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Come For The Game, Stay For The Scandals

By GARRICK SEE

It’s hard to ignore the many incidences involving the debauchery of the nature of sports as of late, and with the two biggest stories right now involving Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, one can only wonder when the caring for the actual sports will take place.

When one of my professors showed the entire class a meme involving the act of “Te’oing,” it was only right then and there did I know about the real story behind it seeing as I don’t follow football. In fact, the only time I would turn my head toward that sport is when something outrageous comes out of it such as Michael Vick’s arrest for being involved in dog fighting, Penn State’s incident or even something as trivial as Brent Musburger’s rather inappropriate comment toward Alabama’s A. J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, who was Miss Alabama.

It’s true that nothing short of drama is worth watching or knowing, but that used to happen only in the game itself. Now, sports have gained a new life in preserving the bad and turning it into good publicity. Team critiques and post-game discussions have all been dropped to the back of the lineup behind stories off the field.

I’ll admit that occasionally I’ll succumb to the notion of ridiculing or taking advantage of calling out a sportsperson, but I am first and foremost a lover of the game itself. Being a soccer fan, there are endless amounts of gossips, scandals, blowouts and ridiculousness to keep track of, but when it comes right down it, it’s all business during those 90 minutes of play. Whatever each athlete does before or after those 90 minutes is just another TMZ story to me.

Do these stories make the sport more exciting? Definitely. Does it matter when the actual game is on play? Not at all. A sport is between the strength and abilities of the competitors themselves and besides incidents such as drugging and doping that actually harm the sport, nothing else should matter beyond that.

It’s typical of people, in general, to take advantage of something they feel comfortable letting themselves be engrossed in and they do this because it either makes them feel good, or they want to make us look bad. As spectators of various sports around the world, we should have the right to use these don’t-play-by-the-rules athletes and set a better example for the many young children who are just beginning to feel the love and passion for competitive sports.

I know that I wouldn’t want my future son or daughter to learn that sports are dirty games to begin with, and so I hope that even though we can’t control the athletes, we could at least try to bring forth the positivity and innocent love for something bigger than ourselves.
gsee@lanthorn.com

Published January 23, 2013 in Global Perspectives

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