Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The reason we play

Well folks:
-- An NBA referee being investigated in a point-shaving scandal.
-- An NFL quarterback indicted in a dogfighting ring.
-- Football players getting arrested left and right for off-field indiscretions.
-- Baseball players equally charged with taking on-field performance-enhancing drugs with the lead culprit on the verge of setting the all-time home run record.
It's enough to make you scream, "What the heck is going on here?"
There are times when I long for the days when I was a kid, playing baseball with my friends all day, pretending to be Graig Nettles at third base, or playing football imagining I was whoever the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys was that season. (It seemed like the Cowboys went through quite a few in a short period of time after the Roger Staubach era of the 1970s.
Is it just me getting older, or were things quite simpler (as I like to say) back in the day?
That should be one of the reasons why local sports should be more appealing to us these days. When you take away the big-money contracts of professional sports, or the lure of receiving those big-time pro deals at the major college level, you get to the pure joy of sports.
Spending a great deal of my life involved in sports in both the professional and personal level, I've seen both the good and the bad.
Although we tend to focus on the negative even at this level ("my child does not get enough playing time!" ... "the coach doesn't know what he's doing out there!" ... "why isn't this kid sitting on the bench?") the good far outweighs the bad.
Nothing made me happier than hearing about my nephew hitting his first-ever home run in travel baseball.
Why can't the pro athlete follow the example of our nation's youth and remember why it was they took up sports in the first place.
Is that too much to ask?
Take care and God bless.

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