Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Law & Order: Special Barry Bonds Unit

Reading that numerous names such as the Giambi brothers were going to be testifying in court for the Barry Bonds trial, I figured I'd take matters into my own hands and give myself something to write voraciously about.

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories."


Alright, let's be honest. We all knew he lied. Even pathological liars knew he lied or said he didn't lie (pick whichever one makes more sense to you).

We can all say that it's not easy being green and that it's good to be the king. Being a rookie sucks and being a king of something is the ultimate goal for just about anyone. However, there's always a right way and a wrong way to go about things. It's one thing to have real talent but another thing to cheat and enhance yourself synthetically. My dad always said "cheaters never win." He also said some other wise things, but they have nothing else to do with this post, so I'll just move on. Sports are a contest of skill, talent, wisdom, and even wit. Enhancing performance "not the right way" never got anyone anywhere. It gives you records, but crime doesn't pay--especially when you make the biggest, fattest, acne-covered lie about it.

For those who don't really know how it actually started and why it's beginning now, I'll help jog your memory, since God only knows that Bonds himself can't jog as fast (and as long) as I can when it comes to remembering stuff. Alright, I'll stop with the subliminal fat jokes.


-- 2003 - BALCO Scandal - Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson was indicted for supplying anabolic steroids to numerous professional athletes, including Bonds. In order to beat drug tests, Bonds was "unknowingly given" a clear cream that was supposedly a form of flaxseed oil and balm that would treat aching joints. In defense, Bonds stated that the reason why he showed an increase in physical size was due to a change in diet/supplements and bodybuilding.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the "Little Barry" from the 90's [photo from ESPN.com], and "Biiiiig Barry" from the 2000's [photo from BET Blogs]:


Bodybuilding, my patoot. Strict dieting does not make your face blow up. End of aside.

-- 2006 - LIES! - As time progressed, investigations began concerning whether Bonds lied about knowing he had taken steroids, and whether these allegations were kept under the covers by teammates, various players, and even family. Meanwhile, Bonds was getting bonuses, breaking records, and making even the best pitchers feel inferior. Later on, a leaked news report from New York stated that he had tested positive for ampthetamines. Regardless, he went on to become home run king and play an additional year of baseball.

-- 2007 - Starting Rotation - In November of 2007, Bonds was indicted on numerous accounts of perjury. Many of the failed drug test papers were either hidden or skewed, and practically all media hell broke loose. This began the long process of creating a trial, a jury, and getting all of the other business together. Note guys, three years are going to pass now.


Of course, since there's the not-so-funny "roid rage" concepts, such as the goofy stories of him having mistresses and they were being threatened with death and the usual stuff. Then you also get the baseball players coming out of the woodwork going, "Hey! He shot stuff up his you-know-where!--And I was giving him the shots, too!" It's getting ridiculous. Yes, he lied. No, we don't need the whole world to say it. We have the whole MLB season coming up. He's not playing anymore, so we don't need to put up with the fact that he pretty much tainted the sport because he wanted more money and he wanted to be better and more valuable than anyone else. Let's start on a clean slate and let him dig his own six-foot-deep hole.

I know this is an obvious and possibly stupid question, but why exactly did it take about three years to finally get the show on the road? It shouldn't matter whether there are technicalities or not. He slipped through the system, openly lied and pointed fingers at other players, and practically became the poster child of the still ongoing steroid-abuse scandal. He, along with several other players in that era, verbally and physically urinated on the baseball diamond, and the air of competition is thicker than pea soup because of the high standard of playing and ridiculous amount of "fitness" of players today. It's giving upcoming players false pretenses because they think they have to train and act like titans in order to get a high draft spot.

Without doubt, Bonds will be facing jail time and have his records revoked. Hey Bud, is that going to happen? Please? Okay.
Finally, I need to get this out: When you mess with the sports gods, they're going to mess with your family, your friends, your paycheck, your endorsements, and your reproductive organs.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Kill-Joy of NFL

WARNING: No "happy trees" here.

So basically, this is day 5 going into day 6 of the NFL lockout, and life is rather sad for fans and players. Players are getting locked out, the NFLPA is trying to cause a ruckus, and the prospects are like, "Dude...what's going on?" Even though this case is not as scary and as life-threatening as the crisis in Japan (I'm not trying to pull a Gilbert Gottfried here, people) it's still a big deal. Athletes are out of jobs, and they may not have a season to play, and well, some people just won't know what to do on Sundays during the Fall and Winter. Amid this turmoil, they're still releasing a season schedule next month. Are things looking up just yet? Not sure.

Meanwhile, other players are trying to keep themselves busy. Chad Johnson Ochocinco is trying out for MLS with the Kansas City Wizards [EDIT - Apparently the MLS team is now called Sporting Kansas City. What? Sounds stupid, if you ask me.]. Not everybody is working in peace like this. Some players are actually rearing their ugly head at this. Some like Adrian Peterson is comparing this to slavery and that it's unfair. Why he said this I don't understand because honestly, did slaves get paid? No, although they got paid in beatings, but that's besides the point because players get beat up in some ways.

What I'm doing here is venting--venting on how (for the lack of a better word) retarded this whole players lockout is.

The behind the scenes stuff for this fallout is making me crack up. On the other hand, it looks rather childish to me. The NFLPA is coaxing prospects to boycott the draft, almost mocking the NFL officials and preventing them from completing a season and doing anything else productive. I know there's a big deal about money in this, which makes a difference here, but c'mon...you're gonna whisper into prospects' ears into not letting them play in the NFL even if an agreement is made in the near future? Please, we're not in the fifth grade. We can figure out better ways to go around this and fight to get an agreement. This kid fought for freedom and good things, you should try to do the same. Oh wait, he got slammed. Never mind. This still doesn't mean you should go around and persuade people to fuel a really bad forest fire that's eating up deals that have already been finalized.

If you didn't wait until last minute to figure something out, you wouldn't have to push things back like, two or three times. Good heavens, now we're back in college with procrastinating stuff. Okay, we might have grown up a little here, but still. You aren't getting anywhere with making excuses and fighting over budgets and being slap-happy. You're shutting out players that were looking for agreements, you're angering agents and contractors, etc. Honestly owners and the like, you make the business world look like dirt. You can't at least meet halfway with these guys? You're grown up, you should know how to compromise money. Good God, you're a part of one of the largest organized sports organizations in the world, and you can't avoid something like this? Even the MLS avoided this last year, and they haven't been around nearly as long as the NFL. Money talks, and it's telling you guys to stop being ridiculous and be fair and not split hairs. Whoa, I rhymed.

In any case, get the players back in. They're not stupid. The veterans know what needs to be done, and they're smart enough to know how to fix things up with the owners and the like. It's not fair to leave them hanging on something they're involved in. If not for them, this business will cease to grow.

Now stop being moneygrubbers and play nice.

[In short, arena football officials are loving this.]


Friday, March 4, 2011

Honor Codes -- Leaving Room for the Holy Spirit

I never thought it would come down to this, but here is a sports-meets-religion-meets-honor code-meets-whacked out-meets-scrutiny blog post.

I would like you all to turn to your books--or webpages--to the Brigham Young University honor code.
Here, I even have the link for you: Read and Abide. Just Kidding.

Okay, did we all understand that? I did, but being a Catholic, I thought that was as extreme as being either Quaker or Amish. Anyway, what do you think happens when someone breaks these rules? Well, this is where the whole idea of the post came in.

This is a story of BYU Center Brandon Davies. A good-standing man looking to become a star in his field. Where was he at BYU's last game against New Mexico? Gone. Why? The answer may surprise you. He decided to have premarital sex with his girlfriend, and because of that he was dismissed from the team. Not only that, the team lost their chance to be a top seed in the March Madness tournament because of this incident.
Now, I can go on a full-fledged argument about this by stepping on my soapbox and flooding people with my knowledge of religion and how there's separation of church and state and that there should be a set code of ethics in the world of college sports. I won't be doing this. Instead I'll be delving into this and write about how this is a way of life, and those knee-deep in this stuff have to keep these rules and regulations.

In every school, there's a mission statement and an honor code. Of course, they all vary slightly according to general beliefs and administrative preferences. In that case, whomever chooses to attend that school and be in clubs/athletics pretty much sell their souls into the mission of the school (or religious movement, in this case). Unfortunately, this man stuck his large basketball foot so deep into "no-no behavior" that his whole team is going to suffer from it. Do you think they are complaining? I bet they are. To some, it might be for the strangest of reasons, but something like that has been forbidden in their way of life. At this point, you can't start pointing fingers as to who the person is who initiated this act or who the person is who ratted this out. Who knows? Based on discipline even Davies himself admitted to this act and indirectly asked for a punishment in return [that's what the media does to you...it doesn't give every fact so that you can take a stand on a topic]; however, he might not have wanted the whole team to spiral downward along with him. Could this be a statement of warning from the school's administration? Absolutely, but in a different way. It's like a mental "cracking down." Is it a bit harsh? How could it not be?

However, this is their way. Former students have been grateful for the strict honor code, admitting that it has made them become better people. Even BYU's coach Dave Rose admitted that he handled the situation very well and that he is a great person and meant no wrong. I guess what you can say is that Davies handled his incident "the proper way."

Think about it this way: my school (and just about every other college) has their rules and regulations about the use of illegal substances. If an athlete breaks this law, they're out for the rest of the season. It's just the same thing with BYU--only they can't do about 50 more things on top of that. I don't want to sound like I'm joking about stuff like that, but it's rather true. They need to live very pure and chaste lives, and if this is what they think is going to make them better people, well, more power to them. Being a believer was never meant to be easy. For example, it's hard enough for me not being able to eat meat on Fridays of Lent, but it's a sacrifice we Catholics all have to make. [Speaking of...what should I give up for Lent this year?]
And honestly, compared to what I do in my everyday life, I feel completely lazy compared to these LDS people.

Will Davies be back next year? Hopefully... They would like to see him come back. Maybe he will come back as a better person after this incident. Faith can make you do some crazy stuff, but it's all for the best, right?

In short, you can't really help but support their claims and beliefs. It's their honor code, and you can't really complain to something that they believe will strengthen the student body in mind, body, and faith. Sure, there are the other people out there that think religion is a bunch of malarky and refuse to believe that such rules and codes should even exist. But they're still there. Every mission statement and honor code out there is meant to bring the general public steps further to self-actualization and all of the stuff that Maslow said we needed. Even if God wasn't involved in all of this stuff, wouldn't we want to become better people in life anyway? Exactly. Let BYU do it their way and let's not argue.

(The whole "not drinking tea" thing would drive me bonkers. That is all.)
(Where the idea of the post came from. Geez, Andrew's been my story secretary as of late. I'm so off the ball anymore. We all know why too. Thanks, college. More on that at 11.)