Anyway, all of the above is simply a ramp-up for a posting about sports. They don't come very often.
I hear much grumbling in the dank corners of the Internet that Pete Rose should be "allowed back into baseball". Let's set the record straight: Pete Rose is sleaze. He basically crapped all over the game he supposedly loved. He then lied about his craptastic activities. There is no constitutional right to be a part of professional sporting activity. His presence in the Baseball Hall-O-Fame would be a sham. Let him die and then, maybe, have a plaque honoring him installed in a Cooperstown ladies bathroom.
Penn State Football
Yes, Penn State is winning football games. Yeah! But let's not forget that it was a "football uber-alles" mentality that got the school national attention for allowing the rape of little boys by an assistant coach. Yes, I know, it was the assistant coach who assaulted the boys, but that activity was passively condoned by a head coach and an administration. Passively allowed. When a child is seen being assaulted by an assistant coach and the observer doesn't immediately rush in to try and stop the activity, well then I suspect that maybe concerns for a football program begin to outweigh concerns for basic morality. Never forget Penn Staters...never forget. This alumni will not, that's for sure.
High School Sports
I've watched three high school football games so far this year, which for me is a lot. I actually enjoy watching the kids play. The fact that they make mistakes helps to create much more enjoyable spectacle. What's more, high school football games create this unique sense of community that you just don't see just about anywhere else. Let's not forget though that sports are secondary to the formal education that schools provide to our children. I cringe when I hear and read stories about academic programs being cut in schools due to budgetary concerns, yet football and other sports programs are left in tact. Oh, and let's set the record straight: virtually no high school football program is even capable of earning enough money to pay for itself, when you consider the costs associated with facilities, staff, liability insurance, equipment, transportation and the like. If you love high school sports then you should also love paying your property taxes. Period.
So we have this endeavor that encourages people to be ultra violent...
...and we pay these folks very, very well to be that way...
...and by and large the people engaging in these activities are poorly educated products of college jock factories...
...and then we shutter in disbelief that they may engage in violent activity at home?
Come on people, let's get real. I'm not, in any way, shape or form condoning the violent activities of any professional football players (from any team, be they the Washington Wife-Beaters or the Cincinnati Child-Abusers), but I am saying that these individuals are the products of the systems in which they have been placed. It's starts in high school, with football players being allowed to cut classes (because we all know that football is more important than education). Then it progresses to college, where blind eyes are turned on the extra-football social activities of star players, some of whom are not even qualified to be in college in the first place (and yet manage to get through four years of academic studies...hmmmmmm, I wonder how?). Then they graduate to the professional ranks where they are worshiped as icons by a bread-and-circuses desiring population. We then feign outrage when these athletes act as if they can get away with beating a spouse or a child? Oh come on! These athletes have been trained to believe that they can get away with just about anything.
In the final analysis, I do believe that sports do play an important role in our society...as entertainment. Yes, I said entertainment. The fact that these activities play a far larger role in society today than just another means of entertainment speaks to the fact that it's in the best interests of some that the populace be distracted and complacent. Bread and circuses folks, bread and circuses.