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Today, I Made A Choice...
I am, or have been, a reasonably sports minded individual for a long time. Not a fanatic, not one of those people you see on TV in football stadiums across the land in the dead of winter, shirt off, writing on my flabby belly kind of sports person; no, that's definitely not me. Rather, I am a passionate/passive sports person, moderately dedicated to my specific region/team kind of person. St. Louis Cardinals in baseball; used to be the St. Louis Cardinals in football until they left the state. I never did follow another football team after that debacle, just drifted away from the sport pretty much altogether. Soccer: nope. Hockey: nada. Basketball: well, I enjoyed the Michael Jordan years to a degree but the only team I can say I truly followed was the old Philadelphia Seventy Sixers led by the Doctor, Julius Erving. His grace and style won many people to his team.
So it is safe to say that I have both watched and listened to ESPN over the years. Watched ESPN when I could on the tube and listened to ESPN Radio while in the car driving somewhere.
Today, I Turned Off ESPN Radio
Over time, I have gradually removed certain ESPN Radio Hosts off as they changed, grew tiresome, became more confrontational. Steven A. Smith; Pardon The Interruption; The Herd with Colin Cowherd became casualties in my decision making, my choice to no longer listen to their ranting and raving ways, their arrogance and manners putting me off and I no longer listen or watch to them at all. I just can't stand their attitudes.
The one show I still listened to over the years fairly often has been Mike and Mike In The Mornings. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic have been an enjoyable source of sporting news and I have remained a listener. Until today. I just got fed up with their defending that which, in my mind, there should be no defense for.
The fact that Sports Figures get multiple chances to offend both us and the law, then are allowed to waltz right back into a job that pays them more in year than most of us will make in a lifetime angers me. I'm sick of that mentality!
i have written elsewhere that this disparity between those that can throw a ball and those who are less talented sportswise is a chasm that cannot be breached. Yet We the People continue to not only allow, but to encourage this chasm to exist and grow even wider. The Ray Rice's of the world, those wife-beaters, drug users, thugs, law breakers, scum of society continue to flaunt their poor decision making then after they are caught, sentenced to prison, become a felon they come back to the sport, appear in front of a camera and follow a script which says how sorry they are, that they won't do this ever again and are welcomed back into the fold, all past deeds forgotten.
What about those of us in the Real World? How does that work for us? If we beat our spouse, use and/or deal drugs, shoot or kill someone, are we allowed back to our former workplace? Is the slate wiped clean? Are we forgiven by our employer?
Not a prayer.
What Prompted My Decision Today
Mike Golic, the former football player who is, if not the comic relief to Greenberg's straight man is at least the less serious of the tandem. Yet today, he was defending a person's right to continue on in their chosen profession after heinous actions were brought to light. Those actions are not ones which have occurred in the immediate past but even so: they occurred. The upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have brought past offenses to the forefront, coming on the heels of recent football players guilty of the same vicious attacks on women. Golic said repeatedly that Mayweather's past convictions should not be a factor in his ability to perform in the sport's arena and basically we should let it go. So, what are those offenses? Try this on for size:
2002 two counts of Domestic Abuse and one of Misdemeanor Battery. Six month suspended sentence, two days house arrest, 48 hours community service.
2004 two counts misdemeanor battery against two women, one year suspended sentence, counseling for impulse control, $1,000 fine.
2005 no contest to misdemeanor battery for hitting and kicking a bouncer, 90 day suspended sentence.
2010 domestic battery charges filed then dropped after the former girlfriend recanted. The next day felony theft was added. A week later two felony coercion charges, one felony robbery charge, one domestic battery charge and three misdemeanor harassment charges were added. A year later he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for his battery upon her. He then reached a plea deal with prosecutors to drop the felony battery charge to misdemeanor battery. Pleading no contest to the harassment charges he had (which were a result of his behavior towards his own children) he received an additional 100 hours of community service, 12 months domestic violence program required, and a fine of $2,500. So for all of those charges brought against this fighter, this woman beater, this threaten-er of children he received a whole 90 days in jail and a total of $3,500 in fines. Wow. And now he stands to make literally tens of millions of dollars in his upcoming fight when he should still be rotting in jail for his behavior, his treatment of women and children. And somewhere, people will pay untold dollars to watch this "man" fight another man while he is cheered by those sad excuses for humans. Should this be allowed? Encouraged? Idolized? Should we continue to behave in this manner, this making heroes and idols out of people in sports who perform these atrocities?
No! A decisive NO! Resounding,definitive, without a doubt NO WE SHOULDN'T!
Why should we continue to fall deeper and deeper into this abyss of continued forgiveness? Why should we allow, no encourage this repulsive behavior in our civilization? We ourselves are not subject to this wonderful treatment by our employers. We do not get repeated chances after committing the horrible actions such as these "athletes" have performed then prance arrogantly back to where they desire to be, reaping millions of dollars along the way. Our jobs, and oftentimes our way of life is forever changed, if not utterly destroyed.
Why are they any different!?
Why? Because we allow it; we encourage it. We are so filled with our desire to adore someone, anyone who we perceive as being better than us that we beg them to continue. What is it deep within us that seeks out the worst humanity has to offer? What drives our upscale, far from the hood children to seek out those hip hop, rap thugs who write the drivel about how bad life on the streets is; lyrics (I hesitate to call them that) that encourage police killing and assault; degradation against women; drug usage; foul language filled with F-bombs and worse concealed as words of music? Why do these same children adopt the sagging and bagging pants which expose their underwear and butts personified by those "performers"? Evidently our society is so depraved that the worst scums, the very dregs can become idols to us. A factoid here for those of you who have made it this far: do you know why this sagging and bagging was created? Was it a fashion style? Nope; it was developed in prison as a way felons could advertise that their rear ends were for sale: prison sex. That's right all you followers of this fashion: you are unknowingly sending a message that your butt can be had!
How incredibly sad.
The end result here has been a rant of sorts, but I do not intend it to be. Rather I intend this be a wakeup call to the rest of us to stop allowing, encouraging this behavior. To no longer allow behavior that we find repulsive; to stop being such sad followers of a portion of civilization that breeds the absolute worst in us, that lifts up bad choices and decision making, that personifies that which destroys and harms. To find something else to fill our time with, say our families maybe? To teach our children that you can succeed without breaking the rules, without "Breaking Bad". To turn off that TV show which strives to pull us into their world of degradation and lowered standards of living and find something else to do that will lift you and others up. To stop allowing the continued fall from grace in America today.
So, Where Do I Think This Hub Will Go?
What do I expect to happen with this Hub? Not much; even though I have a few hundred followers here only a handful will read, fewer still will comment or even pass along. Our society has become so complacent that we allow poor behavior to rule. Consequences for our actions are excused as a child, timeouts and talking replacing hard guidelines and expectations backed by stern discipline until we are becoming a society filled with whiners, beggars, overgrown children who demand others capitulation in every avenue and throw fits when they do not receive it. We as adults have been brainwashed to believe that a swat on the hind end is evil, that it is child abuse. That resisting allowing our children to dictate to us where they go, who they are with, how long they are on the computer and phone is not only right but A RIGHT. That we are to allow our children a voice in everything from what they will eat for dinner to what they wear to how they speak to others to how they learn.
We have lost control and have now handed over the reins of our children to those who have no comprehension as to how a solid citizen should be raised. We are becoming a society of overgrown children, doing what we choose rather than what we should. Will we learn before we destroy our civilization? Or after?
I believe that this article, written with the fear of the future, with the passion for not only knowing what is right but doing that most difficult thing: doing what is right will receive my normal amount of views (say, 30 to 50); will receive a normal amount of comments (in the 5 to 10 range) and fall by the wayside, never to be heard from again. Why? Because we are lazy; it is easier to do nothing than to do the right thing, to make a decision, a change, a difference. Easier to sit on our rear ends and complain than to get up and change the station, to take a step towards a better way of life, to take back control of our country and our children. To say no to those who flaunt their way of life, their gutter language and lifestyle and say yes to the good in life. So I challenge those few who will read this to to not only read, but to pass along, to throw down your own gauntlet and turn off that which is despicable, wrong, heinous and do something, anything else that will improve not only your way of life but those around you. If you choose to remain on your hind end so be it. I will not; no more. And I will rein in my efforts, my energy and place it primarily where I know I can do the most good: my family.
I turned off a radio show that I have listened to for fifteen years; what will you do?