Growing up in Milwaukee, I am quite familiar with the low-grade sports teams that make their home in the Brew City. Had Ron Wolf had not stolen Brett Favre from the Atlanta Falcons, this state would be without a bona fide winner. The last time the Brewers had a winning season they had Molitor, Yount, and Pat Listach on the roster. Still I remain loyal to my home teams, if not without copious amounts of grimacing and profanity. As a dedicated sports fan and avid student of the game, I am constantly disappointed by all the scandals in sports. Every week almost, there is a new sports celebrity arrested for living the life. The harsh penalty that follows is typically a stern warning.
The problem does not lie with the players, but with the administration of the leagues. With strong leadership all major sports could return to their golden age. As fans we can help this process along by aiding the commissioners with their decisions. Let them know what the game has become. The games are now businesses; as fans it is our obligation to tell the producer what makes a more desirable product.
Write Major League Baseball and speak freely about your thoughts on their joke of a steroid policy. Tell Bud Selig that his mismanagement of the Brewers roster has turned fans off of baseball. Email David Stern and tell him that professional basketball is now a distant second to the collegiate game. Make it clear that fans do not wish to see grown men whining for a foul every time there is contact. Is basketball fixed? Ask the tough questions.
On a more local level, we can protect our own pure sports games by not allowing tyrannical powers to take control of our beloved intramural sports. During this most recent intramural basketball season, league commissioner Josh Locks constantly had conflicts of interest between league integrity and his own basketball team. Declaring himself all-time referee, Locks decided many a team’s fate with his controversial calls. Not to mention his deliberate disregard for his own rules concerning blatant roster violations and using illegal players in the semi-finals of the playoffs.
After posting rules stating that this behavior would not be tolerated at the beginning of the season, Locks continued to abuse his power as if he were invulnerable. After another team soundly defeated his own in the championship game, Locks has refused to comply with clearly stated league rules calling for the championship team to receive tee shirts confirming their accomplishment. When asked about the location of the purported tee shirts, Locks changed his story on several occasions; first he claimed they were in the mail, then later recanted and claimed that the school ran out and was having more printed. As much as I would like to take his word, Locks’ antics cannot be trusted. His only concern is glory for himself and his own teammates.
This is not the way to conduct a semi-serious basketball league. Sanctions must be imposed. Josh Locks must be brought to justice. Fans of the pure game must come together and take back that which is rightfully theirs, integrity, honesty and the American Dream.