A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Athlete Idiocy

My wish for all professional athletes who feel either A) Put upon because they just aren't making enough money playing a game or B) Believe that playing a game can in any way, shape or form be compared to combat or war? That said athletes would get their collective heads out of their collective rectums, shut up, and be ever so happy that God blessed them with enough phyical skills to play their game of choice at its highest levels for large quantities of cash and adoration.

Is that so much to ask?

There's Kellen Winslow, Jr., who said of playing football, "It's war. They're out to kill you, so I'm out there to kill them. ... I'm a [expletive] soldier." Winslow later apologized, and then went on to ruin a fledgling, though promising, NFL career by nearly killing himself on a motorcycle, the one vehicle specifically prohibited in his NFL contract. Alex Rodriguez, who plays the ever so violent game of baseball, cares not a whit for the opinion of anyone but those of the, "guys who go to war with me." And, just so we don't leave out basketball, Kevin Garnett, talking about his pregame preparations for a game 7 showdown:

"It's Game 7, man. That's it. It's for all the marbles," Garnett said. "Sitting in the house, I'm loadin' up the pump. I'm loadin' up the Uzi. I got a couple M-16s, a couple 9s. I got a couple joints with some silencers on them. I'm just loading clips, a couple grenades. I got a missile launcher with a couple of missiles. I'm ready for war."

Not nearly as annoying, though far more plentiful, are the athletes who feel they are oh so underpaid and exploited. Look, I have no problem with athletes negotiating for as much as they can get, but I do have a big problem with them whining about it to the fans and media like we should feel their pain and pat the poor things on the back.

The most egregious examples? Sam Cassell whining about not being able to "feed his family" on his lowly $14 million dollar salary. Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and Gary Sheffield all threatened to hold out despite being under long-term contracts, paying them, respectively, $83 million, $107 million and $104 million (stat from this 2001 article). And, of course, every single player in the NHL who preferred sitting out an entire year rather than conceding anything to the owners which might prevent the cash strapped league from drifting into complete insolvency.

And then there's Javon Walker, in a class by himself for combining both of these afflictions. Having had one very good year, Walker has chosen not to negotiate in good faith with the Green Bay Packers for a possible extension of his contract. Instead, he is skipping mini-camps and other team activities, and when questioned on his actions, he pops off with this:

Anybody can (say), 'OK, he had a great year, let's see if he can do it again.' That's like trying to tell a person to go to war in Iraq, but let me see if you can go to war again and come back and then we'll give you a Medal of Honor. You can't send a soldier out to a battlefield twice for him to be consistent.
What a friggin' twit. Yeah, Javon, catching a ball for millions of dollars is just like that. Except, you know, without all the bullets, bombs, and people trying kill you. I can see where anyone could confuse the two.
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