This summer, my brother played on his little league 12U baseball team, and I tried to go to as many of his games as possible. They were pretty successful, as they won their District Championship and were one win away from entering the regional round of play. They always seemed to have a great time on the field and my brother loved playing, but there was one thing that bothered me at every game I attended: parents (including my own). Read More
Recently, I read a post by user shenwick entitled The Demise of the NFL. The author argues that the NFL is responsible for players’ injuries and also for making the league safer. He asserts that “it is morally appalling to let fans stand idly by and watch their favorite players destroy their bodies,” further asking “Is it right that retired players “can’t walk for any extended distance[s]” or “hurt like hell every morning when [they] wake up” for our entertainment? While I do think player safety is important and an admirable thing to strive for, I can’t help but disagree. So long as football continues to be football, injuries will happen, and there is only so much that the league can do. Fans are not going to give up on the sport just because it is violent, and I do not think that players should solely be treated as victims in this situation.
I was on the phone with my brother earlier this week, and he told me that he had to stop playing in his rec soccer league because it interfered with travel. When I asked him how he felt about it, his answer caught me off guard. “I don’t really care,” he said, “travel is better and people take it more seriously.” I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, as he’s a kid who likes to surround himself with the most competitive people possible. Still, I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed for him. Throughout my baseball career, rec leagues provided a much-needed- and possibly even more enjoyable- reprieve from high school and travel ball.
This summer, Nike released this ad in celebration of Derek Jeter’s final season. It quickly went viral, and soon enough, #RE2PECT was plastered all over every social media site imaginable. Not surprisingly, people got tired of all the Jeter worship and The Onion started publishing articles like this, mocking the fact that people were talking about him as if he were dying. While I agree that the marketing and discussion regarding his retirement got a little old, the Yankee fan in me let it slide. Jeter was a winner and a fantastic player, but most of all was an excellent role model and person-something that his contemporary Alex Rodriguez never was.
Fast forward to last week, when the World Series ended and Alex Rodriguez was reinstated after serving a 162 game (full season) suspension. Almost instantaneously, people began to reference the infamous Jeter commercial, and “Bald Vinny,” a Yankees fan famous for his hilarious ramblings and entrepreneurial pursuits, released these #FORG1V3 shirts. Obviously this is just a tongue-and-cheek response to the overblown Jeter coverage, but it does raise an interesting question: Is what Alex Rodriguez did forgivable? Was his involvement with Biogenesis and performance enhancing drugs bad enough to make him one of the most disliked athletes in the country? Read More
A few weeks ago, I was sitting on my bed watching TV when this hilariously corny Skechers commercial featuring Pete Rose came on. It’s nice that the guy can laugh at himself, I thought, but seeing him shamelessly promote his lifetime ban from Major League Baseball made me feel for the guy. I always thought he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, especially after he so eloquently called out Robinson Cano last year (I’m a bitter Yankees fan). I had the same reasons as everybody else- he was one of the greatest hitters of all time, he never hurt anybody, he (supposedly) only bet on his team to win, and he only gambled as a manager. In his own words, “I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers second chances in the world of baseball.” After reading Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens, however, I started to think about what Rose’s actions meant for the game of baseball. Read More