Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Which sport do I watch now?

When I was a kid, I wasn't sure what I was going to be when I grew up, but I had it narrowed down to three things:

1. Professional baseball player.
2. Professional football player.
3. Professional basketball player.

OK, so my worldview was sort of narrow when I was a kid. (Actually, my real dream was "Professional kickball player," but I never could find a kickball game on TV, not even on "Wide World of Sports.")

Even then I knew that sports weren't all pure and beautiful -- I think a couple of the pitchers in my Little League years were already paying child support. But when you were watching a game -- or, especially, playing one -- you could escape the real world for awhile.

So let's take a look at my childhood dream jobs.

-- In baseball, the home-run record -- the most important record in sports -- is about to belong to a guy (Barry Bonds) who almost certainly took steroids to pad his stats.

-- In football, one of the game's best and most popular players (Michael Vick) is accused of setting up a dogfighting operation -- and killing the pit bulls that didn't measure up.

-- In basketball, a referee (Tim Donaghy) is accused of betting on games and giving big gamblers key info to help them beat the odds. It's a small step from there to the idea that he changed the outcome of games by calling fouls -- or not calling them -- at key moments.

I really try not to be one of those fogeys who talk about how much better life was back then. Mainly because I don't think it's true.

But July 2007 is a crappy time to be a sports-loving kid.


David said...

All professional sports are a waste of time and money. The athletes are a bunch of indulged, overpaid children in their txapayer funded sports palaces.

Anonymous said...

In sports today, it's a case of a few bad apples spoiling the game for the majority.

The solution is simple - reactivate morals clauses in player contracts and ENFORCE them.

Not all players are guilty of bad behavior, and those who are should be held accountable. Being a public figure comes with public responsibility. If someone doesn't like that, then they need to pursue more private endeavors.

Joe C said...

Sports are wonderful for kids and are great for adults as a form of exercise and recreation.

Throw in huge sums of money and "adult" cunning and power and all you will get is corruption.

Remember the Chartlotte icon of people outside playing the games? Not in the stands watching them?

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, there was also a sport called soccer. But trying to talk most Americans into watching that, I've found, is next to impossible.

Anonymous said...

In response to anonymous "Last time I checked, there was also a sport called soccer. But trying to talk most Americans into watching that, I've found, is next to impossible." :

Right...because Soccer is so perfectly clean. Didn't an entire club team in Italy get in trouble for fixing games just before the World Cup?

Anonymous said...

As the person who posted that "last time I checked..." post, I have this to say in response:

Yes, the name of that club is Juventes in Italy's Serie A League. And it did not go unpunished (unlike baseball and other sports where there are known offenders). But like the poster above said "a few bad apples spoil the bunch". I never said soccer was a pristine sport. The name of Tommy's blog was "what sport do I watch now?" I was merely offering an alternative to the Big 3 (football, baseball, basketball). So : P