Friday, January 29, 2010

How's Your Friday Morning?

I was in blissful sleep until 7 AM came and my wife and I were awoken to the sounds of a large lumber truck and a small forklift arriving at our house. Today, the crew was beginning the framing phase of our remodel, and lumber companies make their deliveries way early in the morning so the crew has the lumber before the job day starts so they can get right to work. Good for them, not so good for the people living in the house or the cats, who were freaking out at the sights and sounds of something strange. I will say this, the cats settled in later because they're now used to seeing the crew in the backyard, so they often sit and stare all day. I feel badly for girl, though, as she spent yesterday dealing with very loud equipment moving and collecting dirt. She said her ears were still ringing that night from all the noise, and I'm not surprised. I can imagine anything like that makes whatever I deal with in the office seem pale in comparison.
I've always had a problem with the way media turns hero worship on and off for athletes, especially when it comes to the standards of behavior. Like many other sports fans, I can be forgiving for certain transgressions simply because these people are human and should be viewed in that light because we all make mistakes. It's easy to equate prominence on the court or field into having the same success in their personal lives, and quite honestly, we find too often that our heroes are as messed up as we all are. And when mistakes happen, some jump on the bandwagon to criticize, lambaste or destroy the very folks they've elevated to this higher standard because of their sporting talents.
What impressed me with Greg Oden as I noted a few days ago was his ability to admit his mistake and not try to run away from what happened. He didn't shy away from the negativity, even though it could have been easy to run and hide from it all. It shows tremendous character to stand up in front of your peers and admit a mistake, and as one particular ESPN commentator puts it, he probably didn't even need to do that. It's not like Oden did something that nobody else did, he just trusted someone that he was dating with very personal information about himself. It takes a lot to build up trust enough to be that open with another person, and this girl threw that trust and feelings into the trash in the search for cash. The fact that there are those amongst us that revel in tearing down people makes me angry, but it's also the delicate balance that we have in our media today. For every wonderful, heartwarming story of triumph, there's trash like this because people are supposedly interested in it. However, before anyone can really judge Oden, shouldn't we all ask ourselves do we really have the right? Would you feel differently if it was your pictures all over the web? Would it matter that most all of us have something that we've done at that age that we aren't that proud of? If you can really say yes, no, and no to those questions, I wonder how truly fulfilling your life might be.
But then again, when dealing with certain media members, I can imagine the desire to be closed up as much as possible. I spent some time reading through a transcript of an interview that Oden did with a certain newsweekly here in town, where the reporter asked one of the most tasteless questions I could ever imagine. It might have been what many people were thinking, but at the same time, telling him he shouldn't be embarrassed because people were impressed was one of the lowest things I think anyone could have said at that point, especially when he was trying to be apologetic about the situation. I get that sex and nudity open up a huge can of worms for many people, and there's an incredible about of double standards about how situations like this would be handled. A reporter making a comment like this to a female victim would have been lynched on the spot, yet somehow because it's a man, the question appeared to be OK. Uh, not really, it just shows that some outlets don't care about having integrity or standards, it's simply about news hits and attention. I realize that by me linking to it, I'm contributing to the cause, but at the same point, this newspaper was one that I religiously read for years because I respected their rather unique spin on events in Portland for years. As of today, I'm no longer going to read them in web or paper form. I can't respect an institution that plays that loose and fast with the ethical rules about other people's lives, especially one that I held in some respect for many years.
I love to play golf, but I hate watching it on television. I don't see the point of watching it when I'd rather be out there playing on the course myself getting some exercise. I've been able to use the WII Fit Plus driving range game as a viable alternative to practice my swing in the blustery, rainy winter weather we have about here, but I don't care to watch professionals on television to help my game. I'm not the best golfer around, but when I'm out there I have fun and it allows me to relax, even when I'm hitting snowman and I'm still 100 yards from the pin. The other aspect of golf on television that I have issues with is the absolute paranoid obsession with the rules. I've never laid witness to a sport where someone watching at home can see a rules violation, call the network and have a player reported because the course marshalls missed it. Can you imagine what would happen if the NBA allowed fans to call fouls from home?? Uh, that might be an improvement..
But then golfers are up in arms over a recent rule change about clubs and grooves, and a prominent left handed golfer figured out a loophole in the rules changes that helps him out. Many of his fellow players equate his use of very old clubs to cheating because he went against the spirit of the rules. Yet most golfers I know when playing their friends use most every advantage in their disposal to try and come out ahead. I've even improved my lie within my loose interpretation of winter rules when I probably shouldn't have, but at the same time, I'm not going to judge somebody simply because they were smart enough to find a loophole. Again, if you can view your conscious as pure and know that you've never done anything to circumvent the rules, go ahead and yell your head off about the integrity of the game. The rest of us will be shanking our drives on the course, living the true spirit of sport.

No comments: