Sunday, August 30, 2009

Off-season headaches

"It's not enough we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required."
- Sir Winston Churchill

I've held my tongue for long enough, but I can't take it anymore.

I do consider myself an avid sports fan, but my respect for pro athletes has exponentially dwindled in the last decade.

And it has everything to do with the constant off-season bickering surrounding their contract negotiations.

As if the un-Godly amount of money they're getting paid to just play a game isn't enough, it's become increasingly common for players to now make demands about the team / city in which they play.

I guess this isn't exactly something new to pro sports, but this summer's Dany Heatley saga in the NHL has really grown tiresome. He recently held a press conference explaining why he no longer wants to play pro hockey for the Ottawa Senators (and, subsequently, the Edmonton Oilers), and he essentially said that he was only doing what was best for his career.

Imagine if a soldier all of a sudden stated to his superior that he didn't feel a deployment to Afghanistan would further his career and that he instead felt a year in Grand Cayman might do him more good. Do you think that would go over well?

Of course not. Because, unlike pro athletes, we all live in the real world and just do as we're told by our superiors.

Now we all know this was a cop-out response by Heatley at the press conference and that he was only stating what his handlers (read: sports agents) advised him to say, but come on. Did they honestly think this excuse would be sufficient? Couldn't they have come up with something better than that?

All Heatley's statements have done is cause me to become increasingly hostile toward pro athletes and their petty demands.

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