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An emotional and disgusting day

Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007, at 10:33 PM

While watching and reading sports activities today I've found myself emotional one time and somewhat disgusted two times.

The emotional moments came about as I recalled something that happened 30 years ago today. I was preparing to go to Murfreesboro to cover the MTSU-Evansville basketball game. Jim Freeman called to tell me there would be no game that night. His voice quivered as he told me the entire Evansville team, their coach and others had all died when the team plane crashed shortly after take-off in Evansville. Tragic moments. Rather than covering that game I wrote my "Sportschatter" column and apologized to T-G readers for the shortest column I had ever written.

I was disgusted by two things pertaining to Major League Baseball today.

The Mitchell Report has a few surprises but revealed little baseball fans haven't suspected for a few years now.

Call it use of performance-enhancing drugs or whatever but it puts a lot of so-called baseball heroes in a different light.

What does this do to baseball records? Do we have All-Chemical teams? Has our national pastime become a game of asterisks?

How do you think this matter should be handled?

So then we get the news infielder Alex Rodriguez has singed a 10-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees.

Rodriguez has never been mentioned in any of the steroid or growth development scandals. Good for him. I don't think any baseball player is or ever has been worth that kind of money.

Do we chalk that up under the stupidity column on the owners' side of the baseball ledger for ever allowing player salaries to get that far out of hand?


Comments
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Admittedly, illegal drug use is wrong.

I do not follow the baseball closely anymore, but were some of the guys listed using products that were not illegal at the time?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 5:57 AM

I agree, no pro athlete is worth that amount of money. In a day and age where teachers and police officers are offered low wages while athlets are given millions of dollars a year while at the same time going and exhibiting bad behavior(Pac-Man, Vick, etc.), it really just goes to show how the values of our society are really messed up!

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 7:52 AM

Right on jaxspike! Where are our priorities when someone to protect your life and property or teach your children are on the bottom of the pay scale.

-- Posted by cordell on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 11:06 AM

Those guys may need $300 million dollar salaries to pay for the damage the performance drugs do.

Add in the effects of multiple concussions,broken bones,torn muscles and the other abuses their bodies receive and it will be a small miracle if any of them can function normally by the time they're sixty.

The ones who begin such a regime early and don't make the big time are just plain out of luck.

Far from promoting good health and sportsmanship that can be applied by all their fans,they have helped to develop a stereotype where atheletes are written off as dumb and arrogant or as pitifully exploited as greyhounds,Walking horses and rodeo bulls.

This type of sports figure may be seen as a sort of super-hero or god but he comes closer to being the sort of expendable beast found at roadside zoos and cock fights.

To all you rule-breakers: Have some respect for yourselves-and your audience.

We don't watch NASCAR hoping to see a car hit the wall and we don't watch you to witness your dying by inches.

We expect you to show how a disciplined body,astute strategies and a positive attitude can make the most out of a game.

That's what the honest players get by on.

It's what we want our youth to copy.

Instead,we're getting amateur atheletes taking your type of risks without your type of support structure.

They won't have their own sports medicine team or be able to afford multiple organ transplants.

Most of them won't even get noticed by the greedy fools who blithely turn cash cows like you into leather car seats.

Please,stop destroying yourselves for our entertainment.

Even if it costs you the phenomenal records and sponsors,be the kind of players Bo looks up to.

You'll be able to live with yourselves-and you may live longer.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 11:25 AM

Remember the days when they didn't want to be huge and were afraid to lift weights because of the effects it may have on their swings?

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 12:24 PM

I remember something vividly even today from many years ago. I was in Hong Kong and on a tour of that city, the good and bad.

One of the stops, at a safe distance, was at an opium den. A group of older Chinese men were sitting there in a stupor while smoking their opium pipes.

My first thought was than goodness we don't have THAT in America.

Oh how I wish I had been correct.

The use of illegal drugs has penetrated America at all levels, including sports.

Reality is reality is reality. Can we ever hide from or ignore reality and hope it will go away?

Meanwhile, we crumble.

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 3:33 PM

These players dont give a rats behind if they are good role models for society. Or for your kids. They are out for themselves. And the sooner we accept that the better off we will be. Truth be known they hate us. Us being the fans. They hate the fact they we hound them for autographs, they hate that we ask for pictures, if they could do this job and get paid the money they do without ever holding a press conference. ever answering a question about the playoffs or next year they would dang sure do it. They just want to think they are the best at what the do,and squeeze every dollar they can from every available market. So dont look up to these guys. Most of them would pass you up if your car was on the side of the road burning.

-- Posted by tdc on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 7:45 PM

One infamous part of China's opium use is that Britain and France went to war to make sure that the Chinese people got addicted and stayed addicted.

For the next generation,the conflicts continued while the West's popular culture had authors such as Jack London write of destroying China with biological warfare.

If a society's influence is feared,if a culture is despised,its rivals will seek to destroy it politically,economically and physically.

They will seek to make its people seem ridiculous or demonic.

In the nineteenth century,the "Yellow Peril" dared to reject drugs and attempt to flourish in other countries.

As a result,it gained powerful enemies.

Today,we are "The Great Satan".

We worry about terrorism,genocidal attacks and the undermining of our society.

But could the warfare be more subtle this time?

Could we be aiding and abetting in our own destruction?

Perhaps,our skewed values have made us our own worst enemy with no need for foes on the outside.

May we be hated because we try to advance ourselves and help the world we live in rather than because we destroy ourselves or others.

If the "kings of the East" come to these shores in the last days,I want us to be on God's side.

I don't want us to fall because we chose to wreck our minds and bodies.

I pray we won't fall because we sought to empower ourselves by harming anyone else.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Dec 15, 2007, at 5:49 PM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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