Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sports Is Wrong

Yes, bad grammar. Yes, bad sports. Pardon my skewing off the usual track of mainstream snarkdom. If you're not a sports fan at all--as I am becoming--you might still want to read.

The monetary chunk is ridiculous. To aggravate matters, I live in the New York ADI (media-ese for "television market"), where they'll charge you for mustard. Napkins next? Does that $8 beer have truffle oil floated on it? You can save an extra two bucks by stooping so low as to go to a minor-league game. There are some real nuts out there who determine the "fan cost index," i. e., what it would cost a family of four to go to a game, with parking and minimal refreshments, etc. You can do this for the New York Jets for the mere price of $628.00. Like the Yanks better? Just a pittance at $338.00. Mind you, these are Ed Hillary-level seats. If you actually want to see a semblance of the game, take out another mortgage. See for yourself at

Are the players overpaid? Huh? Forget the big names. Ever heard of Joel Przybilla? He plays professional basketball. Last year, he earned $238,000. Every time he laced up his sneakers. 36 games, $7.5 million. His career scoring average is 4.0 points per game. Joel, my man.

Alex Rodriguez is the highest-paid baseball player in our fair land. Now, over his career, he has earned a paltry $15,356. For every pitch he has faced. A called strike three, a bunt foul. No matter. Oh, the humanity.

Nice guys, some of these athletes. Take Karl Malone, the second-leading career scorer in pro hoops. As a sophomore at Louisiana Tech, this student-athlete impregnated a 13-year-old girl. She bore a boy, Demetrius Bell, who now plays with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. Malone, even though named the father by a court of law, has never acknowledged Bell. The father even refused to pay the mother $200 a week for support. Karl Malone earned over $100 million in his career, not counting endorsements and such. He reached a confidential settlement with the mother in the late 80s.

Norwalk native Calvin Murphy, another NBA Hall-of-Famer, has fathered 14 children by nine different women, none of whom was his wife (according to

QB Art Schlichter of the Colts has been convicted of over 20 felonies related to gambling, forgery and theft. He served 16 years in stir. Ex-Yankee Mel Hall (and stories about his dalliances in Fairfield are myriad) has been convicted of various exual assaults; one victim was aged 12 at the time. He is away for a 46-year stretch. Can anyone spell "OJ?"

Just the athletes? Look at Penn State.

If I were to venture into the world of steroids and HGH, this screed would transmogrify into a Beowulf-length manuscript. Cue Brady Anderson in 1996. FWIW, he's the only player in baseball history to hit 50 dingers in a season and never have 25 in any other. What's in that Gatorade, Brady?

Just the thought of some of these "students" actually getting some knowledge into their noggins is a joke. It's as funny as Conan interviewing Jerry Lewis. A friend of mine was once a counselor to a big-time college football program. He told me of a situation where freshmen were asked to write a brief essay about themselves. One athlete just sat there and cried; he couldn't write a lick. The player later became an All-American and eventual NFL star.

And I'm wondering where college students get the jingle for all that ink all over their corpuses.

Even the games themselves have, I think, deteriorated. Can anyone shoot a jump shot? Tackle below the shoulders? Bunt? Everyone's-darling-Butler made it to the NCAA hoops final last season vs/ UConn (where laptops are now stored under lock and key). Butler shot 18.8% for the game.

Think it's all about the big boys? Look at Danny Almonte, who shone at the Little League World Series at two years over the age limit. I even know youth-league coaches who tell their benchwarmers to stay home from (or give them the wrong time for) key games so coach can keep his studs in the game.

I knew a young star who played basketball at a private high school. He and some of teammates where African-American. I asked him, "Are there any young men of color in your school who are NOT on your team?"


I said, "Are there any young ladies in your school who are black?"

"Not a one, Ace."

I'm tired of watching men desert their families on Sundays so they can watch their beloved Giants, Jets or whomever. I know people who have ruined their lives placing bets with bookies. People who spend hundreds--if not more--on authentic "gear" just look like buffoons to me.

And I'm even more tired of fans who use the first-person plural as if they had a stake in their favorite squad. "Oh, we're gonna beat Boston on Sunday." As Spanky said to Scotty, "Whaddaya mean, we?"

Where once you had heroes, now there are drug-addled, skirt-chasing, tatooed preeners.

Synchronized swimming anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Depressing as hell and sadly on the money, from a guy who I know truly loved the games, all of them. When Ace Bailey (that lesser Ace) broke our Rangers' hearts, we both cared. It mattered. Now . . . not so much. I actually did some research a few years back and tried to find an NBA team I could root for because they had a collection of 'good guys' suiting up. The Denver Nuggets won that sweepstakes but, by then, the NBA was already unwatchable. I continue to watch college hoops, fully aware that the idea of student/athlete is a joke; the pro golf tour (all those Republican country club guys) because I love the game; and yes, I even watch the Yankees - from my couch. Last time I visited the Big Ballpark in the Bronx, Scott MacGregor was pitching for the Orioles. I have never seen Derek Jeter in the flesh. It's just too much hassle, too much money. We now know that there was a lot of bad crap going on in sports back in the day about which we knew nothing. I liked it better that way.