The Lessons from the Tiger and the Bengal
The sports world is just so rich with colorful children’s stories. Why, in just this last year we’ve had epochs of moral integrity … enough epochs to develop a whole children’s book series … I think I’ll call the series: “Role Models.” Here are some of the titles I’m throwing around: “Killing Fido with Michael Vick”, “Getting Shot in the Head while Cheating on Your Mistress: The Lessons of Steve McNair”, “How to Cheat on the Field with Steroids and off the Field with a 45 year old Washed-up Diva: A Year with A-Rod”, “Big Ben’s Legal Boo-Boo”, “Putting Your Balls in the Wrong Holes: How to be a Player with Tiger Woods” and finally, “The Bengal Who Fell Off the Back End of Pick-Up Truck and Cracked His Head Wide Open: Stupidity as Defined by Chris Henry.”
Chris Henry is one of those people that make me thankful for evolution. In fact, I’m going to throw Henry’s name in the whole “Darwin’s Award” discussion for this year … maybe even this decade because if anybody deserves it, it’s got to be my man. I don’t want to take any Darwinian discussions away from the only living Neanderthal, Ron Artest, who in his blog to Tiger Woods, wrote about how he too often wants to have sex with multiple women, and therefore can’t really blame Tiger, but Ronnie remembers his wife and children and it keeps him clean … most of the time (for one of the best blogs ever, let me refer you to Ronnie’s blog to Tiger http://www.ronartest.com/blog/?p=74).
Seriously though, we can’t blame them … they are after all, the gods of our nation’s male demographic. We pay them steep tributes, we erect massive temples in their name, we give them our best women (Wilt Chamberlain boasted about sleeping with 15,000 women during his basketball career), we follow them with warrior like admiration (NOTE: tailgating), we stroke their Egos from the age of twelve and we allow them to do anything they damn well please, because, after all, they are gods.
Dwayne Walton and I were talking about starting a “Character Training School for the Gods.” A school that would use god-like stimuli to teach these guys that cheating is not nice, that killing dogs is bad, that using drugs is unhealthy, that investing millions of dollars in a time machine is probably unprofitable and that you should probably wear your seat-belt when you get in a car with your angered fiancee. Yet, I’m not sure if we could get the gods to attend the school … after all, they know more than we do and they play by a different set of rules ….
Well, except for Chris Henry. Poor guy, I guess the laws of gravity do apply to star football players. Oh, then there’s Tiger Woods, whose wife is about to leave him … I guess there are moral consequences in the heavens. And Steve McNair … yeah, I guess bullets through the head do kill the gods. And Mike Vick did go to jail. And it does seem like Big Ben has been distracted this year … his Steelers aren’t looking so hot. And A-Rod … apparently even the ever sweet Kate Hudson has left him, after Madonna left him, after his wife left him.
Maybe there are rules for the gods too. But, I’m afraid, one of the main reasons children admire these stud athletes, like the title of my book series suggests, is because these guys can get anything they want, have all the fame they want and can supposedly do anything they want and the kids buy into the lie. But, this year … this decade in sports has confirmed otherwise.
As these gods are proving, they aren’t really gods after all. Call me a bitter atheist, but I’m looking for some replacements.