The Goose Gets Reflective on 2007

This is going to be difficult.

Â
The end of the year is once again upon us and with 2007 rearing its ugly head and fading into the sunset, a brooding 2008 approaches with many question marks to a troubling and disturbing season in sports. The gloomy weather on this dreary December evening reminds me of the cloud that has hung over major league sports this year. Athletes have been in and out of trouble all year, most gaining major headlines across the country. Some of the best athletes this world has to offer have been associated with violence, drug and weapon charges, and various felonies. Something is not right here. Our kids are looking up to this? It’s really terrible what these men and their families must have to go through being involved with such activities. But what has happened to the credibility of the sports universe? Am I the only one that’s upset about this?

Â
2007 saw a great deal of breaking the rules. Athletes from all facets of the sports universe seemed to be able to cheat this year. Maybe its just human nature; perhaps just one man’s internal instinct to be better than his opponent. Surely this has been documented. But is nothing sacred in the world of sport anymore? The Greeks never had to put asterisks next to their records. Should the Pistons really have won that game last night or did the referees call an unfair game? Do we have to consider more carefully examining the New England Patriots and their current winning rampage? If I can’t trust Tom Brady I can’t trust anyone. Barry Bonds on the other hand, should not be trusted more than you can throw him (which probably isn’t that far, considering his massive bulk due to steroid use). That may have seemed a bit forward, loyal reader, but I cannot truly sit here and write that I did not believe in my heart that he used steroids and lied about it. Coming clean may have been way easier for Bonds at the time than having it come back to haunt him now.  If the asterisk goes in the books and that ball gets branded, it’s been a rough year for liars.

Â
This year saw great tragedies off the field. The country and the NFL are still in mourning for a star player, Sean Taylor. Another NFL super star is in prison for dog fighting. Sport or not, the world of professional wrestling has been shaken by the alarming number of premature deaths which has caused a whirlwind of speculation into the operations of wrestling federations. These tragic events are becoming an unhealthy pattern in the world of sports. The good name of sports may have been tarnished by an unruly 2007, and it may seem that things are getting worse.

Â
So what can we do? What can happen? It may sound corny, but I say we start with the kids. The youth of America! Instilling good sportsmanship in kids is great for character building both on and off the field. Now I realize some people are just bad eggs and they’re going to do whatever they want off the field, but I really believe in the strong influences sports can have on people, especially kids. Learning to work as a team, keeping fit and healthy, notions of respect, hard work, dedication…these are all positive enforcements on a person’s mental well being.

Â
Staying active in sports can keep these kids on a positive track to success in all aspects of their life. In learning to play sports, they are also gaining wisdom for life by their coaches, parents, teammates, and even opponents. Have fun, and learn life lessons in the process. Teach the young athletes of tomorrow that not all sports heroes should be idolized, and although your favorite player is a stud on the field, sports stars can be idiots too.

Â
So my hope for 2008 is fairness. And I hope for fairness on all fronts- media included. The line separating professional and private life is delicate, and can be influenced by media or those who wish to add to the confusion of a situation. Fans must be patient and fair as well. Do not be too quick to judge, but don’t get your cap pulled down over your eyes. And to 2007, thanks for the Champs Sports Bowl. Go State!

Comments