Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Problem with Barry

Barry Bonds is an all-star baseball player. His lineage alone makes him baseball royalty and his career is tattooed with a slew of broken records. All eyes are on Barry now as he is on the verge of breaking the mother of all records: Hank Aaron`s number of career home runs.

Like many high-profiled athletes today, Barry Bonds can't escape controversy. Amongst these controversies, the inescapable allegations of steroid use. Is that why Barry is one of the athletes people just lo-oo-ve to hate? No. It just makes it easier. Truth be told, I can’t stand Barry Bonds and despite my friend Patrick’s best efforts, I couldn’t care less for baseball.

Barry Bonds is not Wayne Gretzky. He’s not likeable, gracious or even social for that matter. He doesn’t sell Big Macs and doesn’t push cereals. He is a baseball player. He has very little interest in signing autographs and is rarely generous or pleasant in interviews. But guess what? It’s ok. When was it that we became to demand of professional athletes manners, amicability and other qualities one looks for in a best friend? Athletes are there to hit balls, pass pucks, smash rackets and dance in the end zone. Period. Did Tiger Woods become approachable and likable because he had Buicks to sell or was he like that from the get-go, thus getting him such an endorsement deal? Who knows and does it even matter?

Sportsmanship on the field is one thing, being likeable once the whistle blows is a whole different story. Media is always quick to remind viewers and readers of how rude Barry Bonds is. So what? He’s not running for office and he’s not trying to date your sister. He’s a baseball player and he does that very well. Leave him alone.

1 comment:

Coachpp21 said...

Before I echo some of the things you said, let me preface my comment by telling you and your readers that baseball is the greatest game on earth. One day, you and me (and all interested readers) will sit down over a pizza or dairy queen ice cream and I'll break it down as to why I think that.

It is a fact that the large majority of sports fans do not like Bonds but he is not the first or the last athlete that we have or will critize. Now that he is on the brink or beaking sports' most prestigious record, it is now time to put aside all the reasons why I and many others have hated him in the past and focus on is biggest character flaw: he is a CHEATER! Those of you who are old enough to remember when Hank Aaron broke the Babe's record can remember that people did not want him to break the record for another reason (i'll save that discussion for another blog) but no one could have ever accused him of being a cheater. I can't think of anything worse for an athlete than to be perceived as one. Here is what I have done to help ease my mind about this whole thing - when the dust of bonds'career has settled, he will never be remebered for the amount of home runs he hit or anything else he accomplished during his career. His legacy to the game will always be linked to steroids. And that, my friends, is justice!