Ramble on the Roof

Torrin Thatcher

When looking at my movie shelf last weekend to revel in some viewing pleasures, I had coincidentally enough placed two movies next to each other that, looking solely at the titles, should be on opposite ends – “Goodfellas” and “Bad Boys.”
At first, my mind raced to images of Joe Pesci stabbing and shooting, Téa Leoni being herself, and Martin Lawrence doing whatever it is that they pay him for. After this bit of thought about the actual movies, I started thinking about athletes who could fall into one of these two categories – the “good fellas” and “bad boys” of the sports world. Here are a few choices that I think you may enjoy.
I love Albert Pujols. We all know he’s quite the ballplayer: eight-time All Star, two-time NL MVP, World Series champ in 2006, Gold Glove at first base, yada, yada, yada. What most people don’t know is what has happened in his personal life: he married a woman who had a child from a previous relationship, and has since had two kids of his own with her.
What’s worth noting is that Pujols’ stepdaughter has Down syndrome, and Pujols has embraced her cause wholeheartedly. He and his wife have started the Pujols Family Foundation for individuals with Down syndrome and have done work in the Dominican Republic to provide food, medical attention and dental work for people with Down syndrome. It was no surprise at all when Pujols won the Roberto Clemente award for sportsmanship in 2008. He’s a good fella.
I cannot stand Terrell Owens. After being in the league for as long as he has, one would think he’d learn how to handle himself with the media … and yet he still lifts weights and does sit-ups in front of journalists.
It’s obvious that Owens wants the ball more to make plays, but wearing sun glasses and whining about his quarterback just made him look like a fool. I’m thinking there’s a reason he was shown the door in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Spitting on other players, dumb end zone celebrations, overdosing on pain meds, making unnecessary comments about other players, and hundreds of other bad choices land him squarely as a bad boy.
I love hearing about Joe Paterno. Here’s a guy who’s gotta be almost 93 years old, and he’s still going strong. He’ll mosey on up to the microphone and spit out exactly what he is thinking, and everybody loves him for it. He has helped institute instant replay – by sprinting and actually chasing down an official – and managed to injure himself last year – because he was demonstrating an onside kick in practice.
He has also voiced his opinions openly about the ideas of implementing of a playoff system or paying collegiate athletes. He has done good work off the gridiron, too, donating his dollars to charity and stressing the importance of academics for his team. Paterno’s student-athletes perform very well in the classroom, and Penn State is second to Northwestern in four-year graduation rate for athletes.
He’s such a good guy that he actually works in a place called Happy Valley! After receiving a contract extension last fall, he looks set to remain a good fella in Happy Valley for some time to come.
Does anyone besides Cubs fans care what Milton Bradley has to say? He had, what, one good year, and the Cubs threw him $30 million? I do love the fact that the Cubs are wasting money, but I do not love some things Bradley has pulled – maybe that’s the reason he’s played for seven different teams.
He’s been suspended for bumping an umpire, tossed the ball into the stands after the second out and sent home during a game for acting like a child. He’s torn his ACL while trying to attack an umpire – he says the umpire “provoked” him. He actually tried to race up to the announcer’s booth during a game to confront the Royals announcer for hurting his feelings – after that one, he told his teammates he was “strong, but not that strong.”
How’s he playing in the last few weeks? He’s not. He’s been suspended for the remainder of this season by the Cubs for detrimental conduct to the team. He’s basically robbed the Cubs of millions of dollars, and while I love that, I still have to say he’s a bad boy.
I could keep going with more names and attitudes, but I feel like it’s time to stop. It’s not always right to judge a movie by its cover, but once you get to know the film’s content, it’s clear – some movies just aren’t worth watching.