Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Sad State of Affairs

Today’s quiz: Who said the following…
“(It’s a) really, sad day for the NFL," he said. "It's another case of the 99 percent good things that are happening being overshadowed by 1 percent bad. Again, people aren't talking about our product, they're talking about a negative incident.”
A) Roger Goodell about the Darrent Williams shooting in January.
B) Former Comish Paul Tagliabue about the Pacman Jones incident February.
C) Marvin Lewis after Chris Henry’s 5th run-in with police in 14 months for driving with a suspended license in March.
D) Bobby Petrino about the linking of Michael Vick to a possible Dog Fighting ring/Drug bust in April.
E) Joe Gibbs about Clinton Portis’ “dog-fighting is part of a culture” statement in May.
F) “Da Coach” Mike Ditka about the NFLPA not helping retired players in June.
G) Sean Payton about the multiple unproven top picks (Russell, Johnson, Quinn, etc) continuing to hold out for more money and miss training camps in July.
H) Jerome Bettis about Vick pleading guilty to dog-fighting charges in August.
I) Tony Dungy about the Patriots “Spygate” Scandal in September.
J) Gene Upshaw about Lance Briggs pleading guilty to leaving the scene of his accident in October.
K) Bill Parcells about Sean Taylor being fatally wounded in his Miami home in November.
L) Brian Billick about the Patriots come from behind victory over the Ravens in December.

The saddest part about this is I didn’t have to do too much research to find the stories to run with. This is just football, there are problems in all sports right now and something needs to change.

The Gangsta attitude needs to go. I don’t know why so many of these professional athletes feel the need to carry guns, do drugs, fight, drive recklessly, drive intoxicated. I could have done one of those per month. I don’t see why this is continuing to happen. The police are not searching for Chris Henry but they keep finding him, he doesn’t get the hint that maybe something in his personality needs to change. Immediately after practicing with the team he got into yet another dispute with police. Pacman Jones wasn’t a model citizen before the Vegas incident in February, he had had a few run-ins with authorities before then. Michael Vick had a lot to lose, why did he need to get involved with dog-fighting, because his crew was doing it? And unfortunately for Sean Taylor, who was in the process of turning his life around and making up for prior bad decisions, those decisions still caught up with him and his daughter doesn’t have a father.

To answer the quiz question it was I, Tony Dungy in reference to the Patriots spygate scandal. The sad thing is that wasn’t a sad day, it was a regretful day and it definitely cast a negative shadow on the Pats and the league. But the Redskins taking the field for the first play Sunday with only 10 men in memory of Sean Taylor was sad. Players traveling to Florida to pay their last respects to a 24 year old friend was sad. This sports culture is getting scary. 20 years ago, 15 years ago there weren’t stories like this, and it wasn’t because they were well hidden, they just didn’t happen. 5 years ago the hip-hop culture was firmly implanted in the game and things haven’t gone anywhere but down since. Constant arrests, DUIs, possession, failed drug tests, and multiple deaths. This wasn’t the league that Lombardi reined over, the Halas created, that Unitas played in. The men of this game’s past would never have behaved this way. And I for one think a change is in order and I don’t think suspensions are sending a tough enough message (look at Chris Henry, Ricky Williams, et. al.)

It is truly a sad day when there are 10 stories about Michael Vick for every one about Kevin Everett, when there are 10 stories about Orenthal James to every 1 about Priest Holmes.