Monday, June 23, 2008

Sports Criminals

In today’s sports world it is not uncommon to read a story weekly or even daily about an athlete that is in trouble with the law. We have all heard about the steroid use in Major League Baseball, drugs used in the summer and Winter Olympics, and all kinds of criminal activity in the NFL and NBA. This trend of behavior has got to slow down because at this rate, all the professional sports programs will be obsolete in 5 years because all of the athletes will be in jail or suspended from the sports programs.

I enjoyed watching sports as a child. I remember the great players in basketball- Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Dr. J. I remember the awesome football players- Joe Montana, John Elway, Tony Dorset, Eric Dickerson, and the great Chicago Bear’s defense. I am not much of a baseball fan, but I do remember watching Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens, and Pete Rose play. What I don’t remember as well is all of the legal and criminal trouble that we see in today’s sports. I know that Michael Jordan got in trouble with gambling, but that arose when his career as a sports player had ended. I know that Pete Rose got in trouble for a similar problem. I don’t remember players being investigated for murders, robberies, assault and battery, illegal dog fighting matches (Michael Vick), drugs, steroids, and all kinds of other illegal and criminal activity.
While reading this list, you start to forget about sports and start thinking you are reading a New York City police arrest report!

My biggest problem with this type of behavior is that these athletes are rich! They don’t need to rob a store because they are out of money! They aren’t living in the ghetto! They are getting paid to play a sport! They are given millions upon millions of dollars to shoot baskets, throw footballs, hit baseballs, run. These are things that most of us enjoy doing on the weekends with our friends. We can’t even imagine being paid for it, let alone get paid millions. The biggest problem with today’s athlete is that they have turned into spoiled adults. If you think a spoiled kid is a problem, wait until you meet a spoiled adult. This is someone who gets a lot of money, spends it on a lot of frivolous things, has too much time on their hands, gets into trouble a lot, and basically can’t find any happiness because they still haven’t learned the old adage that money can’t buy happiness.

The biggest problem with athletes in trouble with the law is that they have the money to hire the best lawyers money can buy. Money may not be able to buy happiness but I think we have all witnessed it buying an athlete’s freedom. Remember the football player by the name of OJ? He was found innocent of the murder that he was on trial for, but I think most of us think that he was guilty.

I think that most fans would like to see a return to the old days when the biggest criminal offenses were gambling related. Those seem rather minor compared to today’s crimes. I don’t know that this will ever happen but I do know that if the current rate of criminal activity continues, the future of sports will change for the worse. Which reminds me of another old adage; crime doesn’t pay (unless you’re an athlete).
Return to the Neighborhood

Monday, June 16, 2008

Celtics and Lakers

The Playoffs for any sport are always an exciting time. The NBA playoffs are no exception. Each team has a renewed sense of hope, a chance to win the Title, and they get 7 possible chances with each team they play. The players “kick up” their energy and playing level another notch. The crowd seems to get louder and more obnoxious. This is the time of year that most basketball fans look forward to all year long.

This year, the teams that made it to the NBA Finals were the Lakers and Celtics. What an awesome rivalry over the years: two of the greatest teams in NBA history squaring it off in 2008. 2 of the NBA’s best players will go head-to-head, Kobe Bryant (this year’s MVP) and Paul Pierce. I am not really a fan of either player, but those 2 should be able to make this year’s Finals pretty exciting. There are also 2 great veteran role players for each team- Kevin Garnett (Celtics) and Derek Fisher (Lakers).

This rivalry has a great history of awesome players from the past as well. I am sure all of us remember Magic Johnson and his unbelievable passing ability and drives to the basket. Who could forget Larry Bird and his awesome shooting ability and the way he played the game? Kareem Abdul Jabar had a hook shot like no other. Michael Cooper was a 3 point sharp shooter. Kevin McHale was a “beast” on the boards. And who could forget Kurt Rambis, with his curly hair and big safety goggles being a tough scrappy player who was so much fun to watch.
We all had our favorites and enjoyed watching each year when they would take center stage in the NBA Finals

The Celtics-Lakers rivalry has been renewed and even though the names and players have changed, the attitude and passion for the game still exist. Instead of Magic driving to the hoop, we now have the ultra energetic Kobe Bryant. Instead of having Larry Bird lighting up the scoreboard with his jump shots, we now have the high scoring Paul Pierce. We no longer have the super-short, tight shorts; we have the baggy shorts that hang down to your knees. We no longer have the afros; we now have the corn rows and shaved heads. The black and white television sets with the bunny ear antennas are long gone being replaced by the 60 inch Plasma big screen TV’s.

The one thing that still remains is the greatest rivalry in history- the Celtics and Lakers. (and the refereeing is still terrible).
Return to the Neighborhood

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Love of a Father

Every so often you hear or read a story that makes you feel good inside and may even bring tears to your eyes. I came across such a story a few months ago. It is a story of a father who gave something to his son that was very special. His son was disabled at birth being strangled by the umbilical cord. His name is Rick Hoyt and his father’s name is Dick Hoyt. You may have already heard this story or seen the video on YouTube, but I was able to do a little research on this man and his son and found some other very interesting details that you might not be aware of.

When Dick first took his son Rick for a run, by pushing him in his wheelchair, he was sore for weeks. But then Rick typed “Dad, when we were running, I felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore”. That sentence would change both of their lives forever. Dick started with marathons and then moved up to triathlons, anything to give Rick that feeling of being alive and whole again.

Now they have together completed 212 triathlons, 24 Boston marathons, and countless other events. They not only have completed these events but have also placed very well in each event. Rick types “The thing I would most like, is that my Dad sit in the chair and I push him once”.

There are times in our lives when we are like Rick and we need our other Heavenly Father’s help. Just like Dick, our Father in Heaven will do everything he can to help us finish the race and to feel whole again.
There are times when we need to be like Dick and help our friends, spouses, children, parents, and grandparents get through the hard times by strapping them on our backs and doing all that we can to help them finish the race of life.

The lesson that needs to be learned is that all of us need to finish the race and not only finish but enjoy the journey. If we will help others to the end of the race, we will also find ourselves at the end as well.

Dick Hoyt would have never been able to accomplish all that he had without Rick, and Rick in turn would have never accomplished all that he did without the help of his father.

Here is a link to the video that goes along with this story and plenty more inspiring details about this father and son team.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This is my new sports blog.
I will be writing posts that are funny, inspirational, motivational, educational, and about anything sports related.

I love to watch football and basketball.
I am a huge Green Bay Packers and Utah Jazz fan!

Come visit my blog weekly to catch the latest stories and have a sports break.