Blog Entry

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted on: January 18, 2009 3:22 am
 
Many people aspire to play professionally in their sport of choice. The lifestyle of a professional athlete seems very appealing (the glitz, the glamour ,the money). Now professional sports for others of us who are past our athletic primes or who just enjoy watching the real pros do their thing. Are a great joy as they take us away from our hectic and confusing lives for 3 hours on every Sunday. But let's take a look back at what we're supporting or aspiring to be. Here are some things that DISGUST me in professional sports.

1) Injuries

Now injuries are bound to happen when participating in any physical activity. However for us regular folk an injury is allowed to heal fully and we rest before starting up which ever activity again. Professional athletes are EXPECTED to come back from injuries early which is WRONG. Don't buy into what commentators tell you about the great facilities they use and great trainers they have. Sure they're probably better then the physiotherapist's place on your corner but they're not miracle workers. How concussions are approached is especially alarming to me. Here's some evidence at what these great professional sports do "I told him, 'You played God with my health. You knew I shouldn't have been cleared to play,'" Former Pats Linebacker Ted Johnson on Coach Bill Belichick. So while we all jump on Belichick for stealing stupid signals this man's life has been altered for the worse because of his supposedly wonderful pro sports career. Now if you think this is a rare occurrence lets see some other players who's lives will be forever changed from what was supposed to be a dream job (Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Merrill Hoge)etc.. Now I know someone is going to come on here and say the registered medical doctor cleared each and everyone of these men to play and your not a doctor so what would you know. Remember the doctor is PAID by the team and they want the player back as quick as possible. They do what's best for the organization not the individual.

2)Loyalty

Why is it that we expect loyalty out of players? Their organizations see them as commodities which can make money. From an early age (highschool for football) they essentially become a purchase of their team. Their team can revoke their scholarship for pretty much ANY reason, their team can cut them after years of outstanding service. Now its not all bad for the player (a free college education, big money in pros) but they are still an object owned by a vendor. So why when an owner releases a great guy in the community who maybe isn't as great on the field there is NO uproar, yet a player saying he isn't going to play hard for a team or a player demanding a trade is seen as taboo. Anyone remember the Ray Ray McElrathbey story What happened to Ray Ray McElrathbey wasn't a travesty as much as it was reality.

In case the name doesn't sound familiar, McElrathbey is the Clemson running back whose triumphant story struck such a chord he was named an ABC News Person of the Week. Or rather, he was a college football player, until Clemson coach Tommy Bowden recently made the controversial decision not to renew McElrathbey's scholarship (A player who had raised his 11 year old brother while his mother suffered from a cocaine addiction). Not to mention the NFL's pitiful excuses on why disabled players can't get medical insurance.

Now think again about how the big boys with the $ are treated better than the poor pawns. Sports are supposed to represent everything that's RIGHT in society (competition, fair play, acceptance, hard work) however as always in life once money gets involved it represents the exact opposite. Now in defense to the owners and coaches they're running a business and trying to make money but what these men contribute to the ir teams compared to what their teams contribute to them is unbelievable. So next time you hear someone complaining about how much professional athletes make tell them to look in the mirror and see if their job is really that bad. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Now as a feedback topic I'd like everyone to give their opinions on if college athletes should be paid? (I'll respond with a later blog responding with my answer if you couldn't have already guessed it)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com