Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm not annoyed by those who think Terrell Owens should be judged solely on whether he helps his teams win games... nor am I annoyed by those who think it's OK for the President to have sex with an intern and then lie about it so long as the stock market goes up... nor am I annoyed by those who are friends with guys who cheat on their wives so long as they have a good time when they get together....

There are things in life more important than winning football games, more important than having more money in my pocket, and more important than having a good time at a party.

And one of those things is being a good person... and rooting for players who are good people... and having a President who is a good person... and hanging around with someone who is a good person.

It all comes down to what people consider important...

Good people don't place themselves ahead of the team. They don't try to make themselves look good by making someone else look bad. They don't use their power to engage in behavior that just isn't done. They don't ignore the vows they made in order to score something on the side.

It doesn't matter that there are guys in the NFL who have done worse things than what Owens has done... they shouldn't be in the league either. What matters is whether Owens is a guy that I would want as part of my team if I owned the Eagles. And he isn't. Nor is Ray Lewis. Or Jamal Lewis. Or Iverson, if I were an NBA owner. Or Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson or Latrell Sprewell.

I would rather lose than win and owe that win to people such as these. I would have foregone the gains I made in the stock market during the 90s if that meant we could have avoided having had a President who was shtupping the (unpaid) help and then lying about it under oath. And I would rather sit at home alone rather than go out with guys who cheat on their wives (disclosure: I don't sit home alone, as I have a wife and kids, but I'm making a point)...

So, annoyed? No. Disappointed? Yes. Because the people who see nothing wrong with the Owens', the Clintons and the Iversons of the world only ensure that we have many, many, many more of them in the future... For every time someone cheers for the likes of an Owens, a Lewis or an Iverson, for every time someone says 'lying about sex isn't such a big deal', for every time someone says "so what that Frank cheats on his wife, he's a blast', what they are doing is laying the foundation for even more to come.

And that is sad. Just sad. Maybe they don't see the consequences of their looking the other way, maybe they think there truly is nothing wrong with an athlete placing his ego ahead of the team. Either way, it is still sad.