Monday, September 8, 2008

Sucker Punches and Spelling Bees

There are a lot of messed up things about American sports today, but if I could only change three things, they would be...

Change Number One

Stop playing the National Spelling Bee on ESPN

I don't care if it is on ESPN 6 or whatever. It's not a sport. I'm not all that bright but i'm pretty certain that ESPN is a sports network. I have a hard enough time considering NASCAR a sport or Golfers athletes. Just because the average American can't do it doesn't make it a sport. Most people can't speak three languages, but being tri-lingual isn't a sport. Neither is being able to spell difficult words.

Who's idea was this?

I mean seriously, are they making the claim that these kids are athletes?

I'm pretty sure nothing is going on at those competitions that involves a whole lot of agility, or strength, or having any limbs.

C-SPAN maybe. ESPN no.

Change Number Two

Treat Quarterbacks like football players, not snowflakes

I'm all for keeping injuries to a minimum, especially in a sport like football where injuries are so prevelent, but it's getting out of hand.

In the Bears Colts game, Urlacher came in and hit Peyton Manning as the ball was leaving his hands, you know, he was playing defense. Instead, he was slapped with a roughing the passer penalty, because apparently Peyton Manning wears all those pads because they make his legs look slimmer, not because, well, it's a contact sport. I mean what's Urlacher supposed to do, he jumped into Peyton Manning, he tossed up a prayer at the last possible moment.

I wasn't aware that the definition of roughing the passer was any contact with a QB that isn't a sack. It's already pretty much illegal for cornerbacks to cover wide recievers without getting slapped with a pass interference call, and holding is basically never called, and your not allowed to horse coller tackle anyone so if your trailing a ball carrier your options are real limited. Why are we making it even harder to play defense. Are they trying to make the NFL the NBA?

Change Number Three

The Double Standard of Sports Brawls.

When Carmelo Anthony and co. got in a scrap with the Knicks last season, Anthony recieved a 15 game suspension. He was also called a thug, as were his teamates and opponents. All that for more or less slapping someone and then retreating.

When a bench clearing brawl occured between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs a couple seasons ago, all anyone talked about was the heated Cubs-Sox rivalry and how A.J. Pierzynski has a knack for getting into shenanigans. This is a fight that saw a Cubs player heading to the hospital after getting clocked by Brian Anerson.

Sportscenter plays often nasty hockey fights on the top ten plays of the day.

Am I knocking sports brawls? No way. I love sports brawls. They're proof that athletes play for more then just money.

My problem is with the double standard.

15 day suspension and public shaming for Carmelo Anthony, a couple minutes in the penalty box for a hockey fight that ends in a knock out. "But it's hockey man, boys will be boys!" I agree totally, but why are those same sports folk talking about the NBA and its image problem?

Is it a race thing? The NHL is almost totally white, the MLB has more white and hispanic players than black. The NBA however, is for the most part black. Is it a race thing? You tell me?

Carmelo slapping and dancing=thug.

Nolan Ryan puts Robin Ventura in a head lock and bashes him in the skull repeatedly=teaching a young whipper snapper a lesson in manners.

Race thing? Without a doubt, and it's thinly veiled.


Kristen Charles said...

Did you see the WNBA brawl last July? I don't follow the WNBA, but saw it in a youtube clip.

Your entry inspired me to look up the penalties for those involved. Five players were suspended from the Sparks, and five players and an assistant coach were suspended from the Shock. Seven of them were suspended for one game, three for two. The AC sat out four games.

I agree with you that the men's basketball facing penalties for fighting may be dependant on stereotypes of different races. However, I think there are some negative stereotypes of Hispanics, too. And I'd bet women are punished more often (though not necessarily as severely) than men regardless of the sport because sucker punches just aren't very lady like.

uisjmc Cabalka said...

I really enjoyed the post, I completely agree with the spelling bee on TV. I feel the same way when poker is on, and I can't stand watching nascar...but I do have to argue that golf is definitely a sport. I don't understand how anyone can argue that it's takes complete physical ability and people like Tiger Wood prove how much talent the game actually takes.