Deny, deny, deny: Mistruths and fabrications in professional sports

 

“Would I lie to you?  Would I lie to you, honey?  Now would I say something that wasn’t true?

                                                                                                                                              – Eurythmics

 

 

Probably the most famous lie of all time was uttered when Adam and Eve held that half-eaten apple and told the powers that be they didn’t do it.  From that single lesson, we’re taught at an early age the consequences of being dishonest.  From George Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie” to Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” to Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” our nation boasts a notable history of dishonesty and indiscretion.  If both biblical and presidential figures lie, why should we be surprised when athletes do the same?

 

Over the past several years, sports fans have been treated to a barrage of lies, excuses, fibs, mistruths and fabrications about who did what, when, where and how.  Based on those varied and often contradictory accounts, we are left to play both judge and jury, evaluating wherein lie the actual truth.

 

Red Sox Yankees BaseballDavid Ortiz, the loveable Big Papi, is the most recent professional baseball player whose name surfaced on a failed drug test.  In a press conference this weekend, Ortiz apologized, telling the nation that he has never bought or used steroids but rather it was a combination of then-legal supplements and vitamins that triggered the bad test.  Are we to believe him?  Should we when so many before him have lied?

 

Ortiz is just another in the long line of major league baseball players to confess his ‘sins’ to the nation, coming clean only when caught.  Once sure-fire Hall of Famers Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds continue to plead their innocence with regards to accusations of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) they allegedly ingested.  Rafael Palmeiro told a Congressional hearing he never used steroids.  Shortly thereafter, he failed a drug test.  In that same session, Mark McGwire said he wasn’t there to talk about his past and Sammy Sosa suddenly forgot how to speak English.  These players made a mockery out of a government panel that many believe had no business being involved in baseball in the first place.

 

Lies abound in sports.  Like a child finding out there’s no such thing as Santa Claus, this is something we’re slowly and reluctantly getting used to.  Pete Rose lied about his gambling habits for years.  Alex Rodriguez lied, then lied, then lied again about his steroid use.  The Patriots lied about filming other teams’ practices.  Michael Vick lied to the NFL Commissioner about his dog-fighting ring until finally getting caught.  Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones lied about drug use, then did her jail time.  As head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Nick Saban told us he would never be the head coach of the University of Alabama.  He’s currently the head coach of the University of Alabama.  Then there was Rosie Ruiz.  Remember her?  She was the woman who won the 1980 Boston Marathon at a record pace, until officials later found out that she had hopped a subway to complete the race.  Apparently the only person we can trust these days is Tim Tebow.

 

I’m not naïve enough to believe everything in sports is pure.  Heck, I lie.  Or at least I’ve been known to distort the truth on occasion.  I’ve stolen candy from the dispensers at my local supermarket without paying for it.  I’m no black pot.  I understand that a big part of being a professional athlete means learning how to market yourself properly.  Athletes have a limited window in which to make as much money as possible.  They have carefully crafted and protected their images.  One mistake can cost someone not only the support of his fans but his career and tens of millions of dollars.  Just ask Michael Vick.

 

We will always watch sports.  As fans, it’s in our nature.  Sport is pure.  There’s elation in a perfectly timed alley-oop, a 6-4-3 double play turned without flaw, the down-field pass to an open receiver for six, an approach shot that plants itself inches away from the pin or picking up a 7-10 split.  We marvel at the athlete who can routinely achieve what we have tried to do a million times but cannot.  We could just do without the lying.  It’s inconsistent with the purity of the game.

 

Unfortunately, we’ll never know the complete truth in any of these cases, well after names have already been dragged through the mud.  Who took what and where?  What did Papi, Clemens, Bonds and the like use to get an edge?  We’re left to formulate our own opinions, many of which have already been cynically predetermined about sports and the millionaire athlete.  We believe some but not others based on these preconceived notions, much of which is based on the image they themselves have created.  We forgive some but not others.

 

We still love our sports but we are becoming immune to the lies.  Some of us still mistakenly believe in Santa Claus.

 

37 thoughts on “Deny, deny, deny: Mistruths and fabrications in professional sports

  1. I wonder where all this common sense and logical thinking was when I was in town. I don’t remember you being so articulate…perhaps it was the environment that shed it’s influence where the type of articulation currently being displayed would have been lost on…well u know what I mean.
    Well done 🙂

  2. gee, i always thought you were suppose to deny it…isn’t that one of the ‘rules of life’. eventually someone believes you.

  3. Chris

    I see that a work colleague of Andrea McNulty is now saying that she (McNulty) bragged to others that she’d had sex with Roethlisberger ? So does that now mitigate what allegedly took place ?

    Because Roethlisberger’s story is that nothing took place between he and McNulty. That being said it’s all about being held accountable for one’s actions. And that’s something that most primadonna athletes simply have no actual guts for. They’re all a bunch of pus_ies to my mind ! If you can’t stand up and tell the truth when you’ve been caught . Then you’re no better than lowest of the low walking the streets ! Even Stallworth in his interview with EPSN’s Michael W Smith is trying to mitigiate the circumstances behind his taking Mario Reyes’ life. Check out the interview tonight on ESPN’s E:60. Smith for all sense and purpose panders to Stallworth’s almost every whim ! It’s a pi_s poor interview when it was all said an done !

    Alan Parkins

  4. Lee… that’s actually a great point. I guess that’s ultimately what they’re all hoping for. I’ll try that the next time I lift some caramels out of the bin.

  5. Al… I do feel for Stallworth if only in the sense that he’ll have to live with that tragedy for the rest of his life, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

    With regards to the Big Ben case, I’m still waiting for all the facts to be revealed. But if that friend’s testimony is allowed to stand, it doesn’t sound like McNulty has much of a case. Hey, I don’t need Ben to come out and say who he’s been intimate with. We’ve all had our own regrettable experiences we didn’t care to share.

  6. Chris

    If one remembers however the case behind Ben’s argument was that nothing untoward took place between he and McNulty. In effect he’s still got some explaining to do either way. That was the veracity of the argument he was making from the beginning.

    As for Stallworth I’ve no empathy for an as-hole who decides to consume alcohol as well as doing some weed. Then he decides to get behind the wheel of the $58,000 vehicle think that he’s got complete control of his faculties. He’s a friggin’ tool to think that to begin with.

    Here are links to my two most recent pieces.

    One deals with the Smith Stallworth interview which’ll be shown in its entirety tonight on EPSN’s E60 news’ magazine program. And the second piece deals with Rambis’ moving on from the Lakers to accept the Timberwolves’ position. I , for one feel that although the nucleus of the roster is great. He’s going to have problems dealing with the GM David Kahn and owner Glen Taylor. Those two make Donald Sterling and Elgin Baylor in their prime when they were ruining the Clippers seem like MIT grads.

    We Entertain And That’s All We’re Meant To Do Right ?

    I Was A Contender But

    Alan Parkins

  7. Chris

    What I think that we all tend to forget is that in this age of round the clock news cycles. Any event no matter how big or small will be reported on. So for any athlete or celebrity caught in the midst of something no matter how inconsequntial it might be in their eyes. They now have got to know that they can ill afford to tell a half truth much less lie to the faces of the public and paparazzi. One way or another they’re bound to be found out. And when they get caught in that very lie there’s really not much that they can do or say when it comes to a denial on their part.

    If I’m going to lie to a chick . It’ll be because she’s asked me the question . Does my as_s look fat in this dress ? What’s a guy gonna do if he’s sure that she’ll put out ? He’s gonna lie offcourse ! LOL, LOL !!! It’s ingrained in us and it’s become part of our psyhce. Other than that we’re on somewhat of a slippery slope.

    So PGA Commissioner has a nut sack afterall ? Not only does he fine Tiger . But he does so in order to try and make an example of the player as a deterrent to others ? WTF ? What’s next he’ll fine Tiger ’cause he’s winning too many official PGA tournaments ?

    Alan Parkins

  8. Again… I’ll never understand why these guys just don’t hire drivers. Are you telling me they can’t afford to pay a guy $100,000 to drive them around while club-hopping?

  9. Quien es mas macho? Lorenzo Lamas, o Ricardo Mantalban? Lamas…o Mantalban? Quien es mas macho?

  10. Chris

    We’ve got our fair share of fat and skinny girls all over.
    Now that being said the girl I’ve been with for the last eight years is one of those fine Asian American chicks with a fine a_s caboose. She’s a bit like Kelly Hu with a touch of Nia Long thrown in for good measure.

    Like I said no excuses ought to be made for either Vick or Stallworth. As to the as_holes who state that in Vick’s case it was a product of his environment. I guess they’d still be saying that if he’d been caught molesting a child . It’s a friggin’ cop out by those who for all sense and purpose are somewhat retarded in their thinking. We’ve all got a moral compass within us. It’s a matter of knowing what’s wrong from right , rather than continually making ecuses.

    As for Stallworth he’s still in denial. He may well have shown in his own way an act of contrition by settling with the family financially. But yet he’s failed to answer one question. Why drink and drive and at the same time do marijuana to compound it all ? ’til he answers that question , I for one don’t want to hear any friggin’ excuses from anyone on his behalf !

    Guys like that have about as much intelligence as a freakin’ gnat ! They’re spineless and gutless , like the vast majority of overpaid jocks at the professional level ! It’s all about the look at me mentally and the loads of cash they’re said to be making. One great big f__in’ cop out for their irrational behavior !

    Alan Parkins

  11. I don’t know what to tell you about Stallworth. I think he’s genuinely more contrite than Vick. He’s going to have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. He’ll never been the same.

    Hopefully all of us can learn from his mistakes.

  12. Chris,

    I think what is sad about our society is not so much the lying but the fact of being caught in the lie. Or rather sometimes the lack of remorse that comes with it. I had a situation in my class where three students came in late from after lunch and mentioned it was because of the principal, I knew it was cacamania but I played along because it was in front of the whole class and wanted them to “save face”. I told them I would write an email and all would if it worked out, there were would be no consequences. Not 10 minutes later, we received a visit from the principal himself and of course…you know that their story was just that. When he left, one of the three students in front of the rest called me a “f@#king snitch”. I was shocked not at what she called me that but her lack of remorse…she didn’t care that she lied, she was upset that she got caught. I think people will do whatever they can (athletes, actors, anyone for that matter) will try to get away with things that they know they shouldn’t — and if they do…they see it as a “pat on the back” or good job. If not, not as a I shouldn’t have done that…but, dang it, I got caught.

    Also, Adam and Eve both admitted to eating the apple, Adam just past the buck of Eve giving him the apple and Eve did the same with the serpent. Genesis 3:12-13.

    Reyna

  13. Chris

    If he were really that contrite then he’d have addressed the fact that he had the marijuana in his system . Rather than fobbing off Smith. That’s clearly what he did ! C’mon now it was clear for all to see in the interview. As to his trying to explain that they were mitigating circumstances as to his sentence. That’s bull_hit from the get-go as that was all down to the idiocy of Pat Terse the DA handling the case and that of the Miami DA Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

    That’ll probably be the last thing she’ll do of note within that particular office. As I’m sure the vast majority of Dade Co citizens can’t have been at all happy with what they’ve perceived as being another form of justice that’s certainly forthcoming to the citizens there.

    So what’s up with Rick Pitino ?
    How much of an a_s does he now look to the fans of the Louisville Cardinals at this moment in time ? Furthermore what the hell are the AD and the university President thinking at this moment in time ?

    Alan Parkins

  14. Chris

    If it’s one thing that the military has taught me . It’s to be upfront from the get-go. Neither of these guys have actually been that , at all !

    If it were that simple a choice , I don’t know who I’d rather be ! But this much I can tell you I wouldn’t have placed myself in that sort of a predicament to begin with.

    One way or another at the end of it all, this’ll come to past and we’ll be looking elsewhere for the next salacious tidbit out there.

    I’m in the midst of putting up a third piece that actually concerns Pitino. I feel that though on the face of it in his mind he may not have done nothing wrong. He has in-fact bought his program into disrepute with his actions. How’s he to be trusted in terms of showing integrity. If he can’t even be show that with regard to his immediate family ?

    One Million Years BC …. An MLB piece .

    The Other Shoe Dropped And It’s Not All That Big It’s Merely Perception

    This final piece deals with Rangers’ slugger, Josh Hamilton’s apparent fall off the wagon. What the hell was this guy thinking to begin with ? Look at this way , how much faith have both the Rays and then the Rangers shown in the guy ? And now he does something this stupid ?

    Alan Parkins

  15. Chris

    Bear in mind that the University of Louisville is an esteemed parochial and Catholic educational establishment. I’d dare say that Pitino is walking on an extremely shaky tightrope at present.

    His contract has a morals’ clause laden within it. So if anything a firing isn’t out of the realms of possibility at this juncture.

    Here’s my piece on that very topic.

    You Don’t Sh_t Where You Eat You Hear That ?

    As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

    Alan Parkins

  16. Chris

    What more can I say that hasn’t already been said when it comes to US soccer ? They win and they ought to be on their way to South Africa for next year’s World Cup. A loss and they might as well think about rebuilding for the future.

    It’ll be tough to defeat Mexico in front of a raucous crowd of well over 100,000 ravenous and rabid Mexican fans. There’ll no doubt be pockets of US fans there in attendance at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

    Alan Parkins

  17. True but he’s brought prominence back to the University and I think they’ll give him every chance and listen to all the facts before making a decision.

    1-1 still in the 2nd half. US hanging tough.

  18. Chris

    He may well have brought it back to prominence. But he’s now brought a great deal of disgrace upon himself, his family and this fabled Roman Catholic institution. So what’s there now for the university’s president to think about ?

    James Ramsey and the AD , Tom Jurich are misplaced in their loyalties to Pitino. What sort of message does it send to the faculty and that of the student body there ?

    I personally believe that Pitino ought to take a leave of absence from the position. He’s serving no purpose being there thinking that this’ll somehow die down. Not with an oncoming trial and with all of his dirty laundry about to be laid out there for the public’s consumption. In the end he could well be asked to re-sign or could be fired with cause. As his contract does infact have a morals’ clause.

    Here’s my take , should you at all be interested ?

    You Don’t Sh_t Where You Eat You Hear That ?

    Great night for Pedro and the Phillies. As too for Carpenter , Pujols and the St Louis Cardinals.

    Alan Parkins

  19. Chris

    It came as no great surprise to see the US lose to Mexico. They were terrible in their man to man marking. And all too often were exposed at the back. They’re nowhere disciplined enough or creative on either end of the ball.

    The only world class player on the team , is their goalkeeper Tim Howard.

    Alan Parkins

  20. A leave of absense may attract more attention to the Pitino situation than they care for. Remember, this incident happened six years ago and we’re only finding out about it now. I think all parties involved want to put it behind them.

  21. Pedro had some nice movement last night.

    And you’re dead on about Tim Howard. He’s more effective when it counts than Dwight Howard.

    It appears to me that the US just cannot control the ball on offense, putting too much pressure on their D. I want WINNERS! Can’t win with ’em, can’t coach with ’em, can’t play with ’em, can’t do it.

  22. Chris

    How many stories and incidents do you know that’ve taken place a while back. And then when it comes to the fore can be as incendiary as this ? This won’t go away anytime soon, at all. You seem to forget, the trial won’t be taking place within the county or state level. But at the Federal level. So you can expect at least round the clock coverage from the likes of ESPN . And though it’s not Pitino who’ll be on trial. His credibility most definitely will be .

    Pedro really took it up a notch but you could tell he was tiring once the fifth inning came about. Two or three more starts and we could see him approaching something back at his very best. At this juncture I’d have to say that the Phillies may well be the prohibitive favorites in the NL.

    I’m still not completely sold on the Dodgers.

    As to the US soccer team. Theirs is a season that now comes down to how they’ll fare in the remainder of their qualifying games. They can’t afford to lose any of their home games. And they’ve got to go out there and stamp their authority on the lesser teams within their qualifying division.

    Failure to do that and they won’t be heading to South Africa for next year’s World Cup.

    Thanks for chiming in on the Pitino piece.

    I’ve got a baseball throwback piece that I’d sent you an e-mail link to , titled One Million Years BC.

    One Million Years BC ….

    Are the Rays really making things harder for themselves or what ? The Angels beat up on ’em like a wicked step-child in that 10-5 victory .

    If they can’t gain any traction and play with consistency . They’re not going to gain the wildcard berth as the AL representative.

    Alan Parkins

  23. I was busy with sportschumpdates, Al. I’ll be back to check out the rest of the pieces.

    The Rays are folding fast although they didn’t get the benefit of a few missed calls. Not sure why Maddon didn’t argue any of those.

    US needs to hold its own in their next match against El Salvador or they’ll have wasted a lot of effort for naught.

  24. The first sport of basketball is a favorite of the people living in Milwaukee but sometimes has to compete with the more popular game of hockey.

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