Sport or Entertainment

Listening to all the ballyhoo and mea culpa as a result of the Mitchell Report reminded me one again that this is not about sport it is entertainment pure and simple. MVP should be MVE – most valuable entertainer. Lets get real these guys may be athletes in a very loose sense of the word but they are paid to entertain. The fans demanded more home runs and a 100 mph fastball and that is what they got. The season including spring training games approached 200 games, what do expect the entertainers to do? I in no way condone drug use in any way shape or form in any discipline, but baseball and let’s not forget professional football are no more than WWF with a less predictable storyline.


At 12/16/07, 12:26 PM, Anonymous pmchugh said...

I have a former student who is now a well known rock star. What I know about his schedule is truly amazing that he is able to function like a normal person. Although I think he is still a very clean individual, I can now see why guys like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash got involed in substance abuse. Fans demanded they perform and to keep their performance up they needed to self-medicate. Vern, you are right. Professional sports is about entertainment first. Fans demand a certain kind of product. In order to produce that product, athletes have to find ways to medicate themselves whether it is Steroids, HGH, amphetamines. It is all the same.

At 12/17/07, 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12/17/07, 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wqas flipping through the channels saturday and landed on a station that was showing very old baseball bloopers amung other things, but I couldn't help notice how "average" sized all the players in the video were. Don't get me wrong they were muscular and very sleek but they did not look like bodybuilders like some of today's players look.

Also heard a comment about the steriod issue and wanted your thoughts on it. I hearda talk radio personality argue that although certain players may have been on steroids, the roids did not improve hand-eye coordination, timing and reaction time...

Vern what do you think?

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 12/17/07, 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respectfully disagree with point about the rockstar former student.

What we do as coaches is the same as entertainers. Our "audience" of athletes does not care if we had a fight with our spouse, we have to be passionate, fired up, and prepared every day or our audience will lose respect for us and find a new coach.

And we have to have that enthusiasm on coach wages, not rockstar money.

Phillip Bazzini
Tenafly, NJ

At 12/17/07, 9:46 PM, Anonymous pmchugh said...

My only point was to agree with Vern that professional athletes like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have a lot in common with professional entertainers like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. We now know that the reason Clemens and Bonds were able to perform at such a high level in their late 30’s and early 40’s when most athletes break down is because they were able to sustain and improve with the use of performance enhancing drugs. Like Clemens and Bonds, Presley and Cash did not start their careers as drug users. I would argue that the pressures of keeping their performance at a high level once Cash and Presley became stars was a leading reason for them turning to drug use. Watch Walk the Line. Fortunately most people – especially educators and coaches – can perform at their chosen vocation every day without using drugs. But that is where I see a difference. Clemens and Bonds turned to performance enhancing drugs when they started defining themselves as only “performers” who are a commodity like Cash and Presley became.

At 12/18/07, 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the fans don't want it, then why do they show up in arenas/ stadiums/venues. Sell out at most stadiums during football season.

Fans complain about baseball players salaries, but they continue to show up and pay hiked up prices for seats...even nose bleeders seats.

Ever wonder why rules have changed in sports. Three points line moved in...Defensive back literally can not bump and run...Fences move in so more home runs can be hit at ball park.

Fans don't want to see 1-0 baseball games.
Fans don't want to see 7-0 football games.
Fans don't want to see 50-51 basketball games.

Leave the cultural aspect out. Ever wonder why soccer will not be as big as hockey let alone the other three sports. No one in the U.S. would want to sit through 1 hour and 45 minutes to see a score of 1 to 0.

At 12/18/07, 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We like to utilize something we like to call "Morals". With your way of thinking why don't we just start putting criminals in arenas with hungry lions and tiger...those like yourself would be more than happy to pay to see that huh?

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 12/18/07, 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hum... So you are telling us you know exactly which players are cheating?

...and it's the fans job to be responsible for cheating athletes?

...and the only way someone can achieve excellences is to take drugs?

The Fans Don't want it.


At 12/18/07, 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Explain to me than why fans continue to show up to at arenas/stadiums/venues despite high ticket prices.

Why do you think leagues change rules? Basketball - No hand checking...move the three points line closer. Why? more points opportunity. Look at the all star game scores...163-167. Exciting! Fans like high scoring game.

Football - defensive back can play defense anymore. No bump and run. If a defensive back goes up to play the ball and bumps the receiver, it's a flag for sure.

Baseball - owners moving fences in. Why? More home runs. No one wants to watch a pitching duel.

If these high moral fans across the states dislike what is going on in sports, then why don't they protest...not showing up at stadiums. Boycott and make a point with owners/gms/athletes to clean up their sports. No one in the seats...revenues are down..then salaries are down.

Ofcourse the fans WANT it. Who do you think is paying Alex Rodriguez new salary? The government...? The tax payers?

As stated before. No one in the U.S. would want to sit through 1 hour and 45 minutes to see a score of 1 to 0. Rather watch golf.

Jonathan...what do you think Ultimate Fighting...Pride..K1? Not much different than putting a lion and a criminal in a cage.

At 12/19/07, 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dreams without a strategy might be fun, but they also don't last very long.

I can't comment on the spending habit's of the professional fan, but I believe right know it's like that car wreck on the side of the road. Pro Sports has survived many black eyes. If you want to call out the $$ why not the sponsors?

So the fan is told they can't ask the athlete to strive for excellence? and they also have to baby sit their habit's away for the field? There are only so many hours in the day for your average fan.

At 12/19/07, 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fans = average person who watches their sports on TV.

Fans = average person who buys tickets to a sporting events.

Fans = average business who sponsors a team(s, albeit little league, pee wee football

Fans = espn, nbc, abc, cbs et.al.

Fans = reporters, editors, and commentators = biggest hypocrite

Cheating is cheating! It is in its own topic to discuss. But if everyone who is making all this balyhoo about it...why not boycott? Ofcourse not because Fans want it...more home runs...more points on the board...more offensive attack.

Why give Roger Clemens the benefit of the doubts and not Barry Bonds? Because Roger Clemens has 20 something years in the major league and Barry Bonds doesn't?


At 12/19/07, 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Counter arguement

fans = Buffalo Bills (not good for many years, yet they still support their team)

Fans go crazy over = perfect games, no hitters, 17 or more strike outs. (pitching is offense in the mind of a pitcher)

Ultimate Fighting fans love = strategy, maritla arts skills/tehcniques, skilled fighters...put a couple guys like me in there that don't know how to fight they wouldn't pay 2 cents

So just because people would pay to see a lion eat a man DOESN'T mean it should be done...Morals!!

Fans went crazy over Hank Arron, Babe Ruth, Larry Bird, MJ, the squeeze play, great passes, a winning 29 yard field goal.

You assume the Fans know what they are paying for. Fans love MLB or little league they just love good baseball.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 12/19/07, 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fan' is short of fanatic- which is someone marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.

I'm not a fan of any sport but I watch, read and listen to anything sport. What does that make me?

Fan' is short of fanatic- which is someone marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.

Espn is a media outlet and stand for Entertament Sports Programing Network, I watch very little of it. I like Dan Patrick and SI

I'm not a fan of any sport but I watch, read and listen to anything sport. What does that make me?

At 12/19/07, 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much of the drug use can be explained in basic human motivational terms.Because humans tend to live in groups they seek:

a) acceptance and support (going along with the crowd)

b)status, power, and resources (I HAVE to make it to the pinnacle; I will control my destiny, not the owners/media/fans; I want to make $$$$$)

c)meaning (this is where the conflict lies - for some of us, sport is a means to transcend other human activities, a way to challenge ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. For many others, sport did not obviously mean the same thing - see a and b above)

Add these basic motivations to the ever-increasing absence of values through the commercialization of sport and the current state of affairs seems to be a natural evolution.

Paul Davis
Omaha, NE


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