Amid actual sporting events and competition, our past week has provided many moments of newsworthiness away from any box score or result.
That’s correct, it has been a “high maintenance” week for those of us who take an interest in the scandal, corruption, celebration and interpretation of the storylines that reach beyond the results between opponents.
- Animal Kingdom reigned as royalty in the 137th Kentucky Derby …..
- Manny Pacquiao dominated an aging, but game Shane Moseley …..
- The NHL playoffs spit-out the Washington Capitals, yet again …..
- Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander tossed no hitters …..
- A kid named Regan Smith lucked into a NASCAR victory, in Darlington …..
- The Los Angeles Lakers got KNOCKED OUT, in Dallas …..
- The Orioles found the win column just ONE time …..
Indeed, there were plenty of actual performance-related topics to address, discuss and debate, this week. Covering virtually every spectator sport, with exception to the NFL, storylines rooted in WINNING and LOSING have existed.
Yet, much of the chatter has been devoted to citing or defending the character of athletes, as well as reacting to an abrupt retirement announcement from a highly heralded coach.
That’s the very essence of the last seven days in our sports lovin’ society.
The following incidents and events had just as much impact as the actual action found in any arena during May’s first week. Regardless of one’s opinion, many weighed-in when these stories broke:
- Rashard Mendenhall tweeted some controversial views regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, and he paid dearly for it – in the wallet and beyond …..
- Phil Jackson was $35,000 poorer for complaining about referees …..
- Luke Scott obliged an interview in Kansas City and reinforced some of his unique perspectives on President Obama and politics …..
- Shin Soo Choo became the 6th Major League Baseball player to be arrested on DUI charges, this year …..
- Gary Williams stunned modern civilization by calling it a career, just a day after his best player opted to turn pro …..
And, as the entire world now knows …..
If these five storylines have no impact on your “sports fan radar”, you’re quite likely an exception to the rule. While I don’t believe these sideshows dominate actual games and competition, such incidents do impact sports …. and they inspire people to react with passion.
That’s just our society, for better or worse.
I can toss up a Facebook posting regarding the antics of Mendenhall, Scott, Choo or Gary and reactions are bound to surface. Yet, I can also post an insightful thought regarding the latest Orioles loss and it might go without mention.
Yet, this is exactly what happened when I floated Champion Athletic’s dumping of Rashard Mendenhall from its endorsement family. At last count, the thread garnered nearly 30 responses.
Such reaction obviously reveals one’s heart for many to observe and dissect. Steelers fans think Ravens fans have harsh words for Mendenhall, because he plays in Pittsburgh. Ravens fans accuse Steelers fans of blindly protecting one of their own.
And, of course, the worn out “Ray Lewis and Atlanta” argument always gets dusted off when Ravens critics are looking for a grenade to throw among the pile of barbs, regardless of recycled lack of relevence …..