Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Day in Sports

In Salt Lake City:

Several Real Salt Lake fans say their right to free speech was violated when stadium and team officials kicked out fans who had refused to stop waving Tibetan flags during Thursday's exhibition game against the Chinese National Team.......The controversy began shortly after halftime, when Chinese players complained about fans displaying Taiwanese and Tibetan flags and a sign that said "6-4," written in Chinese. That sign referred to June 4, 1989, the date of the Chinese government's attack on protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Members of the Chinese National Team stepped off the field and refused to continue playing unless the flags were put away.

Nice. So much for free speech in this country. And what's with the ultra-sensitive Chinese players? Accounts I've read say the protests were entirely respectful. After all, its not like the US National team playing in Mexico and having to put up with Osama! Osama! chants.

Time and again, baseball proves to be the biggest bunch of assholes in any sport. Of course, there is the insufferable Barry Bonds. Its amazing to me that people even care about home run records anymore.

But the story that irritates me the most in baseball these days is the Bug Selig gonna suspend Jason Giambi unless he talks to George Mitchell saga. Selig is understandably upset that major leaguers have put down the cone of silence around the Mitchell investigation, foiling attempts to understand just how pervasive doping is in baseball. Giambi basically fessed up to using steroids before MLB banned them. Yes, there is a problem, but Selig's solution is patently unfair.

Cycling, The Tour De France - I used to look forward to this event every year. However, this sport is more infested with doping than even baseball (if that's possible). Its a sad spectacle, and I just don't know what to think about Lance Armstrong anymore.

Michael Vick - if the allegations are true, he should be suspended from the NFL for years and thrown in jail. While giving him some benefit of the doubt, does he even begin to understand (or care) just how villainous he appears - especially with his comments in public? This is a guy who was recently considered the next big thing, the sports savior of the City of Atlanta.

But Clinton Portis, what were you thinking about? Me thinks you've taken way too many knocks to the head. He didn't quite stoop the level of Devil Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes, but he's certainly on the same staircase to hell.

I used to like sports as an entertaining break from every day troubles and politics. Now, the sports page all too often reads like the front page.

On the good news front, the college football season is only a few months away. Rutgers is my team. For years, Rutgers was an absolute joke, the worst of the worst, and a constant source of ribbing from my buddies. Now Rutgers is a beast in the East. While this makes for great Saturdays, I do worry about the problems that big-time college sports bring - particularly high-profile successful teams. So far, Coach Shiano has done a great job of recruiting kids who are equally good citizens as they are football players. I hope that recent tradition continues.


Larry said...

If they were going to censure then why not keep China from participating altogether.

CHUQ said...

As long as we are talking sports--poker is not a sport. If sailing is a sport so is riding the bus.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Barry Bonds is an asshat.

Simple as.

LET'S TALK said...

It seems that most people look for athletes to be some type of pure person and not like everyone else.

Sure they are paid well but we should never expect anymore than what we get. To be honest, most of them are jerks.

It's like the Religious Right, trying to tell others how to live and what their morals should be.

TomCat said...

Well, I'm sure glad my Broncos traded Portis! I miss the old days in football.