It's nearly February, so of course I'm ready for 2014.
In less than a month we've learned all about fake (and dead) girlfriends; deer antler steroids; how Lance Armstrong lied about lying and that a bat can't coexist peacefully with basketball players.
And that's what I can think of just off the top of my head. Oy.
I love sports. It's a huge part of my life. Once I figured out I wouldn't be able to play them for a living, I wanted to cover it. Yet ... this stuff just drives me crazy.
I'd like to think I'm an old soul, maybe a little old school – but perhaps I'm just a young curmudgeon.
- I have no interest in the private lives of athletes. I don't care, never did. Now, the people in a player's private life make it hard – like when wives/girlfriends/siblings decide to tweet out their issues – but it's still a non-story in my eyes. It is in a lot of my colleagues, too, but in the end we're not the sole judge and jury on that one.
- About performance enhancers. This is a tricky one for me. I used to be a hard-liner – you cheat, you deserve to be exposed, shunned and kicked out of the profession. After all, if I plagiarize or make up facts and quotes, I'd be exposed, shunned and fired.
But, I also realize that sports are entertainment and let's be honest – we were all entertained by the home runs in baseball in the late 90s. People who like cycling (hello?) were entertained by Armstrong. And, we all love the NFL (no, it's not natural for men of that size to run that fast). I said I wouldn't have voted for Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa on this most recent Hall of Fame ballot, but I'd vote for them the next time around. It's part of the game, unfortunately and deserves to be documented.
Once the PED cat was let out of the bag 30, maybe 40 years ago, it was out. Now, it's a case where ignorance is bliss - as a fan, you just have to hope "your guy" is clean. It's a source of pride (see Frank Thomas and Chicago).
As a reporter, it's black and white. Performance enhancers are often illegal in the eyes of the law, and definitely illegal by the rules of the game. The game is what we cover, so it's my job to keep my eyes and ears open. Yet these rules may change over the next few decades – who knows, HGH and the like might be deemed legal.
- Well, I don't have problems with animals running loose in sports venues. They tend to be amusing and turn into mascots – like the Rally Monkey – and twitter handles.
I'm a fan – and the more the merrier.
And fortunately most don't end up dead. That's just sad.
I can't believe that anyone cared about the Manti Te'O thing. Such a waste of time.
Thank you Young Curmudgeon. It's hard to believe that anyone would care about some kid with an imaginary girlfriend....the more that comes out...the stranger it gets. With all the crappy "reality" shows...(how can they be reality shows when you know someone is following you around with a video camera?) it seems people seeking attention are everywhere...and why?....because some people (with low self-esteem) love this garbage. Just like the people who have to know what the Royal Family is doing every minute of the day....who cares?...not me. signed, Grouchy Old Guy. :)
Sure, we who like cycling (hello!) were entertained by Armstrong, Ullrich, Basso, etc. for 7 years...and now every story for the last 14 always comes back to doping, doping, doping. I'd rather be mildly less entertained knowing I can enjoy a race without having to think, "I wonder how long I can enjoy this victory before the illusion comes crashing down and we find out that this wasn't super human strength, it was drugs."
Sure, we enjoyed the home runs of the 90s while they were happening, but do you look back fondly on those memories? Or do they feel hollow? We could try de-emphasizing the scandal and make cheating into something that's not such a big deal, but then the cost of winning increases, both financially and physically.
You say the difference between you getting fired for plagiarism and them is entertainment. What is sports writing, if not entertainment?
3 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published April 27, 2015
Tyler Thornburg has been pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2012, but last year was to be his first as a full-time reliever. He started well, but was then lost for the year with an elbow injury. He is back and healthy at the start of 2015 and hopes to prove, again, that he belongs in the majors.
Published April 23, 2015
Some many call him a question mark in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup, but Khris Davis was feeling confident about himself and the team as the 2015 campaign got underway.
Published April 21, 2015
As the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to lock up a playoff berth in the final few games of the year, second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is proving to many that he can be a force to be reckoned with. You see the action on the court, now, but it was the lonely hours in the gym before his family arrived from Greece last year that laid the foundation.
Published April 17, 2015
It was one year ago today that former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl introduced Wes Edens and Marc Lasry to the city of Milwaukee as the new owners of the Bucks franchise. The pair would not, formally, be considered the owners by the league for a few weeks yet - but the press conference on April 16, 2014 signaled the start of a new era. A lot has happened in 365 days. Read on for some of the big moments.
Published April 15, 2015
Jabari Parker hasn't played a game for the Milwaukee Bucks since Dec. 15, 2014, and he may not play another one until that date later this year. Or maybe slightly before. Or after. It's the great on-court unknown for the franchise. But what if he didn't get hurt? It's possible that his injury affected more than just the team - it could've swayed public sentiment regarding the arena.
Published April 13, 2015
As the spotlight widens on the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and politicians around the state regarding the construction of a new Downtown arena, the Milwaukee Admirals have been left in the shadows. As of now, there are no plans to have the Admirals as a part of the new multi-purpose arena.
Published April 10, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com Sports Editor Jim Owczarski is taking off on a new adventure, leaving the Cream City after over three years. It's been fun, very memorable, and full of fun people, places, drinks and food. On his way out, he shares with you some of his favorites in all of those categories.
Published April 9, 2015
Believe it or not, we are now closer to a decade removed from Tiger Woods' last major championship than we are to his last run of sustained dominance in the game. The greats, always, lose their edge and become shadows of what they were. But Woods' decline was so sudden, the game hasn't quite yet recovered.
Published April 8, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks aim to create a true urban plan around its new Downtown arena, and the billion dollar concept could have far reaching effects. Read on to see how some in the community feel about the project.
Published April 8, 2015
The ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks officially unveiled the images and the plans for not only a new arena, but for an entertainment district just north of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.