Tuesday, November 08, 2005

SPORTS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE?

I believe it was Vince Lombardi that first coined this phrase, if I am incorrect maybe my older, more experienced co-poster Bill could enlighten me, but I am fairly certain Lombardi was the man. Maybe in Lombardi's day this was the case, but as for today this is clearly not the case, at least it is my prayer that sports is no longer a metaphor for life. Truthfully, the world of sports (and I am speaking of all sports) has no idea what real life is all about, especially players, owners, and even fans.

Dare I edit the great Lombardi's quote? Nevertheless, it would more accurate today to say that sports is a metaphor for society. The same decaying nature seen in the world of sports is seen in society as well.

Maybe I am just ticked off about Terrell Owens. It appears Owens was not satisfied with being the second biggest jerk in professional sports, behind Randy Moss, but this guy is making Moss look like the citizen of the month. It is clear that this guy cares only about himself; he cares about no one else, even his teammates. ESPN only adds to this man’s ego by putting him on the front story of every show they have. I just watched Sportscenter and the first 15 minutes of the show was Terrell Owens, I got so mad I flipped to Cold Pizza, and that's all they were talking about as well. That's it, let’s feed the man’s giant ego by putting him all over the tube. All Owens cares about is himself and all he wants is the spotlight, remember his running to the star at Texas Stadium after scoring a touchdown? Clearly Owens needs professional help with his ego, and I don't think putting him all over the shows helps him, because that's what he wants, everyone talking about him.

Why would ESPN do this? Well because we the viewers want to see it. Sure some may gripe about it, society is decaying to a point where everyone only cares about themselves. We may pay lip service to helping others, but deep down the vast majority of people care only about themselves. It is a world where we are taught at a young age that "we have to look out for number one." I mean after all if we don't look out for ourselves, who else will? Since we are taught this at a young age it is no surprise that we see players like Owens. The only surprise to me is that it doesn't happen more often.

What color is the sky in Owens’ world? I've heard him say plenty of times when whining about his contract that he put his career on the line for his team by playing in the Super Bowl so soon after a broken leg, all for his team. Bologna. To a man that seeks nothing but the spotlight for himself, where could he find a bigger spotlight than the Super Bowl. Make no mistake, Owens was not thinking of the team when he played in the Super Bowl, he was thinking only of himself. No way would a guy who seeks the spotlight as much as Owens, miss out on the biggest stage probably in sports. He played for himself.

What leads me to this conclusion? Well it's easy, that's what he always does. Even his little dances after touchdowns suggest so. After scoring a touchdown he brings the attention to himself by doing a little dance routine, or pulling a sharpie from his sock, or running to the middle of the field to stand on the star at Texas Stadium. Forget the lineman who blocked for me, or the quarterback who threw me the ball, it's all about me. I am the only one responsible for this touchdown.

That's the main reason why I hate to see players score a touchdown and do a dance. It detracts the attention from their team and brings attention solely upon them. Not to mention it is disrespectful to the team’s opponents. I was watching College Gameday the other day and when a Vanderbilt player did a little dance after scoring a game tying touchdown, danced in the end zone, the ref threw a flag for excessive celebration. The announcers on Gameday bashed the ref, while I on the other hand was glad that a ref finally had the stones to penalize a player for doing this. After scoring a touchdown Walter Payton never danced or pulled a cell phone from the goal post. He simply handed the ball to the ref and celebrated with his team mates. He acted like he had scored a touchdown before. He congratulated his linemen, even though for many years his line was pathetic and couldn't block my grandma.

Lest we say that Owens is the only jerk in sports, we see it from the likes of Ron Artest, Barry Bonds, Chad Johnson. ESPN sucks it up because we the viewers suck it up. After all it is just another guy, like us, looking out for himself, and placing himself above his team.

Life is not about "looking out for number one." It is about what I can do for others. The decaying of sports with money hungry owners and players is a metaphor for the decay we see in society. We the fans are guilty because we feed these egos by sucking all this up to the point where ESPN is nothing more than a tool to feed these egomaniacs.

Sports is a metaphor for society, not life.