As my main man Foghorn J. Leghorn might say, “boy, I say, boy what was wrong with the Steelers against the Washington Redskins last Friday? Even though, I say, even though the contest was meaningless, let’s see, I say, let’s see how the secondary, uh how the secondary, the media and uh, like uh, the Steelers nation deals with this unfortunate, I say, unfortunate injurious ‘sithumuation’ in reference, I say, in reference to the ‘indisposition’ of ‘General’ Ike.”
Bulletin, now hear this: Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor injures thumb against Redskins during the first preseason game of 2011 on just the second play. Injuries are par for the course when you compete in what is arguably (well it used to be anyway) one of the most, if not the most, violent and dangerous game in the universe.
I am convinced that there will be a lot more injuries to defensive players, especially in the backfields because players that “lead with their heads” when bringing down a ball carrier or receiver will now be grabbing at instead of hitting players. Oh by the way, most of the media seemed to be more interested in whether Taylor could be fitted with a special apparatus or cast to allow him to continue to perform as opposed to the extent of his injury. That is “toemain” insane because Ike was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday.
I am not going to go as far as Steelers linebacker James Harrison in describing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a “crook” and a “puppet” but I will go on record as saying that the “commish” might be ill-advised on the issues of safety and continuity of a “credible product” in regards to “fair” and “undiluted” competition. See, when you tamper with, water down or augment one segment of any game the entire concept becomes infected with a false and dishonest “vibe” in regards to the integrity of that particular sport.
Let’s jump ship for a moment. It has been alleged for decades that MLB baseballs have been juiced in order to spice up the offense. Teams all seem to mirror the concept of pitching, pitching, and pitching. However, the league itself promotes, hitting, hitting and more hitting because generally, fans are not interested in a 12 inning pitching duel.
In Jan. 2007, the AP published an article about the “alleged” juicing of baseballs. The story stated that; “A company that uses computer imaging claims baseballs had a larger rubberized core and a synthetic rubber ring in 1998, including the ball Mark McGwire hit for his 70th homer.” Universal Medical Systems Inc. said that with the assistance of Dr. Avrami S. Grader and Dr. Philip M. Halleck from The Center for Quantitative Imaging at Penn State, it took images of 1,998 baseballs.
“Examining the CT images of Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball one can clearly see the synthetic ring around the core—or ‘pill’—of the baseball,” UMS president David Zavagno said. “While McGwire may or may not have used illegal steroids, the evidence shows his ball—under the governing body of the league—was juiced.”
Now folks, let’s kick it for real. It has been “propagandized” for years and years and years by many a baseball, football and basketball “guru” that “offense wins games but defense wins championships.” Well in the real world defense may win championships but offense wins “pocket books.” The three point shot in basketball is another example of “amping” up the offense because when defenders zip out beyond the “key” to match up against a player who has long ball shooting skills, the percentage of another player being open “in the paint” increases significantly.
All of the powers that be in sports shall be accountable for the demise of their “games if they allow the bottom line to totally disregard and disrespect the premise on which that particular sport is founded and maintained.
When the world of sports compromises it values it extends a negative hand to those it is expected to positively influence. The message is one that says; “it is okay to compromise your values as long as you get paid. The owners and players as was evidenced by the “lock out” all seem to have gotten their undergraduate degrees from “ME” University with a discipline in selfishness. Please, do not allow your children to follow their lead.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741. Bruce is also the AFC North and NFL analyst on “The Odd Couple” sports show every Wednesday from 11-11:30 a.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA-AM, Toledo, Ohio. Listen live at: www.1230foxsports.com/mediaplayer/?station=WCWA-AM&action=listenlive&channel_title)