Sportsmanship in sports is on the decline
For years, professional athletes have been straying from proper sportsmanship. Rude celebrations have evolved over the year and definitely need to come to an end. Incidents such as Terrell Owens' Sharpie incident two years ago and Joe Horn's cell phone call, last year, were supposed to be playful. This year, there was the horrendous fight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan and on Jan. 9, Vikings receiver Randy Moss mimicked mooning all of Lambeau Field and millions of fans watching at home.
Moss has a history filled with character problems. Last week on Jan. 2, he was in the midst of another controversy. The Minnesota Vikings were playing the Washington Redskins and were down by three with two seconds left. Moss was seen exiting the stadium when the rest of the team was either on the field or watching on the sidelines. Several questioned Moss' loyalty to his team as they go to the playoffs.
This time Moss stayed on the field when everyone wanted him to leave. Moss caught his second touchdown catch of the game after running a beautiful route that completely fooled Green Bay Packers cornerback, Al Harris. Moss has been hobbled by a sprained ankle for much of the season. A healthy Moss is probably the most dangerous wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). Moss measures 6' 5" and is extremely athletic and quick. He recorded the 40-yard dash in a speedy 4.25 seconds and had a three foot vertical in high school.
However, due to the injury Moss had mainly been used as a decoy during that series. On the third and six play, Moss lined up as usual and Harris played off him. Moss set up for a five-yard catch to get the first down, but then burst forward towards the end zone. Harris was completely caught off guard, which resulted in Moss' second touchdown catch.
Moss turned his rear end towards the fans sitting behind the end zone and motioned pulling his pants down to simulate mooning them. This action was unwarranted in almost every way. Moss had been under a lot of fire of late and probably wanted to release his frustration. Fox commentator Joe Buck described the scene as "disgusting." His actions were even more inappropriate because of the history of Lambeau Field. Lambeau Field is rich in football history and has never been so disrespected.
Unfortunately for the world of sports, events such as these are not as rare as they used to be. Professional athletes now have an aura of invincibility, and believe they are above the rest of society. Athletes such as Moss do not seem to mature and their money does not help with the maturing process.
Moss has always had character problems and his natural talent is probably the biggest contributor to these problems. In college Moss lost two scholarships. Notre Dame wanted him and he was headed there until he got into a racial fight, which led to jail time. The Irish, soon after, declined his enrollment application.
Next, he planned on attending Florida State University under coaching legend Bobby Bowden. However, once again his legal troubles got him the boot. This time, he was caught smoking marijuana and was immediately dismissed. Moss finally wound up at Marshall, where he spent two seasons.
Despite posting exceptional numbers at Marshall, several teams doubted his dedication and attitude. Moss, who could have been a lock for a top 10 draft pick, dropped to 21 with the Vikings. After three years in the league, Moss had been to Pro-Bowl each of those years and had garnered the reputation of one of best wide receivers ever. The Vikings management awarded him an eight-year deal worth $75 million with an $18 million signing bonus. Moss is worth every penny of that on the field, but his behavior off the field should make a team cautious about granting him this much.
Another heralded wide receiver had a controversy circling him earlier this season. Owens appeared in a commercial before a Monday Night Game with Desperate Housewives' actress Nicolette Sheridan, running into his arms wearing nothing but a towel. Her sexual advances on national television created a major controversy all over the world.
The fights at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan have also scarred the sport of basketball forever. The players were punching the fans in what became a slugfest. Athletes are supposed to be fan favorites and are never supposed to confront the fans, ever.
This emerging class of young, rich athletes is ruining the world of sports. The athletes ruining the games today will never learn, no matter what type of fines the leagues hand out. Watching sports was supposed to be a healthy activity, appropriate for all ages. What has become of sports is really a shame because the games keep getting better in other regards. Each year, athletes get more talented and when they compete at their highest levels, make the games more interesting. But until these players can get their act together, not everyone will be able to enjoy professional sports.
Adith Sekaran. Adith Sekaran is finally a senior at Blair. Adith is a man who is a big time sports fan and can spend any day to its' entirety watching sports or ESPN. Football season is his favorite, which he spends cheering on his ‘Skins to no … More »