Before this announcement, Landis staunchly defended his innocence. He was one of the good guys being treated at the sacrificial lamb. He would NEVER use drugs in his quest for success in his sport. Well... that wasn't exactly the truth. See, he wanted to clear his conscience, that's why he announced the real story. Pity that he had such a burden on his soul. Must be rough choosing to lie to family, friends, supporters, and fans, especially those who contributed to legal defense funds to help clear their hero's name. I feel bad for him. I do.
A sign outside of the Landis family home in Farmersville announces that they have no comments for the press and advises readers to remember the biblical quote about casting stones when one isn't sin-free.
An understandable reaction, and a fair retort. But where does that leave us? Another sports figure gone wild, basically. Granted, it's a mellow crime, compared to some headlines of late. Then again... *picks up rock, tosses between hands*... I've never participated in sports and taken drugs specifically meant to give me an unfair advantage. I didn't lie about it. I didn't take money from people who trusted me and believed my bogus story. I didn't stand in front of the press and act outraged, stunned, and hurt, all the while knowing I was a big, fat LIAR.
Okay, I'm not going to cast the stone. But I'm tempted.
We all know that there's no honor among thieves, but where's the honor among champions?
Tiger... well, we all know what Tiger's been up to when he isn't on the greens. Ben Roethlisberger should have just gone to Disney, but he went to a bar instead. China was stripped of their 2000 Olympic bronze medal because of an underage team member(and anyone who saw the most recent summer Olympics could rightfully wonder if they weren't up to their old tricks). Agassi used crystal meth. John Higgins was suspended after allegations of taking bribes to throw a game of snooker. SNOOKER. Come on, now.
If I had a better handle on sports, I'm afraid my list would double. Triple, even.
So, what gives? Is it the money? The fame? Pressure? Arrogance? What is it that turns once good athletes into predators, liars, thieves, cowards, and traitors?
I watch baseball, but I wonder now when I watch a good streak. When is a bat going to break and expose a cork core? When is my favorite slugger going to get busted for steroids? What's the pitcher doing with the ball?
It's a bloody shame, really. I wonder how people manage to remain such avid fans in such a climate of fraud. Even on the local level, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Enola, Pennsylvania is wilting under accusations that their volunteer basketball coach was trying to bribe game officials at the PIAA.
Really? A church basketball team? Where does it end? Is the need to win so damn important that the rules no longer matter? What next, Thunderdome style shuffle-board?
I feel sorry for my nephews when I think about the sad state of affairs in the sports world. They're growing up, grabbing pigskin and bats, looking for the rush of a game well-played. Who will they look up to when my brother tries to teach them good sportsmanship? Who are their examples of honesty, integrity, and hard work? How will they learn the rules when all they see are those who spit on them? Who will be their role model: A murderer? A thief? A cheat? A rapist?
I guess the only real question is, where have all the heroes gone?
Because I can't seem to find a one.