Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sports and integrity

Recent news from the circuses (as in "bread and ...") has been a bit troubling. Most shocking of all are charges quarterback Michael Vick has been neck-deep in the world of dogfighting, including the destruction of underperforming dogs "by drowning, shooting, hanging and electrocution." Much tongue-clucking and teeth-gnashing has ensued over whether to suspend Vick from his job. It seems a no-brainer that the man should be suspended from free interaction with civilized human beings, but the guy's a star, after all, doncha know.

Then there's the fuss over whether Barry Bonds' feat of breaking the major league baseball home-run record should be recognized as legitimate or tagged with an asterisk because Bonds shows all the signs of being a steroid abuser. I was on board with believing Bonds was a fraud and a cheat and that Hank Aaron should continue to be considered the all-time champ; then someone reminded me that many pitchers also abused steroids, so perhaps Bonds did accomplish something by being able to connect so successfully against Franken-pitchers. Maybe every record set during the "steroids? moi?" era should be marked with an asterisk.

Finally there's the brouhaha over an NBA referee who bet on games, including games he worked, meaning he was in position to affect the final score. I have long ago lost interest in a basketball league that outlaws zone defense, insists on a shot every 24 seconds and discourages enforcement of the rule against traveling - not to mention a winter sport league that extends its season into June. A referee who cheats does call the integrity of the sport into question - but what the NBA markets is not exactly basketball as I understand it as a rabid college BKB fan. My humble opinion is that I don't care enough about the NBA to have an opinion - and as the legion of fans like me grows, that is the league's real problem.

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Anonymous John Newman said...

You really don't watch the NBA. Zone defense has been allowed for several years, they do call traveling, even when a player hasn't, and I believe in the college game, players are forced to take a shot every so often according to their rules.
We should be thankful for the NBA. What gainful employment would the outstanding college players have if not for the NBA, it is not like these athletes get an education or learn anything in college.

12:59 PM  

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