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Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 D-Bag Awards: Sports as a Business

In this round we go beyond the one person involved with sports and directly attack the business end of sports.

So, let’s see…

The NBA – Caught with their Dirk out.
Not wanting to let the NFL have all the fun, the NBA decided to have a lockout lasting from July 1st through December 8th. While, the NFL’s lockout lasted just as long, (around five months) the NBA’s managed to cut the season short to a 66 game one. The biggest complaint, money.

What separates the NFL’s lockout from the NBA is that while the NFL was already perched to make more money, thanks to a huge TV deal, the NBA cried it was losing money to player salaries.

Come on, you had the most exciting story of the year. LeBron James shuns Cleveland to join the Miami Heat where there was a ball shortage and in the first year of playing there they reach the finals. LeBron was getting his wish. He joined a team that could bring home a trophy. Oh, but they didn’t. That’s right. The Mavericks showed them up and won 4-2. Oh, and they did it in Miami. Wow, that sucks huh? Your biggest story of the year became a joke because the team you probably hate to see win, did just that and wiped their Dirk all over your face. The man you can’t control, Mark Cuban, made a mockery of your league and I loved every minute of it. So, let’s have a lockout because YOU say you’re losing money.

The NFL – We’re all about player safety just as long as we make money.
The NFL had its own lockout this year after one of its Titanesque teams, The Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl. But, even before the lockout started, the NFL showed just how douchey it could be with the Super Bowl.

The debacle that was Dallas stadium and its mismanaging of seating and organization was laughable. It was almost as if nature conspired against them as an ice storm hit the area causing traffic accidents due to the fact that Texans just can’t handle snow and ice all that well.

Then the inconsistency of the debate during the lockout over, “We are all about player safety, but let’s have an 18 game regular season” made things even more ridiculous. You want player safety? Well, then why would you lobby for a chance to have players continue to pound and injure each other for another two weeks?

And of course, the board that hands out the punishments for helmet to helmet hits continually cannot be consistent in their judgment and punishment. Congratulations NFL, for all your posturing, the real reason you exist is to make gads of money for the owners and you continue to make a mockery of a once proud and rough and tumble sport.

The Pittsburgh Pirates - Hold On for one more season, things may go your way.
Where do I begin? The Pirates started off the year by saying that they could only increase the payroll if they could increase attendance. What appeared to be simple math became a cry of “Why aren’t you coming to the ball park?” Well, because after 18 years of sucking, you haven’t put out a decent team to root for.

That would all change if we could “Hold On” for one more day. And we did. We (not me, mind you) went to the ballpark and we cheered on our Buccos as they seemed to turn the corner. Soon, they were .500. Then they were in first place of the division. Then they had a winning streak. Then Jerry Meals shat all over us in Atlanta and the All Star Break came and then we slid down into the basement and ended the year under .500.

And to top it all off… they raised ticket prices for next year. Well, we kept our end of the bargain, now pony up some payroll and put together a winning team, douche bags.

PSU - If you're Happy and you know it, you're probably drinking too much Kool-Aid
Happy Valley, a serene and quiet agricultural town that just happens to hold the biggest secret in NCAA sports. Far beyond OSU’s players trading memorabilia for tats, far beyond Miami’s booster scandals, far beyond Cecil Newton trying to sell his son Cam to the highest bidding college, PSU held onto the biggest secret in all of collegiate sports.  It was one that brought down an empire.

As you probably saw in the last round, Jerry Sandusky took the prize as the biggest d-bag in sports personas.  After all, how could he not?  In any case, PSU facilitated the biggest cover up, potentially.  The President, the Athletic Director, the VP (who oversaw campus police), and even the one person who answered to no one, Joe Paterno.  None of them did what was right.  They only did what was required. 

If we teach our children anything about integrity and morals, it should be that when you see or hear of someone being harmed, whether or not you can verify it at that moment, you do something.  You follow up.  You take action.  This was about children and innocence and a lifetime of repercussions that would follow.   Just kicking the can down the road was akin to getting in line behind Jerry in that shower.

And for that, the mystique and invulnerability of PSU is now gone and hopefully, justice will be served.  Do not weep for your king, because your king did not do what was right.

With that, I think it's clear that PSU wins this round.  Drink up douchebags.  The Kool-Aid is just fine.

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