Like most kids I had my sports heroes. In the days before the internet and 24 hour sports channels on cable we mostly read about our heroes in the pages of Sports Illustrated, Sport and the Sporting News. And the daily newspaper, back when the sports section was stuffed with articles and columns. And the radio on an almost nightly basis. I followed the exploits of Hank Aaron and Carl Yazstremski...Bart Starr and Jimmy Taylor...Sweet Lou Hudson,Pistol Pete Maravich & The Big O. I don't remember when I stopped viewing these guys as some kind of perfect human specimen. maybe after I read the book "Ball Four" by former major league pitcher Jim Bouton. It blew the lid off the well kept secret that most of these guys were ordinary with the same human frailities as most of the population. Mickey Mantle was a drunken skirt-chaser who just happened to hit long home runs. We've come a long way from those innocent days and it seems that more and more the sports pages read like the police blotter on way too many days. The latest of course, is former Packer Darren Sharper who is accused of being a serial rapist. How many of you still have a Sharper jersey hanging in you closet? The sad thing is, when I heard the news it didnt shock me. We had a former Packer make an appearance for the radio station a number of years back and he invited one of our female sales people to join him in the mens room.
Since I've worked in this business I have been able to meet and interview a large number of professional athletes both current and retired and my advice to you (as much as it pains me to say it) is to stay away from the hero worship that is so much a part of sports. Many of these guys are stand up guys who are pillars of their communitys...but there are also a bunch you are complete assholes who use their money and fame to prey on those less powerful. Watch the games...enjoy the competition...but remember they guy who you are cheering today, could be the next guy to make an appearance on Americas Most Wanted
I heard on the radio this morning that the Oakland Raiders are considering signing Richie Incognitio to a contract. If there is room in an NFL locker room for Incognito and not Michael Sam, the message will be loud and clear.
What the hell is going on in the Big Ten mens basketball race. Wisconsin looked dead a few weeks ago and have now won four in a row...Nebraska beats Michigan State...the upsets continue to pile up...there is a long way to go before a conference champion will be crowned.
The Milwaukee Brewers begin workouts today in Maryvale. Look at the Central...the Reds and Pirates got worse...the Cubs are the Cubs...and the Cardinals have lineup questions. The Brewers got better with the signing of Matt Garza and with the healthy return of Braun and Ramirez I see no reason why they cant contend this year.
I'll be at the East gym tonight weather permitting for boys basketball as Oshkosh West comes to town...pre game at 7:15 on Foxsports Radio AM1390 & FM 93.9
Mixed Up Shook Up Girl-Patty & the Emblems (1964) a one hit wonder from New Jersey
Moanin The Blues-Hank Williams (1952) another classic from ole Hank