Professional Athletes Need a Timeout
The professional world of sports is becoming tarnished. Head butts in soccer (Zidane in the World Cup Final), steroids in baseball (Barry Bonds et al.), EPO and other drugs in cycling (Tyler Hamilton; Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and many other riders in this year's Tour de France) and triathlon (Nina Kraft, Rutger Beke), players brawling in the stands with fans in basketball (Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons), ear biting in boxing (Mike Tyson)...I can't wait to see what pathetic demonstrations of sportsmanship this year's National Football League season brings.
I'm finished trying to figure out the cause: "win at all costs," "everyone else is doing it," "it's all about the money," etc. I just think about how frustrating it must be to the legendary athletes who were as great in their day, no doubt as competitive, but nowhere near as childlike or unethical.
Hank Aaron must wonder how Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark Mcguire, Sammy Sosa, and the rest, can justify to themselves that they deserve to knock him off the career home run record. Eddie Merckx must ponder how today's cyclists sleep at night knowing that much of their success and acclaim is due to injecting synthetic drugs. If Jesse Owens was still alive, he surely would be flummoxed by present day sprinters who truly believe they earned a gold medal and/or a World Record despite a steady diet of red blood cell enhancing narcotics. And, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan, must shake their head when reminiscing about their heated rivalries which never involved a punch, a takedown, or a headbutt.
What's next? A putter into an opponent's groin on the 18th green? If the hooliganism trend in professional sports continues, that's not far fetched.