ampersand wrote: They will need to answer for their past, however.
Ah, good, it's time for my refrain again: We made our minds up already. It's too damned late.
No. They don't. They didn't have to answer for Hall of Fame athletes dying destitute and homeless in part because of things football had done to them.
This was a news story when it happened. We knew about it. We chose not to care.
The NFL never had to answer for steroids. Nope. That was a major problem in baseball,
but not the sport where people who seem to get bigger and faster every year and, evidently, intentionally try to injure one another. Think about that--steroids to a defensive lineman could get a quarterback or wide receiver killed.
But is it a huge scandal that a team doctor connected with the Steel Curtain of the 1970s was implicated for prescribing steroids to people who did not need them after he left the NFL? Is it a huge scandal when a defensive player gets caught taking PEDs? No, not even close to A story. I mean, when was the last time you heard about this guy?
That's a choice. We chose not to care.Check out this hit.
How close do you think Pat White came to dying in that moment? A few inches here or there? Make sure to stick around for the replay and see it up close. I bet you forgot about this one entirely. Most people forgot it before the game was over.
We forgive the NFL for these things. We forgive them for caring so little about the players that there's always a solid chance that we could see a man die on a Sunday afternoon. (Thank whatever you wish to thank that it hasn't happened.) We forgive them for caring so little about the fans that they threaten to move teams whenever the league doesn't get its way. (Seriously. Threatening Minnesota with a move to Los Angeles just to get a new stadium built? Shouldn't just about everybody be pissed?) So yeah, sadly, we'll probably forgive them in a matter of days for what happens to people after they retire.
And it's not just the NFL. Sports get away with whatever they want, really. Did the NBA suffer any real trouble from having a referee go to prison for trying to fix games, only for him to get out and point the finger at every other ref he could think of? No, the NBA's getting good ratings. The NHL canceled an entire season and fans now act like it's one of the best things that could have happened to the league. Over in Europe, check out the racism around pitch football. I mean really, check it out. It's a problem. It's a huge problem. Does the Champions League suffer? Of course it doesn't! If anything, the PGA gets more
attention now that Tiger Woods turns out to be the golfing version of Don Draper.
Met fans will never fault Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden for redefining "blowing away all your talent," even though who knows how good that team could have been without the cocaine? Did we care that Ray Lewis had friends who killed a couple of guys? Well, he's the face of the fucking league now,
so no. Did it matter--in San Francisco--
that Terrell Owens once tried to badmouth a 49er teammate with vaguely homophobic comments? Well, it looked like a duck and quacked like a duck, but no. People still watch college sports.
I still watch some of them (mostly hockey, mostly because it's the one sport my alma mater is occasionally decent at). The NCAA mistreats athletes in just about every way it can think to screw 'em. But we want more. Football playoffs. Expanded March Madness. Damn the expense, even if the expense is pretty horrible. We will forgive anything. Anything at all. It just has to stay entertaining.
Charlie Sheen will get new television shows whenever he wants them. Robert Downey Junior was given a legal pad of free passes until he got his act together. Mel Gibson still finds consistent work. Lots of people pay good money to see films directed by Roman Polanski. The moment Michael Jackson died, we went right back to talking about how much people loved his music and nothing else. Watch how quickly Penn State starts putting the name "Joe Paterno" all over campus again. It's too late. It's just too damned late.
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.