Posts Tagged ‘Football’

Robert Enke

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

As a fan, I am guilty of openly criticizing players who do not meet my expectations. I have booed at games. When the performance is truly uninspiring I have been guilty of using unsavory language to describe players. As a fan, I am also guilty of putting sports stars on a pedestal. I view these great athletes not just as human beings but also as indestructible forces of nature. As a fan, I was reminded of just how fallible sports stars are, and no matter how great they are in the sports arena these athletes are just human beings. Athletes hear the boos we so easily dish out and are devastated when their performance is less than stellar. Most athletes are able to shrug these performances off and comeback recharged for the next contest. Some athletes are unable to accept defeat and internalize their failure allowing it to tear them apart inside. One such athlete, Robert Enke, was in the latter group.
Enke first sought professional help for depression after being blamed for his Soccer teams loss in a 2007 match. Enke was able to continue playing and became a great Soccer player, however, he was never able to get over his depression. Every defeat and every personal failure he internalized until he could handle no more and took his life on Tuesday, November 9th by jumping in front of a train.
Let’s step back and remind ourselves that while our passion for sports runs deep, at the end of the day sports are just games. As a fan I mourn the loss of a human being one whose life was cut tragically short.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

Let Larry Johnson Join the Unemployed

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It seems that Kansas City Chiefs fans don’t want troubled player Larry Johnson to play this week. Several thousand fans (the number is growing every minute) have petitioned the team to not allow Johnson to play. The rationale behind this request is they do not want a player who has openly made homosexual slurs and repeatedly disrespected the team on Twitter to play and break the Kansas City Chiefs rushing record (Johnson is only 75 yards away from achieving this record). Last week I blogged about this situation and the fans have spoken with vigor!
Today it was announced that the unemployment rate has hit 10.2 %, maybe Larry Johnson should be listed with this unfortunate group of unemployed and not belong on the list of record breaking athletes. Perhaps time off the field will allow him to see the incredible opportunity he had and how foolish he was to jeopardize this opportunity. I am sure the millions collecting unemployment right now would love to have the gift that Larry Johnson has to play in the NFL. The owners of the Kansas City Chiefs (a team with a 1-6 record) should make sure they consider how much fans will continue to shell out for tickets, particularly in this depressed economy, to watch a player who inspires negativity. One of the reasons people go see sporting events is for a release, not to witness intolerance and selfishness. Give the fans what they want, particularly when we are already bombarded  with bad news in the real world.

Thuggery in the NFL

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Plaxico Burress accepted a plea deal that will place him in jail for two years for carrying an illegal weapon into a night club and then accidentally shooting himself. Many sports analysts seemed more interested in when Mr. Burress would be back to play football than discussing the ramifications of Mr. Burress’ actions. It seems that much thuggery has surrounded the NFL as of late and many analysts are focused more on how much football these individuals will miss and not on opening a dialogue on how these activities can be prevented. Playing football in the NFL is a privilege, one that for many is a highly compensated privilege. Because playing football in the NFL is a privilege it can and in some cases should be taken away permanently when deemed necessary. Sports analysts should be focusing on why players such as Plaxico Burress should be allowed to play again and not when can they can play. There needs to be more dialogue on how we can prevent these thuggish actions. Furthermore, commissioner Goodell needs to have zero tolerance when individuals do not uphold the standards of conduct set forth by the NFL and society.