Boxing went downhill years ago when someone told the fighters at the weigh-in ceremony to turn away from the cameras and face each other, nose to nose, giving the impression they couldn’t wait to gnarl and snarl each other to shreds at the slightest tinkling of a bell, any bell. That evolved into the circus of last weekend when wife-beater Mayweather retained his title. The spectacle of this clown standing on the ropes at fight’s end, being booed incessantly in spite of his victory, defies logic. They say boxing is going to be replaced by televised cage fighting. If so, thank God for Downton Abbey.
Michael Vick remained too long with his boyhood buddies once he achieved celebrity status and wealth. Their pastime of watching dogs fight and kill each other led to his serving jail time and the loss of productive years as an NFL quarterback. He never has returned to the status of pro quarterback Hall of Famer, which nearly was his. Nobody was there to set him on a different course and he fell easy prey to errant ways of self-destruction. He is not alone. Recent studies show 16% of professional football players have claimed bankruptcy.
Upon being chosen the number one pick in this year’s NFL draft, Jameis Winston chose to be with his family and friends as the announcement was made. After so many off-field transgressions, how in the name of Bobby Bowden could he allow himself to be pictured savoring a serving of crab legs, the very item he was video taped stealing from a grocery store last year. Wasn’t anyone present aware enough to prevent that from happening? Obviously Winston didn’t see the danger. Unless the Bucs rein him in, they are going to lose this multi-million dollar investment to foolishness and self-destruction.
Applications are now being accepted for the worst sports announcers of the year. It needn’t be a play-by-play or color commentator, either. Thank goodness, for I would never exclude that professor of pomposity, Bryant Gumbel, from competition. I am hopeful a one-on-one match between Jon Gruden and Gumbel can be arranged to determine who is better able to disarmingly grin before showing his guest the level of his stupidity. Gruden, on his “Quarterback Camp,” embarrasses college quarterbacks by questioning their every thought. Other entries will undoubtedly include Joe Buck, the less than legendary son of famed father Jack Buck, and Bob Costas, whose lack of interest is always evident. It is a given that basketball non-guru Dick Vitale, Marv Albert and his son Kenny, and both Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayles of ESPN are shoo-ins. The winner, (rather, loser,) will receive the first annual Howard Cosell Award, an out-of-commission black and white television set.
(Although reportedly alive, Brent Musburger is ineligible. The less he’s mentioned, the better.)