It’s not difficult to see the similarities between sports and the old west. Two opposing foes, staring each other down trying to determine who is quicker, who is more accurate and who stays alive. The only difference of importance however, is that rather than the winner riding off into the sunset (queue the western music now) the winner in sports heads off to Disneyland. Yeah… I don’t get it either. But anyway, that is the segway into this edition of Fringe Friday entitled the good, the bad and the ugly.
I have already spent some time discussing Mike Ilitch, who passed away recently, and specifically the class in with which he lived his life. What I and many people didn’t realize however, was just how good a man he truly was. Federal Judge Damon Keith told reporters recently that Mr. Ilitch helped pay the rent for “the mother of the civil rights movement,” Rosa Parks.
It is hard to believe in this day and age with the amount of information that is amalgamated and at the speed in which it is processed that most of us were not aware of this. It is not only an example of one of many of Mr. Ilitch’s good deeds, but shows just how special he was for it was a good deed that was done for the right reasons. No fan fare, no photo op, just doing the right thing… because it was the right thing to do.
Now if I told you that a player from the NFL was charged recently, you would most likely think no big deal as this seems to happen quite regularly. Now if the football player, in this case Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, claims he was the victim, well that too isn’t quite so shocking. But why this particular story made the list and why I can’t help stop laughing is for the explanation provided by his lawyers for why Revis was in Pittsburgh to begin with.”According to Jones, Revis was in town to review one of his real estate investments when a heavily intoxicated man approached him on Pittsburgh’s South Side.”
So what’s so funny about that? Nothing really except when I go check my real estate investments, I don’t tend to go look at them around 3 am in the morning. I may be nitpicky about this, but wouldn’t you want to take a good look at something before you buy it? And is 3am really the best time to look at anything? I don’t think so. Now there is a lot of confusion as to what actually happened but there is some debate that Revis may indeed have been a victim, so we should let the courts settle that matter. In the meantime, if Revis is interested, I got some land in Florida for sale. What… too soon??
The soccer world can sometimes be one of the most ridiculous arenas in our culture where reality is far, far stranger than anything we can imagine. For example in England we have a fifth tier team Sutton United, who were involved in a 5th round match of the FA Cup against mighty Arsenal from the Premiere League. Instead of discussing their cinderella run and what an accomplishment it was to get to this stage, we have to focus on their 322 lbs, 46 year old back up goalkeeper Wayne Shaw. Why? Because in the 83rd minute of what was a 2-0 loss, Shaw was seen eating a meat pie on the bench. That’s right, you read that correctly, I said eating a meat pie while on the bench.
It gets even weirder though as Shaw was forced to resign from the team shortly thereafter. It obviously didn’t have an impact on the game and considering Sutton United had already used all of their substitutions, he wasn’t going to play anyway. So why the big deal? Prior to the game a legal betting organization put up a lighthearted bet (8-1 odds) that Shaw would eat a pie while on the bench. The “Roly Poly Goalie” as he is known by teammates, didn’t make any wagers as players are forbidden to do so, but the portly netminder did admit knowing that some of his mates and fans had. Therefore the team had no other option than to ask him to resign as a gambling investigation into the matter is underway. It’s a sad way for his career to end, but at least Shaw had a last meal.
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