Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fired up in sports world

Now I do live and breathe sports. A part of me always has. Maybe not all the stats parts. I can't tell you who has the best yards per carry, nor can I tell you who will win the Super Bowl this year. But, what I can tell you is that, by the numbers, the players themselves are not all that bad. Sure, we have players that make REALLY stupid choices that have you shaking your head asking, "for that kind of money I can play 17 weeks a year, eat right, and not go to jail!"- what the heck! We have run out and bought jerseys of our favorite "tough guy" only to learn that it wasn't an act, he really is an a$$ and maybe we don't want our kids wearing or idolizing someone who regularly smacks around players on the field only to go in the locker room doing it, and we find it doesn't stop there.
Sure living a party life sounds great, but we also know that work does mean responsibility, and "the temple body" thing is something we don't want our children to think means racing 500 laps equals victory with a beer! Yet, sponsors pay large amounts of money to make sure "THEIR" beverage is the first item guzzled as the driver pours out of the car. Nothing says "victory" after driving in the heat, sweating like crazy for hours on end like a nice cold beer. I'd be so happy Gatorade sponsored me. (IV STAT!)

But really, the numbers please... I came across an article written in September that talked about Dante' Stallworth and his sentence. The writer, felt, more or less, that it was a lack of a sentence, and that pro-athletes need to be held to higher standard when it comes to crimes (like DUI) to set an example. Well, I about blew a gasket! For one, we can't have sentencing guidelines based on "class" rather than crime. Many argue we already do, as in "if you have money- lighter sentence, if you don't- enjoy prison".  I read an excellent article by a former chief of police, secret service, etc. You may remember him from 9/11 from New York. He just recently finished his time in federal prison, and screamed the anthem many sing- PRISON IS BROKEN. The sentencing guidelines are flawed, Ex- NYPD Chief Kerik explained it so clearly, yet takes alot of criticism for saying it. People feel he's complaining about his charges... nope just pointing out, spending 10 years for drugs doesn't "teach" anything (life skills, etc). Then when they are released, the cycle continues! For the record, he was in prison for tax charges.

Back to the numbers... people seem to see the "perp" walk and that's what they remember. That PRO or the headline, and before anything else is said "athletes are just running wild" but seriously... let's breakdown some serious numbers... As we all know, the NFL has 32 teams, with 52 rostered players activated players and various others on injury/or reserved status, plus a practice squad. Counting only the 52 players that gives 1,662 men (hang with me). Moving to the MBA, 30 teams, (you get the rooster idea) total for the league, 450 active players. Now the MLB, We won’t even touch farm league- GOOD LORD! Sticking to just the 15 teams and their average roster- figure 600. Now NHL, Yikes! With 30 teams in the league, they're actually easy- there is 2,121 active players taking the ice (currently). We aren't even counting coaches at this point. I didn't even go into NASCAR, or a variety of other sports- good night!

So what does this mean? There are 4,833 ACTIVE players (not counting all those “feeder” players in all the various sports that have MANY opportunities to make bad decisions. And yes, the moment they make those mistakes it’s front page news. But let’s dig a tiny bit deeper- remember college football? Who doesn't?  WHOA! With 120 colleges playing football in Division I-A every Saturday. We don’t even want to add up the numbers of “kids” there that can “drink it up, but since MOST teams have 125 players on their roster, you can figure adding 15,000 to the mix! So what does that all mean?

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 32,367 people died in traffic crashes in 2011 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 9,878 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater), one point blared at me.  Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 66% were drivers (6,507), 27% were motor vehicle occupants (2,661), and 7% were non-occupants (710), with an average of one person dying in a drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes. (Century Council, 2012) The numbers are staggering and sobering, yes! BUT compared to the pro and college athletes, we have ALOT of people that are making STUPID choices...

Throwing it on "super hero's" seems to be just plan dumb! Considering the percentage of our "super hero's involved in these stats is not even a dot. BUT they are the ones on the "perp" walk.

Create "tougher" guidelines- stupid! Create better programs- smart! There's a reason super man "thinks" he can drive (fly) home... its the same for all the other (stupid) people involved in the stats above.

Should pro-athletes get a pass- NO WAY! NEVER! But should we look at "all" of them under a dark cloud when once strays... consider the source. Many truly are "Super Heroes!"

I mean, who wouldn't want to Trick-or-Treat at JJ Watt's house?

One of the Good Guys!