their division, or a bye and home field. So why did we allow them to run this (double) cross pattern on us again?

The NFL likes to say that on any Sunday any team can beat another.  That is never truer when they won't allow their best players to play. Yet the NFL talks about the integrity of the game. Bah, again. Where's that integrity when a team pulls its best players and allows another team the chance to continue their season with what amounts to a win by forfeit? Call it what you want but the Colts threw that game just as sure as a boxer who takes a dive in the fourth round. Integrity indeed.

It is also said that in the NFL regular season everybody wins one and everybody loses one and this usually holds true despite the rare Patriots' success or the Lions' dismal disasters. But how much more true this holds when you get to the end of the season and the team management decides when to lose and when to win. Most all of the pundits and many fans claim that holding players out is the "smart" thing to do because it is after all, just all about winning the Super Bowl. Bah, yet again! Having a chance to win them all is about more than just winning, its about character, its about perfection, its about immortality.

So tell me what would you think of a NASCAR driver who slows down to eighty miles an hour because he is saving his gas and his car for the next big race. What the heck, this driver is way ahead in championship points and it's a long season, right? Besides the race he is running now doesn't pay the winner as much as the next one so he's pretty darn smart to hold back. Meanwhile it doesn't matter that all the fans have paid top dollar to see this race, so what if they aren't getting their money's worth out of this guy, or in the case of the Colts, an NFL team that has clinched.

How about that boxer, but instead of taking a dive he just floats around the ring to keep a safe distance from his opponent because this fight isn't for the championship? He's paid a million bucks or more to dance around the ring for twelve rounds and throw a few jabs to score enough points, but he's not going to take any chances. Meanwhile the fans pay $49.95 for cable access.

A fix is a fix, a sham is a sham, and just playing out the string is an insult to the Fans and to the game itself. Besides, dog gone it, its un-American!

So, you say, the NFL is a business. Okay, and like any business they are in business to make money, and boy does the NFL take our money! But we hand that money over for a product, a product that provides us with entertainment and a product that the NFL promises will be the best that they have to offer week after week. So what happens when the fan pays a week's wages to take his family to a game and the NFL reneges on that promise to field its best product and try to win the game? When the best players are pulled at halftime to make sure they don't get hurt or to just give them some rest so they can play in another game, does the NFL hand out refunds or free tickets to that next game when those players will be allowed to play? Of course not, any more than Direct TV is going to send subscribers a small refund check for the NFL Sunday Ticket package that costs an arm and leg.

Likewise the NFL promotes its marquee players to sell tickets and to make money. By doing so they want people to come watch these marquee players play. "What are you doing this Sunday?" Screams the radio pitchman. "Come see Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers!"

Isn't it wrong to demand the high prices for this privilege only to then not allow the players to play at all or to finish a game that has not been decided?

Somewhere along the line professional sports decided that their players weren't just entertainers but were to be held to a higher plain. Then somewhere along that line we allowed them to convince us that they were right. But in reality a professional player in any league is just that, a public entertainer who is paid well to display his or her talents.

So what would you say if you paid four hundred bucks or more to see a Paul McCartney concert only to be told that because he has four more concerts in bigger cities Old Paul needs to rest his voice, so instead you end up listening to three hours of McCartney covers by the runner-up from "American Idol"?

Would you demand your money back if you went to a movie staring Robert DeNiro who then disappears an hour into the film when his character's role is now being played by Larry The Cable Guy?

You wouldn't settle for any of this so why do we settle for what the Colts did? Basically aren't all football players' just performers like musicians or actors who are being well paid to entertain us? Why shouldn't these athlete entertainers be performing in every contest that the fans are paying to see them perform in?

All of these other examples would be considered a rip off, so why do the NFL and other professional sports get away with it as being "smart"?

The NFL wants its fans to love their teams, to be devoted to their teams and in return the NFL promises that it will give these fans the best effort from their teams to win every game. But this honest effort to win apparently is only when management deems it is prudent. Most NFL teams are now worth more then a billion dollars because the Fans spend billions of dollars on NFL merchandise and to watch the games. What the Fans are getting at the end of the season in return for their devotion and hard earned cash is a replay of the preseason when the best players are pulled after the first quarter, or don't play at all.

Football is a rough sport and injuries are part of the game but the teams and players have been well compensated in taking those risks. For the entire season the NFL owes it to their Fans to play to win every game, not to play it safe when looking towards the future in lieu of an honest effort towards victory.

The NFL tells the Fans that it is smart to rest their players before the playoffs yet they are talking about extending the season to eighteen games. Why? So the teams who are on top and headed for the playoffs can then take a dive in Week 16 instead of Week 14? Won't the players be even more tired after 18 games than they were after 16?

This extension is not for the Fans' benefit anyway, it is just another way for the greedy owners to make more money. But these owners will market this extension as a way for the Fans to see more games. Yet if they really wanted the Fans to be able to see more games they wouldn't start most of them at the same time on Sunday mornings and afternoons. How about that TV rule that does not permit the showing of "extra coverage" of those games, which run too long? It never matters what the score is once the old clock strikes because off goes the game, the fans can just check for updates on the 10 o'clock news. Likewise would the NFL play games on Thursday nights that are only available to subscribers of the NFL Network if they were even remotely concerned about the fans seeing more games? Want the fans to be able to see more games, spread them out a little more at the end of the week. What's wrong with a game or two on Fridays and Saturdays?

This owners' greed also has a lot to do in not playing to win before the playoffs because the deeper a team goes into the playoffs the more money there is to be made. There is nothing wrong with that of course, with success should come monetary gain. Except that by not playing their top players while trying to win every game before the playoffs the owners and the teams are already cheating their fans and are thus being dishonest about the money that they have already been paid just to make even more money in the playoffs. Again, where's the integrity?

Furthermore how many playoff teams, let alone Super Bowl winners, have NOT raised the price of their tickets for their next season?

But perhaps the biggest lie about this "smart" move of teams holding out players at the end of the regular season is that the NFL supposedly claims that it goes to great lengths to insure the integrity and legitimacy of every game. As in every profession sports' league the public must be reassured that every game is on the up and up, the league crushes any hint of gambling. They conduct league wide drug-testing, reviews of the referees, prohibit teams from spying on one another, requires up to date and precise weekly injury reports, and so on and on, all in a concerted effort to insure the public that every game is legitimate. But with such false claims of legitimacy the NFL only displays its own hypocrisy at the end of every season when playoff bound teams are allowed to sit their best players, which effects the outcome of the game. Isn't this the same as a fixed game? Isn't this the same as shaving points?

Of course the fans are simply told that the NFL allows this "fixing" to insure that certain players are not injured. But football is a team sport and while some players are better than others one player does not insure the outcome of every game. As if it wasn't enough that fans have to put up with the constant rehiring of spoiled prima donnas and potential convicts who have had one, two or a dozen run ins with the law because, we are told, nobody can fill their shoes, every year at playoff time we have the added lie that no one can replace certain key players so they must be protected for the playoffs. Yet it is always inevitable that someday because of age, injuries, retirement or finally, convictions, one day we turn on the game and by golly those shoes are being filled by somebody new! As always life, and the game, will go on.

To buy into this playoff injury excuse what we have to forget are all of the replacements that have come off the bench to replace an injured 'star' and have themselves shined just as bright. Steve Young instantly comes to mind when he had to replace the once thought irreplaceable Joe Montana. There are many other examples but here I will take us back to that undefeated Dolphin team in 1972.

As I mentioned in the beginning this Dolphins team is generally known as having Bob Griese at quarterback, and Griese was their QB in their Super Bowl win. However in week five of that undefeated season Griese was injured and was replaced by an 'old man' who had once played for Coach Shula at Baltimore. That old man was Earl Morrall. It was this replacement quarterback who led the Dolphins through most of that perfect season and wasn't replaced himself by Griese until the AFC Championship game. Despite that late season replacement Morrall was acknowledged as the 1972 AFC Player of the Year and was also awarded the first ever NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

But this wasn't the first time that Earl Morrall, as a replacement QB, had stepped up. In 1968 Morrall became the starting quarterback when the then Baltimore Colts QB was injured in the last exhibition game. Morrall lead the Colts to a 15-2 season that included two playoff victories and the famous loss to Joe Namath's Jets in Super Bowl III, which cemented the AFC's legitimacy in pro football. That year Morrall, this replacement quarterback, was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

Two years later Morrall would again replace that same Colts' injured starter in Super Bowl V and lead them to a victory over Dallas. By the way, did I happen to mention that this quarterback who Morrall replaced, twice, was not only considered irreplaceable but is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game? Twice Morrall was the replacement in two Super Bowls for the great Johnny Unitas. Now please tell me just who is so great that they can't be replaced in the NFL today.

Two Quick Questions:

1) Who won the Super Bowl XXV in 1991?

2) Who is the only undefeated Super Bowl Champions?

Most of us cannot answer the first without looking it up unless we are diehard Giants' fans. But most of us can answer the second question. If this year's Colts do go on to win this Super Bowl XLIV they will just be one out of XLIV teams to win it. Someday, in another five hundred years or so, as the Super Bowl continues on, and if the good Lord allows our Great Nation to continue, these modern day Colts will be just another of the DXXX other teams who have won it. But if they had gone on to win it as an undefeated champion they would have been one of only two Super Bowl Champions to go undefeated. They would have been immortal. Instead by not playing to win they chose to cheat themselves, the fans and the game.

Besides, like I mentioned before, playing not to win is un-American.

When the NFL allows teams to 'throw' games by resting players for the playoffs it is an insult to the fans. But when a team like the Colts deliberately sack their undefeated season for the same reason it is a crime.

That is why more than ever this year I would like to see a team that has overcome adversity win the Super Bowl. A team that at the beginning of the season had so many injuries in its offensive line that it gave up more sacks than a Mom and Pop's corner grocery has in its inventory. Make it a team with a backfield that has no playoff experience, and as an added bonus make the quarterback the survivor of a controversy in his replacing a legend. A team that has lost one… no make it two All-Pro defensive players for the season yet their team's defense remained among the leagues best.

But most of all make it a team that went into the last game of the season with that same winning mindset and attitude that it had in the very first game of the season. A team that had already made the playoffs by winning seven out of it's last eight games with the only loss coming with no time left on the clock. A team that had nothing further to gain or lose by winning or losing that last game of the season yet still started the usual players and played to win at all costs despite the possibility of injuries. A team that played and won that last game like they were already in the playoffs. A team that gave their fans everything they had from the first game to the last. Yeah a team like that deserves to win the Super Bowl and just because my Packers fit this to a T, well, that would just make it all the sweeter.

Go Packers!

God Bless America!

Semper Fi,
Mike



"Copyright 2010.  Michael E. Tank   All rights reserved. No part of this document may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted, or in any other manner duplicated without express written permission of the author."

 

Posted on: November 29, 2009 12:40 am
Edited on: November 29, 2009 1:18 pm
 

Hey! Review This!

http://crosshairs.archangelsandwitt
icism.com/2009/11/28/hey-review-thi
s.aspx

This Saturday morning in Arizona while I was waiting for the annual Arizona- Arizona State football game to kick off at 1:30 PM local time, I thought I would catch a little of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game. There is nothing in football as fun or as entertaining as instate and conference college football rivalries. But isn't it too bad that somebody always has to take the fun out of our lives. Usually these party poopers are just an ex-spouse, the local police or the IRS. But sadly, in what seems far too many cases these days, it appears that these killjoys are a bunch of strangers who are always messing things up for "our own good."

Some time ago, and I really don't remember when nor do I care enough to look up when this idiocy all started, but some people thought instant replay would be a good idea for sports. Mainly this good idea came from people who were on the wrong side of a bad call. These ah… losers, wanted to make sure that by golly from now on there would be no more human errors by the officials in our sporting events that could influence the outcome of the contests. Enough was enough, apparently.

Now that this "instant" replay has infected college football it seems that the once all knowing and our word is final officials won't let any "big" play be judged on the field of play without a review from "up above." From fumbles to pass completions, from if the QB's hand was really going forward when he dropped the ball, to where the ball really was in the hands of the running back at the end of a 4th and inches, it is all "Under Review." And it is all redundant and ridiculous.

On the other side of the ball there are hardly any touchdowns anymore that are not automatically reviewed, even when they were obviously a TD. Now the main idea in football is to score touchdowns, yet now whenever a team scores one it's as if everybody involved is taken completely by surprise! How could that have happened? We better take a look at it "upstairs."

"The ruling on the field is that the play resulted in a touchdown. However since we must be sure that the player had control of the ball when he crossed the goal line, had at least one foot down before he went out of bunds or was not an illegal alien, we will now review the play."

Ten to fifteen minutes later, "After further review the ruling on the field has been confirmed and the result of the play is a touchdown." Gezzz…

In all honesty about the only thing I haven't seen reviewed are field goal attempts and the color of the cheerleaders' underwear. Everything else under the football sun is reviewable, well unless there was an inadvertent whistle.

With this artificial aid of instant replay there is no longer a natural flow to the games anymore as they are constantly being interrupted to review something or another on what seems to be just about every other play. Meanwhile the network breaks for yet another commercial when the ref goes "under the hood" and we are left to sit around wondering what the final answer will be like we're watching a live action version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

The results are that one hour of actual play takes three hours plus to finish. And "they" want to add instant replay to baseball? May the good Lord help us if they do, otherwise everybody pack a lunch and a supper because it will be a very long day at the old ballpark, without extra innings.

For example take this morning's OU-OSU game for instance. With a local time slot of 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM this game was still in the first quarter an hour after it started because of all the official reviews. To play the first thirty minutes in this ballgame took over two hours! Yet the half time intermission and the second half of play were completed by 2:12 PM.

This brings into question just what, and who, determines which plays will be reviewed and which won't be reviewed as often plays that are similar to others which were reviewed are not reviewed.

Or, as in the case of this mornings' OU-OSU game why were there so many plays reviewed in the first half but not in the second. These two teams were still making the same plays as they were in the first half weren't they? Can officials and the networks be cutting back on what they deem reviewable plays as the games that are running too long progress?

Furthermore to add to the unnecessary confusion no reviewed play can be reversed with how it was called on the field without what they call "indisputable evidence" that this play had been called incorrectly by the officials in the first place. Leave it to today's society to muddle up a simple game like football with legalize. We tune in to watch a football game and end up watching Perry Mason.

The major problem with this is that while we can all see the officials on the field and can somewhat understand why they have made a call one way or the other, we are now forced to sit by while some eye in the sky Big Brother, who we never see, makes the ultimate ruling. This invisible "god" now has the final word as this OZ like character determines if the officials were right or wrong and it is he that decides if the evidence is "indisputable," or not.

Man, talk about Power!

While Sun Devil fans are all hoping that the ASU tailback really didn't fumble the ball on the their own goal line this replay "Judge" is sitting up in the Penthouse sticking voodoo pins in a Sparky The Sun Devil doll while wearing a Wildcat jersey and saying that it is a fumble because it only looks like the ASU runner's left knee touched the ground first just before the ball came out. So the ruling on the field stands, as the evidence to overturn the call on the field is not indisputable, 1st and goal Arizona on the ASU one. I mean really, who knows?

Well, okay, I was just kidding about all that. As a god we all know that this replay OZ is supposed to love and treat us all equally. Well except for Southern Cal, the best team money can buy, just ask Reggie Bush. Besides any old man who still has more hair than Warren Beatty when he was twenty, like USC's Pete Carroll, had to make a deal with either the Devil or our football OZ.

The whole idea with this instant replay nonsense was to take the human error by officials out of the equation. But that is perfection and everybody knows that there is no such animal. Yet for some reason we still try? Many plays are still called wrong or go unnoticed thus giving one team an unfair edge. Even with using the reviews they often get it wrong. It has been said that you can call offensive holding on just about every play. In my view I believe that same goes for offensive pass interference with the way many receivers push off to get separation. But why take the fun out of the game by blowing whistles every sixty seconds? Blown or missed calls are just as much a part of football as TD's and tackles.

Sports are supposed to teach the fans and players life lessons. In real life, just like in sports, sometimes you get a raw deal with a bad call. Overcoming these challenges makes us stronger. It tells us something about our society when we expect Big Brother to step in and say, "Now wait a minute, lets take a look at this and see if we got it right." In real life when you don't "get the call" going your way, right or wrong, you have to deal with it, adapt and overcome the situation. Isn't that part of what sports is supposed to teach us?

Besides, even though this is now big money for many in sports, the winning and losing of these games hardly determine our futures or fortunes. Well unless you are stupid enough to bet the rent on the outcome of a bunch of twenty-year olds kicking a ball around. Whether ASU or Arizona won today did not change my life all that much, besides there is always next year. As a Cub fan nobody knows that better than I. In fact unless you are a Detroit Lions' fan we all should know this.

Taking the human element of error out of a football game makes it less exciting, and less memorable. Many of us cannot tell you who scored a TD in a rivalry game but we sure can tell you who fumbled for the other team at a crucial moment but then refs gave the ball back to Ohio State! Moments like that feed a rivalry even more than wins and losses.

Besides why should the officials get a break on bad calls when the players and coaches don't? When the players and coaches make a mistake they don't get an instant replay, do-over or a mulligan. They just have to live with it. So why are we being so generous to those guys in the stripe shirts?

Likewise things have a way of evening out. One time your team may get "robbed" by a bad call, but at another time they will be benefit from a bad call against someone else. Such is the way of life, and football. We should get rid of the instant replay reviews before it ruins the games. If this is the kind of nonsense that you want in a game then just send everybody home and televise Madden 2010.

In the meantime enjoy the Holiday Season with all of the Bowl Games, for regardless of what lunacy the BCS can come up with this year, its still football.

 

God Bless America


Semper Fi,
Mike

 

"Copyright 2009.  Michael E. Tank   All rights reserved. No part of this document may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted, or in any other manner duplicated without express written permission of the author."

 

Posted on: October 6, 2009 4:18 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2009 4:22 pm
 

Observations On Monday’s Packers vs Vikings

Well that was interesting, and if you’re a Packer fan, very frustrating. In beating our Packers Favre played like he was twenty-nine instead of thirty-nine, and I’m afraid, once again raised the question as to just why Thompson and McCarthy were so eager to make this Hall of Fame quarterback leave town. Yeah, I know, Favre was waffling about retiring, and he kept changing his mind, but really in the grand scope of trying to build a winning football team with the best personnel possible, how much a of problem was that? Other elite players have caused more numerous and much more serious problems for other teams than Favre not being able to decide if he really wanted to stay home come September. I mean TT and MM are supposed to be experts on evaluating the skills, talent and ability in football players right? So why didn’t they think that after a near Super Bowl year that Favre could not still produce better than Rodgers? In the past season and a quarter Favre is 13 -5 while Rodgers and our Packers are 8 -10, this after Favre led us to that 14–4 season, including 1-1 in the playoffs that was just three points away from another Super Bowl. As it now stands Thompson’s trading of Favre to the Jets ranks right down there on the all-time stupid list of sporting trades just a notch above the Cubs once trading Lou Brock for… who? Anyone… anyone?*

 

To further emphasize this question of dumping a star quarterback, one of the more interesting stats that were shown by ESPN during the game was the struggle of NFL teams in finding a competent QB replacement after riding high with a long term Hall of Famer. The list includes Miami’s Marino, the 49’ers Young, and Denver’s Elway, all of those teams are still looking. Of course any of us who are old enough can remember that epic, Homeric 21-year odyssey of frustration in finding an All Pro winning replacement quarterback between Bart Starr’s retirement in 1971, at the ripe old age of 37, and the emergence of Favre in ’92. While there were flashes of hope with Dickey and a short lived Magic, it was a long exasperating journey to say the least. Now we have Rodgers who also shows flashes of hope but is still losing and at the rate he is being bounced around by opposing defenses may not live long enough to lead us to any playoff successes. Top quality QB’s are rare. Of the current 32 NFL teams there still remains only a handful of QB’s who continually make a difference in every game, and unfortunately for the Packers Favre is still one of them. If you have any questions about how hard it is to find that outstanding, year after year, win producing quarterback sensation, ask a Bears’ fan.

 

By the way, is any one else tired of hearing Ron Jaworski babble on MNF? Oh well, at least he’s not Tony Kornheiser.

 

Last night’s game was a prime example of just how awful the sports’ media can hype what was really just a regular season football game between two good conference rivals. The part of ‘between two good conference rivals’ should have been enough to stimulate a fan’s interest without all of the unnecessary and overblown drama of Favre against his old team and visa versa. Despite all of the hype revolving around Favre, going into the game it was duly noted that in order to win this game the Packers main task was to stop the Vikings’ running game, i.e. Adrian Peterson. The Packers admirably accomplished this daunting task, as Peterson was held to a respectable 55 yards on 25 carries while the Vikes only managed a mere total of 63 rushing yards.

 

Now admit it, if someone had told you before the game started that the Packers would hold Peterson and the Vikings to just 63 total rushing yards, and a rookie linebacker for the Packers would strip Peterson of the ball and return it for a touchdown, you would have bet the house on a Green Bay victory. With rushing stats like this and an “old man” at quarterback you would have been right to assume that the Packers should have run away with the game. After all, the book on Favre is that supposedly he can’t throw the deep ball anymore. But you would have lost the house because that somebody didn’t tell you that old man Favre was still more than able to accurately wing that ball downfield, or about the Packer’s 2 costly turnovers, 7 penalties, ineptitude inside the twenty yard line and their 8, count ‘em, EIGHT sacks! For the love of sausage on a stick will somebody please learn how to block somebody and will Rodgers please learn how to throw a pass away for a mere loss of a down!

 

Excuse me, I didn’t mean to shout…

 

In my last post concerning the Packers first two games of this season I mentioned that I believed Rodgers’ sack problems was not all due to his offensive, offensive line. As in Rodgers has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. At the end of those first two games he already had a pitiful sack ratio of 1 sack for every 6.7 attempts. After two more games, including one against the lowly Rams, a team that many perceive is currently the worst team in the NFL, Rodgers now has a sickening sack ratio of 1 sack for every 6.35 attempts. Rodgers and the offensive line are getting worse instead of better. After just four games Rodgers is only 14 sacks away from his total for the entire 2008 season and is averaging one more sack per game than Houston’s David Carr when that QB set the season record for being sacked at an incredible, and death defying, rate of 76 times in 2002. At this rate Rodgers is in line to hold his first dubious QB record of being sacked 80 times in a single season. Injuries to offensive linemen or not this sack ratio is unacceptable in a team that was supposed to be in contention for the NFC North Title.

 

So what’s better, MNF’s opening with Hank, Jr. or NBC’s Sunday Night opening with Faith Hill? If you said Hank, Jr., you could be a Niners’ fan.

 

Just kidding.

 

As outstanding as the Packers defense executed against the Vikings’ rushing game they are lucky that they were not executed for how they played against the pass. No sacks for one thing and with very few pressures or knockdowns. For another, Favre pretty much threw that old pigskin to wherever and whomever he pleased, all night long. Third downs meant nothing as the Vikings just kept converting them into first downs, what was it, something eight or nine third down conversions in a row? I lost count. On the first scoring drive the Packers’ defense gave up almost as many penalty yards as the Vikings’ gained on their own. However in this modern day game of constant trash talk and macho idiocy I would like to know what on earth Chillar could have said to Peterson that would result in a taunting penalty? Perhaps the ref who was standing nearby and made the call just isn’t used to hearing somebody talk bad about somebody else’s mama?  

 

So if by mid-season Rodgers has not developed on his own that “clock in his head” that everybody keeps talking about, can it be surgically implanted, and if so how many weeks will Rodgers be on the disabled list?

 

As with the first two games of this season the Packers best half was the first half, yet because of penalties, mistakes, sacks and turnovers they still had only one offensive TD. Likewise the opposing teams’ best halves against the Packers have been the second half in all four games. The Packers just don’t seem to make the necessary adjustments at halftime, while the opposing teams seem to come up with new ideas or the necessary adjustments. Of course this falls on McCarthy who seems to have the mindset that no matter what, he will stick to the game plan that they have devised that week in practice. In his mind if he thinks it should work than by golly it will work! The trouble is it isn’t working, at least after halftime when the opposing coaches can make their adjustments.

 

On the bright side the defense did stop the best back in football, the Packers never did give up, it is always a pleasure to watch Donald Driver play and you can see flashes of the potential in Ryan Grant. If we could only just get a big lead and hand him the ball… ah well.

 

The stupidest thing that I saw Monday night was an advertisement for a white and purple Vikings’ football complete with a Leroy Neiman style picture of Favre by the famous artist, Inever Herdofhimbfore painted on one side of the ball. On the other side was a list of all of Favre’s accomplishments in purple print on a white background. Of course all of Favre’s accomplishments, such as division and conference titles along with his Super Bowl victory, were all accomplished at Green Bay. So what in the wide world of sports would lead anyone to believe that any Vikings or Packers’ fans would ever want this bastardized football? I sure hope those footballs taste good with a little A-1 cause somebody is going to have to eat a bunch of them. 

 

Any of you are reading this please note that I am not giving up on the Packers’ season. We have a long way to go. I just hope Rodgers and Company stop adding that extra sack yardage to make it less longer than it needs to be. Unfortunately, the way  this season has been progressing an 8-8 season record might be all we can hope for. If that is the case I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if McCarthy and Thompson weren’t the next two guys to be unceremoniously booted out of town.

 

 

 

Go Pack Go

 

God Bless America

 

Semper Fi,

Mike

 

* Pitcher Ernie Broglio (June 15, 1964)

Posted on: September 21, 2009 4:09 am
Edited on: September 21, 2009 12:02 pm
 

Early Observations On The Packers' Season

After two games we find our Packers at 1 and 1, which is not good considering both games were played at home against teams the Packers were favored to beat. The idea that the Cincinnati Bengals, a perennial AFC loser, could come into Lambeau Field and dominate the supposedly much improved Packers the way they did in the second half is sickening. Let's face it folks the Packer offense was done at halftime as displayed by only a desperation 42 yard field goal in the waning seconds to show for 30 minutes of football. It is all too reminiscent of last year when the offense just couldn't get it going when the chips were down. If the Packers can't beat the Bengals at home how are they supposed to beat Dallas, the Vikings or the Ravens when they come to town? Or even worse, how are we to expect our Packers to win at Minnesota, Chicago and Pittsburgh? Yes I know that the Pack beat the Bears on a late game winning drive last week, but let's face it, after losing so many close games last year we were due, we can't lose them all but we sure aren't going to win many more if we can't play better in the second half than the Packers have in the first two weeks.

Last week the Packer defense made Cutler look like a second rate rookie in the first half, but then allowed him to shine like an All-Pro in the second. This week was almost identical except the defense didn't make Palmer look all that bad in the first half. While at times playing with brilliance, reminiscent of the best defenses ever with six interceptions and a fumble recovery in just two games, the Packers have still allowed 44 points in those two games by giving up 671 net yards. That includes allowing 237 rushing yards, with Cedric 'The Discarded Bear' Benson accounting for 141 unstoppable yards today. If, as they say in the NFL, defense wins championships, this is not going to be good enough to win the NFC North.

Meanwhile the Packer offense isn't helping its defense at all. I felt this was a problem last year as well. The offense can't keep going three and out and expect the defense to hold the opposition all day long. Even with a two game takeaway advantage of 7 to 1 in favor of the Packers, their opposition has had possession of the ball for 14 more minutes than the Packer offense. (Six more minutes for the Bears, eight more minutes for the Bengals, resulting in a two game average of six more plays for the opposition.) The Packer offense also cannot count on the defense to keep giving them extra shots with takeaways and great field position only to fail at coming through with some points. A good case in point was the slim 10 to 2 halftime lead against Chicago after three interceptions. The defense had held Chicago scoreless and gave the ball back to the offense on a number of turnovers but the offense did not blow the lid off the game. A good team capitalizes on the other guy's mistakes; so far the Packers are not doing that. Nor can the offense count on the defense for a few extra points in every game. Sooner or later the Packer offense with "all of their weapons" is going to have to live up to it's hype.

For one, the Pack doesn't have a running game no matter how much Mike McCarthy wants us to believe. In just the first two games of this season the Packer offense is running behind the opposition in net yards by the length of almost one and half football fields with only 537 yards. That all-important rushing game that McCarthy keeps talking about has only gained 165 yards, or just 14 more yards in two games than Benson got against the Packers today. What makes it even worse is that QB Rodgers has gained 50 of those rushing yards on plays that were not designed as running plays as he was just scrambling for his ever-loving life when trying to make a pass!

Now most sacks are the result of poor blocking by the offense or good play by the defense. But with what is happening sack wise the last two weeks in Green Bay one must also look at the QB. Last year Rodgers was sacked 34 times in 536 attempts, a ratio of one sack for every 15.7 attempts, or on average of 2.1 sacks per game. In the two games this year he has already been sacked ten times! With just 67 attempts that is the miserable ratio of one sack for every 6.7 attempts! So far he is averaging five sacks a game, which projected over the 16 game season would amount to 80 sacks! That's almost twice the record for a quarterback being sacked in a season! If this sack crazy trend continues the defenses are going to start asking Rodgers if he wants paper or plastic?

Besides all of the actual sacks Rodgers is also getting bounced around like a piñata on a short rope. With such rough treatment, including 34 sacks last year and the 10 already this year, perhaps the Packer management's decision to release the old guy, Favre were humanitarian as after the beating Rodgers has taken in the last 18 games, Brett might be dead by now. But, again, does part of this sack problem belong to Rodgers? Personally I think there are times when Rodgers holds the ball too long. Whether he is taking too long to run through his reads or he just can't make up his mind, he has to get that rush clock ticking in his head and throw that pineapple somewhere. Looking back at his first three years in Green Bay he attempted 16 passes in '05, 15 in '06 and 28 in '07. In each of those years he was sacked 3 times for a total of 9 sacks and a three-year ratio of 1 sack per every 6.5 passes. Sound familiar? It should because so far Rodgers' 2009 ratio is 1 sack for every 6.7 passes.

Now just for a comparison in those three years, and because he was on the same team, Favre attempted 1755 passes while being sacked 61 times for a three-year average ratio of 1 sack for every 29 attempts. Ironically, of those three years Favre's best sack ratio came in 'o7, his last year. In '07 Favre attempted 535 passes and was sacked only 15 times. His ratio was an outstanding 1 sack for every 35 attempts. Now compare that to Rodgers in '08 with a ratio of 1 sack for every 15.7 attempts. Likewise if we look at Rodgers' senior year at California, the Golden Bears' team stats for '04 was 37 sacks in 331 attempts, a ratio of 1 sack for every 9 attempts. While these are team stats Rodgers was the starter and so he would own the majority of these attempts and sacks. So with a history of giving up sacks, do Packer fans think that we might have a problem with Rodgers getting sacked? Meanwhile the defense in St. Louis is anxiously awaiting the Packers, especially those with sack bonuses in their contracts.

As for now I won't get into coaching or management, well with the exception of wondering why in the era of free agency there hasn't been a true blue chip running back signed in Green Bay since Donnie Anderson and Jim Grabowski? So I'll finish with just pleading that somebody, anybody, in Green Bay give those young men the NFL rule book. Being called for 17 penalties for 121 yards in just two games isn't going to win the NFC North either. If this is what its like at home, how many penalties can we expect when the Pack plays on the road, like in the Triple H. Metrodome with its illegally pumped in crowd noise? Yeah, you know it's true.

With all of this I know that it is still early in the season. It is just that so many of us Packer backers had such high hopes going into this season. Let's all hope that our team can get things straightened out before we have another year like the last. What really was embarrassing is that today the Pack was handed two interceptions, a touchdown by the D, 100 yards in Bengals' penalties and the Pack still lost at home. Of course there is nothing to do but to move on. So I'll still be expecting a win every time the Pack plays, just like I have for the last half-century. Yes my son, it has been that long. But still I have to remain grounded in the fact that we are one late scoring pass from being 0-2. We also have a coach who is barely above .5oo at 29-23 with only one winning season. And for right now we have a QB, who as a starter has a record of only 7 and 11, maybe we should just call him Mr. Lucky until he reaches .500. The trouble is that if the Packers don't play any better than they have since Favre was cut loose, Rodgers may not even reach that goal this year.


God Bless America

Go Pack Go


Semper Fi,
Mike


"Copyright 2009.  Michael E. Tank   All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted, or in any other manner duplicated without express written permission of the author."

 

Posted on: September 18, 2009 12:48 am
Edited on: September 18, 2009 12:51 am
 

We Shall Reap What We Sow

 
This entry was originally posted on 10 May 2009, at Crosshairs, Opinions and Commentary.

http://crosshairs.archangelsandwitt
icism.com/2009/05/10/we-shall-reap-
what-we-sow.aspx

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
- Galatians 6:7-8:

Man has always endeavored to display his athletic abilities in sports. The Ancient Greeks once played for the gods in a pure display of sportsmanship using only their natural athletic ability, grace, power and agility in their Olympics. But sadly today on our athletic fields we have allowed 'the game' to degenerate into the corrupt mindset that winning is everything. Second place is only for losers. Today winning is the only thing that matters and to accomplish that goal the end justify the means.

Take baseball for instance. A few years ago a home run derby exploded in major league baseball led by the Cubs' Sammy Sosa and the Cardinals' Mark McGuire. Even among the most casual baseball fans it captured our imaginations and both excited and inspired America. These two players were among many others who seemed to be hitting home runs every time we turned around. Suddenly baseball was a hitter's paradise with the seasonal home run record on the endangered list. There was talk of "juiced up" baseballs, corked bats and depleted pitching skills due to the increased number of teams now in the leagues. Emerging from this group were the likes of Bobby Bonds, A-Rod and a number of others that have now shown us that this home run derby had nothing to do with anything but "juiced up" players on steroids trying to get an edge, to win at all costs.

Recently Manny Rameriz has been suspended for fifty games because he used "an illegal substance." As always the player claims he didn't know what he was taking was illegal or, like McGuire, he denies taking the illegal drugs all together. Yet after taking this illegal substance he did not question why he had put on weight or how he could now consistently hit 400-foot towering home runs. But he did collect the millions, the accolades and the endorsements. As always, in the eyes of the player, he is the victim not the fans. It has gotten to the point that when a player now consistently hits a few home runs we the fans have to wonder if it is due to his natural ability and talent, or is this mastery of the long ball simply the marvels of modern chemistry? We wonder when a player, like A-Rod, seems to good to be true, well then chances are he's probably not being true to himself, his fans or the game.

But baseball and professional sports are not the only places where this cheating is taking pace. Two prime examples were college football players from a few years ago. Remember Michigan State's Tony Mandarich and Oklahoma's Brian 'The Boz' Bozworth? Both were first team, All-Americans on successful college teams, both were number one NFL draft picks and both were using steroids. Once in the NFL, where they were denied the continued use of steroids because of drug testing, their careers went down the drain.

So why do players who are already good enough to play college and professional sports cheat? Well here is what I believe to be part of the problem.


The 2009 ACC Conference Basketball Tournament - Duke vs Florida State:

A young Duke player named Singler goes up for a twelve foot jump shot, the ball bounces around the rim, starts to fall through the net only to bounce back out to be rebounded by an FSU player. The announcer hypes, "Singler finally has one rattle out… he's now three for seven."

I shook my head. What? He's shooting less than fifty percent at only three for seven and he "finally has one rattle out"? It would be safe to say that young Mr. Singler wasn't exactly burning the nets that day as he ended up making only five out of sixteen shots. So what in the wide world of sports was this talking head rattling on about? Now I'm not picking on Singler, he's a fine young ball player. Likewise this may seem trivial to some but this is the kind of mindless nonsense that is passing for analysis these days in all areas of our media and, which is driving me nuts. It seems that sports announcers, media reporters and our good, old say anything you want to now and deny it later politicians, can get away with constantly uttering the stupidest remarks. Even if what they say is an outright lie.

As I get older more and more of the world that I once knew is rapidly changing. And it's not always for the better. Besides straightforward talk, in the society that I grew up in honesty, fair play and sportsmanship were to be admired. At that time there were penalties to pay for not playing by the rules both during the game and after. Not only in our games of sport but also in life. No one wanted to be known as a cheater. But today it is WINNING at all costs, even if it is just a game. More and more we find ourselves in that ends justify the means society. In the process it is all ingloriously hyped by overbearing, exaggerating pitch men with lame trademarks like the one doing the Duke-FSU game who often emphasized a player's athleticism by producing a sharp high pitched squeal when he screeched out a word in a phrase. It leaves me wondering if someone doesn't have his personable's in a vice and every once in a while gives the handle another half turn to the "RRIIGHT!" Whatever is going on with this guy it is very annoying.

With FSU losing by five points, towards the end of this game an FSU player was fouled while trying to put back a rebound. So with Duke ahead in a close game he was supposed to go to the line for two free throws. Now apparently this fouled player was not a very good free throw shooter making only about fifty percent from the line. In the confusion after the play another FSU player, who was a better free throw shooter, tried to take the fouled players place at the line to shoot the free throws. The player had been fouled under the basket and replays clearly showed that the FSU interloper who perpetrated the deceit had been way out by the half court line when the foul had been called, thus erasing any doubt that there had been no confusion on who was actually fouled on the play. The officials caught this deception and had the fouled player take his rightful place at the line. Besides the facts that FSU had just ignored the rules of the game, that they had deliberately tried to cheat and, that at least to me, they had shown a total lack of what used to be called sportsmanship and honor, everyone involved not only accepted this wrongful behavior but also indeed thought that it was just hunky dory! The officials had the right to at least call a technical foul against FSU and could have ejected the cheating player from the game. But all they did was make the correct player shoot the free throws without any further penalty to FSU.

Meanwhile the FSU head coach was seen smiling sheepishly on the sideline. As a teacher and coach of young men, why didn't he yank that cheating player from the game to set an example? Well, because obviously the coach condoned and approved of the attempted deception by his player. Certainly most of the FSU fans were not concerned about their man trying to cheat. After all they wanted to win! But it was the two announcers of this game who took this attempt at cheating to its lowest point by laughing about it, making excuses for it and by again confirming to their viewers, young and old, that it was all right to do whatever was necessary to win the game. Well, at least as long as you can get away with it.

Now this wasn't the first time I have seen this happen and there are many other examples of "bending the rules to get an edge." I am also not so naïve that I don't pretend that cheating did not go on in the past. But in today's society it is rampant and it is not frowned upon as it once was long ago. In fact today it is accepted as a method of getting an advantage over an opponent to win the game and there seems to be little in the way of consequences for this appalling behavior on or off the court. If you watch sports you have heard an announcer explain that it is all right to bend the rules if it helps your team to win. Whatever it takes short of shooting your opponent 'to get an edge,' seems to be justified. This should be unacceptable.

Likewise even after it has become known that someone has cheated, broken the rules or even broken our society's laws, if those people are winners then most of the time all is forgiven. Jimmy Johnson has not missed a step in his climb up the social and economic ladder yet he ran one of the most corrupt football programs at Miami in college football. The 1988 football game of Notre Dame versus Johnson's Miami team was dubbed the game between the Catholics and the Convicts because of the Miami players' numerous on and off the field scandals. Right as the NCAA investigations hit that university Johnson vamoosed, but he had won a National Championship so all was forgiven. Likewise at Dallas Johnson's Cowboys won two Super Bowls so everyone turned a blind eye to many of his players running lawless through the state of Texas. Now Johnson sits on Fox's pre-game panel of NFL experts, so despite his unethical methods he hasn't missed a beat.

Likewise Michael Irving who played for Johnson at Miami U. and Dallas has been repeatedly arrested for drugs and possession. His rap sheet is as long as any of his touchdown catches but that didn't stop the NFL from electing him to their Hall Of Fame or ESPN from hiring him as an NFL 'expert.' When he was once again busted for possession for the umpteenth time ESPN finally 'let him go' but the NFL Network turned right around and hired him to be one of their NFL experts. He probably should have been 'benched' by the courts for a long time when he was back at Miami U. If not, then definitely while he was playing for the Cowboys, but you know he was just so darn good at catching that old pigskin so…

Now I ask you, is this the type of guy you want your kids and grandkids to listen to and perhaps emulate when they watch sports?

The list goes on and on to include ex-Cowboy Nate Newton. As Nate explained, because of his fiercely competitive life in sports, he was so busy trying to be "the biggest drug pusher in Louisiana" that while out on bail for being busted with over two hundred pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car he was again busted with another hundred plus pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car. Newton was just as good a football player as an offensive lineman as his teammate Irving was at wide receiver but as of yet the NFL has refused to elect Nate into the Hall and ESPN never offered him a shot to be on TV. But then offensive linemen just aren't as flashy as wide receivers and it doesn't help now that Nate is cooling it in a prison cell. I guess offensive linemen can't get the better lawyers like wide receivers either.

When you have Lawrence 'LT' Taylor admitting that as a player on cocaine he was often higher than the space shuttle ten minutes after liftoff but then he is still elected to the Hall of Fame you have to wonder if there are any ethics left in our society today. LT is called the most feared player in the history of the NFL. It's no wonder since when he was playing he was often completely whacked out of his gourd on goofballs!

At every level of sports today we have players cheating with drugs such as steroids to enhance their performance. Sportsmanship is outdated, corny and for losers as players are now taught at an early age to bend the rules to gain an advantage over their opponents. Trash talking has become as much as the game as sinking a shot, scoring a TD or hitting a home run. "You gotta get into your opponent's head!" In this age of 'showmanship' taunting your opponent has replaced sportsmanship. But constantly screaming and glaring at your opponents after dunking a shot is not forgotten by a cursory slap on the back after the game while dryly stating, "Nice game."

Off the field it seems that as long as you can play the game anything goes. Well at least until you are finally put permanently behind bars. Just ask the notorious Vick brothers of Virginia Tech. By the way, just how many rapes does a quarterback have to commit before he is kicked out of a university anyway?

In high schools what was once one community's young players against another's has become big business with recruiting wars between coaches for the best players not only within the communities but also from other states. At this level sports should be a teaching and learning experience with winning coming a distant second to developing skills, sportsmanship, character, ethics and physical fitness. But as kids will ultimately always imitate their heroes in college and the Pros high school sports is now more about winning at all costs.

Sadly somewhere in the past twenty odd years all of the legitimate sports seemingly decided to follow the idiotic pro wrestling mentality with the showboating, boastful taunting, false bravado and its macho stupidity. In pro wrestling the 'players' often openly cheat to win and to get the crowd riled up. Sadly more and more of this 'show business' type hype has bled its way into legitimate sports. This bending of the rules and lack of true sportsmanship has been going on for years now without many, if any, consequences to those who are guilty. It does not matter what a player does on or off the field as long as he is good at what he does and wins. It is a shame that these are the lessons that we have been teaching and are continuing to teach our children. Not just the ones who participate or the avid fans, but also those with even a passing interest in the sport.

By condoning this atmosphere of do anything to win, or to succeed, while ignoring, justifying and celebrating the cheaters and unlawful scoundrels, why are we always so surprised when we find that so many of our fellow citizens have not paid their taxes or scammed us on Wall Street, in Congress and in business? Why are we surprised at ACORN's multi-state registration fraud, dirty political campaigns, biased media coverage, or businessmen running fraudulent money scams and a tax evader now in charge of our National Treasury? Hey, its now America's way of doing things. We have reaped what we have sown. This was confirmed once again in the Duke-FSU game, with Manny Ramirez and will again be confirmed when the truth comes out about the multi-multi-millionaire A-Rod. Winning is everything, and the guy with the most at the end of the day wins. So in the scandals of Washington, Wall Street and corporate America, aren't we just now harvesting what we have propagated in among other aspects of our society, our most straightforward and basic forms of entertainment, our sports?

But what is truly sad about this situation is that it was never necessary to allow this boorish and illegal behavior in our athletes for our sports to remain popular and economically successful. In today's liberal society of unlimited second chances without the burdens of responsibility or consequences too many people are excused for their actions, especially if they are 'gifted.'

Miami University and the Dallas Cowboys would still have their fan base without the corruptive Johnson years, and they would have maintained a better reputation. The Vick brothers were big trouble even in high school and yet they were granted full scholarships. Somehow in a country of 300 million, I believe that Virginia Tech could have found a couple of other quality quarterbacks to take their place. McGuire, Bonds and so on were all well on their way to stardom when they started cheating with steroids. They could have had good if not great careers without the juice, now they have the statistics but have lost their honor.

As for Manny, well he and those like him should be banned from their sports. Life will go on without them. The games will be played in their absence and we will watch. We were watching and loving baseball for over a hundred years before them and their deceit. Likewise we will remain faithful to the sport after they are gone, and in spite of them. Who knows, maybe somewhere along the line we may even be able to once again teach our children about respect for oneself and their opponents. That actions and words have consequences. That rules, and our laws, are to be respected and followed. About fair play, sportsmanship, honor and pride of accomplishment. That winning is not the only thing, but that rather it is the effort, sacrifice and heart that make a winner, not the final score. That by doing whatever is necessary to win you can lose much more than you gain.

But then perhaps I'm just getting old.


Semper Fi,
Mike

"Copyright 2009.  Michael E. Tank   All rights reserved. No part of this document may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted, or in any other manner duplicated without express written permission of the author."

 

 
 
 
 
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