Thursday, August 26, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Athletes in trouble. From time to time we see such a headline and rarely does it please us fans, whether the subject is a particular favorite or not. Generally, if the trouble involves a college athlete, it is more often than not a misdemeanor that is handled in “in-house,” in conference or within the collegiate governing hierarchy. These infractions usually blow over in very short shift and things settle back to normal after a few sanctions or admonishments.
Not true when athletes have reached that certain pinnacle of success which has endeared him or her to all the fans, both serious and non-serious. You didn’t know there were such things? Come now, people. It is not hard to spot a serious fan as opposed to one not so serious. The serious fan will always display all the “must have” paraphernalia from the purple hair to the triangle cheese hat. The non-serious fan just might show up with a suitcase wearing an unmarked T-shirt.
Such cases as Mike Vick, Marion Jones and Pac man Jones are pretty much yesterday’s headlines now, but there are still some reverberations from time to time. It has been released that Marion Jones, the “Wonder Woman” of the Olympics who shattered all female records of medal gathering (which had to be returned), is considering another run to reclaim her glory in the 2012 Games. Marion had to suffer the humiliation of having all her records wiped away and a stint in jail for her transgressions. Her fall from grace was due in part to the use (or misuse) of performance-enhancing drugs. Actually, the use or misuse didn’t get her the stay at the cross bar hotel; that was due to giving false testimony to a federal grand jury.
Which brings us to the case which could be the biggest to hit the scene since McGwire and Bonds. (Barry goes to trial in March of 2011 for allegedly lying to a jury probing his connection to the steroid pushers). And now, Roger “The Rocket” Clemens has been indicted by a grand jury. You don’t have to be a serious fan of baseball to be cognizant of the exploits of the Rocket. His perch at Cooperstown was pretty much a sure thing. For the last couple of years, Clemens has been not just an athlete basking in well-earned glory, he has been a stellar example of what the super athlete should be about.
If one followed the events leading up to the charges leveled last week, one would have to register disbelief that Clemens did not take the “outs” offered by the Congressional inquirers. It is unfathomable that a career such as his should end in ignominy.
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