Friday, July 20, 2007

Thugs And All, I Will Be Watching

I’m like you. I can’t wait for the start of training camp. I am looking forward to the preseason to see what the Lions do or do not have. I am always anxious for the beginning of the NFL season. To me, it is a ritual. And, obviously, I am not alone in that thought. I think it is safe to say it is the most popular of the major professional sports leagues in this country. Yeah, even ahead of my beloved baseball.
I just wonder when the issues involving deviant behavior by NFL players will begin to have an impact.
Michael Vick’s Federal indictment for dogfighting is just the latest incident. Name the crime, some NFL player has done the time - or might be doing it soon. This goes from murder (Rae Carruth) to pimping (Richard Seigler) to just-about-everything (Pac Man Jones, Chris Henry and Tank Johnson combined) to Vick.
But Vick’s involvement is the worst. He is a quarterback - supposedly one of the smart guys. And one of the top dozen players in the league in regard to visibility.
The innocent until proven guilty argument is usually a pretty solid one. Problem is that it takes so long for everything to sort out. Once an indictment is dropped like this, the cloud doesn’t go away until the trial or a plea bargain is complete - even if the accused is proven innocent. The damage has already been done.
But how much damage is it? It’s definitely the National Thug League, but does it matter? Will it have any bearing on the popularity of the league?
I can’t say that it will. I don’t know whether this is bad and I should feel guilty about it, or it is just being typical for an average American sports junkie, but I’ll be watching.

Random Thoughts

- Of all the series the Tigers have played this season, the one in Minnesota was the most impressive. Winning close road games against a team with that type of bullpen was tremendous. I have a feeling the second half of this season is going to be special for the Tigers.

- Don’t get me wrong. I think Marcus Thames has a lot of value to the Tigers. And I do understand why fans like him. I do, too. But if Jim Leyland played him every day, say, for 150 games in a season instead of smartly spotting him in the lineup when he is hot, I doubt he’d hit .230. Just being honest
.
- I find myself rooting for Barry Bonds lately to hit home runs. Not because I am rooting for him, but to just get this mess over. Maybe it’s because I was at the All Star Game and all that, or maybe it is just because I am tired of all the controversy surrounding him. But I have had enough of Barry Bonds. Period. Will this ever end?

6 Comments:

Blogger Fred Brill said...

I want to be excited about the NFL season, but it just ain't happening.

I can't get excited about an offense led by Kitna.

And Vick - he deserves what he gets. At this rate the next NFL player to get in trouble will be for kiddie-porn. This is just sick man.

What happened to honour and integrity?

This is worse than Thug. This is some cruel ... stuff.

I have been dancing in the front yard since we swept Minnesota. Nieghbors are blue jay fans. it's 50/50 over here. They are sick of my smug dancing.

I hope Bonds never hits another homer. I hope he gets close as he is now, then something happens and he can't finish this or any other season.

But I guess cheaters do prosper. How do I explain this to my kids?

3:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Book

The thug issue is just a sign of the times, along with the large rosters in the sport, and the nature of the sport and the atheletes that participate.

It is a sport requiring aggression, physicality and mental toughness. Mix this with the challenging upbringing many young people have today, especially our friends of color who dominate the sport, and you are going to see a larger representation of misbehavior then you will in say basketball or baseball.

This is not to say that it's an African American thing either. Lilly white hockey had a bunch of enforcers who used to walk the edge (remember Probert?).

Allan

4:15 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

I'm with you Pat - hopefully he (Bonds) will just go away.

Danny

6:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It is out of control. How can anybody be involved in dogfighting like that is beyond me. It's amazing how cold some people are. Vick will get what he deserves from this. I am pretty sure of that. You're right about the Lions. Their offense looks pretty good except at QB. They don't have a good backup, either, it seems to me.
Caputo

9:18 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
I agree that being a thug is an equal opportunity employer. It's a problem across the board. Basketball and baseball have gone through this in the past, in the 70s in the NBA, and 80s in baseball, when it was drugs - mostly cocaine - more than anything else. Both have cleaned up that aspect (although performance enhancing drugs remain an issue in baseball). Hopefully, the NFL will clean up its act as well.
Caputo

9:22 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Danny,
I don't know. Seems like we're flypaper and Barry Bonds is a fly. We're stuck with him.
Caputo

9:23 AM 

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