As if there was ever any doubt, we were slapped in the face again this week with the reality that morals exist only in professional sports when legal matters go awry.
Why else would one of the greatest franchises in the history of sports, the New England Patriots, have given chance number 62 to Antonio Brown? Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh was forced to put up with Brown’s antics for only so long, and Jon Gruden can’t be blamed too much for giving Brown a second chance. Most second-chances are deserved. But as he repeatedly showed signs of instability, Oakland too cut ties with the multi-talented, multi-nut case wide receiver. He lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million by leaving Oakland before ever playing a game there and signing with a franchise – New England – where such antics we assumed would never be allowed to grace the locker room.
Did the Pats think he’d straighten up on chance number 63?
The over/under line on how long Brown would last with Bill Belichick and the Patriots among some ESPN commentators was between 6 games and the rest of the season. Turns out, about 24 hours later we learned that there is a rape accusation with Brown against a former trainer. Now that he’s signed with New England, Patriots’ brass have to let it play out, but why would anyone give this clown another shot?
Because he can catch passes.
Why else would Cincinnati have a Joe Mixon on the Bengals’ roster when a video showed him punching a girl while in school at Oklahoma. Former OU head coach Bob Stoops should have lost all credibility with his comments following the video’s release, but we see television personalities treat him like a rock star even today.
Speaking of a former Sooner, Baker Mayfield once tried to run from police, who had asked him to stay put. But, despite his showing Sunday, he can throw passes and run around better than your average guy, so he’s drawing a paycheck with more zeros after a number than the vast majority of honest people will ever see in their lifetime.
Then you read stories about how Major League baseball players as late as the early 1960s took other jobs in the off-season to support themselves and their families. They still played as hard, if not harder than today’s ungrateful crop. A pitcher was considered a major disappointment if he couldn’t go all nine innings back then, but today managers have been known to take guys out working on no-hitters after 5 or 6 innings because they’ve reached a “pitch count.”
If I sound sick and tired of some of the individuals I watch each week well, you’re right. I’ll still watch and I’ll still root for certain teams, but the more I see athletes like Brown and Mixon, the more I realize Charles Barkley was on to something. He was not a role model, and very few pro athletes and coaches should be.
I believe it’s also made for a lesser class of fan, too. Andrew Luck, who couldn’t get healthy and said he was in constant pain, finally called it quits in the NFL. Nevertheless, when news broke via twitter during a preseason game, the Indianapolis quarterback was booed as he walked off the field. These heartless morons would rather the guy get knocked into the land of permanent coo-coo than to spend the rest of his life as healthy as possible and perhaps enjoy having a family before it’s too late.
Yes, the whole world has gone mad and sports has followed suit.