and crowd behavior sickens me.
March 18, 2014
Recently, the Evil Empire
of Sports Programming, otherwise
known as ESPN, aired a program, hosted by Bob Ley dealing with the obnoxious
behavior by a bunch of smart-arse basketball fans/students at the University of
Missouri. Apparently, these students
feel they have the right to yell all kinds of nasty things to the players on
the opposing team. The justification of
the students is that their behavior helps their favorite team. According to the legal experts, these
students have that right as protected under the United States Bill of Rights.
The question we must answer is what motivates a person
act in such a manner.
The answer, as always,
is money and power.
The face of athletics today
is burned into our minds every
time we watch a sporting event-high school, college or professional. We see players screaming with mouths wide
open, pounding their chests with their fists like a gorilla, pounding chests with
their teammates, pointing a fist in the air, gesturing with the arms crossed in
front of their bodies with a smug look on their face, running around in their
street-thug baggy shorts, etc. etc. etc.
The University of Michigan’s fab five comes to mind.
Who among us over the age
of 50 can watch even more than a
few minutes of any sports event? I
All this gesticulating
could stop in a heartbeat. All you need is one coach, or one athletic
director, or one school president, or one professional team owner, or one
commissioner, to say he will not allow his players to act in such a
manner. Sadly, we do not have that type
of leadership in sports or America or the world today. We live in a Greed is good (as well as god)
world. The more outrageous I act, the
more noise I make, the more deviant I allow my players to act, allows me to win
more games and thus keep my job. People
in stands feel if they act the same way, they will help their team.
The great mahatma of Duke
University basketball, Mike
Krzyzewski, has been promoting this type of behavior for decades with his
Cameron Crazies. One would think that a
person like Krzyzewski would have the ethical and moral fiber to say this is
wrong and yet he never has as far as I know.
It is a natural progression.
Other coaches think if Krzyzewski can get away with it, why shouldn’t
they be able to as well. And the
snowball keeps rolling.
Who/What is the face of
sports today? You see athletes acting as prima
donnas. You see more tattoos than
skin. You see all sorts of abhorrent behavior. You see the chest pounding. You see the
screaming. You see commissioners like Roger Goodell sell their souls by
claiming that repeated concussions do not cause brain damage.
Think of past athletes
who, by way of their athletic
achievement, could have celebrated on the court or field or ice. Can you remember Pete Maravich ever doing
so? Or Oscar Robertson or Bill Russell
or Wilt Chamberlain? Jerry West is the
logo of the NBA. He is depicted
dribbling a basketball-not performing a slam-dunk with his mouth wide open and
the Nike swoosh blaring off his sneakers.
When John Unitas threw
a touchdown pass, did you ever see
him run into the end zone and head bump Raymond Berry? When Lance Alworth caught a pass and ran
into the end zone with the most beautiful running stride God ever created, did
you ever see him get down on one knee and point with his finger gesturing a
first down? Did you ever see Jim Brown
Did you ever see Wayne
Gretzky scream, yell and incite the
people in the stands to do the same?
Where is the stately elegance
of a Bob Gibson or a Sandy
Koufax? Hank Aaron hit 755 career home
runs. Did you ever see him run around
the bases showboating? No, you did
not. Never. You saw him run with those elbows back is that beautiful royal
stride of his.
I know I am an old fart.
I acknowledge that, but isn’t there anyone left in coaching or team
management or ownership or a college president or a commissioner who has the
foresight to see that the only thing all this showboating does is promote more
I said many times I love
sports but I hate what sport has
become. I have not been to a sporting
event in years. Athlete and crowd
behavior sickens me. It will not
surprise me when we have a soccer type riot on a college basketball court some
day. I hope I am wrong but the odds
are quintillion times better than winning Warren Buffett’s March madness