September 4, 2008

As I struggled to decide which story from the world of sports I wanted to touch on today, I found that there may not be a clear-cut candidate that is worthy of an entire post to itself, and this being the case I will combine a few stories that I feel are particularly noteworthy.


A Championship Pair (of Violations)


Former Kansas Jayhawks teammates Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were sent home from an NBA rookie symposium recently because they were caught in their hotel room with girls (a violation of the symposium’s “no visitors” rule) and probably more importantly with marijuana (a violation of the “no drugs” rule and, well, the law).  While the media has been pretty rough on these two for making poor decisions, especially before they have even made their regular season NBA debut, I would like to point out how stupid we would all be to imagine that this kind of thing is rare.  Young men like smoking weed.  Young men like sneaking women into their rooms.  Young men like combining things they like, like weed and women, for instance.  But typically, a lot of young men can’t scrape together the finances to both a) purchase marijuana and b) buy dinner/drinks/etc for women in order to get them to sneak into their rooms.  But once you sign a multi-million dollar contract, suddenly both of those things are really easy to pull off.  I’m not perfect either.  I’ve smoked weed.  I’ve snuck women around.  Hell, I’ve even combined the two, so I can’t really dog these two for those things.  But I can really seriously question their timing.  Why not take a four day break from weed and women while the NBA is trying to teach you how to handle things just like this?  Once your symposium is over and you aren’t under the direct supervision and regulation of the NBA, you can do what you will in your own house on your own time, whether or not your decisions are intelligent.  A lot of people who are less educated about marijuana would insist that bad timing is not the issue but instead it would be a moral issue or perhaps just as serious of a substance abuse policy violation as the steroid scandal.  To those people, I would like to suggest that unless these two were competing in the National Artists League or the Competitive Music Creation Association, the only thing that marijuana is going to enhance is their capacity for eating Fun-yuns.


Sloppy Execution


On the same topic, four Penn State football players have been suspended for Saturday’s game against perennial Pac-10 spoiler Oregon State after police officers entered their apartment and seized a small amount of marijuana.  This seems even less surprising to me than the Chalmers/Arthur situation.  College kids smoking weed?  YOU ARE KIDDING ME!  What is happening in our society?  Oh yeah, the same thing that has been going on for years.  I’m sure this also happens literally all the time everywhere around the country.  College athletes smoke weed just as any regular college students smoke weed; surprisingly often.  I’m not saying that it’s a great idea or that they should be excused from their suspension, but I would contend that the real story here is the surprising laziness that getting caught by the police indicates.  Most college kids that smoke weed never get caught, either by their parents, their deans, campus security, and certainly not the actual police.  But one would assume that college athletes, who have something to lose, would be a little more careful about their illegitimate operations.  Again, this sounds like I am condoning this behavior, but basically my feelings about the whole thing center around the fact that I am not at all removed from the college environment so the most surprising thing to me is the sloppy execution, regardless of how pro-marijuana I am coming across in this post.


An Arrogant Bastard By Any Other Name


Last, and probably also least, is the “Ocho Cinco.”  Former Oregon State WR and current Cincinnati Bengals star Chad Johnson (or should I say the athlete formerly known as Chad Johnson) has successfully changed his legal name to “Chad Ocho Cinco,” and by doing so he officially claims the top spot on both the Stupidest Athletes and Cockiest Athletes lists.  Congratulations, Chad.  Now he can actually wear the “Ocho Cinco” name on the back of his jersey without ripping it off in the pre-game warm-ups.  Honestly, this is probably one of the most ridiculous things that has happened in the NFL in the past year, which hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride for the league, or for commissioner Goodell.  When I heard about it I thought it was a joke.  Now that I know it’s real, it’s even more of a joke than I thought it was to begin with.  This worries me about the coming generations of youth.  I never like to see athletes get injured, but wouldn’t it be ironic if 85 got hurt and for the rest of his career he could never get his health back up any higher than 85 percent?  Then the name would take on a whole new hilariously deserved meaning.




Smoke weed – college students

Win in Happy Valley on Saturday – Nittany Lions

“Fly High” in the NBA – Mario Chalmers                                         

Eat Fun-yuns – potheads

Have only begun his long list of shenanigans for this season – the athlete formerly known as Chad Johnson