Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day #2…. What in the Wild World of Sports is Going On?

I introduced myself to you guys yesterday and hope I didn’t scare anyone off. Being from the south, the water cooler talk seems to center on the same things I mentioned yesterday (The Bingo 11, Colonial Bank, Government Corruption and Auburn University) and I bet this is the case state wide.  I will get back to that stuff, I just want to touch on a couple of other things that I feel need to be addressed.

Talking Point #1 – THE NFL – The last time Major League Baseball went on strike pretty much made me not care about the sport as much. I actually heard Tom Glavine (MLB Players Association Representative at the time) publically say something to the effect of, “Well if that happens I will only get $6 million this year.” Now please do not hold me to that as being a direct quote, but that was in the neighborhood of what he said. Being a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan (and if you’ll remember the Braves were playing some good ball at that time), I could not believe that he made the statement. My first thoughts? “HEY TOM, try getting up at 5am, going to a job you hate and are severely underpaid for doing.”  It’s a game; you’re getting paid to play it. Paid heavily I might add. Well, I feel the same way about the current labor talks (I use the term “labor” very loosely) between the owners and players in the NFL. Just how much money do you need? People are starving in the streets all around this country, there are bunnies and puppies that are being abused by mean teenagers every day, we have space junk, global warming, worldwide terrorist threats, a failing economy and the looming permanent cancellation of “Two and a Half Men”…YET, you guys are worried about if you make $8 million or $9 million next year? Give me a break. You guys are playing for us, you know, the ones who keep the country moving while you live in your big houses and count your money.  AND owners….just shut up. I think the league minimum should be $100k per year and the league max $150K. I think owners should give a percentage of their profits back to the states in the form of education donations. I guess we should get over the greed factor first though.

Talking Point #2 – ESPN’s Mike & Mike – I listen to the show daily on my drive into work. I do this mainly because being from “Small Town, Alabama” they are the only sports radio station available. Both Mike’s offend my intelligence on a regular basis, but when I heard the wimpy one say this morning that it was the fan’s fault that this was going on in the NFL, I almost wrecked.  He said that we made too big of a deal out of things and had allowed pro football to walk all over us. He went on to say that life goes on and the sun will rise tomorrow regardless of what happens with the NFL labor talks. Now wimpy Mike, exactly how is it our fault again? What control do we have over any of it? It may be that we, as fans, put too much stock and faith in what our nation’s professional athletes do, but keep in mind that part of the reason we do this is to keep our minds off of the crappy jobs with crappy paychecks we work at day in and day out. The NFL is there for our entertainment. I suppose that is what you are there for as well, but watching paint dry is honestly more entertaining. If I could do that on my drive to work, believe me, I would.

Talking Point #3 – MEDIA BLITZ (or lack thereof) – If you read yesterday’s post, it is easy to see that the state of Alabama is a very busy place right now. All of the money men are trying to find ways to keep their stolen dollars hidden, all of the gambling men are trying to find someone to buy all of their slot machines that cannot be used within the state lines, and all of the snakes at Auburn University are trying to find a way to keep Scott Moore’s tapes from being real. My question is why can’t Mike Golic and Wimpy Mike talk about some of that instead of how sports fans everywhere are the reason that the NFL could potentially go on strike? Why doesn’t FOX sports talk about the fact that the head of the now defunct Colonial Bank also doubles as the man behind the curtain at Auburn University? Why doesn’t Yahoo Sports talk about how the main man involved in “BingoGate” also was a large shareholder in aforementioned Colonial Bank and also a large contributor to Auburn University? Why doesn’t CNN talk about the fact that many of the indicted “Bingo 11” have direct financial ties to both Colonial Bank and Auburn University? Why doesn’t Sports Illustrated talk about the incessant buzz coming out of Louisiana  and Arkansas about “sure thing” recruits suddenly opting to go play for a new coach with a losing record down on the plains? Why can’t CBS sports mention that former Auburn coach, Pat Dye, was also a shareholder in the aforementioned Colonial Bank? Why doesn’t the New York Times feel a need to address the constant legal maneuvering in attempt to keep the wiretaps out of the public eye in the aforementioned Alabama corruption cases? Just exactly what do you media guys get paid to do? Oh that’s right; you get paid to blame all of us for all that is wrong in the world of sports.

I have a piece of advice for you true Auburn fans and I really do believe this is sound advice. When the whole Albert Means / Logan Young fiasco was ongoing, many Alabama fans (myself included) viewed everything that was obvious to you Auburn fans and the rest of the college football world with our crimson colored glasses. That was a huge mistake by all of us. I am lucky enough to have friends that knew some of the details on the Means case before it hit mainstream media. These friends all told me that this did not look good for Alabama (although I must say none of them even foresaw Alabama getting hammered as hard as they did). I chose to ignore the facts and continued to think everything would be ok. This is exactly what the Auburn fan base is doing. As has been said a hundred thousand times on a thousand different internet message boards, sports talk radio shows and Alabama state media publications, the Cam Newton saga is the least of Auburn Universities’ worries. The other stuff that is making headlines every day is a much bigger problem to the Plainsmen. When you have a Federal agent that is quoted as saying to a Mississippi State booster, “You guys will just be a footnote to all of this.” Trust me, there are bigger things going on than Cam Newton allegedly getting $200k to lead your football team to a BCS National Championship. Now, I will say that I think the now infamous “Cam Newton Tapes” will be a part of all of this, but there is much more out there relating to the school that has not even surfaced yet.  While we are talking about Cam, I should say that I’ve been told there are at least two other series of tapes out there that are not related to the Mississippi State boosters (Bond & Bell). More on this when I have the ok to talk about it.  I think Auburn has a whole lot of things they need to be worried about. For instance, the fact that many of the players in the state of Alabama’s bribery, money laundering and fraud cases actually hold positions within the Auburn University administration should be an eye opener for the Tiger faithful.  I understand though, us Alabama fans have been there. It’s hard to admit that your favorite school has some major problems heading their way. Just remember, if it walks like a tiger, roars like a tiger, it most likely isn’t an eagle.


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