There is little to be said about this video other than it is completely absurd. Welcome to the internet.
But like this video, the past few days of sports have been alarming- kind of. The NBA appears to be fixed? A baseball superstar took designer PED’s? My mock shock levels are at an all time high!
The NBA issue first; it is the worst kept secret in all of sports that the NBA is fixed worse than the WWE. Think about it: for years, nay, DECADES, the masses have griped and questioned the integrity of the officiating. Then an official gets caught betting on games. And for some reason (David Stern’s brainwashing machine?) we think this one poor guy, Donaghy, is the only official getting a little something on the side?!? Am I that cynical or are we all that naive? Donaghy deserves everything he gets not because he was the black sheep of the sport but because he was dumb enough to get caught when it would seem dozens of others have been running the same scam for years.
Which brings me to this Chris Paul trade debacle. The NBA lockout was bad enough. There is not enough space on the internet and airwaves to properly broadcast every fans’ grievances against a broken and stupid league. Both sides come off as equally greedy, stubborn, clueless and wrong. But someone realized – ‘crap, if we don’t have games on Christmas, we’re blowing a HUGE payday, and I love money more than sex!’ – or something of the like, it would seem. The NBA’s new deal came together quickly and allegedly fixed all woes. This was obviously a lie. David Stern cited ‘the best interest of the league’ in his czar-like vetoing of the trade. Please, if someone would, explain to me how it is in the best interest of the league, a league, may I remind you, that just locked out for 150 days over the disparity between small and big market teams (at least partially), for the commissioner to force a team to keep a player who wants out, will become a free agent, leave for a bigger market, and yield nothing in return for the small-market Hornets.
Go ahead… I’ll wait.
It doesn’t make sense. Stern can claim other small-market owners voiced concern, but I call bull. Paul is 99.99999% guaranteed to leave for New York, an LA team, or some other big-time market after the season. He wants out. How is it in the best interest of the Hornets to keep him, lose him and get nothing? The deal would have landed them Kevin Martin, a stellar player, though obviously not Chris Paul, Luis Scola, a legitimate forward, and Lamar Odom-Kardashian, as solid a bench player as they come. And a first round pick! Wouldn’t those pieces have helped the Hornets going forward? Didn’t Stern just dissolve any illusion that Hornets’ “General Manager” Dell Demps (in quotations because he’s a GM like I’m a writer, apparently) has any real power? Here Demps thinks he has masterminded just about as good a deal as a GM can muster when a superstar clearly wants to go and the commissioner comes along and stuffs him in a locker, metaphorically, obviously. Stern couldn’t take Demps, no sir-ee-bob.
This whole business stinks to me. Something is dirty in the NBA, something is not as it seems.
And now, for the continue-to-break-my-heart-baseball department…
Honestly, this bombshell couldn’t have come at a worse time. Baseball was a a-buzz with the Marlins spending like drunken frat bros in a strip club, Pujols flippin’ Saint Louis the bird, and the Three Stooges-esque hijinks of the Red Sox (mis)management. People were engaged and talking about the 2012 season with genuine interest.
Sigh. This steroid crap again.
We had pushed it to the back of our minds. We had convinced ourselves that this new crop of players had been subjected to legitimate and strict testing. We thought this time was different. But like a cheating significant other, we were wrong to trust. And it’s not even important if the allegations of cheating stick (see the double meaning of ‘cheat’ there? Boy am I clever)- it’s the seed of doubt they planted. Even if a perfectly reasonable explanation comes forward some genetic thing, an overdose of PowerBars, tainted meat in a 5-dollar footlong – we will always be stuck with that terrible and persistent devil, doubt. Ryan Braun is forever tainted, whether he is truly guilty or not, because we as fans somewhere deep down know that basketball is not alone in shady dealings. The suspicion of conspiracy will always live on, even if his name is cleared. And if he’s dirty, and the reigning MVP has to serve a 50-game suspension for steroids? Bad news. It’s never just one. Cheating is infectious. If he can get away with it, so can I. The chips will fall, and the goodwill baseball has built up by trying to bring back it’s ‘clean’ sport will go back to square one.
The NBA situation frustrates me. I have little patience for dishonesty in general and even less when the liars have the gall to treat me like an idiot as they lie. The Braun allegations truly unsettle me. Maybe I was foolish and wanted to believe. I should have known better. It’s no different than business, because sports IS a business. We saw all the banks fall and Wall Street crumble in a web of lying and greed. With so much on the line, people do what they think they have to as a means to get ahead. Why should sports be any different? In both isolated worlds, with enough resources you basically control everything. So when the wall comes down, should we really be so shocked that those in charge abused that singular power? That people cut corners? That many are cutthroat, to get ahead?
There will be no “occupy the commissioner’s office” movement. These issues, as they always are, will be pushed back in our minds and overwhelmed, as they should be, by larger, world-altering problems like Donald Trump and American Idol. We will force ourselves to forget, then we will get burned again.
Maybe I’m wrong, and the cold weather is making me dreary, maybe I’m over-stating, but these situations got me thinking not just about sports, but about large businesses in general- just because these select few control so much and have a certain amount of wealth and power (Commissioners, Owners, Congressmen, Brokers all of them), why do we assume they will behave justly? Most people do not. And when these select few do not, it affects a much larger scale.