Dear Battered Fan,
I want to know what is your take on the artistic form of the “flop.” Now I am using flop as a generalized term. Obviously the flop relates to basketball but how about the dive in soccer, a baseball player faking the hand injury when the ball clearly hits the knob of his bat, in football, defenses faking cramps to slow down the hurry up offense… I’ll even go to the extent to throw in a golfer who withdraws from a tournament because he shot a 7-over on the back nine. How about The Battered Fan gives out its version of the Oscar, the Tony – like the dunce cap of old to let these athletes know that, as battered fans, we do not appreciate it when they take zero pride in themselves and as representatives of the teams dear to our hearts.
I’m sure most of us have heard broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy during the recent NBA Finals complain mercilessly about the ongoing epidemic of flopping. You point out many good examples throughout the sports industry where flopping/acting/being a pussy occurs and the credibility of the game is negatively affected. Below, I’ve attached a video where a NBA player was actually kicked out from the game because another player flopped. That ain’t right! My personal belief is one should play the game the right way and not try to get ahead by trick-dicking the referees.
I like your idea of the dunce hat, but I’m thinking more along the lines of a scarlet letter – aka the Letter of Shame. Going along with Van Gundy’s idea of creating a ‘Flop Committee’ to review potential over-embellishments, I feel the punishment for anyone found guilt of being a fraud should be a stiff fine and a large Letter of Shame on one’s uniform for a minimum of one week. Multiple infractions would garner greater fines and longer lengths for the Letter of Shame. If there is two things athletes hate, it is 1) someone taking their money, and 2) being embarrassed publicly. If players are going to tarnish the credibility of the game by flopping, then actions must be taken to hit them where it hurts most – their bank accounts and their egos.
Dear Battered Fan,
I am interested in your opinions about fans at Pro Golf events. Watching the US Open where guys scream ‘get in the hole’ when Tiger Woods tees off on a 630 yard par 5, or when he’s putting from 37 feet with 4 opposing breaks, or when Phil Mickelson is chipping out of the woods to get centered on the fairway, simply drives me crazy. Why do they do this? When did this start?
While I have no idea when this trend officially started, I have two opinions about why it seems to be more prominent today than ever before.
1) Tiger Woods – The success of Woods was transformational to golf and made the sport a cool event to be around. Woods was the first golfer who genuinely appealled to a younger, more diverse demographic on a grand scale. One only needs to look at the attendance figures of event to see the impact Woods has had on the tour and the sport as a whole. Like any type of event, the younger the attending demographic skews, the more likelihood there is for shenanigans to take place. What likely started with one jackass yelling ‘Get in the Hole’ on a par 3 was likely seen by millions of viewers on television and gained a cheap-chuckle. Next thing you know, every tournament had its version of ‘That Guy’ who acted as if he were the first person to yell it out in a failed attempt to be original and/or funny.
2) Happy Gilmore – As a generation of Happy Gilmore (our generations Caddy Shack) lovers grows older, golf is no longer viewed as the rich, white man-only sport it may have been viewed as in previous generations. Remember Gilmore’s nemesis, Shooter McGavin, and his infamous quote to the newly-diversified group of spectators? “Damn you people. This is golf. Not a rock concert.” (See clip below.) Well, this is how much of the younger generation views golf today. If you don’t believe me, just spend one day at next year’s Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, AZ. – an event that is more like a 130,000 person kegger where golf just happens to be taking place.
Yes, there will always be the traditional golf courses that stringently enforce their long-held standards of etiquette. But as golfing crowds become more diverse, it may be difficult for the casual sports fan to empathize with an athlete who has to hit a stationary ball surrounded by dead silence. Try hitting a 95 miles per hour fastball with a round bat and 45,000 spectators screaming at the top of their lungs. When casual sports fan see golfers bitch and moan about something as inconsequential as a camera lens clicking in their back swing, the number of ‘That Guy’ imitators at each event will only continue to increase.
Dear Battered Fan,
We deem many other PEDs in our life as acceptable like coffee, Viagra, Rogaine, and 5-hour energy. Is it wrong for the public and the professional sports administrators to outlaw PED use in professional sports? And suspend players without out pay if found guilty?
If Barry bonds is going to have an asterisk next to his name in the record books, then so should Lexington steel for his Viagra use in the porn industry which led to many porn awards, as well my sales associate Alex for drinking an excessive amount of coffee and red bull to the point where he forces himself to work 16 hours a day just to win the award of salesmen of the month for the last 5 months.
I feel strongly about this topic for many reasons, I love home runs, I watch WWE, I’d much rather see a juiced up Brian Cushing than a flabby one, I miss the Bird Man and [Todd] Marinovich for both the same reasons as you probably know. Bottom-line – let the players use PEDs if they want to.
-Gronkfan05 (Taken from the comments section of “Follow-Up to The Era of Drug Testing”)
I think the biggest difference between the PEDs you discuss and those PEDs used during The Steroid Era is the legality of the substances in question. The reason we accept coffee, Viagra, Rogaine, and 5-hour energy as legal PEDs is because the government deems them usable for the general public (although sometimes with specific restrictions). Without turning this into a political science debate about the role of government, the main reason Steroids, HGH, Ephedra, etc are now banned in sports is simply because the league’s are following the laws laid out by the powers that be.
To your point about your friend Alex, as long as he is using legal substances, I personally don’t see the issue with him using every advantage at his disposal. What’s the difference between one person using coffee and another using a college education? Couldn’t they both be construed as performance enhancing? Once again, for me, it comes down to a question of legality. If the laws/rules makes the substance okay to use, then it is fair game for all parties involved. If it is deemed illegal, then I have an issue with its usage.
Back to sports, there will always be loopholes and athletes trying to take advantage of such opportunities. In recent years in baseball, upon the ban of Ephedra/Greenies, there has reportedly been a huge increase in players claiming to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Obviously, the main reason for such a claim is to get one’s hands on Adderall – the modern-day substitute for Ephedra/Greenies. Being a former-athlete who didn’t use illegal PEDs, it is hard for me to rectify the usage of illegal PEDs. BUT, I also will not judge another’s morality for doing something they may feel is in the best interest of his family’s long-term well being. With millions upon millions of dollars at stake, I understand why some athletes choose to use PEDs – but that doesn’t mean that I agree with or condone their decision.
Gronkfan05 – I figured you’d appreciate the picture below of Brian Cushing.
*Thank you to those who submitted questions! Don’t forget to continue sending questions, thoughts, concerns, and/or rants to TheBatteredFan@gmail.com or The Battered Fan’s Facebook Page for next Friday’s mailbag*