Monday, November 19, 2012

Sports 2012 - Year of Shame

Removal of Joe Paterno statue from Penn State

Noting Knox and eastern Tennessee folks are mourning/praising the firing of their current football coach, it seems pertinent to offer a little talk about Sports. Sports (with a capital S) has been knocked down pretty hard and we should all face what it portends.

The last year has seen, for instance, iconic foundations of American sports and athletes get pulled down - the Joe Paterno statue at Penn State getting the Saddam Hussein treatment; and the removal of every victory of Lance Armstrong, accused of being A Pusher, a savvy despot dispenser of a drug cocktail o' winners. There's been the cheesey NFL referee fiasco as a a skeezy coating. And the problem is that once you start this kind of examination of what Sports is like today, it isn't a glowing story of Cinderellas earnestly yoked to Americana heroics.

Critically, both the Penn State and Armstrong are linked to children's programs and health programs and fundraising and hurting kids and those in need are dire mistakes. Last year  the Saints and others in the NFL were cited for offering cash bounties to players for injuring opponents.

The furious adorations of Sports hardly seem worth your passions. And if the icons are dishonest ... well ... how far a step is it for young players in high schools and colleges into dishonesty?

I wasn't alive at the time, but recent Sports scandals have the stink of the 1919 Black Sox baseball scandal - Cheating and Dishonesty with Intent.

So. You're all on probation - colleges too - until you can offer something more useful to our communities. Or at least something better than what you've been offering. For young people who excel at Sports - my advice is protect your integrity.

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