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Life Lessons

Not a Positive Experience

What a blue Christmas in the world of sports!

Tiger Woods, with his image in tatters, faces a public divorce. Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, is reported on life-support after a domestic dispute with his fiancee. Kansas football coach Mark Mangino resigns amid allegations he mistreated his players.

One after another the reports come. Florida star Carlos Dunlap is found slumped over the steering wheel of a car in the early-morning hours. A doctor who has treated Woods and many other pro athletes is charged by Canadian authorities with selling an unapproved drug.

Where is the joy?

Is it just me, or does it seem that every day brings another negative story about sports and those who play them?

Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Rob Gilbert says that the letters PE, which stand for Physical Education, should stand first for Positive Experience. He asks: “If it is not a Positive Experience, then why have Physical Education?”

Oh, it’s an education, all right. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco says of San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman, “I will beat Shawne’s head in, right now.” Merriman’s comment is that whatever happens, it won’t be serious enough to attract commissioner Roger Goodell’s attention. “Roger has nothing to worry about in this case. I’ll keep it legal — as possible.”

It seems that athletes will spar with anyone: with each other, with family members, with the law. It hardly seems like they are keeping things as legal as possible.

So much for role models. Coaching legend John Wooden said, “Sports don’t build character, they reveal it.”

What do these incidents, one after another, reveal? Perhaps that too much value is placed on sports, especially spectator sports? Someone once said that sports are the laboratory of life. If that’s true, what’s coming out of the lab? Frankenstein?

We now embark on the college bowl season. Pass the chips. pop open a can and brace for the next story that will reveal character.


One comment for “Not a Positive Experience”

  1. Very sad stuff Mike

    Hate to be pesssimistic but as a society we are in deep trouble.

    We need more postive role models to step up in all facets of our culture

    Its a war we are fighting now and the enemy may be us

    Posted by kevin reilly | December 17, 2009, 8:00 pm

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