Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Second Chances (and Why I'm Not a Sports Guy)

I’m not a sports guy. I think this is due to the fact that I was part of a generation of people with a hip disorder (Legg-Calve-Perthes) that, at the time, was treated with casting and immobilization; in other words, Gentle Reader, yours truly was in leg casts for three months and a leg brace for nine. I missed some school and when I did go back I could only get onto “the short bus”. Yes – THAT short bus. The other children would line up to watch their new quadruped (two splayed legs and a pair of crutches) classmate descend via a hydraulic lift and inquire, “Are you retarded?” No big deal, although to this day I wonder why they continued ask every single day I arrived as if expecting my answer to change. Every now and then I’d switch up.

“Are you retarded?”

“Yeah, I’m feeling a little retarded today. Tomorrow’s looking a little better though.”

Good times… good times.

Break out the violins? Nope, I view that time as something that truly shaped my life. You see even when I was able to get out of the braces I still required the crutches. After the crutches were gone I was not allowed to participate in gym class and I was never allowed to participate in organized sports. Not only did this give me the Rubenesque physique I have today but it taught me early insight into human nature of both those around me and my own. The experience taught me how to escape and to get lost in books and in movies. Hey, I couldn’t participate in organized sports but I could go toe to toe with anyone when it came to the concept of the construct of a story or a film.

Behold the birth of a Geek! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

But enough about me. I tell you this tale because I think that Michael Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL. Yep, that’s right; he should return to playing football. Why? Well, I liked what he said in the apology (I’m gonna paraphrase since it’s a sports report and for reasons already mentioned – ergo it’s not my bag) about being sorry for the inhumanity and for letting down so many children who look up to a guy like him. He also said something about paying his debt and reiterated that he was sorry. R.L.White said, "As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football We (NAACP’s Atlanta chapter) further ask the NFL, Falcons, and the sponsors not to permanently ban Mr. Vick from his ability to bring hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country."

I like the concept of second chances.

A friend of mine has desperately wanted to run with the bulls in Pampalona Spain for the last twenty years or so. One of these days he’ll get there. He wants to participate in an event that traces it’s roots back to the 13th century. It has become a major part of the culture of the region. Once the bulls are run from the pen to the stadium the majority of them are killed. Bullfighting is big in Spain. It certainly got a shot in the arm when Hemingway wrote, “The Sun Also Rises”.

In South/East Asia, Pakistan, the Philippians, India, Mexico, Venezuela & other parts of South America and the Caribbean cock fighting is accepted as commonplace entertainment; again going back thousands of years. The founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed the sport right here in the United States. Irish and the English brought over their favorite fighting breeds. It was illegal in 49 states until June 27, 2007, when the Louisiana legislature voted to ban cockfighting. The last domino fell. Now it is completely underground. Deemed a crime by our culture.

Speaking of the good ole’ U.S. of A, how about dog racing, horse racing, hunting, fishing and (let us cross another line and throw human’s into the mix) Boxing. These are all sports where a living thing is used, victimized or brutalized – no? Now of all of them I’d have to say that the one that involves HUMAN BEINGS is the scariest. Chickens (present company excluded), dogs, horses, deer and fish just don’t hold as much weight for yours truly. When a boxer dies in the ring it gets my attention in a way that a chicken does not. A human is dead. It resonates on my conscience more.

This is not to say that I endorse dog or cock fighting, I find them both too brutal a spectacle where everyday survival and living are brutal enough fights. I don’t hunt but have no problem with those who do. I enjoy venison. Would I run with the bulls? No. I’m a coward; besides someone has to hold the camera. I’ve never bet on a dog race but this is probably due to the fact that I have no idea where the nearest stadium is. I think the Three Chicks would love it (although I’m still perplexed at how tiny the jockeys must be). Fishing? Please – I’m from down the shore, I grew up fishing and crabbing. Horse racing? Before the Atlantic City Racetrack practically closed I LOVED having a cheep cigar in one hand and a racing form in the other.

Good times… good times.

Evil Chicken – just what are you getting at? Well what can we take from this gentle reader? You now know why I’m not a sports fan, that I believe after Michael Vick has done his sentence he should be allowed to play again in the NFL, that I enjoy Wikipedia way too much for my own good and you could say my favorite sports revolve around things that I can either bet on or eat.

Yeah, that’s about right.

BTW, I don’t count Geocaching as a sport – it’s more of a pastime; although we do eat well.


mommanator said...

I agree with you at some level, but am concerned with children looking up to him. Now another thought,how about the sport he makes a living at, can you think at a more greusome sport, that they bet on! he prob did this most of his life-he just now got caught

Evil Chicken said...

Not being a sports guy I really haven’t listened too intently to the gory details. Yesterday after I posted last night’s blog I heard some from a co-worker. It’s pretty monstrous stuff – if true; stuff that I won’t go into because I’m drinking coffee before heading off to work and I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone else’s breakfast. If the testimony is true then I’ll probably have to write another blog.

I still stand behind sports that I can bet on or get something to eat out of though.

Merci said...

Anyone who can show that much intentional brutality toward animals is capable of inflicting harm on humans, too. Cruelty to animals is one of the first signs of a dangerous mind.

His apology is too self-serving to ring true, and anyone who is able to commit such horrific deeds is a sociopath. Sociopaths don't change just because they get caught. In fact, sociopaths don't change. They might change their habits for self-protection, so he might stop the dog-fighting biz, but they don't change their nature.

I don't like hunting, either, but it is really nothing like this dog fighting and dog torturing scheme (wetting dogs down and then electrocuting them because they didn't fight well?!?). He should have been physically ill the first time he saw animals tormented, and he should have been unable to participate in such a thing ever again.

Cruelty to animals to this extent is almost always a hallmark of criminality. Being wealthy and talented doesn't make up for it; in fact, it makes it easier for him to see himself as entitled to do as he pleases. Giving him back his opportunities for wealth will only enhance that. There is something seriously wrong here.

Sometimes animals have to be killed, but they never have to be tormented.

OK, rant over.