Saturday, December 15, 2007

Level playing field

"New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches quarterback Tom Brady setup the game-winning touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium, Monday, Dec.3, 2007. The Patriots remain undefeated after winning 27-24."

Cheating. Everyone has done it. Everyone has gotten caught at least once. But why do people continue to do it?

I remember not doing my homework in high school; copying it from friends who willing let me. It was not a regular act of exchange, but mutual and not forbidden. We didn't get anything out of it, as it was a simple act of just making sure we got our busy work done.

This eventually came to a screeching halt when we were caught and found ourseleves sitting face-to-face with the assistant principal.

That was, from I can recall, the most trouble I ever got into during my grade school years, and all we got was a slap on the wrist.

I try to live a honest, open life. I tell those around me how I feel and expect the same back; good or bad. I don't cheat to get ahead and often fail miserably. So when I see others using means of cheating, it normally confuses me.

What do they get out of it?

I always have the quote, "you must fail to succeed" placed in my head. I am always failing at something. But not always succeeding teaches me value lessons everyday.

Too many times nowadays children being told they're NOT wrong or have NOT failed. More specifically in sports and school. Parents tell their children they're the best at (enter sport here) and they shouldn't be punished for wrong doings. So this pushes children to cheat to be perfect. But is that right? Children cheating to meet parents high expectations and afraid to be wrong?

Of all the people in the world, I am by far no sports reporter or analyst. But when I see reports of professional athletes and coaches allowing cheating it truly is disgusting.

Let's look at the (above) NFL head coach, Bill Belichick. Earlier this year the Patriots were fined $250,000, Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was forced to forfeit a first round draft pick for the 2008 NFL Draft after being caught videotaping the New York Jets play signals.

The Pats, who face the Jets this week, went on to defeat the the Jets in the preseason match that followed the incident. I am unaware of their intentions of filming the signals, but if it was to get a win, they got it. They paid their dues and have since gone undefeated this season. Have they done more videotaping? Who knows.

But many are saying there should be an asterisk placed next to their accomplishments much as many are saying with Barry Bonds and his home run record.

Any other human living in the United States would be thrown in jail for the use of illegal drugs, so why do major league players get by with just a fine and a week suspension?

Why are we looking at these people as professionals? Does cheating make you a professional?

This would be to the same degree if photojournalists looked up to those photographers who manipulate photos. And instead of these 'photographers' who are changing facts by manipulating photos getting fired, simply being slapped on the wrist, allowed back to work in journalism and likely to do it again. What if they win a Pulitzer with a manipulated image? Do they allow it? Or do they pull the image and/or stamp it with an asterisk?

I am starting to rant, but I guess what I am getting at is why are so many "professionals" looking for an edge over their competitors? Why are they allowed to merely get by only paying sums of money which are surmountable to them? While I may be fighting the fight that will never get solved, I thought I'd share my feelings on the recent topics.

I wish these athletes, who are looked up to by many people in the world, especially children, would show that they aren't always perfect. They need to be honest and show that being perfect isn't the perfect answer.

Wow, midnight. I should go to bed now. I have an early morning of sportraits before heading to my indoor soccer game, which we, the Green Street Hooligans, are currently tied for second place without the use of illegal videotaping or enhancing drugs.

I'd love to hear your feedback on these situations, too.


Blogger bmillios said...

I think it would suck to have done something monumental, then have an asterisk next to it.

A perpetual "squint", as it were.

"I did ... but ..."

Children these days are taught there are two sets of rules. One for the privileged (insert sport here), and another for the rest of the world. What are we teaching them?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 1:41:00 AM  

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