Archive for the Sports Category

Athletes are a weird bunch. They get paid very well but in order to receive these big salaries they must push their bodies to the limit. In order to reach their maximum potential they are often pushed to the limits by their coaches,scouts and the fans.This can cause an increased level of stress in an athlete and from this stress comes anger.In recent years the number of incidents involving fans and athletes seems to have increased and if I’m wrong than the media sure is exposing it more often on television and other media outlets.

The gap between the salary of a sports figure and that of a regular joe has widened significantly during recent years and perhaps the disconnection between the athlete and the players has grown because of it. With the higher ticket prices, fans feel as though they can do or say whatever they want to athletes because they earned the right to do so by buying such a high priced ticket. The athletes, under an extreme amount of pressure, feel that due to their higher standing in society they are entitled to whatever they want. Because of their wealth and exposure, they seem to believe that their morals and standards don’t apply in the real world. This causes contrasting elements between the fans and the athlete and has helped to cause these recent incidents in sports:

-On Sept. 19, 2002.Two men, a father and a son, jump from the stands at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, and attack Kansas City Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa.

-On Mar. 9,2001.he Maple Leafs’ Tie Domi wrestled with a fan in the penalty box during a game against the Flyers. Domi, who was serving a penalty, twice poured water over taunting fans in the front row. The attacking fan, Chris Falcone, was sitting in the second row. Falcone lunged against the glass and threw a punch at Domi that did not connect. A glass panel separating the two collapsed, and Falcone was pulled into the penalty box by Domi. A linesman already in the box broke up the fight. Falcone was then escorted from the arena and given a citation.

-On Dec. 23, 1995. An abundance of snow and thousands of bored Giants fans made for a dangerous combination. The crowd started throwing snowballs in the fourth quarter of a Chargers-Giants game, striking Chargers equipment manager Sid Brooks in the face and knocking him unconscious for 30 seconds. The final tally: 14 arrests, 175 ejections and 15 injuries. (more…)

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Even though I could have easily added this report to the Entertainment section as well; I’ve decided to keep this column in the Sports section since professional wrestling still involves mostly athletic competition. :) Wrestlermania 21 was staged in Los Angeles California this year and the theme of the ppv was about Hollywood since they were in the heartland of the movie making world. Instead of the usual hype by the wwe, they went with a unique marketing campaign of having their wrestlers re-enact famous movie scenes with pro wrestling speeches replacing famous dialog from the original actors.

The campaign worked quite well and some of the wrestlers really seemed to do a good job at impersonating some of Hollywood’s top movies. The show itself wasn’t without its own surprises as Hollywood Hulk Hogan made a run in during the show to the delight of many Hulkamaniacs as well as a funny segment involving two legends, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rowdy Roddy Piper, getting into an altercation with a rookie by the name of Carlito Carribean Cool which ended with a stunner to the young star after getting into an argument with both men.The show also wasn’t without its share of Hollywood celebrities as action star Sylvester Stallone was on hand during the Hall of Fame ceremony to induct long time friend Hulk Hogan into the hall of fame while comedians Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider were on hand to watch the show while also there to most likely promote their latest film ‘The Longest Yard’ which features a bunch of pro wrestlers in it. The wrestling itself was decent with Shawn Micheals vs. Kurt Angle stealing the show while both championships changed hands as Batista beat HHH and John Cena beat JBL to both capture the world titles for the first time. Another rare match that was on the show was a first ever sumo match between the Big Show and Sumo Grandmaster Akebono which saw the Grandmaster easily defeating the un-trained Big Show in just over 1 minute.

The Undertaker also won his match to give him a remarkable undefeated streak of 13-0 at Wrestlemania. Another highlight was a 6 man ladder match which saw all competitors give it their all and nearly resulted in some huge injuries to a few men. Even though wrestling is fake by all accounts, you couldn’t help but feel for some of the men in the ladder match as they jumped off the ladder or fell out of the ring to their doom. After watching many previous Wrestlemanias, Wrestlemania 21 had its highs and its lows but should rank up there with the best of them as a highly successful pay per view.

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It was officially announced that the NHL Season was canceled today by their head honcho, Gary Bettman. Now, usually I don’t wish to get involved with major matters in sports as I prefer to look at things that aren’t covered by major sports outlets but since this isn’t a score or a highlight than I think it’s appropriate to give my 2 cents on this matter. The fact of the matter is that both parties are to blame. The NHL Owners and Players have both done their share of mistakes and unfortunately this year’s season is canceled. The owners made the mistake of paying players way too much money and then realizing that their overspending was hurting their bank books. The players took advantage of this by accepting all of this money and then in the case of the majority of those players: they decided to play poorly and not be worth their value on the ice.

How was this situation solved? The owners decided to scale back by demanding that the free market system be stopped and be replaced by a more limited payroll. The players responded by saying that the owners were simply trying to fix their own mistake by limiting what the players can earn from a franchise. Here’s some points to look at. Alex Rodriguez got paid a record salary by the Texas Rangers to help his team win a championship. This deal was eventually squashed once the Texas Rangers started to suck and A. Rod wanted out of Texas.

Ricky Williams received another record salary by the Miami Dolphins only to bail out on his team and retire from the NFL with a good chunk of his salary. Shaquille O’neal was another player that received a huge salary only to demand a trade due to on-court disputes with former teammate Kobe Bryant. Terrell Owens was given a huge contract by the Philadelphia Eagles only to injure himself one game before the playoffs and not be able to help his team out. I can’t blame the players for trying to take the money when it’s offered to them but the facts show that any recent big time salary in major league sports has been a disaster for the owners.

The owners have decided to scale back in their spending yet they decided on a number that was far too low to negotiate off of and their owners are also unwilling to revenue share between themselves because they’re too greedy. If any recent championship team has shown, it’s that the year of the superstar in sports is over. The New England Patriots won as a team with different key players filling in important key roles to help them become a dynasty.The Detroit Pistons won as well by focusing on defense and finding the right players to help fill in the pieces and have someone other than the Lakers win for a change. A salary cap also helps focus more on draft picks and long term strategies because it limits spending and teams are forced more times than often to strategically pick who they want to keep and who they must let go. If you simply increase the spending, you get a joke of a league like major league baseball where the Yankees can spend as much as they want to win a championship while teams like the Montreal Expos are left with no good players and are eventually sold off to a bigger market.

The owners made the mistake in this situation by making it seem as though the players were the bad guys when they were simply trying to fix the problem that they started in the first place. Instead of trying to show good faith to the players, the league and the owners acted very arrogantly and refused to show the precise revenues to the players which would truly show what the heck was going on with all of the money in the NHL. When the people who run the money in the league act like a bunch of crooks, it’s pretty hard for anyone to believe them afterwards. The players finally realized that a salary cap could work but the league has given them a payroll that is laughable at best.

If you’re going to have a salary cap, at least make it a reasonable number between both sides instead of showing your arrogance and insulting the negotiating party that just gave in partly to your demands. Seeing as this situation isn’t solved yet as the season is obviously now over and done with, I will wait till a later date to add to this discussion once the two sides finally agree on something.

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