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The Breakdown: Child games

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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There are times in my life when I’m reminded of a sad fact about some people: They don’t like sports.

Sure, that seems crazy to you and me. After all, my job is derived around the principle that all of you not only enjoy sports but enjoy reading about them. I mean, you must really like sports (or be my mother) in order to get all the way through one of my columns.

But, sadly, there are some people who don’t feel the same way as you and me, and one of the main reasons they usually give for this is that sports are, to a large degree, childish.

My mature response: So!

Really, we can’t argue with that. There is really nothing mature about sports, or at least the action of playing them.

Make no mistake, there are certainly many important things to be gained from participating in athletics: hard work, responsibility toward others, working with others, etc.

And that’s normally how I defend these arguments, but, really, there’s nothing very grown up about a bunch of 30-year-old dudes throwing alley-oops to each other.

That’s OK, though, because sports are still beneficial and, if nothing else, entertaining.

That’s pretty much the only way to defend it.

Although, there’s something that happened recently that’s pretty hard to defend, no matter how you look at it.

I’m talking about the whole Floyd Landis ordeal.

With everything we’ve been through with doping in sports, most of us are pretty numb to news like this. The fact that he admitted to cheating in his cycling career is, well, kind of a yawn. If you didn’t already think he did, then you just hadn’t ever heard of him before. Sure, it’s a bit disturbing the lengths that he went to in order to (falsely) defend his reputation. I mean, the guy reportedly took more than a million dollars in donations from saps across the country to help financially support his court case.

But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about – or the part that there’s simply no defending for.

You see, the biggest problem with this – and the part that makes it seem like a kid getting caught breaking rules on the playground – is the way that Landis, upon making his “confession,” decided to try to take down any and every cyclist he ever knew. This guy came up just short of accusing Roundtown Mercedes of cheating during her win in the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show.

It was nuts; he basically named every name a casual cycling fan would recognize.

Why did he do this? To save the integrity of the sport, of course.

Well, I don’t think integrity was a word that came to many people’s minds after this.

A lot of people have been arguing this week about whether it’s better for athletes who’ve gotten caught to name names because it could, theoretically, help the sport.

I disagree.

The majority of athletes in these sports who have doping problems certainly know what the other athletes are doing. The only way coming out with names is beneficial is for the person to be clean himself. That’s the difference between having a whistle-blower or a snitch. And a snitch has no credibility. The guy who’s clean does; we would trust him. If you heard Ken Griffey Jr. talking about cleaning up baseball, wouldn’t that be better than Jose Conseco? Wouldn’t you trust Junior Griffey more than a guy who was on more reality shows than all-star teams? I would.

And this is a problem in sports, or at least a way of showing just how childish the games and their athletes really are.

A lot of times when a kid gets in trouble, they blame someone else or try to make it OK by saying someone else did it too. Eventually, some people grow out of it. It feels like most athletes never do, at least the ones that are breaking rules.

Sure, sports can make you feel childish, but that’s not really what the problem here is. It really gets bad when they also make you feel dirty.


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