"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network
It surrounds and consumes us on a daily basis. Overindulgence. We overload on food and give rise to TV programs where participants can divest themselves of an entire person. Look at the people walking in front of you today. You can land small planes on their butts if they were to lie down. Obviously, they are the same ones that get those discounted rooms in Las Vegas, the ones without mirrors.
We have self professed experts on morning shows telling us about everything from body language signals sizing up a potential mate to how to shake hands as indicative of the basis for a greeting or business deal. They come out of the woodwork to counsel all on the raising of children, maintaining a proper sex drive and how to sell your home or invest what little you have left these days. Write a book of some sort, mix with lemon juice and become an instant authority and black belt of advice.
Do one reality show and we are drowning in them. What is the reality of some of the things on display? When was the last time you were marooned on a desert island? Do any of you really seek out a nanny to counsel you on the raising of your children? Mary Poppins she is not. Her umbrella does not launch her skyward and she does not slide up banisters.
We have people competing for stardom that have been asked to give up their apartment and condo leases for singing in the shower. Even the pigeons that frequent the ledges have flown to quieter places. The police have stopped responding to shrieks indicative of someone being brutalized. It is an excessive display of unwarranted and unjustified thoughts about having some talent, any talent at all.
Excess abounds. We are on overload, overdrive and, from the world of a snort here and needle there, overdosed.
Which brings us to sports and Michael Phelps, for openers. OK, someone(s)
with a cell phone that takes photos caught him in the act of having a toke.
It was a scratch on the monument erected but interpreted to be a crack in the
base about to bring it down. Gimme a break! How quickly the scavengers of
the media, the bottom feeders, rush to the ramparts of journalistic inquiries
to feature the imperfection of an idol, a human version of Neptune. Once one
of us achieves that lofty standing, we immediately attach perfection, purity,
excellence and incomparability to their very being. It is insane. As humans
we are imperfect. We make mistakes. Phelps did not kill, maim, steal, abuse,
punch his mother or deny his citizenship.
Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing, but recently ran into trouble with the law over some inappropriate actions.
Was he stupid? Sure. Any of you out there that are not familiar with that?
Is he held to a higher standard? Yes and wrongly so. He, like the rest of
us, is fragile. He slipped; he did not go into a nosedive, no pun intended.
We choose forgiveness and then dole it out. Who the heck made us gods to do
that and who, certainly, ordained the media as the current crop of leftovers
from Mount Olympus? Even those folks tripped all over themselves and they
Everyone falls down. Everyone. No exceptions. It just becomes a matter of
who, when and where. And, the media, the public, does not have a right to
know. What a trite and overused phrase that has become. Maybe we are
entitled to know if the folks we elected are stealing from the collection
plate. Granted. We have a right to know if they are putting our lives in
jeopardy with some of their decisions. If they are affecting our lives with a
stimulus package that will not really stimulate much (and, yes, I voted for
him), But, they do not have right to raise the blinds and peek in.
Alex Rodriguez brought frailty and infirmity to his stature. There is no denying that. There is also no denying just how good a ballplayer he is. The media reveled in the fact that the admission of years past took place while wearing pinstripes although it had nothing to do with his tenure in New York. No Hall of Fame, they cried. Another asterisk in the record bookthey quickly added. But, the others that have abused their wives, been arrested for DUI, and committed other transgressions not related to substance abuse are just boys being boys.
Alex Rodriguez recently admitted to using steroids back in 2001-03 while playing for the Texas Rangers.
Give it a rest! No, doing what one is not supposed to do, no matter how minimal, is wrong. But, baseball turned a blind eye to most of what took place, whatever the degree of it, and now ballplayers like Rodriguez are blemished as though there are tracks on their arms and legs. The season will start, the fans at places like Fenway will get on his case with stupid signs and life will go on.
A woman has octuplets and we are seeing interviews with everyone and anyone the morning shows can dig up. In Philadelphia, the Eagles backed into the playoffs, thanks to Tampa Bay, and the pundits and fans cannot let it go - still thinking they have a Super Bowl team. The Philadelphia Phillies in the same town win the World Series, field a hell of a team and words like "dynasty" are being tossed around by Brad Lidge during interviews. Meanwhile, everyone else is already planning back to back victories and parades. Excess that is fun? Yes, but excess nonetheless.
Restaurant food portions are outrageous and can feed most third world countries. We buy two of everything, necessary or not, if we have coupons. All of you have closets full of unneeded items. We ask, and demand, too much of athletes but those in the entertainment industry, idols to the youth of the nation, can do no wrong regardless of how much wrong they do.
I, for one, want to see Phelps win more medals in the next Olympics and Rodriguez continue to break records. Do you know why the stars of yesteryear did not try to use steroids or other substances to enhance their performance? Because they did not have them back then.
Give it a rest and try forgiveness now and then, stop placing our heroes up too high and start looking in the mirror more often. Do I believe that any of you, fans or writers, can take the perfection test and score a passing grade? You gotta be kidding!