BRONX, NY – I went to David Wright’s final Mets game last Saturday night with Short & Tall Matt, but I just don’t have the heart or energy to write about what a disappointment it was. It felt a lot closer to the Mets money-grab I thought it was going to be than the legitimate farewell I hoped it would. Such is the state of sports these days, and life in these United States in general, that it’s getting increasingly difficult to imagine anyone’s heart is in the right place. We’ve become a win-at-all costs country, where hard work and genuine effort are valued far less than looking out for number one and getting what you want, even if it means sacrificing what’s left of your values.
The New England Patriots didn’t invent cheating in sports, but in recent history no team and coach has done more to promote the idea that you exploit every opportunity–legal or not–so long as it helps you defeat your opponent. Videotaping opposing teams’ practices and signals, deflating footballs, most likely tampering with players on other teams, and who knows what else. Bill Belichick is almost certainly still figuring out new ways to “skirt the rules” to win more Super Bowls. Catch him, fine him, maybe even suspend him… he doesn’t care. It’s all about the Ws. It’s no wonder he’s buddies with Trump.
Speaking of the Jerky Jamook from Jamaica, Queens, two of his bread and butter moves are phonily wrapping himself in the flag and whipping his knuckleheaded supporters into a rabies-like froth by calling out professional athletes for any number of BS things. People who would chant “USA! USA!” at a funeral or went insane when Rocky beat Ivan Drago now have zero problem with “their guy” being cozy with Putin and Russia. Again, it’s OK now because this entitled sh!theel is supposedly looking out for their best interests, even with a Kilimanjaro-sized pile of evidence that says just the opposite. The white noise sentiment drowning everything else out is “we don’t care because we’re winning.”
Former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator, and current Cleveland Browns DC, Gregg Williams didn’t hatch the concepts of bounties or of injuring another team’s best players in order to gain a competitive advantage, although he DID get busted for it. But, who cares? The Saints plan to beat the Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship by delivering cheap shots and trying to cripple their quarterback WORKED, and New Orleans went on to win their only Super Bowl. Fine and suspend whoever you want, NFL! Mission accomplished!
Olympic athletes doping and winning gold, Lance Armstrong doping like a pro and winning multiple Tour de Frances while lying through his teeth, baseball players doping and lying and doping some more and getting caught then lying some more then doping again, all while winning championships and shattering records until finally being forced out… Being a dishonest f**k is apparently “The American Way.”
How did it all come to this? When did we stop caring? We’re too far past the point to try to go back in a flying DeLorean and fix all the mistakes we’ve made, but we’ve got to take some serious stock right now. In sports and in life we can be so much better. Win at all costs, but for the greater good, not for personal gain all the time. It sounds like an impossible task, but ya gotta start somewhere. Here’s some homework for you. For the hell of it, try rooting for the Cleveland Indians to win this year’s World Series.
Come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle (on 32 days rest) or someone new in the Thursday slot, hopefully not Stephen A. Smith.