Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pump up the volume

Interesting stuff Roller. I just mapped out my walk to my mailbox. .02 miles. I feel a lot skinnier.

A couple things caught my eye last week. One, yet another professional athlete denying he did performance enhancing drugs. In this case, it was baseball player Gary Mathews Jr.. Do I use two periods after an abbreviation? Let me know. The second was Pete Rose admitting he bet his team to win every night. A dramatic departure from 15 plus years of denying he ever bet on baseball. Two black eyes for professional sports, yes, but I think one can learn from the other.

A few years back public sentiment was thought to be that if Pete Rose would just tell the truth and admit he bet on baseball, then everyone could begin to move forward. So he did it. He got roasted like a Kenny Roger's chicken. I think the lesson to be learned here is that when it comes to public matters, the truth will almost always come out. I say almost. We might never know who really shot JFK, or if Reagan really "(couldn't) remember", but in the end, the truth is usually revealed.

By a show of sideways smily faces, how many that people think JFK ever thought his extra-marital affairs would be subject of books and min-series. Bill Clinton never thought his indiscretion(s) would go public or he wouldn't have lied about it on National televesion. And even though pretty substantial evidence was out there that Rose bet on baseball games, he continued to deny it for 15 years.

There is probably a name for this cycle, btu I don't know it: Person A becomes very good at Talent B. Person A becomes wealthy at performing Talent B. Person A does things while performing Talent B that could get Person A in trouble. Person A goes public years later admitting indiscretions for the better of the human race. Person A gets pooped on for being a bad person.

A bit random here, but I'll never forget the sickly face of Lyle Alzado on Roy Firestone's Sportslook saying that he was sure his abuse of steroids had caused the cancer he was now suffering from. How about Mickey Mantle telling the world "he's not a hero" because he drank away his liver and now needed a new one. Magic Johnson. If you need a further explanation on this one you should probably stop living in a closet. I cite sports because I know sports but I think it applies elsewhere, i.e. If given the choice I think celebrities would choose rehab over inventing a cure for cancer. "What courage it took for her to go two whole weeks in therapy without any shopping!" And for the pro athlete: "Uh, I'm totally shocked that I tested positive. It must be the new peanut butter I'm using." No, it was the Horse hormone you injected into your backside.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Or innocent until proven guilty in a Law & Order ripped from the headlines. That is why everyone denies, denies, denies. But it is my belief that the longer the charade, the farther the fall.

Thanks for reading. Hey Roller, how can I put a pitcure of that crotchety old DA, Schiff, in this post?


Roller said...

Nice post, Coov. I agree with your overall assessment of "the longer the charade, the further you fall".

If you were in a game of charades and you had to act out "charade", what would happen? What if you had to act out acting out a charade? I think that's one of those "the world may spontaneously combust" things that Doc Brown always talks about. But back to lying and cheating...

It's painfully funny that, as Jose Canseco's credibility grows with each new "user", the baseball media and fans actually owe Canseco some sort of apology. Not that his book and interviews were made for "the good of the game", or for any other reason that wasn't self-serving, but in my memory his book and "tour" were what put it the issue on the front page.

Everyone in baseball from its fans to its owners had a "look the other way" attitude since forever. Some people started talking about it, but Canseco's "tell all" is what got John McCain on the grandstand (another merely self-serving action).

As you said, it's a black eye for the sport, but the truth should just come out now. Rip the band aid off and let's have it. Mark, I know you're reading this, please just come clean. Sammy, you too, and if this is one of those times where you mysteriously can't speak English, I can translate for you.

Ryan said...

Coov (and Rolls) nice post. Just saw Rose on Leno last night.

Kid has a lot of problems. First of all, he's not the smoothest of dudes. Pete Rose could hit baseballs, he cannot gently lay out the subtleties of the English language. Just a sidenote.

Coov, I think a lot of it comes from what we learn when we're young too. My parents always told me to be honest with them. What a crock! Everytime I was honest, I got in trouble. When I lied, I only got caught a fraction of the time and the punishment was about the same. Lesson learned: lie all the time and take the chance.

The problem with that is two-fold. I was a mostly good kid, so my opportunities to lie were far enough apart that my parents probably had already forgotten my last one. This bleeds into my second point, I never really F'ed up in a huge huge way that would put my parents in a position to never forget.

Pete Rose F'ed up in a huge, huge way. Instead of realizing this, he clung to the old "never trust a cop" rule and everyone has stung him since. Personally, I don't think what he did was that big of a deal, especially knowing who he is. Against the letter of the law? Clearly. Unforgivable? No way. In fact I think people really want to forgive him.

But you can't forgive someone who doesn't come clean.

It would be interesting how quickly people would be willing to forgive Pete Rose if he admitted it, and who was acting on his own vs. how we will/won't forgive the steroids era players who all made individual decisions but could be forgiven maybe for being influenced by "everyone else is doing it."

Patricia said...

Good post.