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Voyageur's Best Generally Speaking of 2005

Deer

The notorious lake cruise
 
the Vikings trip around the lake
 
by Jerome Little  |  October 25, 2005
 

Way to go Vikings. After hearing of the now notorious lake cruise, I am beginning to wonder just what we will put up with in the name of sports. Or maybe better yet, how do professional sports view themselves? I find it hard to comprehend that a group of athletes could possibly think that they could get away with such behavior, private or public. I am fast losing interest in pro sports all together.
I am looking forward to seeing the direction that public opinion takes in the next few weeks about this incident. Is it going to be one of outrage or indifference? I mean, maybe we should look the other way, after all, they are our icons of all that’s strong and robust in our culture. And we certainly wouldn’t want to sully that image now, would we? Or maybe it is time we call these folks into accountability for their actions.

Look at it this way, here are individuals that make more money on a day of practice than I make in several years of hard work, more in a few years than most of us in a couple lifetimes. And I have yet to hear any official of any ball game start the event with the cry, “Work Ball!” They play ball. Yes, for some very high wages and some very high stakes, admittedly. But they are still people who have the awesome opportunity, or should we say privilege, to make a very good living doing something that they love very much. And I don’t want to hear about how they have only a few short years to make their livings in such a rough and tumble occupation. Most all of them went to college before being drafted. When they are done playing ball, use that education and go to work like the rest of us.

And they sometimes have the status of idols raised high before the minions of the working class. We revel in their accomplishments on the playing field, ooh and aah at their ability to do what sometimes seems impossible for the average man. Yes, they certainly are the present day image of the heroes of old. They represent a high standard to which our youth can aspire. Hmmm.

I guess that when people are thrust into the public spotlight, such as pro athletes, I do expect them to live up to a higher standard, at least as high as what our average citizen abides by. You can listen to all the spin the press puts on it, but I’ll bet the average guy on the street is as sick of this kind of behavior as I am. I’m not asking these people to be supermen, although that seems to be the status we give them. I just want to see some adult accountability out of them. And by adult, I don’t mean XXX! I’d just like to see them grow up a little and realize that their actions, private or not, have an effect on what we view as proper behavior.

We as the fans have a say in this. Do we just blow it off and say, “Boys will be boys?” Or shall we demand from them the same behavior we ask of our children. Oh, they aren’t children you say. Well, they’re somebody’s kids, and if I was one of their parents I would surely be ashamed of what was in the news this past week. I think that we need to step back and take a look at what we deem acceptable behavior. You know, morality isn’t a bad word. I’d like to think that the word stands for the possession of standards that will represent me in a noble image to my fellow man. I am not ashamed to stand for morality, and am tired of seeing such standards shouted down for the good of the game. Sports are a good form of participation and enjoyment, but they have a place on the ladder of life. They don’t occupy the top rung on mine. And the more I see this kind of behavior coming from that sector, the lower their ranking goes. Am I for a new stadium? I’ll tell you, I’m not even sure I want to watch them play anywhere anymore. Make the Super Bowl? Is this who we want as our ambassadors to the sports world? I know every man on that team is not involved or to blame. But every man on that team is accountable to uphold some kind of standards. I feel sorry for those on the team that strive to put forth the best image possible. They, along with the fans, have been wronged. I hope as fans we send a strong message to the Vikings. Not of condemnation, as we all have made mistakes, but of encouragement to step up to the plate and honor the status they have so graciously been given. See you around.

This article first appeared in the October 25, 2005 issue of the Voyageur Press.