Wednesday - Jan 20, 2021

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The Icebox-Blog This

I’ve always known how much the double standard in sports bothered me but I’ve been a renegade, some would say trouble-maker, most of my life. I’ve learned that often I am in the minority but I’ve never been smart enough or cared enough to keep my mouth shut. I figure at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and if I don’t like who is looking back at me at least I can live with him.

It’s nice to see I’m not always in the minority.

Last week I wrote about an experience I’d had with my youngest son while watching football. Apparently I touched a nerve. No apologies to the “civil libertarians” who believe that what we do to our bodies is our own business…I am on your side on that. However I draw the line, and apparently so do many of you, when it comes to those in the public eye, especially those who we know can and do influence our children whether postively or negatively.

I heard from teachers, policemen, prison guards, financial analysts and more. With the exception of one post, every one of them agreed with me. Some went much farther than I had, but that was mostly because I didn’t want to belabor the point.

After reading your comments, I figured I’d risk your ire one more time.

There is as we all know incredible inequity in the world, especially for those who have the equity, if you will. Ray Lewis and OJ Simpson get acquitted for murder, untold numbers have their spousal abuse and drug abuse, rampant based on the sheer number of reports in the media, swept under the rug, while a guy like Wally Backman gets fired for his PAST problems! What was that all about? How about Mike Price, getting drunk with a stripper/dancer? Most of the world would give him a wink and a nod, maybe a high five and an attaboy. But these guys get canned while Jamal Lewis, Onterrio Smith, Jimmy Smith, Michael Pittman and countless others get busted for similar crimes and nothing happens. Oh, Jamal will spend thirty days in a country club where he’ll lift weights and share conjugal visits with his wife, or girlfriends, or the entire Baltimore Ravens cheerleading squad for all we know.

We all know why this goes on. It’s big business. Need Proof? Look at the television deal the NFL inked today with CBS and Fox. Eight Billion reasons why the owners and leagues will bail out a player and forgive him for his transgressions.

Professional sports have a moral obligation to the people who foot the bill for their excesses. Joe sixpack and family deserves a better product. The owners and the leagues should be forced to make their rules stricter, and follow the law of the land, not the rule of the few. Take the approach college sports have taken. Have a “Death Penalty.” First time, you lose half a season and half your pay. Second offense, done for a full season. Let’s see how much bling bling you can buy with no cha-ching.

I’m tired of hoodlums playing professional sports, convicts and criminals flouting the law and laughing all the way to the bank. Because they are doing it with MY MONEY!

Just sit back for a second and think about it. What would happen if you got busted using drugs? DUI? Beating your wife (besides the dull kitchen knife to Mr. Johnson and the twins?) What would it cost you, with your job, your family, your reputation? Then think about the guys who are getting away with it, spending YOUR money, influencing YOUR children laughing in YOUR face? And the owners and league officials who posture and cluck their tongues at such terrible transgressions, all the while reaching into your pocket. I went to buy an official jersey shirt for my son on his birthday. $300 bucks. Ridiculous!

Many of you vented your frustration, a few of you figuratively shook your head, hunched your shoulders, shoved your hands in your pockets and said there isn’t anything you can do about it, that’s just the way it is.

Do you really believe that? Is that what we have become with these kind of issues? Give up, walk away, try not to stick our heads out like that gopher game at the arcade where you beat on the heads as they pop up with a hammer?

I’m not talking revolution here. But grass roots isn’t that tough to consider. We live in one of the greatest times, with instant communications, web logs, forums and all kinds of grass roots ways to make a statement, to effect change one voice at a time. Look at how Howard Dean changed the face of politics using the Internet. In fact, look at and the community we are building here, virtually. People of all races, nationalities, interests and occupations coming together for a common interest…fantasy football.

Communities typically evolve as they grow, and one of the things that evolves with them is civic pride. Everything I have seen on this site proves this dynamic. At one point we were mobilizing the shark tank to put pressure on CBS Sportsline for a contest that almost came to fruition. How tough would it be to step up for something that is truly important?





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