Friday, February 13, 2015

50 SHADES OF CHEATING



Here a cheat, there a cheat, everywhere a cheat,
Sports has a big ole farm and it's full of cheaters, E-I-E-0.

Cheating has long been part of the sports world, but there has never been a period that
has seen so many athletes and teams try to not only bend the rules, but just flat out
shatter them.

And no matter how many drug tests are failed, cheaters like Lance Armstrong are
completely shamed, and stiff fines are handed out, a lot of people in the sports world
just keep pushing the envelope to achieve glory and the mega-million dollar contract.

Now, Tom Brady sits on the scorching hot sports griddle, accused on being "generally
aware" of the crime and disorder that gave us another scandal, "Deflate-Gate." The Wells
report didn't convict or condemn the Patriots' golden boy, but the court of public
opinion has already pegged him as not only a cheater, but a liar, too. He'll learn his
fate when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell comes out of his cave sometime this week.


The Atlanta Falcons cheated, too. They got caught piping in fake crowd noise at home
in an attempt to distract their opponents from getting their offensive signals into the game
clearly. This went on for two years. Seriously? The Falcons have to sink that low to get
an edge? No wonder they are the Falcons.

Same can be said for the Cleveland Browns who were busted by the NFL's keystone cops
for sending text messages to the sidelines during games, which is forbidden by league rules.
I wonder how many were of the OMG! and LOL variety. Goodness, the Browns can't do
anything right, can they?

Rita Jeptoo, a dominant marathon runner from Kenya who has won the Boston Marathon
three times, tested positive for EPO in September and was recently banned for two years
because of it. Seems like runners in Kenya have a lot more going than just working out
hard in difficult climates.

Then there is good ole Jerry Rice, the Hall of Fame wide receiver who caught more
passes than anyone in the history of the game. Rice spent a great deal of time criticizing
the Patriots for the DeflateGate thing, saying the franchise should have an asterisk by all
their championships.

Then, in what may be a sign of the effects of a few of the concussions he received
during his career, Rice admitted to the world he used stickum on his gloves, which was banned
by the NFL in 1981. Jerry, that's cheating! You broke the rules and got an edge. Should
we know put asterisk besides all your records and titles the San Francisco 49ers won?


Rice defended himself by offering the classic excuse, "Everybody did it."

Perhaps, that's the problem with everyone in the sports world. Lance Armstrong said
the same thing after getting stripped of all his Tour de Frances titles, as well ag his dignity
and our respect.  He even admitted recently that if he had to do it all over again, he
would've done it all over again. How insane it that?

Insanity is pervasive in the sports world. The Little League team from Chicago which
captured the fancy of much of the nation when they went on to win the U.S. portion of
the Worldwide event, was stripped of that honor this week after it was discovered the
coaches used players from outside their designated area.

Yep, they wanted to win so badly and get on SportsCenter, they said 'to hell with the
rules' we are going to go for victory. They also uttered the despicable words, "Well,
everybody does it."

Perhaps, the coaches from that Little League team in Chicago watched Armstrong cheat
to win all the titles. Maybe they read about those articles about the number of players on
the Seattle Seahawks who were busted for PED's but went on to win the Super Bowl last year.
Yes, maybe they just caught up in that "everybody does it" thing.

Everybody is cheating more and more these days. The glory is addictive and everything
that comes with it, the monster contracts, endorsements, and adulation, is pretty intoxicating,
too.

The number of cheating scandals will go down, but many will get away with breaking
the rules. It happens. It's sports and, it's what a lot of athletes and teams do to win and, after all, "everybody does it."

Maybe that's why Brian Williams exaggerated the truth and just hoped he never got
caught. Perhaps, the "everybody does it" will one day be his excuse, too.

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